Timeline of my Clearance-Secret

I want to share the timeline of my Secret Clearance (Tier 3). This is for those of you who apply for jobs at USAID or are looking for jobs at USAID. Keep in mind, USAID has its own Security clearance team.

Before I start, I must say, I consulted with a former investigator on my Equip application and he answered questions that I had. Then he painted an extremely grim picture of my situation. This is what he told me: “It is likely that you will receive a letter of intent to deny clearance. The prospective employer may or may not offer any procedural due process for people rejected based on fitness vetting.”

Basically, this person told me based on his opinion that I am not going to get a clearance because I am a foreign born and I still have family abroad in a country that doesn’t have good relations with US.

Here is the timeline:

July 2022 - Job Offer received
September 2022 - Equip Application submitted SF-86
Late October 2022 - I was contacted by an investigator for subject interview. The interview took almost 4 hours.
Late December 2022- Granted final Secret Clearance

I have no criminal background, no outstanding debt and no drug/alcohol problem. The only thing that I had was my family still living abroad
I almost gave up due to this former investigator telling me I will never get a clearance.

If you are someone like me, foreign born and with families abroad, trust the process. Don’t get discouraged, this is a lengthy process but at the end of the day if you are transparent, you’ll get a clearance.

Here is what I did: I disclosed everything openly and honestly. During my interview, I brought all the documents that I was asked, I even brought additional documents, and I was very cooperative. I responded to all the questions openly and respectfully.

I thought to share this experience with you all.

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Investigators are not Adjudicators, although we have opinions based on past experiences, they are opinions only. Good reminder for us all.


I agree. It would also be helpful to remember that for those who reach out for advice, not to give any definitive opinion, because at the end of the day it is an opinion only and may not be correct. Each case is different. I was so discouraged that it took me some time to move forward with the offer I received. I am glad I went ahead.

Did you get your interim between July and Dec. before the final clearance was granted?

@clearancena No, I never received any interim clearance. It took the SEC team 4 weeks to generate my Equip account, from July to August, so I was given access in late August and by the 3rd week of September, I submitted my Equip and the initial approval of my package was received. Then once my package was approved for processing, I was contacted in late October for the interview.

Were your former employers and references contacted by questionnares before your subject interview? My references and former employers are contacted before my subject interview.

Yes, they were all contacted before my interview. And actually, many of them had to send the questionnaires before my interview date. My building manager was also contacted, and they asked some questions about what type of tenant I am, do I pay rent on time, etc. etc.