TS/SCI should I try? Or just not meant to be?

Hi Patriots

So looks like a defense contractor may make me an offer soon. The agreement is I submit for TS/SCI and I obtain in 2 years. Some get theirs in 9 months others are still waiting 3 years. But possible I’m out of work if not cleared in 2. I’m thinking my case might be hard for two years

First the easy
I have a clean record, working professionally for almost 20 years since college(17 years at same job). I have 800+ credit score and ~$1m net worth… including beach home. Now I type this maybe this look suspicious and needs deeper investigation…

The hard
The two of the 3 people that know me well (not counting family) are recent ex girlfriends. We parted cordially so they could be references. While they are citizens, they are foreign born. One from China other Cambodia

When I was with the Chinese we did vacation in China. We were not stopped. But I was fearful because my information was in the OPM hack in 2015 (opened FOIA never heard).

Im in San Francisco Bay Area for last 5 years so I know about 15 foreign contacts that live here. Some I’ve dated too. But all of them I have ceased contacts since late last year knowing I would go this route. Nobody is going to call 911 if I ghost them for life. Will I be able to convey that to the investigator? Should I? Or does it not matter?

About 3 of these contacts I don’t know last name, legal first name(used an English name), etc. countries are South Korea, Vietnam, China.

Lastly a US citizen with family back in Philippines I sent $200 to her parents. It was one time because father is sick with cancer. Her husband was separating and he cut off support. I stepped in until they resolved.

College I was a heavy drinker by my older self standards. Today maybe have 1 drink with dinner when on vacation. I smoked weed couple times in college have not touched since senior year of college. Again this was almost 20 years ago. Never abused prescriptions

Coronavirus aside which I assume is going to add unmeasurable delay. Does my ability to even obtain a clearance look grim? I hear people get suitably rejection after 3 years with no explanation. I don’t even know what the types of rejection. I feel on paper I raise too many red flags :frowning: I have a high paying job, willing to take lesser pay to do something of a higher calling. But at the same time don’t want to completely shoot myself in the foot.

This community has been so helpful I’m willing to hear honest feedback.

I don’t know, it really doesn’t sound too bad. Travel to China will attract some attention but make sure you have details on your itinerary, where you stayed, all that stuff.

Many of those cases where it takes three years seem to involve folks who are naturalized citizens, people who lived overseas for an extended period, or people with family members overseas.

If you have an offer, go for it. Would you have to quit the current job to take this offer? Most defense contractors don’t want to bring you on board until you get cleared, but some have unclassified work to keep you busy while waiting.

Yes I would have to quit. Thanks for the encouragement. Something I also just thought, they didn’t tell me anything about poly. Is that because this is a contractor they cannot require it like IC agencies do? Do people volunteer anyway to add reassurance to the adjudication decision?

TS will require a poly . . .

Your contacts do not sound too bad but they will draw some attention. As noted, people often get tripped up on things like travel to China. You’re likely to need to provide a lot of information that you may think, “why would I have noted that?” People you contacted, how the trip was planned. Who planned trip. Who did you meet? Did anyone you met have connections to the military or the government?

Not having these answers or not providing all of the information that they ask for is going to slow you down quite a bit. You might want to come up with references other than ex-girlfriends . . .

I don’t think all TS clearances require a poly, although it seems to be more and more common. As it becomes more common, it becomes more challenging to get one scheduled.

Have you signed an offer letter yet or filled out any kind of pre-screening package? Usually they will include some kind of form for you to sign where you acknowledge that the position may require a polygraph exam.

It isn’t up to the contractor to decide, it depends on what the contract requires. Also, you can’t volunteer without a program or contract that requires it.

1 Like

With SCI? . . . . . .

@sbusquirrel @EdFarmerIII

I believe this contractor site has both the need for active TS/SCI and some TS/SCI w/ poly specifically called out. I saw those positions when I was searching their job site. The (rare) position I applied just said “ability to obtain TS/SCI within 2 years” I might be getting ahead of myself. But I heard positive feedback thus far(at least prior to this virus). Still possible I don’t earn any offer. So in short have not signed anything.

As for references looks like sf86 requires 3 non relative. In the past 3 years I have 2 significant girlfriends. They are the ones that truly know me best. I suppose I could list that college buddy or two but have only kept in contact casually with them. Or a former coworker that I have casually met up with outside of work. Honestly been little focused on finding a significant other than maintaining those friendships especially since relocating to SF Area few years back. Maybe I’m a bit of a homebody too. I don’t need many friends. I’m not a very social outgoing person. Couple hiking meet ups here and there. But mostly after a stressful week I recharge by going home alone to read a book. Or watch movie with girlfriend. Not sure if this is a red flag, it’s just my personality.

Not as of a few years ago. Yes, the percentage requiring at least a CI poly is growing, but I don’t think there are enough polygraph examiners to test everybody requiring SCI access.

But it should be mentioned during the application process.

Indeed, not all SCIs require a poly.
More or less customer/program dependant, and also what kind of access you really need.
That being said, most IC employees will have their poly done…

You said, the application process… I would probably quit my job at this point. I think the clearance needs to be submitted first 30 days of employment (vaguely recall someone mention) … After reading other posts should I worry about the poly? Or can honest people still not pass? Hopefully that is not common false positive. For years I support our IC feel Snowden is a traitor trying to be a hero. How embarrassing to my family if my poly thinks I’m working with another government. Just the thought makes me hope the contractor doesn’t make me an offer.

There’s nothing fun or enjoyable about the poly, except maybe you’re sitting there in the funny chair in the little room and the examiner says, you passed. Do some people have problems with the polygraph? I would say yes. But the majority of people do all right. Now, some agencies seem to work with you more than others (mainly in terms of giving you multiple attempts vs a “one and done” approach) but it is hard to say which is which.

So should you worry? That’s not the question… EVERYBODY worries :slight_smile: Should it stop you from applying? I would say no.

As far as submitting the forms, yes, once the ‘sponsor’ enables your application you have a fairly short amount of time to fill out the form.

@sbusquirrel @EdFarmerIII @backgdinvestigator

Thanks for your previous responses.

Defense co called to let me know they are anticipating funding and once confirmed offer will follow. They said there is 3 levels of SCI: No Poly, CI, FS. This position is TS/SCI/no poly. They told me they have determined I’m not at risk of getting cleared. I didn’t ask what they did , but I assume it was the simple background check I authorized on the application for employment.

But I’m still anxious. I feel after the SF86 the interview will ask who are these foreign contacts ? They are people I don’t ever have to talk to again, but they live in California. Work for google, Facebook, etc. This I assume is a lifestyle choice, but one I will and can make. But I assume investigator will ask if I dated them? I won’t lie, yes several of these people from various countries (China, Vietnam, South Korea, Philippines) I “dated” (meeting someone for a movie, coffee or hike, I suppose is a date also networking). Very common in Silicon Valley. Last face to face was early 2019. Two of them we still occasionally text(quarterly). Once defense co updated me, I proactively and explicitly told these last two nationals I can’t text any longer for personal reasons. Nobody is going to shed tears. Others I simply lost touch and will ghost any future text from them. Again nobody will care

My ex gf in 2017 is USA citizen, but also from China. Coupled all this with our vacation to China. I feel doesn’t make me look good on paper :frowning:

Im paranoid because I’m potentially going to leave a high paying stable job for a lower, unstable, but honorable one. First month submit sf86, second month interview, third month denied. I assume def co would then let me go. Not a good economy to be unemployed

I’m very conservative with financial decisions. Or maybe I’m being anxious? Perhaps the “whole person” approach apply here: I don’t do drugs, no prescriptions, no crime, no mental health (ok maybe anxious here), I have 1m net worth, no debt, 800+ credit score, rarely drink, no gambling. Oh and of course love USA and want China to pay for covid. Badly! Last one not relevant, just saying I have no sympathy for them. In fact knowing those contacts makes me love USA more.

Sorry for long post. Thanks in advance

/sleepless nights

The travel to China will attract some attention. They’ll most likely want to know dates, where you went, where you stayed, if you keep in contact with anyone you met. But lots of people travel to China (or at least lots of people used to :slight_smile: ) so it should not be a big deal.

Sounds like you have done all that you can, you have been up front/honest, and as complete as possible. There is only thing I can suggest, and it’s tiny. Print out or otherwise document the entire application. When it is renewal time you want to be sure all the names and dates match. If you change a date because you cannot remember, especially like a date overseas, it’ll pop up. If you forgot a name of a foreign national or put “Betty” when you mean “Becky” it’ll pop up. I once “corrected” a wrong address many moons after my first round of paperwork. It popped up. I was able to explain that the original address was an error in the interview. Same with middle initials, and so on. Whatever you have now, keep it recorder for five years from now. One less worry.