What is a foreign national?

I am filling out my eQIP and I am not sure what the definition of a foreign national is. I have read about 4 different definitions on the internet.

Here are my specific concerns:

  1. I served as the resident pastor for a Christian international missions ministry for six months in 2018. In that role, I met a bunch of missionaries from all over the planet, and stayed at a week long conference with them. I honestly have no idea who might have been a dual-citizen or not American at all.

  2. I went to Chile for a mission trip in 2018. We stayed with a a US family, but their adult children are all Chilean citizens. We also stayed with a woman and her mother (neither name I can recall) for a few nights. While we were there, we worked with the local pastor and people from that church.

  3. My wife went on a mission trip to India in 2018. Similar situation, she went to a wedding while they were there.

I have not maintained contact aside from a few facebook interactions. Who do I need to list without wasting people’s time but still being as transparent as possible?


You don’t even remember their names . . . You don’t have continuing contact with them, you don’t need to report them. You don’t need to ask if every McDonald’s worker is a citizen and report them as contacts if they are not.

I would list everything that you said here. Document the travel, the purpose and the fact that you are no longer in contact with any but a few that you have occasional Facebook contact with.

It is unclear to me what is the clearance level and the agency.

Nonetheless, Section 19 of SF-86 defines foreign national as, “foreign national is defined as any person who is not a citizen or national of the U.S.”

Also, there is a general understanding that… any person you meet OUTSIDE of US is considered a foreign national UNLESS you know that the person is US citizen or US national.

As for listing them, it depends. Some agencies hold a view that foreign friends on social media, in itself, constitutes close and continuing; thus, requires to be reported.

As for staying at a woman and her mother, it depends. Again, some agencies will require this to be reported.

In my opinion, I will list them all with exception of the adult children who are all Chilean citizens since they are US citizen by parental lineage (assuming the parents of US citizens). However, I would mention the adult children in the addendum and disclose it to a background investigator just to err on the side of caution.

In reality, I would check with the agency’s security officers about this and get it in writing.

Yeah this one falls between both answers given in my estimation. I would report all you know, but be clear this was a result of “work” (mission trips, as a Pastor is work). If you have contact info, names, addresses of those you know to be foreign nationals…provide them. Start with the ones you maintained facebook contact with. If you were connected but have no contact, now is the time to delete them. We get investigators on both sides of this subject here. One will say list every single one you ever had contact with. Others say never list social media ones…which is odd since the form itself outlines social media as a means of contact. The key, and Ed called it, is continuing contact. Meeting people on a cruise ship is similar. Friendly while I am there, they want nice tips and I give them. Once I leave the boat…not so much. Maybe a rare facebook connection but the relationship changes dramatically and I delete them. That was on the first cruise. Now I do not connect and I cruise about every 18 months. There is nothing unusual about mission trips and nothing unusual about foreign connections. It is routine. We live in a global society. Now if there are any known intelligence agents participating…and trust me there are…it can be a problem. So report all you know to not be citizens of the US. Let the BI person determine who must go forward in their report.