Will an internship at the Afghan Embassy bar me from getting a security clearance?

I’m a masters student and am looking at applying for a few public-sector jobs which would require a TS clearance.

Several years ago I completed a one-semester unpaid internship at the Embassy of Afghanistan to gain diplomatic experience, while in college. I don’t have any other affiliation with Afghanistan or a foreign government.

It has come to my attention that this could be a large problem for federal employment purposes, as it constitutes foreign government employment under Guideline C (Foreign Preference).

Is this something I could potentially mitigate either on the SF86 or on appeal? Or am I wasting my time?

Thanks for the advice!

Well it will certainly attract some attention and probably slow things down. The investigators will want to know all the details, including any contact you’ve had with people since that time. But I don’t think it is an automatic bar to getting a clearance.

You’ll simply provide all requested details and documents relating to this internship. As subsquirrel said, there will be a lot of questions you will have to answer. Many will be verbally, many will be in writing, and others via your supporting documents.

Best advice: Be prepared.

Unpaid and for the experience, those are two good points in your favor. I have a relative who applied to be a Navy officer but had sought out paid employment during summer break from college in another country. Wanna talk about adding a year to your background check? That is definitely how to do it. I’m hoping the Embassy was on US soil in your case. And that the employment has ceased.