Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA
Reload this Page >

US security clearances

US security clearances

Old Apr 15th 2016, 11:33 pm
  #1  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
caleyjag's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Malibu, CA
Posts: 921
caleyjag has a reputation beyond reputecaleyjag has a reputation beyond reputecaleyjag has a reputation beyond reputecaleyjag has a reputation beyond reputecaleyjag has a reputation beyond reputecaleyjag has a reputation beyond reputecaleyjag has a reputation beyond reputecaleyjag has a reputation beyond reputecaleyjag has a reputation beyond reputecaleyjag has a reputation beyond reputecaleyjag has a reputation beyond repute
Default US security clearances

I've been looking at positions in the aerospace engineering sector and some, if not most, of them require eligibility for US security clearance in the job description.

I'm a bit concerned about shifting my career in this direction only to find later that the tastiest projects are off limits because I am a dirty Scotsman.

Although I have lived here for nearly a decade I'm quite clearly a dyed-in-the-wool ex-pat wanker. There's no hiding it.

So, have any on here successfully applied for high-level security clearances in the US, and if so, what sacrifices did you have to make?


To maximise future career options I'd quite like to hang onto my UK passport and (fingers crossed) EU citizenship if I can.

I am about 10 months away from being able to nab a US passport so I have time to figure this out.
caleyjag is offline  
Old Apr 15th 2016, 11:37 pm
  #2  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
sir_eccles's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 8,106
sir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: US security clearances

My vague understanding is that the way security clearances are handled with respect to dual citizens differs from agency to agency and with level of clearance needed. Ultimately some require renouncing, others just surrendering the passport, others nothing.
sir_eccles is offline  
Old Apr 16th 2016, 1:15 am
  #3  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 38
McBadger is on a distinguished road
Default Re: US security clearances

Originally Posted by caleyjag View Post
Although I have lived here for nearly a decade I'm quite clearly a dyed-in-the-wool ex-pat wanker. There's no hiding it.
So that's the term for what I am...

I don't know what's involved in "surrendering" a passport, but I do recall that the UK lets you have two.
McBadger is offline  
Old Apr 16th 2016, 1:26 am
  #4  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
sir_eccles's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 8,106
sir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: US security clearances

Originally Posted by McBadger View Post
So that's the term for what I am...

I don't know what's involved in "surrendering" a passport, but I do recall that the UK lets you have two.
So does the US. Dual citizenship of itself is not the issue here. Having the ability to exercise a foreign preference is potentially. As I understand it, surrendering your passport means you remain a British citizen but you have given up the ability to run off to Britain.
sir_eccles is offline  
Old Apr 16th 2016, 6:13 am
  #5  
nun
BE Forum Addict
 
nun's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,722
nun has a reputation beyond reputenun has a reputation beyond reputenun has a reputation beyond reputenun has a reputation beyond reputenun has a reputation beyond reputenun has a reputation beyond reputenun has a reputation beyond reputenun has a reputation beyond reputenun has a reputation beyond reputenun has a reputation beyond reputenun has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: US security clearances

Having US citizenship is a requirement for most clearances. If you also hold another citizenship you will have to show the you hold "no foreign preference". Things like using a foreign passport, having assets overseas and even relatives are indicators of a possible foreign preference. You won't be required to renounce your non-US citizenship, but you might be asked if you would do it...you answer again goes to showing a foreign preference ....or not. You will probably be asked to hand over your UK passport to the security people where you work for "safe keeping" and you might also be asked to deface the passport by cutting off a corner so it cannot be used again. They will want to know about your friends and relatives and will conduct a number of interviews with references that you give.
nun is offline  
Old Apr 16th 2016, 5:44 pm
  #6  
L/R
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 49,526
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: US security clearances

Originally Posted by caleyjag View Post
... I am about 10 months away from being able to nab a US passport so I have time to figure this out.
Having US passport would significantly strengthen your hand. And bear in mind that you can apply for citizenship 90 days before the third/fifth anniversary (whichever applies) of getting your green card.
Pulaski is offline  
Old Apr 17th 2016, 1:35 pm
  #7  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Rural Virginia
Posts: 1,021
ottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: US security clearances

My children had to renounce their British Citizenship for security clearance.
ottotheboar is offline  
Old Apr 18th 2016, 4:46 am
  #8  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 140
benblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nice
Default Re: US security clearances

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
My vague understanding is that the way security clearances are handled with respect to dual citizens differs from agency to agency and with level of clearance needed. Ultimately some require renouncing, others just surrendering the passport, others nothing.
This isn't right, not even close. Please don't give advice unless you're certain it's true.

OP - PM me, and I'll talk you through it. I worked for a defense contractor for nearly 10 years.
benblaney is offline  
Old Apr 18th 2016, 4:51 am
  #9  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 140
benblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nice
Default Re: US security clearances

Originally Posted by nun View Post
You will probably be asked to hand over your UK passport to the security people where you work for "safe keeping" and you might also be asked to deface the passport by cutting off a corner so it cannot be used again. They will want to know about your friends and relatives and will conduct a number of interviews with references that you give.
I don't know the source for your "probably be asked to hand over", but I never heard of that in a decade in defense contracting.

And, were it to happen, the employee's response would, of course, be: "well, for you to lock it away could cause a diplomatic incident, and I can't knowingly deface it, because it's not mine to deface.

Here are a couple of facts: I worked with a guy who had two citizenships (and actively held and travelled with his non-US passport), who held a TS/SBBI clearance with Yankee White. I also worked with another guy who held three citizenships, and held a TS/SCI.
benblaney is offline  
Old Apr 18th 2016, 4:52 am
  #10  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 140
benblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nice
Default Re: US security clearances

Originally Posted by ottotheboar View Post
My children had to renounce their British Citizenship for security clearance.
they may have been told that, but they didn't have to.
benblaney is offline  
Old Apr 18th 2016, 6:57 am
  #11  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
sir_eccles's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 8,106
sir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond reputesir_eccles has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: US security clearances

Guideline C is fairly clear. As I said it varies agency to agency.
Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information
sir_eccles is offline  
Old Apr 18th 2016, 11:52 am
  #12  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Rural Virginia
Posts: 1,021
ottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: US security clearances

Originally Posted by benblaney View Post
they may have been told that, but they didn't have to.
As the service academies / DOD require it I will take their word over yours.
ottotheboar is offline  
Old Apr 18th 2016, 1:32 pm
  #13  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 140
benblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nice
Default Re: US security clearances

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
Guideline C is fairly clear. As I said it varies agency to agency.
Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information
It's clear you haven't spent a lot of time working with the military.

That's not definitive. It says "may", which is a world away from "will". In practice, simple possession and even regular use of a foreign passport is NOT an automatic denial. They're looking for other, supporting activities that may lead the subject to be a security risk.

My colleague with Yankee White, for example. He'd be in the Oval Office once every 90 days. That's a big deal; highly scrutinized, more frequent reviews. He never, ever made a secret of holding and using his other passport (because, in the security world, it's really, really best not to lie). When he traveled to Japan, Korea, Germany, and the UK - he'd always use his "other" passport. I asked him why, and he said "because adversaries hate <other nationality> more than Americans". It wasn't a problem.
benblaney is offline  
Old Apr 18th 2016, 1:40 pm
  #14  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 140
benblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nicebenblaney is just really nice
Default Re: US security clearances

Originally Posted by ottotheboar View Post
As the service academies / DOD require it I will take their word over yours.
They don't require it. That's my point. You haven't cited any source, but here's one: NISPOM 2-209. Even non-US Citizens *can* get a clearance. It's incredibly rare; I've only seen it three or four times, and always in the most urgent of situation. But I've known literally dozens of dual nationals with clearances.
benblaney is offline  
Old Apr 18th 2016, 1:49 pm
  #15  
L/R
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 49,526
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: US security clearances

Originally Posted by benblaney View Post
They don't require it. That's my point. You haven't cited any source, but here's one: NISPOM 2-209. Even non-US Citizens *can* get a clearance. It's incredibly rare; I've only seen it three or four times, and always in the most urgent of situation. But I've known literally dozens of dual nationals with clearances.
From the point of view of security clearance you may have a point, but giving up foreign citizenships might be necessary to get the job. So there's not much point in arguing that you can get security clearance while holding dual citizenship if you can't get the job anyway.
Pulaski is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.