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Holding a security clearance can be essential for many contractors that work for the government. However, if you have only recently entered a field where a security clearance is required, you may be unsure of what to expect when obtaining this type of authorization. For those that find themselves in this position, learning the answers to these security clearance concerns should provide a better understanding of what to expect.
Can Your Employer Grant You A Security Clearance?
There is a belief among some people that they will simply need to obtain a security clearance from their employer. Unfortunately, the process is not that simple as this clearance can only be obtained from the government. However, your employer can likely provide guidance to you through the complication and lengthy application process required in order to qualify for a government cleared job.
What Is The Process Of Filing For A Security Clearance?
Due to the sensitive information that a security clearance can unlock, it should not be surprising that applying for this type of clearance can be extremely complicated and thorough. Typically, the investigating agency will review the applicant's criminal and employment history to ensure that there is not a blemish or pattern of behavior that could disqualify them from being cleared. In addition to reviewing these records, it may also be necessary for your credit history to be reviewed. This may seem like a strange factor to consider, but it can help to determine whether or not a person makes responsible decisions.
If your background check and credit check are satisfactory, you may be required to submit to a formal interview. During this step, you will be questioned about any issues that were discovered during the background check. Also, you may be required to provide a list of character references that will also be interviewed.
Will Your Security Clearance Expire?
Fortunately, your clearance will remain in effect for as long as you are employed in your position. Once you retire, quit or are fired, your clearance will be cancelled.
For those that are transferring to a new department or position, it may be possible to have the security clearance transfer with you. However, the rules for this type of transfer can be extremely complex, but your department's manager or chief security officer will be able to help you determine whether it will be possible to transfer your security clearance to other positions.