An individual passes the U.S. security application, also referred to as security clearance, after a background investigation is completed, says the U.S. Department of State. The process is tedious, as great effort is taken to ensure that classified information is protected.
Anyone seeking security clearance must be a loyal American with strength of character. Additionally, such individual must be honest, trustworthy, confidential, discrete and reliable, as outlined by the U.S. Department of State. However, the decision to grant security clearance to an individual is made by suitably trained individuals whose decision is in the interest of national security.
The security clearance process starts with a conditional offer of employment and the completion of Standard Form 86, Questionnaire for National Security Position, along with other forms, states the U.S. Department of State. Once these forms are submitted, they are ,scrutinized and a case manager is assigned to conduct the background investigation.
In addition, a face-to-face interview is conducted by a Detective Sergeant Investigator. The Detective Sergeant Investigator also interviews acquaintances of the individual. The results are examined by security clearance adjudicators. In most cases, individuals are granted security clearance unless the findings are derogatory or there are complications, which results in the security clearance being delayed or denied, says U.S. Department of State. Background check are performed every five years for persons with security clearance.