What You Should Know About Interim Security Clearances

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An interim security clearance (also known as "interim security eligibility") is based on the completion of minimum investigative requirements and granted on a temporary basis, pending the completion of the full investigative requirements for the final secret clearance. Interim security clearances can be issued quickly, but are not sufficient for access to special categories of classified information, such as COMSEC, NATO and restricted data.

The Personnel Security Branch will automatically consider applicants or employees who will occupy a position designated as non-critical sensitive or critical sensitive for an interim security clearance. The interim security clearance will be granted based on the favorable completion of the preliminary checks that are accomplished as part of the suitability and security clearance process.

Related: Search for security clearance jobs.

The following aspects of the interim security clearance process are in effect.

A. Positions eligible for interim security considerations can only be designated National Security/Non-Critical Sensitive or National Security/Critical Sensitive. The position's designation is located on the OF 8, which can be obtained from Human Capital.

B. The applicant will also be required to complete and submit e-QIP [Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing] for the proper level investigation prior to consideration for an interim security eligibility clearance.

C. The Office of Security will make a risk-based determination when granting an interim security clearance based on preliminary checks. When in doubt, the Office of Security will always side on the side of national security.

D. The Program Office and the Human Capital Division will be notified when the applicant has been approved for an interim security clearance.

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E. An interim security clearance can be denied to an individual in accordance with EO 12968, DHS MD 11050.2.

  • The applicant has no appeal process as a result of being denied an interim security clearance.
  • Denial of an interim security clearance is not grounds for the Human Capital Division to withdraw the job offer.

F. Interim security clearances are temporary, 180 days (EO 12968) with an option for extension (another 180 days).

G. The applicant must still be able to meet the final requirement of eligibility for a top-secret or secret clearance. Therefore, the approval or denial of an interim clearance should not be taken as an indicator of the final determination.

H. Once an interim security clearance has been granted, the applicant has to sign a conditional letter of employment prior to the granting of an Entry on Duty date by the Human Capital Division (HCD).

  • The applicant will return the signed conditional letter of employment to HCD.
  • HCD will forward the conditional letter of employment to the Personnel Security Branch, Adjudications Unit.
  • The applicant is not required to sign the conditional letter of employment. The applicant has the option to wait for the full investigation and granting of the full clearance. HCD cannot withdraw the tentative offer of employment if the applicant chooses this option.

I. Interim security clearance is not a right.

J. Questions may be directed to the Personnel Security Branch Customer Service Office at (202) 646-3790.

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