Will My Family Be Subject to a Security Check?

As you’re probably well-aware, when you apply for security clearance, you will be subjected to a thorough, in-depth background investigation, which will look as far back as your youth, it will look at your financial habits and whether you filed for bankruptcy, and it will search for any history of DUI, drug possession, and any other criminal convictions. Even a false allegation of “date rape” when you were 16 can hinder a security clearance.

Suppose you’re confident that you’ll pass the background check with flying colors, but what about your family members? If your spouse has a questionable past, or a few skeletons in their closet, can their background prevent you from obtaining security clearance? Unfortunately, it is possible for your spouse or cohabitant’s background to cause issues.

When Spouses Are Subject to Security Checks

Under certain circumstances, an applicant’s spouse or cohabitant may be subject to a security check. If you are processed for a Top Secret level clearance, a national agency check will be run on your husband or wife; however, this check would be conducted with their permission. If your spouse or cohabitant is an immigrant – not a U.S. citizen, then he or she may be subjected to additional investigations for the sake of “national security.” What is a cohabitant exactly? Is it any family member? According to the U.S. Department of State, it is essentially a husband or wife who lives with the applicant.

Some of the reasons why an applicant is denied based on their personal background, include:

  • Poor financial behavior
  • A history of alcohol abuse
  • A history of drug abuse
  • Foreign influence or preference
  • Emotional disorders
  • Sexual behavior
  • Criminal convictions

What if your spouse has a history of any of the above? If your spouse has a long criminal record, or if they have committed federal crimes or fraud-related crimes, or if they have a strong history of drug abuse, or if they are foreign nationals with strong ties to certain countries, it is possible for you to be considered a “higher security risk.” If your security clearance is threatened by your spouse’s background, we urge you to contact our security clearance attorneys for aggressive legal representation.

At Claery & Hammond, LLP, we have nearly 30 years of collective experience handling security clearance matters. Contact us today for the attention your situation demands.