Eligibility Guidelines for Security Clearance

Your perfect career path may lie behind a security clearance, especially if you have military experience. But as you likely know, not everyone qualifies for security clearance. Since security clearance means access to classified information, applicants with a questionable history can be denied in the interest of national security. There are a number of guidelines established for all applicants who request to gain access to classified information. These guidelines or eligibility requirements apply to all individuals considered for initial security clearance as well as continued eligibility.

Here is a basic description of Guidelines A-M, which determine an applicant’s basic eligibility for security clearance:

  1. Guideline A: Allegiance to the United States (Is your allegiance to the U.S. questionable?)
  2. Guideline B: Foreign Influence (Are you tied to non-U.S. citizens who could affect your ability to protect classified information?)
  3. Guideline C: Foreign Preference (Do you have a preference for another country other than the U.S.?)
  4. Guideline D: Sexual Behavior (Do you have a history of rape, child molestation, or sexual assault?)
  5. Guideline E: Personal Conduct (Are you not cooperating with medical or psychological testing, or are you refusing to fill out required security forms?)
  6. Guideline F: Financial Considerations(Have you filed bankruptcy or are you in too much debt?)
  7. Guideline G: Alcohol Consumption (Do you have an alcohol abuse problem?)
  8. Guideline H: Drug Involvement (Do you have a history of substance abuse?)
  9. Guideline I: Emotional, Mental and Personality Disorders (Do you have a history ofmental health problems?)
  10. Guideline J: Criminal Conduct(Do you have a criminal record?)
  11. Guideline K: Security Violations (Have you failed to comply with security regulations?)
  12. Guideline L: Outside Activities (Are you involved in outside employment or activities that could raise a security concern for any reason?)
  13. Guideline M: Misuse of Government Systems (Have you broken the rules or procedures pertaining to information technology systems that could raise security concerns about your ability to protect classified information?)

This is a basic summary of the eligibility requirements to gain security clearance; however, it is in no way complete. Do you see anything on this guideline list that may present a problem during the application process? If so, we can help.

For professional, legal assistance applying for security clearance or putting together your security package, please contact Claery & Hammond, LLP.