Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to receive a security clearance?


What is the purpose of a security clearance?

The purpose of a security clearance is to allow an individual access to classified national security information.

Who determines whether I need a security clearance? When does this happen?

If the position requires access to classified information, a background investigation must be conducted.  This is done after a conditional offer of employment is given to an applicant.

How many types or levels of security clearance are there?

There are three levels of security clearance: confidential, secret, and top secret.

What work does a security clearance allow a person to do?

A security clearance allows an individual filling a specific position to have access to classified national security information up to and including the level of clearance that they hold as long as the individual has a “need to know” the information and signed a non-disclosure agreement.

What factors are considered?

National security eligibility determinations take into account a person’s:

  • Stability
  • Trustworthiness
  • Reliability
  • Discretion
  • Character
  • Honesty
  • Judgment
  • Unquestionable loyalty to the U.S.

What factors may not be considered?

In making a national security eligibility determination, the federal government does not discriminate on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Disability
  • Sexual orientation

Negative conclusions cannot be made solely on the basis of mental health counseling.