When you are granted national security clearance as either a member of the Armed Forces or an employee of a government agency, the federal government has essentially said you need to only know that much information and nothing further. However, nothing is static, especially not in the world of security clearance and sensitive intel. Sometimes agents cannot complete their basic job duties because they just don’t have enough clearance. When this is the case, an upgrade may be necessary.
Case-by-Case Security Clearance Upgrades
The United States federal government does allow security clearance upgrades to occur – but only when absolutely necessary. The less people who know the truly secretive info, the better. To this end, it utilizes a case-by-case system when determining if an agent or officer actually does need a higher level of national security clearance.
A person who requests higher security clearance is going to be closely watched and analyzed by the government, especially if the desire for an upgrade was not implemented by an order from a higher ranking official. The government agencies involved in the review will probably go back as far as ten years to consider whether or not the applicant is trustworthy and loyal to the United States. Any information about who the applicant knows, where the applicant has been, and what the applicant has done within the last decade is going to be combed finely for discrepancies and reasons for concern. References listed on a Standard Form 86 submitted when the applicant was first accepted into the agency will be used, as well as new people of interest. If the applicant wants “top secret” clearance, a highly scrutinizing review known as the Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) may be used.
Asking for a security clearance upgrade without good reason can raise suspicions. People who ask for more clearance but do not give a clear explanation as to why this is necessary could have the process backfire. Rather than being upgraded, they could be reduced due to a fear that they are looking for information to use for their own purposes.
If you want to upgrade your security clearance, you should not rush into the process without knowing what to say and expect. Work with The Edmunds Law Firm and our security clearance attorneys to prepare yourself for the tricky application process ahead. We bring decades of proven experience to each claim and case we handle, empowering our clients’ chances in ways few other law firms can.
More information is available by contacting us online and setting up a free case analysis.
I have had a Q and a TS/SCI for 10 years. I am now being upgraded to an ISSA full scope poly. If for some reason I fail my poly upgrade is it automatic I lose my entire clearance or case by case ?