The security clearance application process is in-depth, complicated and-at times-overwhelming. If you are applying for a national security clearance, you can seek legal assistance from an attorney at The Edmunds Law Firm. Our security clearance lawyers have an in-depth knowledge of the process and can provide you with the guidance you need.
If you are given a security clearance, you have access to classified information. The Bureau of Human Resources of the United States State Department decides if one of the department's positions requires a security clearance based on the responsibilities of the position and how much contact the employee would have with classified information.
To apply for a security clearance, whether for a government, military, or industrial job, you must first be sponsored by the company or agency trying to hire you. You yourself cannot apply for a security clearance. One of the first steps is to complete a questionnaire Standard Form 86 (SF-86). Additional forms also may be required.
Because one of the chief requirements for a classified job is demonstrating candor and trustworthiness, it is essential that you complete all forms honestly and fully. The forms make up a Security Package, which goes to the State Department's Office of Personnel & Suitability for review. At this point, national agency record checks are completed and fingerprint scans are checked.
Next is the interview, a vital part of the application process.
Usually, it takes about three weeks to schedule an interview appointment after the Security Package has been submitted. Investigators, living in the U.S. and abroad, verify information on the questionnaire, checking if a person has lived, gone to school, and worked as stated on the form. An investigation report is compiled and given to a security clearance adjudicator or judge, who will determine if the applicant is or is not suitable for a security clearance.
Security clearance denials are rather common. If you are denied a security clearance you can appeal the denial. The first step is to file a Notice of Appeal to the Appeal Board within 15 days of the date appearing on the judge's decision. Next, the person appealing the denial must file an appeal brief with the Appeal Board within 45 days of the judge's decision.
The Appeal Brief needs to explain what errors the judge made in denying the appeal and how those mistakes caused the appeal to be denied. No new evidence can be supplied at this time. The non-appealing party, after receiving the appeal brief from the Appeal Board, may file an optional reply that must be submitted to the Board within 20 days.
The Appeal Board makes its decision and issues it in writing after reviewing the file that was before the Hearing Office Administrative Judge, the appeal brief, and any reply brief. The person appealing the judge's decision has the burden to show why the judge's decision was wrong. This brief therefore should include all objections, issues, and/or reasons why the judge arrived at the wrong decision. The Appeal Board's decision, issued in writing, is final with few exceptions.
Applying for a national security clearance is a very involved and complicated process. If the government agencies are unsure of a decision, they will likely deny the clearance. The appeals process is just as complex and involved. An attorney with experience in security clearance matters knows what the agencies are looking for and can help you fill out the forms completely.
If you've been denied clearance, don't take chances with the appeal. It is in your best interest to consult an experienced and qualified attorney for help. At The Edmunds Law Firm, we have the experience, the knowledge and the resources you need.
To schedule a consultation with a security clearance attorney at our firm, please contact us today at (800) 481-2526. We also help individuals with the initial application process, not only with appeals.
Our national security clearance law firm has helped clients save their careers with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and other government agencies. We have secured legal victories in spite of our clients facing concerns over alcohol consumption, dishonorable discharge, five-figure debt, a failure to file taxes, and more. We have helped our clients overcome allegations of a failure to safeguard classified material, of mishandling protected information, and more. There is a reason our security clearance attorney is nationally ranked: We have the results to prove it.