How Long Does the Security Clearance Process Take?
Posted By The Federal Practice Group Worldwide Service || 4-Dec-2014
One of the most common questions our team of nationwide security clearance lawyers receives from clients involves how long their security clearance process will take. The answer, as with most things that involve the law and government, is that it depends. All cases are unique and the process may be different for everyone. While there are a number of unique factors which can determine the length of your security clearance process, one of the most important is the type of clearance.
In most cases - including those involving clearances issued by the United States Department of Defense - there are generally three levels of clearances:
- Top Secret
According to data collected from a number of agencies, the security clearance process for Confidential and Secret clearances is often completed within 4 to 12 weeks, but can extend further. Typically, the Top Secret security clearance process will take longer. For example, statistics show that Top Secret clearances can take as much as 65% longer to obtain than Confidential and Secret clearances. Other factors that may lengthen investigations and the clearance process include:
- Having lived or worked outside of the U.S.
- Having lived or worked in multiple locations within the U.S.
- Relatives who have lived outside of the U.S.
- Background information that is difficult to locate
- Appealing a denial
It's important to remember that you, as an applicant, can take steps to expedite the clearance process. By working with an experienced security clearance attorney, for example, you can ensure you're your paperwork is complete and free from errors. Should complications arise, an attorney can help you tackle them immediately. Working closely with your lawyer and providing them with the necessary information and documentation can also help the process run smoothly.
At The Federal Practice Group, we can personally review your situation to help you better understand what you can expect during the security clearance process, how long the process may take, and what we can do to help. To request a consultation with a member of our legal team, contact us today.