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
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.