General Question

earthduzt's avatar

I have a couple questions about security clearance...

Asked by earthduzt (3215 points ) May 13th, 2010

Ok, so I have to get a security clearance for a job I recently got…I’m kind of worried though. I haven’t done anything bad, I have never been arrested, my credit is fine, no bankruptcies etc…but I do have a brother that is in prison. I don’t ever really talk to him or am associated with him (we are on two different paths in life obviously) but is that going to 86 my chance of getting clearance just him being my immediate family? Should I be worried, because I am?

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9 Answers

Zen_Again's avatar

There is such a fine line between Law Enforcement and criminal behaviour. You see it at all levels, from the cops on the beat to the C.I.A.

Sometimes, lines are even crossed, especially in the spook world.

But no-one would pre-judge you based on a sibling’s behaviour. Not for any job.

Good luck.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I don’t think a relatives behavior affects security clearance unless you are involved in the same activity or have aided him in some way. My father-in-law had a long criminal record and I had a high-level security clearance. My wife had been totally estranged from him for many years though.

earthduzt's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land thanks, that is reassuring..I also have another issue I just thought of..I have another brother that is living overseas..his resident address though is here in the US but he has been working and living overseas for about a year and a half now. All in the east.China (which is now really worrying me) and Thailand, and Korea. Would this pose a problem? The company that hired me said once you apply and if you get denied that is it forever.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@earthduzt
Should NOT be a problem with your brother working in the east. As long as he is not in illegal activities. They are checking YOU and your background. If the clearance is top secret or above I would not broadcast to the world about it. I WOULD tell my neighbors that someone may come and ask background questions about you.

wonderingwhy's avatar

It depends on the position and the agency with the interest. Just from what you’ve said you’ve nothing to worry about, especially if it’s a low-level clearance. Yes, there are very specific circumstances where those relatives could pose an issue (and even then not one that always will result in denial) but it’s highly unlikely and in no way worth worrying about. As for the “if you get denied it’s forever” part, perhaps that’s the companies view. But in terms of a clearance, it depends in large part on why you were denied and the justification for your application in the future.

Just be honest and straightforward, from everything you’ve mentioned there’s nothing to worry about.

Tenpinmaster's avatar

It shouldn’t be a concern at all. This person isn’t living with you and it seems like you have limited contact but even if you didn’t, it looks like your stuff checks out pretty well. Now I don’t think I could get cleared because I have lots o credit problems =\ is why I try to avoid getting security clearance in my job.

john65pennington's avatar

No one can fault you for the actions of your brother. you may be brothers, but it stops there. you are not resposible for his actions. you are your own individual person and a security clearance, based on what you have told us, should not be a problem. this is for a general security clearance, only. a top secret security clearance is a whole different story.

marinelife's avatar

It seems that they are more concerned if you have a relative living in a hostile foreign country.

ben's avatar

My old job was one where everyone needed a security clearance. It’s a bit of a pain.

It’s possible that your brother could slow down the process (or give you a temporary flag), but I suspect it will still be fine. I’m sure they’ll ask you about it though.

One bit of advice: No one ever tells you how honest to be on the form (“should I really list every time I’ve smoked pot?”, etc), but my advice is to be totally honest. They’re pretty understanding, and many of these jobs can later on lead to lie detector tests (which is probably horrible if you’ve lied on your forms). They don’t care much about your past, they just want to know that you’re trustworthy.

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