1. Security Clearance FAQs
  2. Getting a Security Clearance

Naturalized citizens and personnel security clearances

Information about clearance applications for naturalized citizens.

A naturalized citizen is treated the same as a native-born U.S. citizen in the personnel security clearance application process. A naturalized citizen will likely have increased issues with foreign influence and foreign preference. But even having close family members who still live overseas may be mitigated.

A naturalized citizen should be careful to include foreign contacts on the SF-86 and be prepared to discuss the frequency and level of interaction during their personal subject interview.

Another issue for naturalized citizens is dual citizenship. Taking an oath of citizenship to the United States of America does not automatically renounce any foreign citizenship. Possessing dual citizenship is not an automatic disqualifier for a security clearance. During the security interview, the applicant should express willingness to renounce foreign citizenship. An individual should also take care not to take advantage of the benefits of foreign citizenship, particularly any financial benefits.