An interim clearance (also known as “interim eligibility”) is based on the completion of minimum investigative requirements and granted on a temporary basis, pending the completion of the full investigative requirements for the final clearance. Interim Secret and Top Secret clearances can be granted in 5 to 10 days after the clearance granting authority receives a properly completed SF86. In the past the term “declined” was used in the DoD Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS) to indicate that an interim clearance was not granted; this has been replaced by the term, “Eligibility Pending.” All industrial applicants (defense contractor personnel) are considered for interim clearances. Interim clearances can be withdrawn at any time significant unfavorable information is developed during the investigation. It is not possible to appeal the declination or withdrawal of an interim clearance. The CAF is not required to provide a reason for the declination/withdrawal; however, it is possible to obtain this information using a Privacy Act request.
With some exceptions, an interim clearance permits a person to have access to classified material at all levels of classification up to the level of the interim clearance granted. Interim Secret clearances are not sufficient for access to special categories of classified information, such as COMSEC, Restricted Data, and NATO. Interim Top Secret clearances are sufficient for access to most Top Secret information and to COMSEC, NATO, and Restricted Data at the Secret and Confidential levels only.