A new company is relocating to my town and I am interested in applying to work there. Currently there is no specific position being offered that I could/want to apply for, however on their website they welcome all interested people to send in their resumes for consideration.

For the 3 jobs that they do have posted on Indeed, in all 3 cases one of the requirements mentioned is being a US Citizen (however I can't find this mentioned anywhere on their website). I understand this basic requirement as they have ties to various 3 letter agencies and also the nuclear industry, and that with ITAR etc not being a citizen can be a show stopper. But I also know that there can be work arounds for people like me who are only permanent residents and not US citizens.

Note that for the jobs mentioned on Indeed, I overlooked the following text

This position is only available to citizens of the United States and applicants must be able to pass a government background check and be eligible to obtain and hold government security clearances.

But in a recent press release this company highlighted working in an industry where I have over a decade of current experience and where being a PR was not a hindrance due to the general nature of the work. They are also looking to expand into other industrial arenas where my background would be a solid fit, which is why I am interested in working for them.

My question is this then:

In writing a generic cover letter, should I mention that I am only a PR and not a citizen, given that their website makes no mention of this?

On one hand I can see mentioning this a positive because it shows upfront that I am open and honest. On the other hand they could reject me over my PR status without considering that there are roles I could play in the company where it wouldn't be an issue.

  • Does the job include need for security clearance? Jun 14, 2020 at 20:03
  • @TymoteuszPaul No mention that I can see
    – Peter M
    Jun 14, 2020 at 20:04
  • @TymoteuszPaul but I once lasted 1 our on a contract for a job that was associated with the Nuclear industry - and nothing directly associated with it
    – Peter M
    Jun 14, 2020 at 20:05
  • @TymoteuszPaul I was wrong about the security clearance. I'll update the question
    – Peter M
    Jun 14, 2020 at 20:07
  • I ask because while permit to work is usually all you need, if there is security vetting in question then in US that usually closes the opportunity to non citizens. Short of that, you have a legal status to undertake the work? Jun 14, 2020 at 20:07

2 Answers 2


In writing a generic cover letter, should I mention that I am only a PR and not a citizen, given that their website makes no mention of this?

You should not bother applying. In the USA almost all of the security clearance related to jobs is limited to citizens only and you will be wasting everyone's time by applying as you cannot obtain the papers needed to do the job.

As you add in the comments:

And I have had a fellow countryman tell me that even as a PR you can get clearance - because in the past he had done exactly that

I don't think that's true, maybe he has simply passed basic vetting or background checks and is confused? It's that or he is one of the extremely few people to qualify for LAA, but that's still not the same as clearance and comes with very limited scope. But given the advert, they are not interested in going through that route.

  • It's quite possible that the LAA work for this guy as he had mentioned having an equivalent clearance back home - so that may have given him a leg up here
    – Peter M
    Jun 14, 2020 at 20:15
  • @PeterM I don't think it works like that as every country very much does their own vetting, especially the USA. Most likely is that your friend is confused about what he has actually passed. Jun 14, 2020 at 20:17
  • @PeterM to elaborate, LAA is rare, like really rare. Employer must prove that they cannot get a US citizen to do the job, otherwise, it's a no-starter. Jun 14, 2020 at 20:17
  • I doubt that he was confused, and he was adamant that he had clearance. We talked about this for a while. However it still remains in the realms of anecdote. Now you advise "Don't apply". Aside for being rejected, is there any downside to simply sending in my resume?
    – Peter M
    Jun 14, 2020 at 20:20
  • @PeterM minor hit to reputation. If I interview a candidate somewhere down the line and remember that he applied to an unrelated job, it certainly will affect my future decision to some degree. Nothing major, but well, why waste people's time? Jobs that have SC as hard requirement are not going to be flexible about it, as it's usually imposed by the client. Jun 14, 2020 at 21:37

I don't see why, if three specific jobs in a company require security clearances and citizen status, that that also will be the case for all jobs in that company.

However if you for some reason think that that is indeed the case and you don't want to go to two or three job interviews only to be rejected by your permanent resident status in the end, then include your permanent resident status in your letter or cv. However if you really would like to work there and don't mind going on two or three job interviews in vain, write the best cv and cover letter you can and don't mention your permanent resident status.

  • That's not entirely true - I've worked at a company where some projects required the engineers to pass government/military security clearance - but there were lots of standard projects, and it wasn't worth (or required) to put every engineer through security clearance since only some of them were going to work on the secure projects.
    – HorusKol
    Jun 15, 2020 at 1:15

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