I am about to apply for a security clearance through my company. My father wants me to travel with him to our home country in the Middle East. I am worried that this might result in my application being rejected. I have seen example applications online where the applicant was asked about any contact he had with his home country in the Middle East, so visiting the country seems to be even more problematic.

  • You would need to ask whoever is requesting the security clearance. Even if it is okay to travel to a particular country on a particular clearance (in whatever country you are currently residing/working), the requestor may have other rules in addition.
    – HorusKol
    Jan 19, 2016 at 3:47
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    Why is this on hold? This isn't any more "legal or company-specific" than a question about problematic stuff in a background check or dealing with workplace harassment or handling rejected requests for time off. Jan 19, 2016 at 21:25
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    Check out past appeal cases of security clearances regarding Foreign Preference... ogc.osd.mil/doha/industrial/2018.html Going to visit your extended family is not a huge concern but not disclosing it or having foreign contacts could bite you. If you are currently applying, be sure to tell your security officer of the travel immediately.
    – Dan
    Jul 20, 2018 at 16:33
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    reopen-request for this question here.
    – Masked Man
    Jul 20, 2018 at 16:33

1 Answer 1


It might depend on which country. I had visited the middle east before getting my security clearance several years ago and it didn't harm me, but the training materials identified certain countries as more likely to cause red flags. It might also depend on whether you are a national of that country or have family ties there.

Fortunately, you don't have to guess. If you're getting a security clearance in order to do your job, then your employer has, or has access to, a security officer whose job includes answering questions like this. If you don't know who that is, the person who asked you to apply for the clearance should be able to tell you. You might also find answers about this on the web site of whichever government agency is issuing your clearance, or in the application bundle.

When you apply for the clearance you'll have to identify all foreign travel (countries and travel dates) for some period of time (last ten years? something like that). Once you have a clearance, you'll need to notify your security officer before you begin any foreign travel. If your intended destination is a problem, you'll hear about it before it jeopardizes your status.

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    Yeah, I am sure visiting a country like Israel would be seen differently.
    – dramzy
    Jan 19, 2016 at 2:56
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    @dramzy I'd say Israel is fine, Syria is right out, and everyplace else in the region is somewhere in between. Jan 19, 2016 at 2:58
  • Yeah, I am actually from Egypt, I was taking Israel as the extreme example of a country that would not be seen as problematic.
    – dramzy
    Jan 19, 2016 at 2:59
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    Best bet is to ask your security officer. Good luck! Jan 19, 2016 at 3:05
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    @Ramhound If I remember my training from ~13 years ago correctly, with a TS/SCI the govt has a quasi-veto in that an individual project's security manager can say "if you take that trip, you're off my project" because being booted off a project that way has a good chance of resulting in unemployment. Jul 24, 2018 at 10:25

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