You’re into the dating game and a prospect you’ve been FaceTiming with is from a foreign country…when is the best time to involve your Facility Security Officer (FSO) or disclose the relationship to abide by security clearance requirements?

I am a naturalized citizen (August 2020), and got my secret clearance for the first in February 2021; therefore, I am unsure of how anything works regarding notifying about any changes.

Cutting to the chase, I was interviewed by background investigator end of December last year and disclosed all the foreign contacts (only a couple continued). However, I started talking to this girl back in January/February (she is Indian but born and raised in Kenya and has been living in USA with her parents for around 6 years, I’m guessing on visa I’m not sure). We started talking and we got kind of close and have been talking and FaceTiming almost daily for the past 3 months or so. No one knows about us except for one of mine and her cousins, so it’s not that serious to involve parents. I’m just wondering if that’s something that needs to be notified to the security. I’m extremely new to all this and I didn’t think I need to let security know unless it’s a spouse but I just want to make sure. Am I in trouble? Should I let go of her, because I don’t want to lose my clearance or my job because of her at all.


The question on the SF-86 reads, “Do you have, or have you had, close and/or continuing contact with a foreign national within the last seven (7) years with whom you, or your spouse, or cohabitant are bound by affection, influence, common interests, and/or obligation? Include associates as well as relatives, not previously listed in Section 18.”

First and foremost, you will want to discuss your case with your FSO. If you’ve been FaceTiming daily and she is considered a dating prospect (even though your job is clearly more important to you), you are bound by some type of affection and/or common interest.

The good news? Adjudicators still utilize the whole-person concept, and you disclosing it as opposed to hiding it is the better route. Also, another commenter on the thread notes that her not being from a high-threat country that poses a higher security risk such as China, Russia, Iran, etc. helps. Ultimately, your FSO will give you guidance.

It doesn’t mean that everyone you contact, or every relationship needs to be disclosed. But if you’re FaceTiming someone everyday for months, and that person happens to be a foreign national – it’s time to let your security officer know.


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Katie Helbling is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 10+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸