New security clearance policy that’s just going into effect for security clearance contractors creates new reporting requirements. Many aspects of the policy are the same, but there are a few nuances worth noting.

Here are five things security clearance holders are required to self report.

1. Foreign travel.

In case you need a reminder, if you hold a security clearance, you can’t just hop on a plane to Greenland on a whim. Don’t expect typical travel to be an issue, but if you’re planning to visit your cousins in China, you’ll face a lot of questions and travel briefings.

2. Foreign contacts.

You don’t need to report every new acquaintance who looks foreign at the barbecue. But if you strike up a friendship with a new neighbor who happens to be from Israel and you start being in frequent contact – report it.

3. Foreign activities.

What exactly are foreign activities, you ask? Inheriting money from a foreign relative, investing in a foreign business, adopting a child from overseas – basically anything that involves another country that isn’t a contact or a trip.

4. Suspicious Coworker Activity.

The new policy requires security clearance holders to report suspicious activities for their coworkers or associates with a clearance. That may make you feel strange, but it’s no different than ‘if you see something, say something.’ No one will lose their job because of a single report – it just signals the potential need for more information.

5. Any significant changes.

Finally, keep in mind all security clearance holders still need to report new criminal activity, bankruptcy, or changes in relationship status. Don’t wait for a request or a new SF-86 to tell your security officer something – you’ll be in more trouble for hiding it, than reporting it.



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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer