Whether you’re traveling to British Columbia to ski or to the Caribbean to lounge on the beach, if you’re a security clearance holder, you need to report your planned overseas excursions to your security officer.
The Why and the What Behind Foreign TRavel Reporting
Foreign travel means foreign travel reporting. Not because your boss wants to see your bikini beach photos, but because she wants to make sure when you travel, you’re traveling safely.
Both business and personal travel need to be reported, and your security officer should be notified at least 30 days prior to the trip. If you go on a spur on the moment day trip to Mexico, you still need to report it to your security officer after the fact – and you should try not to make it a habit.
Your security officer will likely ask you to provide the countries you’re planning to visit, along with dates, the purpose of your travel, where you’ll stay, and a point of contact for each location. If you’re planning to visit any foreign nationals you know by name, you’ll need to report that, as well. Many agencies have their own standard reporting forms.
Expect to receive some standard guidance about how to safely travel, including country-specific guidance. Your security officer should have the latest information about specific threats and issues.
Once you get back from your vacation or work trip it’s time to check in with your security officer again. They’ll likely ask you another series of questions or ask you to fill out a checklist in regards to who you spoke with, any interest foreign nationals showed in your occupation, or anything else noteworthy.
Don’t Skip Reporting
Foreign travel reporting is more important than ever. Not only are our adversaries more aggressive than ever in their pursuit of U.S. intellectual property and assets, continuous vetting of cleared candidates means if you fail to report that overseas trip, it might just cost you your security clearance.