The transition from eQIP to eApp is officially underway, and as 2023 progresses more and more security clearance applicants will be introduced to the magical world of eApp. In many ways the form is similar to eQIP – in some significant ways it’s different. In both cases, data transfer is often a critical question security clearance holders and applicants ask – if you’ve filled out an SF-86 previously – will the information you completed still be available if you go in for a clearance upgrade?
A recent visitor to ClearanceJobs reported he was pleasantly surprised when he logged into eQIP to fill out his SF-86 for a Top Secret security clearance – and saw all of the information he’d previously filled out for his SF-85P for a public trust position there. The reality is yes – in general, the information you submit in both eQIP and eApp should be available if you have to use the same systems to upgrade your eligibility in the future. But in all cases, assuming that the information will always be there can also be a mistake.
As the roll-out of eApp continues, information that was previously provided through eQIP within the past ten years should also be available and applicants should have the option to re-certify information versus starting out completely from scratch. The option to recertify or update details will become even more important as the Personnel Vetting Questionnaire rolls out and applicants are asked to submit a new form once every five years. The time lift may seem more significant, but the time savings of eApp overall should make the process much more streamlined.
Obviously there is what should happen – and what does happen. We still advice applicants to maintain an archival copy of their SF-86 or standard form information. Whether it’s an issue of transfer within a system of record, or an applicant needing to verify the information that was included on the form in a personnel subject interview, having a copy of what you said in hand can be a critical time saver.