Security clearance holders are required to report foreign contacts. A foreign contact is someone who has a bond of friendship, affection, influence, common interest, or obligation with you, your spouse, or cohabitant. This includes roommates, cohabitants, and people who co-occupy your residence for more than 30 calendar days.

Security clearance holders are also required to self-report any life events or incidents that may affect their ability to meet security clearance requirements. This includes changes in marital status, such as marriage or divorce.

Will a Canadian Marriage Revoke Your Top Secret Clearance?

Marriage is clearly a bond of affection. If you’re embarking on a relationship with a foreign national, it’s worth considering how that could affect your clearance eligibility.

A ClearanceJobsBlog subscriber currently possesses a TS clearance and is about to start speaking with a Canadian national with the intention of marriage. They claim that in their culture, they get to know someone for a few months, meet them a few times, and then get married.

“Given that I am going to report this, what are the chances of this revoking my TS clearance? I would think its not a big deal as long as this person isn’t sketchy, but would like to hear other’s opinions.”

Not all countries are created equally when it comes to foreign influence concerns. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) countries are those with a codified relationship with the U.S. Canada is on the list. If it was an unfriendly country, things could pan out differently if you find yourself embarking on a quick to the alter relationship.

One background investigator notes that, “Self-reporting is the key. Also, inform them if you plan to sponsor her visa &/or for US citizenship. Tell them that if she plans to hold dual US/Canada (or any other country) citizenship.”

Note that you may be advised to let the relationship a little longer before you walk down the aisle. In that case documentation around the relationship will be important.


Much about the clearance process resembles the Pirate’s Code: “more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules.” This case-by-case system is meant to consider the whole person, increase process security, and allow the lowest-risk/highest-need candidates to complete the process. However, it also creates a  lot of questions for applicants. For this reason, ClearanceJobs maintains – a forum where clearance seekers can ask the cleared community for advice on their specific security concerns. Ask CJ explores questions posed  on the ClearanceJobs Blog forum, emails received, and comments from this site.

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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! 🇺🇸