How Long Does SF 86 Take?

how long does SF 86 take

You may be looking for a job as a federal government contractor and required to obtain security clearance through the Standard Form 86 (SF 86) application process. You may wonder how long the SF 86 process take.

The SF 86 is a lengthy questionnaire that you may need to fill out for national security positions and return for your security clearance application process. It is sometimes just referred to as the e-QIP (or erroneously e-Quip) 86 form.

Some estimates put the completion of the SF 86 investigation at 60 days, 40 days of which is allotted for the Investigation Phase and another 20 days for the Adjudication Phase.

As you can see from the diagram below, it is complex process including many different branches and parties:

As a result, the process can take much longer than 60 days.

The higher level of clearance, typically, the longer the investigation.

One commentator explains the process this way:

I interviewed with and was hired by a department within the US Army CECOM as my first job out of college. The job required CONFIDENTIAL clearance, which I did not posses. I was still allowed to start working while my clearance was pending.

At the same time, I had friends on base who actually required SECRET (or better) clearance that actually were forced to work in an off-site location while their clearance was being processed. Usually that work was only tangentially related to their job since their actual job involved stuff they could not access without their clearance.

Rest assured that no matter how long the process takes, we will help you through each step for the most efficient application possible.