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Security clearances: Obligation, affection or influence?

When Pennsylvania residents apply for federal jobs, they may not immediately consider that who they live with matters. In fact, it could matter substantially if the jobs they apply for require security clearances. The government will want to know about the people in the lives of the applicants.

The reason it is important is because an individual could learn a significant amount of classified information that affects the country's national security. If someone close to him or her could somehow extract the information, that would, obviously, cause an issue. For this reason, the federal government wants to know whether your relationship with someone you live with is out of obligation, affection or influence.

If an individual cohabitates with someone he or she loves, that may not raise any red flags, unless certain other conditions exist. However, if an applicant lives with someone in a "roommate" type relationship, the government will want to ensure he or she is not obligated to that person and/or that person cannot somehow influence the applicant. If questions regarding foreign citizenship, criminal associations or behaviors or current or former foreign government service arise in relation to a person in an applicant's life, further inquiry will probably be required. 

Pennsylvania residents seeking security clearances who question whether their answers regarding those they live with will raise red flags, it may be a good idea to find out. Of course, honesty is always the best policy, especially under these circumstances. The more information provided in the beginning, the better the chances are that any questions could already be answered. How this and other sensitive questions are answered could make the difference between receiving a security clearance and not.

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