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The Foreign Service clearance process

I've completed the "clearance phase" of the Foreign Service process. And it really is a  process...for the whole family to enjoy. Fortunately, my toddler daughter didn't have a problem with being poked & prodded by the medical staff as they collected what they needed to from her. I suppose the treats afterward made up for that.
They aren't hurdles if you plow through them
The best thing about having to document the last 10 years of overseas travel for the security history is that it forced me to go through my travel photos. I figure that as long as I'm at it, I might as well update this blog with those day trips. And as luck would have it, the medical clearance was almost as easy as "click & print" because the military has kept me in worldwide availability status for the last decade.

I should also point out that we sold our house and moved out last week, and when I called the register this morning to confirm that they had my new mailing address, they told me that the letter was mailed on the 25th. So, let's hope the USPS actually forwards it...but I requested an e-mail of the letter just to be safe.

Anyways, here's where we're at:

Foreign Service Specialist (Construction Engineer) Timeline:
Application Phase:
16 Dec 11 Foreign Service Construction Engineer application window closed
12 Mar 12 Notified of Qualification Evaluation Panel (QEP) results
21 Mar 12 Notified of Oral Assessment date (OA)
06 Apr 12 Foreign Service Specialist Oral Assessment (Passed with score 5.6/7)
(112 days after application window closed)

Candidate Clearance Phase:
06 Apr 12 Submit Security Clearance paperwork (e-QIP)
23 Apr 12 Submit Medical Clearance paperwork (DS-1843)
30 Apr 12 Received Medical Clearance (DS-823)
03 May 12 Submit Family's Medical Clearance paperwork
04 May 12 Received daughter's Medical Clearance
09 May 12 Received wife's Medical Clearance
31 May 12 Security Interview
18 Jun 12 Received Security Clearance
25 Jun 12 Placed on the FSCE register (#2 of 4)
(192 days from application, 80 days after passing OA)

Registry Phase:
25 Jun 12 Veterans prefererence (5-points) added to register score (still #2/4).
TBD         Selection to attend training (no earlier than 16 Jul 12)
10 Sep 12 Earliest class start date that I can attend (assuming it gets funded)

So, assuming that I get picked up for the 10 Sep 12 class (and that the class actually exists), the entire process will have taken 269 days from the application close date, 157 days after passing the OA, and 77 days after getting place on the register until the first day of training. But like they say, your results may vary.

Addendum: This brief from the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (Apr 2012) gives an overview of the kind of work I'd be doing and the places I could be going. (Kudos to Mark for finding the link). 

And if you're interested, here is the complete application timeline linked to my related blog posts.


  1. Hi Greg, I appreciate all the information you've provided detailing the process that you've gone through. I submitted my application for the FSCE position that closed Aug 7th, and although my application has been "referred for additional consideration" I can barely keep from hyperventilating to see what happens over the coming months. Here's hoping, cheers!

    1. Good luck! Unlike applying to schools, being "referred for additional consideration" doesn't imply that your application was marginal...in this case it just means that you've made it past HR and are still in the game. But you still have to bring your A-game, so I'd recommend at least reviewing the Foreign Service Specialist interview process, especially Step 4, the Oral Assessment: http://careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process-printable

  2. Great info. Thanks for the post.