A rigorous application process has been put in place for Homeland Security positions due to the sensitive nature of the material this government position handles. Certain types of criminal records disqualify an applicant.
50 U.S.C. 435b Section 3002
According to 50 U.S.C. 435b Section 3002, employees of any federal agency, government contractors or active duty members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps convicted of a felony, sentenced to a prison term exceeding one year and incarcerated for more than a year cannot have access to special access programs or restricted data.
Different Types of Security Clearance
The three levels of government clearance are designated as confidential, secret and top secret. If your government position only requires confidential or secret clearance, you may still receive clearance regardless of your record depending on certain mitigating factors. The current law only restricts access to top secret level clearance.
Federal agencies may look into mitigating circumstances to determine whether the candidate is eligible for security clearance. If the felony was committed many years ago, the agency may sign a waiver and grant the candidate clearance. The agencies will immediately disqualify a candidate who lies about his criminal record.