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  4. Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP)

Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP)

The Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP), one of the many steps in CBP’s hiring process, is the federal government's digital portal used to gather information to conduct background investigations. To support your hiring process journey, this video explains what the E-QIP is, tips and recommendations for completing it, and what to expect after you press submit.

In addition to the below information an e-QIP Instruction Guide is also available.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Completing the E-QIP

We suggest you print the Standard Form 86 - Questionnaire for National Security Positions PDF and fill in the requested information so that when you receive the request to complete the online e-QIP, you will have the information available to fill in the online form. By having accurate information ready for completing the online form you can fast track the start of your background investigation process and continue moving forward in the hiring process. 

  • DO NOT list relatives as verifiers or references unless the SF-86 specifically asks for relative information.
  • Residence and employment coverage must be continuous with no gaps longer than one month.
  • A typed response of “I don’t know” is NOT acceptable. A detailed explanation of why you cannot obtain information is required.
  • Section 12 - Where You Went to School. Enter your high school/GED diploma information plus any post-high school education. Enter a verifier for any education if requested.
  • Section 13 - Employment Activities. List each period of employment and unemployment separately.  DO NOT list your education as an employment activity. DO NOT list your supervisor as the employer; list the company or agency name. If you are a current Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employee, list CBP as your employer, DO NOT list Department of Homeland Security.
  • Section 14 - Selective Service Record. Your Social Security Number is not your Selective Service number.  Retrieve your Selective Service number from the Selective Service System website.
  • Section 16 - People Who Know You Well. List names, contact information, and complete addresses of three people who knew you during the past 7 years.  The entire 7-year period must be covered. DO NOT list current or former spouse or any other relative. DO NOT list your relatives anywhere except in section 18.  In addition, DO NOT list any person that you have or will list elsewhere on this document.
  • Section 17 - Marital Status. List as much information as possible about your spouse, former spouse, or cohabitant (someone you have a spouse like relationship with), even if you have no contact with them.  This includes names, contact information, and documentation numbers. DO NOT list family members as cohabitants. You must list SSN of your cohabitant. Remember to list your spouse’s maiden name if applicable.
  • Section 18 - Relatives. An entry must be made for each family member. List as much information as possible about each relative separately. This includes if you have no contact with them, if they were born in the U.S. or born abroad or are living or deceased." This includes names, contact information, and document numbers. If you are unable to provide the information, you must provide the written reason why. DO NOT list your relatives anywhere else on this form.
  • Dates - Ensure all dates are follow any prescribed format (example: mm/dd/yyyy).

Guidance on Completing the Required Forms

  • Residency Requirement: Check appropriate box, complete applicable line items, and sign and date the form.
  • Provisional Clear Election Form: If you wish to enter on duty in a provisional clearance status, prior to receiving a full clearance from the Office of Professional Responsibility, please elect yes and complete this form. If you prefer to wait and enter on duty after you have a full clearance, elect no.

Directions on How to Log in to the E-QIP System

First Time Logging In

  1. Enable Web Browser & TLS 1.0.
  2. Log on to https://www.dcsa.mil/is/eqip/.
  3. Click Enter e-QIP underneath Applicants.
  4. Click Register for Username and Password.
  5. Enter Social Security Number and click Submit.                     
  6. Click on the following box: Allow me to see my Golden Answers as I type them.
  7. Enter answers to the Golden Questions as shown: [Case sensitive]
  • What is your last name? Enter your last name
  • In what city where you born? Enter the word unknown
  • In what four-digit year were you born? Enter your actual four-digit year of birth
  1. Enter the Registration code that was provided to you for initial access to e-QIP. 
  2. After successful login, you will be asked to create and confirm a Username and Password. Remember your Username and Password for future use.
  3. Enter challenge questions and answers to help retrieve a forgotten password and click Submit. Remember your username, password and answers to challenge questions for future use.

What To Do if You Forgot Your Password

Select the “forgot password” link below the username and password entry form and follow the prompts accordingly.

e-QIP Final Review Checklist

It is recommended that you go through the following checklist before submitting your e-QIP to ensure the completeness of your submission. An incomplete submission could cause significant delays in processing your background investigation. 

  • Ensure that there are no validation errors.
  • Certify your answers are true.
  • Make sure to answer yes when asked if you have a document associated with the request. Attach Financial Disclosure Report, Residency and Provisional Clear Election Forms to your e-QIP.
  • Release e-QIP to Agency. You will not be able to access e-QIP or upload or fax forms after this point. Once you complete and release the e-QIP, the assistant will contact you if additional information or corrections are required.

e-QIP Frequently Asked Questions

Make sure you click on Register for Username and Password. Enter your Social Security Number. Click on Allow me to see my Golden Answers as I type them. Make sure you are entering Unknown for your answer to “In what CITY were you born”. Make sure you check your spelling as it is case sensitive.

Make sure you are covering your entire employment history, whether or not you were working, from the month that you turned 18 to the present. Any periods you were not working need to be entered as unemployment.

Go to the Selective Service System website and click on Check Registration. Click on Verify Now Enter your information in the Online Registration Search grid.

The codes are located on the 1st page of the instruction sheet. Steps 4 through 7 have the codes required.

After filling out your e-QIP and when you are ready to certify you will be able to sign your forms electronically. For step-by-step instructions read the e-QIP Applicant Click-to-Sign Instructions (PDF file) located: www.dcsa.mil/mc/pv/mbi/vi/#url=Information-for-Applicants.

Upload to e-QIP Directly Each form must be uploaded as a separate file. Upload the attachments by browsing for each file on your local system using the "Browse" button. Once the file is selected, type a description of the file in the appropriate "Description" field. Finally, upload the file into the system by clicking the "Upload Attachment" button. e-QIP only accepts attachments in Tag Image File (.tif or .tiff) or Portable Document Format (.pdf). The maximum file size allowed is 5 MB. The recommended scanning specifications include a resolution of 300 dpi and bi-tonal, not color scanning. Fax Attachment to e-QIP Directly To fax an attachment and have it automatically associated with your Request:

  1. Each individual page you attach must have its own bar-coded fax cover sheet.
  2. After selecting Direct Fax, enter the number “1” in “Number of Attached Pages" and enter your telephone number.
  3. Generate the fax cover sheet by clicking the "Create Fax Cover Sheet" button. Once generated, the fax cover sheet will appear in a separate new window for review and printing. The cover sheet (with barcode) must be printed as a black and white image. Print one cover sheet for each page you want to attach to your e-QIP. For example, if you have three pages to attach, you will need three cover sheets. Note that the Financial Disclosure Report is a 2-page form and will need two cover sheets.
  4. Put one cover sheet on top of each page and then fax the entire stack of papers to the fax number specified on the cover sheet. If successful, the fax will be displayed in the "Directly Attached/ Expected Attachments" section of the "Attachments Summary" screen.
  5. Confirm that the fax was correctly attached and can be viewed from this screen. The "Refresh" button at the bottom of the "Directly Attached / Expected Attachments" table may need to be clicked several times before the faxed attachment is displayed in the list. If the faxed attachment does not show up in the list within ten minutes and your fax machine indicates that the fax was successfully sent, try sending the fax again. If you still experience problems, contact your case manager for assistance.

After your e-QIP has been released, we will review it and contact you for anything missing at that time. Hold onto any forms that you have completed. Do not mail them in.

The easiest way to get in contact with your HR Assistant is via email. Make sure you only email them one time and they will get back to you as soon as they can. Do NOT call around to multiple units or HR Assistants. This increases the workload and delays us in getting you a timely response.

Contact your HR Assistant and request an extension.

  • Last Modified: June 2, 2023