In order to be eligible for employment with the FBI, applicants must violate none of the automatic employment disqualifiers, and adhere to the FBI’s pre-employment drug policy. Please ensure you meet these standards before submitting an application. All of these disqualifiers are extensively researched during the FBI Background Investigation Process.

Employment Disqualifiers


Below are specific elements that will automatically disqualify job candidates for employment with the FBI. These include:

  • Non-U.S. citizenship
  • Conviction of a felony (Special Agent candidates only: conviction of a domestic violence misdemeanor or more serious offense)
  • Violation of the FBI Employment Drug Policy (please see below for additional details)
  • Default on a student loan insured by the U.S. Government
  • Failure of an FBI-administered urinalysis drug test
  • Failure to register with the Selective Service System (for males only, exceptions apply – please click here to find out more)
  • Knowingly or willfully engaged in acts or activities designed to overthrow the U.S. government by force
  • Failure to pay court ordered child support
  • Failure to file federal, state, or local income tax returns

Please note that if you are disqualified by any of the above tests, you are not eligible for employment with the FBI. Please make sure you can meet FBI employment requirements and pass all disqualifiers before you apply for an FBI position.


Employment Drug Policy


The FBI is firmly committed to a drug-free society and workplace. Applicants for employment with the FBI who are currently using illegal drugs, misusing or abusing legal drugs or other substances for illicit purposes at the time of the application process will be found unsuitable for employment. The FBI balances the needs of the organization and the importance of keeping the public integrity necessary to accomplish its law enforcement and intelligence missions by hiring the most qualified candidates. The guidelines are used by all entities in the hiring process to help determine whether an applicant's prior drug use makes him or her eligible and/or suitable for FBI employment.

A candidate will be found unsuitable for employment and automatically disqualified if he/she deliberately misrepresents his or her drug history in connection with his or her application for employment. Additionally, candidates are automatically disqualified under the following criteria:

Marijuana Usage:

Candidates cannot have used marijuana or cannabis in any form (natural or synthetic) and in any location (domestic or foreign) within the one (1) year preceding the date of their application for employment. 

Marijuana or cannabis use before the candidate's 18th birthday is not a disqualifier for FBI employment, however, adjudicative personnel will evaluate the candidate by using the "whole-person concept."

Dronabinol (sold as Marinol, Syndros, or generic equivalents) is the only pharmaceutical drug containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that the FDA has approved for lawful use with a medical prescription. Candidates cannot present "medical marijuana cards" or other prescriptions as mitigating factors for marijuana or cannabis use. 

Illegal Drugs:

Candidates cannot have used any illegal drug, other than marijuana, within the ten (10) years preceding the date of the application for employment.

Additionally, candidates cannot have sold, distributed, manufactured, or transported any illegal drug or controlled substance without legal authorization.

Prescription Drugs/Legally Obtainable Substances:

Candidates cannot have used anabolic steroids without a prescription from a licensed practicing physician within the past ten (10) years preceding the date of the application for employment.

Finally, candidates cannot have sold, distributed, manufactured, or transported any prescription drug without legal authorization.


FBI Background Investigation


All FBI employees must undergo an FBI Background Investigation and receive an FBI Top Secret security clearance. Once you have received and accepted a conditional job offer, the FBI will initiate an intensive background investigation. You must go through this background investigation, and you must pass, before moving forward with employment. The preliminary employment requirements include a polygraph examination; a test for illegal drug use; credit and records checks; and extensive interviews with former and current colleagues, neighbors, friends, professors, etc. Before applying for any FBI position, please make sure that the FBI Employment Disqualifiers do not apply to you.