United Kingdom Security Vetting: International Personnel Security Clearances

United Kingdom Security Vetting (UKSV) is the main UK government provider of security clearances.

NATO clearance notification requests

Requests should be made via the NSVS Sponsor Portal - you will require a valid sponsor account in order to access this facility. Please select the ‘other services’ option on your home page and complete Vetting Service - Aftercare NATO form and submit.

Please note: We no longer accept NATO requests via email. You will need to submit the request via the portal, however, if a NATO Cosmic Top Secret certificate is required, you should send an accompanying email to our Enquiry Centre including the case ID of the request.

International Personnel Security Clearances

In the UK a ‘Personnel Security Clearance’ (PSC) to access NATO, EU or international partner’s classified information is based upon you holding a valid clearance at the SC or DV level.

If you are an existing MOD employee or UK defence contractor and you require access to international classified information (at the level ‘Confidential’ or higher), to fulfil your duties then contact your local personnel Security Officer. This Security Officer should then contact us at

If you are a Security Officer of an International Organisation or foreign government and require a UK national to be vetted for access to international classified information (at the level ‘Confidential’ or higher), then you will need a NSVS sponsor account. If you have a NSVS sponsor account already you can submit a vetting application for the UK national by logging onto NSVS and initiating a new request. If you do not have a sponsor account then you need to apply for one, as vetting applications are made electronically via NSVS. Please consult Cabinet Office guidance before submitting an International Customer Sponsor Account application form, plus a short cover letter (or contractor PSC confirmation form) explaining and confirming the vetting requirement for the applicant, to the UK National Security Authority at Additional guidance and a copy of the form is available in International classified information: personnel security clearance.

If you are a NATO or European Defence Agency (EDA) security officer that does not need to submit new applications, but you frequently need to check whether UK members of staff in your international organisation have existing security clearances, then you still need to hold a sponsor account. Please make clear in the “brief explanation” field of the International Customer Sponsor Account Application Form that you need the account for this purpose only. Once registered, you will be able to make enquiries on NSVS.

In case of difficulty, you can seek assistance from us at You will need to give the applicants full name, date of birth and place of birth, and your 7-digit Sponsor ID. Note that requests without an ID will not be processed.

It is important to note that the UK does not undertake speculative vetting and will not process vetting application requests made by the applicant directly.

Overseas interviews

For existing MOD staff JSP 440 (Part 2, Leaflet 7, Paragraph 177-178) provides policy advice on the requirement for sponsors to ensure that individuals have the appropriate level of security clearance before they are posted (or sent on temporary detachment) to foreign countries and that the security clearance remains valid for the period of the posting.

If you are an applicant living overseas you would be expected to return to the UK for your vetting interview, unless your recruiting department has a specific policy for conducting overseas interviews.

Published 14 August 2019
Last updated 12 February 2020 + show all updates
  1. Overseas interview and NATO clearance guidance updated

  2. First published.