I currently have a TS security clearance, but not TS/SCI clearance.

If I were to join a company that requires TS/SCI clearance, will I be required to go through a new investigation process, or will already holding a TS clearance accelerate this process?

Is holding a TS clearance helpful for getting a job that requires a TS/SCI clearance? I know for certain that if one holds a secret-level clearance, you must be entirely re-investigated to get a TS clearance and therefore isn't very helpful, but it's my understanding that SCI access functions quite differently.

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    Have you tried asking the company you are applying to that requires the SCI also?
    – DarkCygnus
    Jul 25, 2019 at 17:28
  • I suppose I could try, but (a) my experience is that it's hard enough getting companies to talk to you on the basis of a resume, let alone coming out of nowhere, (b) I doubt the recruiter will know - they'd have to go and ask their FSO most likely. I'll try that if no one answers here though. Thanks! Jul 25, 2019 at 17:41
  • Regarding (b) I think it is likely recruiters will know this, as the clearance is a must for the candidate to be able to be hired (so it's something they most likely know how to answer during interviews).
    – DarkCygnus
    Jul 25, 2019 at 18:02

1 Answer 1


I held a TS for a number of years. When I joined my current company in early 2017, they upgraded it to a SCI (I didn't even know I needed it until after I started) without a new investigation. My renewal was a year out, summer 2018, and at that point, it was the same as every other investigation/re-investigation I had.

One caveat is that if there's a requirement for a polygraph, you'll have to sit for that. My job got me in my SCIF my first day of work without it (they said the transfer/upgrade went very fast) but I did my poly a couple months later.

Good luck!

  • Welcome to TWP, thanks for your answer. Mind telling us how long ago was this?
    – DarkCygnus
    Jul 25, 2019 at 18:13
  • Awesome! This is super useful information to have. I know it took me nearly two years (without any problems, even!) to go from requesting my clearance to actually getting it, so it would be bad news if I had to go through a similar process. Jul 25, 2019 at 18:15
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    Updated to include when my experience happened. Excellent point to clarify, thanks- investigation backlogs are high right now, so they've been changing up investigation criteria to let some pressure off (going less far back, for instance). You may still have some wait, which can be a dealbreaker or no big deal, depending on the company's timeline for filling the role in question, and/or whether there's other work for you to keep busy with until the clearance is resolved. Jul 25, 2019 at 18:24
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    Still, two months for a SCI w/poly upgrade is vastly better to two years, and I'd bet that would be valuable to anyone who needs it. Your experience is since the big backlog got it's start, so it's definitely recent enough to give me a really good idea what to expect. Jul 25, 2019 at 18:32
  • This answer should preface itself with one simple fact, everyone’s experience will be slightly different, it all depends on the program you are being read into. Typically, the Top Secret clearance allows you to be read into SCI and SAP, what must be done to be granted access entirely depends on the program. How long it takes to be granted will vary on several factors
    – Donald
    Jul 26, 2019 at 11:57

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