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SSBI vs Top Secret Clearance

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  • SSBI vs Top Secret Clearance

    What is the difference between having an SSBI clearance vs. an active TS? I noticed alot of BI jobs require a SSBI but not a TS. If I were to get another job, could I get one that required an active TS since I have an SSBI? Also, what would I put as a clearance on my resume? Seems like they would just give you the TS since the investigation required to get one was done.

  • #2
    I'm surprised that no one has answered this. You may not need the information anymore, but an favorably adjudicated SSBI (Single Scope Background Investigation) makes you eligible for up to a Top Secret clearance. Many agencies still utilize the SSBI for Secret clearances, but it isn't required. Also, Top Secret clearances are "needs based". Therefore, if your position doesn't require access to this type of information, you won't be granted a TS clearance. However, should you need occasional access, your SSBI can be forwarded in order to get the TS issued quickly and without additional investigation.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by chandler90 View Post
      What is the difference between having an SSBI clearance vs. an active TS? I noticed alot of BI jobs require a SSBI but not a TS. If I were to get another job, could I get one that required an active TS since I have an SSBI? Also, what would I put as a clearance on my resume? Seems like they would just give you the TS since the investigation required to get one was done.
      In other words, the SSBI (now its a Tier 5) is the type of investigation. The Top Secret classification is the type of access you have. The SSBI does not mean you will have a TS clearance, however it depends on the agency.

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      • AgentNitro
        AgentNitro commented
        Editing a comment
        A favorably adjudicated SSBI means you're eligible for a TS should you require it. If it is indeed required, I can't think of any situation that would warrant them denying the clearance unless you really mess up between adjudication and issuance of the clearance.

      • MAA
        MAA commented
        Editing a comment
        Agent N,

        Right I think we’re speaking to the same thing. For instance, many jobs require the Tier 5 (SSBI) investigation, however only grant a Secret level clearance unless a TS is require for a specific purpose.

        The Tier 5(SSBI) investigation doesn’t automatically grant the person a TS clearance. Heck, you could have the Tier 5 investigation and not even hold a clearance.

      • AgentNitro
        AgentNitro commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes. I believe most agencies have discretion on final adjudication of the SSBI, but if favorable, whichever level security clearance should be granted. If a clearance is not needed, then the SSBI will be the final adjudication until such time that a clearance becomes necessary.

      • MAA
        MAA commented
        Editing a comment
        Even if adjudicated, a person may not be granted a clearance or a clearance equivalent to the investigation. It’s up to each agency and the need to have the clearance.

    • #4
      Finally a question I am uniquely qualified to answer. So SSBI is the previous terminology used to describe investigations, the type of backgrounds now conducted are Tier-5's. Tier-5 is more or less a streamlined version of the SSBI, previous requirements were a bit different (can't post specific details due to most of it is internal information). I don't have a "clearance" per say but I have access to personal identifying information, which if leaked in some way would cause great harm to the individual(hence the reason for a Tier-5 background). The clearance portion is at the discretion of the agency as others stated. CBP/BP is a job for example where you have to have a favourable background resulting from a Tier-5/SSBI, but you aren't necessarily given a "clearance". FBI, DEA, CIA, unless stated other wise in the job opening will issue you a clearance.

      The clearance part in layman's terms means you have access to information that if leaked would have detrimental effects. Having a favourable background more or less means you aren't a terrible person, and when the need arises you can be trusted with information.
      Last edited by Levithane; 04-17-2019, 11:56 PM.

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