Foreign Visits and Assignments (FV&A)
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who can host a foreign visitor?
ANS: A DOE or BNL employee. However, a BNL employee who is a
foreign national from a sensitive country or state sponsors of terrorism
cannot host other foreign nationals. A Deviation Request to the DOE Order
142.3 Unclassified Foreign Visits and Assignments was approved by the DOE
Chicago office to allow BNL Participating Research Team (PRT) Beamline Staff
at the NSLS authorization to act as host of record for foreign nationals
doing work on their beamlines. All requirements and guidelines for Hosts
- Who is a foreign national?
ANS: For the purpose of DOE order 142.3, which regulates
FVA, a foreign national is a person who is not a citizen of
or naturalized citizen of the United
- What is an indices check?
ANS: A procedure whereby a request is made to appropriate US
government agencies to determine whether national security related
information exists on a particular foreign national.
- How long does it take for an indices check?
ANS: DOE requires a request to be submitted a minimum of 30
days in advance for a Sensitive Country National. A Non-Sensitive country
national does not require an indices check unless special circumstances
most cases, a foreign national will be allowed on site while the indices
is being completed unless they are entering an area with sensitive
information or technologies.
- When is a BNL-473 required?
ANS: For all foreign national visitors and assignees except for
those attending events pre-approved as open to the public (OTP). For OTP
events, speakers, or attendees utilizing on site housing must also complete a BNL-473.
- What visitors and assignees need a BNL badge?
ANS: All visitors coming to the site for more than one day
receive a temporary picture paper pass, and all assignees and accompanying
family members must be issued a badge from the badging office.
- If the visitor returns to BNL within a year, is the BNL-473 still
valid for the second visit?
ANS: No. If it is a new visit outside the period specified
on the BNL-473 for the first visit, a new BNL-473 is required for approval
of the visit. (If an indices check was done, that remains valid for
subsequent visits within two years).
- What happens if the visitor or assignee shows up before the
BNL-473 is approved?
ANS: We cannot allow a foreign national
access to programs without a prior approval of the 473.
However, if the 473 was not completed in a timely
manner, we can escort the FN to the GUV Center for processing. If
the approval cannot be obtained at that time, the individual will be
escorted off site and access will not be granted until the registration
process is completed. Initiating the Graded Approach for
Sensitive Country Nationals allows the Counterintelligence office to
pre-approve requests and monitor DOE’s indices approvals.
- How do I complete the BNL-473 and what do I do with it?
ANS: See the Subject Area: Foreign National Visits and
If you still have questions, contact the Administrator at 631-344-7105, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Are visits and assignments approved locally or by DOE?
ANS: The Laboratory Director’s designee, the Deputy Director
for Operations, approves most Foreign Visits & Assignments. For visitors or
assignees that are citizens of a country identified by the Department of
State as state sponsors of terrorism, the Secretary of Energy is the
approval authority. Those countries are Cuba, Iran, North Korea,
Sudan, and Syria.
- Do I have to follow these procedures if I am hosting a foreign
national at a conference being held away from BNL?
ANS: If the conference is; a) DOE sponsored, and; b) not
open to the public, and; c) within the United States, the answer is, yes.
- How do I find out if my requested visit has been approved?
ANS: The approved BNL-473 is sent to your
department/division. Requests submitted through the Guest Information System
(GIS) receive automated approvals to your department's designated GIS
reviewer. They will notify you of the approval.
- What do I have to do as a host?
ANS: Procedures for requesting a visit or assignment by a
foreign national and a list of host responsibilities are in the Subject
Area: Foreign National Visits and Assignments (Unclassified), available on
the web under Standards Based Management System.
- Is a stateless person considered to be from a sensitive country?
ANS: Guidance from DOE is yes, and BNL will continue to use
that guidance pending further direction.
- Are IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspectors
exempt from this program?
ANS: IAEA visits that are not inspection activities, as
defined in the agreement between the United States and IAEA or that do not
involve classified information or technologies are unclassified and will be
documented in accordance with DOE Order 142.3
- Are host reports required, and if so, for what visits or
ANS: Host reports are no longer required by the order but
departments/divisions may continue to use the Host Report for their records.
- When a specific security plan required?
ANS: BNL requires all visits and assignments to security
areas or access to sensitive subjects, and all visits and assignments by
sensitive country nationals to Property Protection Areas (PPAs), require a
specific security plan, which must be forwarded to the FV&A Administrator
with the BNL-473. The Subject Area will serve as the generic security plan
for all visits and assignments that do not require a specific security plan.
- How do I fill in an Electronic Open to the Public Form?
Completing and submitting the form is very similar
to the GIS 473 process. Initiation of the form can be accomplished
through the BNL main web page link located under the left side heading
for BNL Site Access:
Open to the Public Form
You will be required to log in the system using your BNL life number and
PeopleSoft password. For Hosts or Department/Division heads that do not
currently have a PeopleSoft log in, you will be required to obtain one.
The form will generate an automated OP tracking number (see below) or allow
you to enter an existing number.
Please refer to the OP Tracking Number assigned in all correspondence
relating to the event.
Directions for using the Open to the Public process are listed at the
top of the form. Please follow these instructions to avoid delays in
- Request should be submitted to the Foreign Visits and
Assignments Office at least 15 days prior to the event start date.
- Unless an attendee to an Open to the Public (OP) event has been
individually processed and approved via the Guest Registration
System (GIS), the following restrictions apply:
- Attendees are only authorized to partake in the activities
specified in the OP approval.
- Attendees cannot conduct any discussion, work, or activity
that goes beyond the scope of the Open to the Public approval.
- Attendees cannot utilize on site housing.
- The requesting department is responsible for submitting an event
notification to the Main Gate after obtaining approval.
- For scientific events, please attach agenda and detailed
description of topical areas to be discussed.
- For all approved events the FVA Office must be notified at
email@example.com of any changes
to the dates and times specified below.
- Government facilities are not to be used for fund raising
There are several dropdown menus included within the form limiting
response choices. Specific responses may also generate additional
requirements. These will appear as pop-up boxes (see
example below). You are required to "acknowledge" these additional
requirements before the process can continue.
For example, if "Open Research" is
chosen for the "Type of Subject(s) to be discussed" this message
will require acknowledgement.
In general, open research or information includes
only information/technology which is not protected by statute
(classified or sensitive), holds no vested BNL or DOE interest in
licensing or patent rights, and which is intended for release and
publication to the general public. The BNL sponsor/host is responsible
for ensuring no information that falls outside of these parameters is
presented or disseminated during this event.
Scientific recurring events will initiate another message requiring
an additional acknowledgement.
The topics described in this request are open research and no
discussion of the relevance of these topics to any national security
issue will be part of this series. If at any time during the series
there is any likelihood that this would not hold true for a scheduled
presentation the Host will discuss the seminar topic with the OPSEC
Chair, Mark Sakitt x3812, before the seminar takes place, so that a
determination can be made as to whether or not a new review and approval
is required for that particular presentation.
Attachments of descriptions of events can be added to the form. The
internal routing for approvals to the Host and
Department/Division head are propagated from the information entered in
the "Send to Reviewer" field. You can also add additional reviewers if
Once the initial information is completed and the department approvals
entered, the form will be routed to FVA. From here, Subject
Matter Expert approvals will be coordinated. The Final Approval from the
director's office will generate notifications to the originator, Host
and Department/Division Head, along with the FVA.
- Future FAQ
Last Modified: May 25, 2012
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