Security Operations
L. Butera, Manager
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Bldg. 50 - P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000
(631) 344-4691

Foreign Visits and Assignments (FV&A)

Security Operations

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 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 142.3A 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 would apply.
  2. Who is a foreign national?
    ANS: For the purpose of DOE Order 142.3A, which regulates FVA, a foreign national is a person who is not a citizen of or naturalized citizen of the United States.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 exist.  In 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.
  5. 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 general public. For Public Event Requests, speakers or attendees utilizing on site housing must also complete a BNL-473.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
  9. How do I complete the BNL-473 and what do I do with it?
    ANS: See the Subject Area: Foreign National Visits and Assignments (Unclassified) and the Guest Information System (GIS).

    If you still have questions, contact the GUV Center at 631-344-3333.
  10. Are visits and assignments approved locally or by DOE?
    ANS: The Laboratory Director’s designee, the Assistant Laboratory Director for Facilities and Operations, is the Final Local Approval Authority and approves most Foreign Visits & Assignments. For first time 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, Sudan, and Syria.
  11. 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.
  12. 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, the host and visitor. They will notify you of the approval.
  13. 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. In addition, up to date training in TQ-SEC-FN Hosting and Escorting Foreign Nationals, is required.
  14. 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.
  15. 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 142.3A.
  16. Are host reports required, and if so, for what visits or assignments?
    ANS: Host reports are no longer required by the order but departments/divisions may continue to use the Host Report for their records.
  17. 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.
  18. How do I fill in an Electronic Public Event Request 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:

    Public Event Request Form

    Please refer to the PE Tracking Number assigned in all correspondence relating to the event.

    Directions for using the Public Event process are listed at the top of the form. Please follow these instructions to avoid delays in processing requests.

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. 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 or agendas should 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 need be.

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.

Requests should be submitted to the FVA Office at least 15 days prior to the event start date. After receiving the approval, the requesting department is responsible for submitting a Main Gate Access Form for the event. Any changes to the schedule must be submitted to the FVA Office and added to the request.

  1. Future FAQ

Top of Page

Last Modified: June 7, 2013

Please forward all questions about this site to the Kathy Walker