Acknowledging the important contributions towards U.S. scientific, research, and other mission objectives, the Department of Commerce offers Foreign National Visitors and Guests access to its facilities, resources and activities to facilitate a broad range of collaborative activities. This access, however, must be balanced with the need to protect critical or otherwise controlled government information.
The Department employs foreign access management concepts to balance the key contributions of international collaboration with the Department’s obligation to safeguard critical information from loss or compromise. Effective foreign access management is achieved through the uniform implementation of Department Administrative Order (DAO) 207-12, Foreign National Visitor and Guest Access Program.
To Whom Does DAO 207-12 Apply?
ALL Foreign National Visitors or Guests granted physical or logical access to Departmental facilities, resources or activities, with a few exceptions:
- Lawful Permanent Residents or Protected Persons.
- Foreign Nationals employed by the Department who reside and work at Department facilities outside the U.S.
- Foreign national diplomats/senior government officials at the ambassadorial or vice-ministerial level or above who visit Departmental officials for the purpose of high-level policy dialogue (Determined by the OSY Servicing Security Office).
- Foreign Nationals who visit Departmental facilities during public events/activities or in areas which are associated with organized events predetermined to be open to the public.
Visitor or Guest?
Visitor: Foreign Nationals granted physical access to Department facilities for three (3) or fewer days or who are attending a conference of five (5) or fewer days.
Guests: Foreign Nationals granted physical and logical access to Department facilities, resources and activities for Four (4) or more days.
Process to Sponsor/Host a Foreign National Visitor
Department of Commerce employees may sponsor/host a Foreign National Visitor by submitting a properly completed Foreign National Request Form (OSY Form 207-12-A) (Commerce personnel only) or equivalent bureau or operating unit automated business application to their Field Servicing Security Office at least 24 hours in advance of the requested access.
Foreign National Visitors shall be registered and under continuous escort or observation by their designated Sponsor/Host (or delegated escort) when accessing Department facilities throughout the duration of the visit.
Process to Sponsor/Host a Foreign National Guest
Department of Commerce U.S. citizen employees may Sponsor/Host a Foreign National Guest by submitting a properly completed Foreign National Request Forms (OSY Form 207-12-A and B) (Commerce personnel only) or equivalent bureau or operating unit automated business application to their Senior Administrative Official and Field Servicing Support Office at least 30 calendar days in advance of the requested access.
The Sponsor/Host must:
- Satisfactorily complete annual Departmental Sponsor Espionage Indicator/Threat Awareness Training (Commerce personnel only) to maintain Sponsor/Host eligibility.
- Complete, sign and submit Attachment 2 of DAO 207-12 (Commerce personnel only) to their Senior Administrative Official for endorsement and forwarding to their Field Servicing Security Office for approval and record retention.
- Ensure Attachment 3 of DAO 207-12 (Commerce personnel only) is satisfactorily completed by the Foreign National Guest and forwarded to the Field Servicing Security Office within three (3) days of Guest arrival.
The Personal Identity Verification-Interoperable (PIV-I) credential is the alternative credential standard for issuance to Foreign National Guests granted physical or logical access to Department facilities, resources or activities for greater than 179 cumulative days.
Bureaus and operating units are responsible for the issuance of temporary facility access control badges to Foreign National Guests not meeting the physical or logical access requirements for PIV-I credential issuance.
A Department of Commerce U.S. citizen employee designated in writing as accountable for the security oversight of all activities associated with the successful accomplishment of a specific Foreign National visit or Guest assignment.
A Departmental Sponsor/Host shall:
- Comply with all requirements for access approval and conduct, including providing timely, complete, and accurate information regarding the visit to the Field Servicing Security Office.
- Take all reasonable steps to ensure a Foreign National Visitor or Guest is given access only to information necessary for the successful completion of the defined visit.
- Prior to the arrival of a Foreign National Guest, ensure all personnel assigned within the applicable program or workspace, are informed of the Guest’s role, duration of visit, scope of authorized physical and logical access, and procedures for reporting unauthorized or questionable activity.
- Take all reasonable steps to prevent physical, visual, and logical access to classified, CUI, proprietary, or not-for-public release data, information, technology or software by a Foreign National Visitor or Guest.
- Take all reasonable steps to ensure that a Foreign National Visitor or Guest does not engage in unauthorized use of personal communication, photographic, recording, or other electronic devices in those areas of Departmental facilities where classified, CUI, proprietary, or not-for-public release data, information, technology or software is present, and generally ensure that such electronic devices are not used without explicit authorization.
- Immediately report suspicious activities or anomalies involving Foreign National Visitors or Guests to the Field Servicing Security Office.
- Promptly notify the Field Servicing Security Office if there is a change to the arrival or departure date of a Foreign National Visitor or Guest.
Senior Administrative Official
Bureaus shall formally designate in writing a senior technical or administrative official, and alternate(s). The Senior Administrative Official, in conjunction with the bureau’s operating units, reviews requests for access submitted by Departmental Sponsors to ensure these requests include a complete description of the proposed collaboration requiring Foreign National Guest access to Departmental facilities, staff and information. The Senior Administrative Official must consider whether the sponsoring office has documented that the value gained from the proposed collaborative effort is compatible with the need to protect classified, CUI, proprietary, not for-public release data, information, technology or software, and when appropriate, shall endorse the request as demonstrating that the proposed access provides a tangible benefit to the mission success of the bureau and is in the best interest of the Department.
Copies of the Senior Administrative Official designations shall be provided to the Department Office of Security (OSY) when effective and/or upon request.
Field Servicing Security Office
The Field Servicing Security Office is immediately responsible to the Office of Security for the delivery of effective security services, guidance, and oversight in direct support of their servicing bureau or operating unit.
Contact your Field Servicing Security Office for any information or questions related to foreign access management policy, procedures, guidance or training.
Foreign National Request Form (Commerce personnel only)
Foreign National Visitor/Guest Departmental Sponsor Briefing (Commerce personnel only)