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Foreign National Visitor/Guest Information

Benefits of Foreign Nationals

Collaboration between employees and foreign nationals are in the best interests of the Department and our nation.

They contribute to activities such as: Trade Agreements, Scientific Research, International Standardization and Environmental Stewardship.

Potential Dangers of Foreign Nationals

Foreign powers and some nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) collect intelligence to advance their best interests.
Absent a protective mechanism, other countries or NGOs might use Foreign National Visitors or guests to:

  • Acquire information to outstrip U.S. capabilities
  • Influence U.S. decision-makers
  • Cause the U.S. to unnecessarily deplete limited resources

The Balancing Act

Because the Department of Commerce recognizes the value of their contributions to U.S. scientific and technological efforts and other Departmental functions, it offers Foreign National Visitors and Guests access to its facilities, staff and information to engage in a broad range of collaborative activities. This access, however, must be balanced with the need to protect important information.

The Department does this through DAO 207-12.

Who Does DAO-207-12 Cover?

MOST foreign nationals who have access to Departmental facilities or activities, with a few exceptions:

  • Lawful Permanent Residents or Protected Persons.
  • Foreign nationals who are employees of DOC residing and working at DOC facilities outside of 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 open to the general public and pre-designated by the facility manager and OSY Servicing Security Office.

Departmental Sponsors

A Departmental Sponsor (DS) is a U.S. Citizen employee of the Department of Commerce (not a contractor or IPA) who is responsible for the day-to-day activities associated with the successful accomplishment of a foreign visit.

Visitor or Guest?

Visitors: Foreign Nationals who have access to DOC facilities for 3 or fewer days or are attending a conference of 5 or fewer days.

Guests: Foreign Nationals who have access to DOC facilities for 4 or more days.

Process for Hosting Foreign National Visitors (FNV)

Department employees may self-nominate to Sponsor a FNV by submitting a request to their OSY Servicing Security Office 24 hours or more prior to hosting a Foreign National Visitor.

The FNV request should contain:

  • Full Name
  • Gender
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Country of Current Residence
  • Passport Number and Issuing Country
  • Citizenship and Country(ies) of Dual Citizenship (if applicable)
  • Sponsoring Bureau
  • Facility Number and Location
  • Purpose of Visit
    Arrival Date
  • Departure Date
    Departmental Sponsor Name
  • Departmental Sponsor Email Address

Process for Hosting Foreign National Guests (FNG)

Department employees (not contractors or persons serving in Intergovernmental Personnel Act positions) may self-nominate to Sponsor a FNG by submitting the same information required of Visitors in a request to both their Senior Administrative Official and their OSY Servicing Security Office 30 days or more prior to the FNG’s arrival.

In addition the DS must:

  • Complete Attachment 2 of DAO 207-12 and forward to their SAO for concurrence.
  • Notify the OSY servicing security office of an impending Guest and provide required information at least 30 days prior to access.
  • Receive a CI briefing upon SAO concurrence from the OSY Servicing Security Office.
  • Upon the Guest’s arrival, complete Attachment 3 of DAO 207-12 and forward it to the OSY Servicing Security Office within 3 days.

Sponsor Protective Duties

Take all reasonable steps to prevent foreign nationals from gaining access to unauthorized material (Sponsor enforces DAO 207-12).

Ensure Foreign Nationals are escorted.

  • Unless a Guest has been granted limited unescorted access by the Servicing Security Office.
  • Public areas/events exception still applies.

Ensure that Foreign Nationals do not use personal electronic devices.

  • Sponsor can explicitly authorize, subject to OSY review.

Report suspicious/inappropriate behavior or changes to OSY immediately.

  • This includes changes in sponsors, assignment, locations, arrivals and departures etc…

Cooperate with OSY compliance inspections and debriefings.

Foreign National Visitor/Guest Information Form

To ensure that your request can be processed in a timely manner and contains accurate information, please complete the following form prior to contacting your Servicing Security Office.

Foreign National Visitor/Guest Form

Contact Us

For information regarding Foreign National Visitor/Guest Requests and Processing, contact your Servicing Security Office.

Herbert C. Hoover Building (HCHB) 202-482-8355

NOAA Silver Spring 301-713-0954

Eastern Region Security Office (ERSO) 757-441-3420

Mountain Region Security Office (MRSO) 303-497-5198

Western Region Security Office (WRSO) 206-526-6429

NIST Gaithersburg 301-975-3304

CENSUS (Suitland ) 301-763-1716

CENSUS (Jeffersonville ) 812-218-3445

To report foreign contacts and or suspicious activity, contact an OSY Investigations and Intelligence Programs (IIP) Special Agent at:



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