Uncleared Foreign Nationals

As a National Security Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) actively supports and values the contributions of international collaborations.  Foreign Nationals from around the world play a vital role in achieving mission success at Sandia.  Consequently, Sandia offers foreign national employees, contractors, visitors and assignees access to Department of Energy’s facilities, programs, information and technologies in a broad range of unclassified work in accordance with DOE Order 142.3A, Unclassified Foreign Visits and Assignments (UFV&A). These visits and assignments must be conducted in a manner consistent with U.S. and DOE national security policies, requirements and objectives, including export control laws and regulations.

The Sandia Foreign Interactions Office (FIO) takes measures to protect DOE information and assets by facilitating the UFV&A program vetting approval process, which monitors and controls interactions between Sandia’s Members of the Workforce and foreign nationals. 

All uncleared foreign national visitors and assignees, including lawful permanent residents must obtain approval from Sandia FIO through an approved foreign national request security plan (FNR-SP) prior to accessing Sandia sites, unclassified DOE information, programs, technologies or resources that are not releasable or accessible to the public.  This also applies to circumstances occurring offsite (e.g. universities); while attending conferences; interactions with foreign officials, customers, or collaborators on behalf of Sandia; or through contact with foreign nationals while travelling internationally, among other scenarios.

Note: Individuals that wish to visit Sandia must inform their Sandia host of all citizenships they hold.  If none of the citizenships is with the United States, an FNR-SP is required.  If one of the citizenships is with United States, then the Sandia host may submit an “Unclassified Visit Request” which will be processed through the Sandia Badge Office. 

If a foreign national will NOT have access to DOE/Sandia facilities, information, programs and technologies, a FNR-SP may not be required if ALL the following conditions apply:

  1. All work is Unclassified Unlimited Release (UUR), which is approved for public release;
  2. UUR related work is NOT conducted on Sandia premises;
  3. The research results are open, non-sensitive and will or can be published in open literature intended for public release; and
  4. Sandia Hotel Network (SHN) is the only information system resource that will be accessed.

If any of the above criteria are not met, an FNR-SP is required and approval for a foreign national to work on a Sandia project/program must be obtained prior to commencement of work.

Time Requirements and Required Documentation:

As part of the FNR-SP process, all foreign nationals must provide sufficient lawful status documentation to verify the foreign national’s identity, authority to work and to ensure that the foreign national is eligible (in lawful immigration status) to be in the U.S.  Additionally, a foreign national may be required to provide a curriculum vitae.  Failure to provide appropriate documentation when required or providing fraudulent documentation will result in suspension of access approval, removal from the site, and possible cancellation of future access. 

Time requirements for submitting an FNR ranges from 5-60 days.  This is primarily based on the citizenship of the foreign national and the nature of access being requested.  

Note: Subcontractors must notify their Sandia Delegated Representative (SDR) to initiate the FNR-SP process for access approval.  Only Sandia Members of the Workforce that are U.S. citizens are authorized to submit an FNR.

If access to Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) is needed, an FNR MUST be submitted 30 days in advance of the planned visit start date.

Once FNR-SP approval is received from the FIO and upon arrival to Sandia, foreign nationals MUST bring their VALID original passport, applicable visa with any U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services documentation supporting the visa status and/or renewal AND documentation.

Canadian citizens coming to the United States as temporary non-immigrants for business or pleasure are exempt from the visa requirement; however, a Canadian citizen must be able to establish identity and citizenship.  Two forms of documentation for a Canadian citizen are required, including a document establishing Canadian citizenship (e.g., birth certificate, citizenship certificate, or passport) and government-issued identification document that includes a photograph, such as a passport or driver’s license.  A passport with an expiration date that meets or exceeds the end date of an FNR-SP would satisfy both requirements under the Department of Homeland Security’s Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

Mexican citizens must have a valid original passport, documentation of a non-immigrant visa or an LPR card if they are a green card holder.  A NEXUS card may be used in place of the visa is some cases.

Badging and KAFB Pass

All foreign nationals who require routine or regular access to Sandia premises will be issued a Sandia local site-specific only (LSSO) badge for unclassified access to Sandia premises after an identity verification process has been completed by the Sandia FIO in accordance with policy.  All foreign nationals who require access to Sandia premises are required to obtain and wear an LSSO badge conspicuously, photo side out, in a location above the waist and on front of the body, as evidence of access authorization.

Foreign national access to KAFB is granted through the Defense Biometric Identification System (DBIDS).  All foreign nationals must be vetted in accordance with KAFB policy, rules and regulations.  If the foreign national is from a Tier 1 or 2 country, the sponsor must always escort the individual onto the installation and remain with the visitor at all times. DBIDS office hours and more information can be found on this toolcart on the Badge Office page.