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Department of Energy: Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs and National Unclassified Visits and Assignments


The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued DOE O-486.1 and modified DOE Order 142.3A to address the risks associated with international research collaboration to the DOE scientific enterprise. Below is a description of each Order and the steps the University must take to ensure compliance.

DOE O-486.1 Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs

Under June 7, 2019, Order DOE O-4861, DOE employees and contractors, including university researchers, are prohibited from participating in certain “talent recruitment programs” from a foreign government that it deems to be “a foreign country of risk.”  Therefore, universities must disclose whether a researcher that is currently involved in a DOE award has participated in either a funded/unfunded Foreign Government Talent Recruitment (FGTR) Program. Upon identification of a researcher who is a participant in an FGTR Program, the University must remove the participant from the DOE contract, or the participant must terminate the FGTR Program relationship.   The University must flow this provision down to its subcontractors.

DOE O 142.3A, Chg 2- Unclassified Foreign Visits and Assignments

This Order defines a program for unclassified foreign national access to DOE sites, information, technologies, and equipment.  On December 13, 2019, the Department of Energy removed an exemption to a foreign national approval process for higher education institutions. Prior to the change, higher education institutions were not required to obtain DOE approvals for foreign national participants conducting fundamental research. According to the update, the University must receive prior approval from DOE before foreign nationals (including U.S. permanent resident alien/green card holders) can access the DOE sites, information, technologies, and equipment. New DOE funding opportunities (e.g., grants, cooperative agreements, contracts) may include these updated Orders and modifications issued for existing awards if applicable.  

Instructions for Prior Approval of Foreign Nationals under DOE 142.3A, Chg 2

The foreign national reporting requirement under DOE O 142.3A  applies to everyone working on the project, including the PI, other faculty members, staff, or students, as well as any sub-recipients or contractors. The required information must be reported to DOE by the timeline indicated on the amendment or award. The Office of Contracts and Grants will assist in submitting the needed information and provide guidance as necessary to comply with the Order. The documents to be submitted contain personally identifiable information and must be sent via secure email and to a single point of contact (the PI, DBA, or RA).

  1. Complete and Gather the Following Required Documents for Each Individual
    1. A completed form NETL F 142.1-1A “Request for Unclassified Foreign National Access (Short Form)”
    2. A color copy of Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Card or Visa and all visa documentation (I-20, DS201-, I-797A, B, C, etc.)
    3. A color copy of the passport
    4. A copy of resume or curriculum vitae (CV) that covers a time spanning the age of 18 to present with such time accounted for
    5. Copies of any other documents that allow the individual to be in the United States

  2. Email the Required Information to the DOE Awards Administrator for Approval
    After the single point of contact collects all documents, the list of all foreign nationals involved in the project (current and future) must be sent to the DOE Award Administrator via email in the following format:
    • Name
    • Citizenship
    • Institution/Employer
    • DOE Award Number
    • Name & email of the single point of contact who will be submitting the required foreign national documentation

    DO NOT include any of the documents in the email.

  3. Receive a link from DOE and Upload the Required Documents to a Folder
    The single point of contact will receive a secure email from DOE with a hyperlink to upload the required documents in an online folder with a subfolder for each foreign national reported for the award.