Foreign Workers and Visitors

The University welcomes workers, visitors, and students from across the globe. While supporting a climate of openness in education and research, care must be taken to comply with export control and economic sanctions regulations.  The information below discusses University's compliance procedures and special considerations when foreign nationals participate in research.

Evaluation of Visa Applications

An export controls and economic sanctions evaluation is required for foreign workers and visitors sponsored by the University on the following visa types: H-1B, J-1 Research Scholar, J-1 Professor, J-1 Short-Term Scholar.  Departments should complete the Export Control Evaluation for Foreign Workers and Visitors (OSP-30) form, submit it to the Office of Sponsored Projects for evaluation, and then submit the fully signed form with the rest of the visa application paperwork to the Office of International Students and Scholars.  An evaluation will be completed for the initial visa request and each subsequent visa renewal. An export control evaluation is not required for J-1 or F-1 students.  However, all personnel and visitors associated with export controlled research projects, including students, will be screened against restricted party lists.

Departments hosting foreign visitors for any reason may request the Office of Sponsored Projects to run a Restricted Party Screening by submitting the OSP-30 form.

Considerations for Research Involving Foreign Nationals

One of the primary concerns with foreign nationals is the potential for unauthorized release of export controlled technology or technical data. It is the responsibility of the PI to ensure that unauthorized disclosure does not occur. Therefore, it is important to understand the definitions of technology and technical data.  Definitions differ slightly, but importantly, between the ITAR and the EAR. 

Technical Data (ITAR): 1) Information...required for the design, development, production, manufacture, assembly, operation, repair, testing, maintenance, or modification of defense articles; 2) Classified information relating to defense articles and defense services on the U.S. Munitions List and 600-series items controlled by the Commerce Control List; 3) information covered by an invention secrecy order; or 4) Software directly related to defense articles.  It does not include 1) Basic marketing information on function or purpose, or general system descriptions;  or 2) Information concerning general scientific, mathematical, or engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges, and universities.

Technology (EAR): Specific information necessary for the development, production, or use of a product.  The key difference between the ITAR and the EAR is the EAR's definition of "use," which is "operation, installation (including on-site installation), maintenance (checking), repair, overhaul, and refurbishing."  By using the word "and," the technology to use a product is only controlled if it includes all six elements of "use."  As most user manuals for products do not include all six elements of "use," non-U.S. persons can generally use EAR-controlled equipment in research laboratories without the need for an export or deemed export license. There are some exceptions, such as technology for the use of products that were formerly controlled by the ITAR. 

Restrictions on the release of technical data or technology also do not apply to information already in the public domain, such as that available through unrestricted publications, unlimited distribution at open conferences, or in libraries. Nor do they apply to information generated from fundamental research.

It is also important to understand the ways that technology or technical data can be released. Technology is released when it is: 1) Available to foreign nationals for visual inspection (such as reading or viewing technical specifications, plans, blueprints, etc.); 2) Exchanged verbally, including overhearing conversations;  or 3) made available by practice or application under the guidance of persons with knowledge of the technology (e.g., training or instruction). 

Without a license or applicable license exception, the release of export controlled technology or technical data to a foreign national person would be a violation of export control regulations.