FAQs — International Operations

Security Assurances for Cleared Individuals and Facilities

How do I know if a visit request is approved?

DCSA does not approve visit requests, it is up to the Foreign Government to accept and approve the request. However, it is the contractor’s responsibility to certify that the information to be released during each visit has been approved for release by the appropriate designated authority and an export authorization has been granted. To verify approval of the visit request, please coordinate with the foreign site POC prior to departure.

How far in advance must an international visit request be submitted?

Each country’s NSA/DSA establishes its own requirements regarding RFV lead times. DCSA requires five (5) business days in addition to the Foreign Government’s lead time requirement in order to process each RFV. DCSA will only accept visits 90 days or less from the start date

Note: Foreign Governments can change their RFV lead times without notice. For the most current information regarding country lead times and requirements associated with international classified visits email dcsa.rfv@mail.mil.

Can a facility create and use their own visit request forms?

DCSA will only accept the forms located on our website as the forms contain specific requirements. All other versions of the forms will be rejected.

Who can submit visit requests to DCSA?

DCSA processes outgoing visit requests for U.S. cleared contractors. DCSA only accepts visit requests from the security office of a cleared DOD contractor. The visitors listed on the form must be employed by the cleared facility submitting the request. We do not process visit requests for military or government employees.

Can we submit a visit request through DISS for NATO visits?

Visit requests to NATO Sites cannot be submitted by your company via DISS or in a visit request directly to NATO. A visit request form is required to be submitted to DCSA for processing.

Does DCSA provide a DCSA stamped copy of the visit request back to the facility security officer?

Once DCSA has processed the visit request and submitted the form to the appropriate Foreign Government, DCSA will notify the FSO via email the visit has been processed. DCSA will not provide the facility the stamped copy of the visit request.

We have an individual traveling to a NATO site and the NATO point of contact is requesting a NATO Security Clearance Certificate (NSCC). How do we obtain a NSCC?

NSCC’s are only processed by DCSA if they accompany a valid visit request. NSCC’s are site specific and must only be for the duration of the visit.

What do I need to do if an employee on an approved request for visit has separated or been removed from a contract?

A facility is required to submit an amendment to remove a visitor upon separation, removal from a contract, or loss of eligibility.

If an individual was previously granted an LAA and changed contracting companies; do they need a new letter of justification (LOJ)?

LAA access is limited to a specific U.S. Government contract. A new LOJ is required.

International Transfers of Classified Information

My company is going to let a classified subcontract to a foreign subcontractor. How do I proceed?

You must request verification of the foreign company’s facility security clearance (FCL) and storage capability from DCSA International Division (fax 571-305-6010) prior to awarding the subcontract. Also reference 32 CFR §117.19(b)(5): If you are authorized to award a subcontract with a foreign contractor that will involve classified information you are required to provide DCSA with a copy of the contract’s classification guidance with the international security clauses that you are providing to your foreign subcontractor.

Can I use FedEx to transmit foreign classified material to their Embassy in D.C.?

Foreign classified information CANNOT be mailed to a Diplomatic Post Office address. However Secret and Confidential material may be transmitted by registered mail through U.S. Army, Navy, or Air Force postal facilities. Reference 32 CFR §117.15 (f)(3).

There's an urgent need to hand carry our classified proposal to a foreign government. What steps should be taken?

Is there an approved export authorization? Is the size such that it can be maintained in the personal possession of the courier? Notify your IS Rep and provide a "Hand carriage request" that includes the necessary information (cite export authorization, courier data, date & itinerary, identity of foreign recipient, etc.,) Reference 32 CFR §117.19(d)(6). The request has to be submitted to DCSA at least 5 work days in advance of the transfer date. DCSA has to coordinate the arrangements and obtain approval from the recipient government's security authority. The courier has to be a full-time cleared employee. Brief the courier on his/her responsibilities. Complete a Courier Certificate. The courier is to travel a direct route with no overnight layover, no stops in 3rd countries and should be traveling on a US or the recipient government flag airline. If the courier is going to stay and brief the proposal, than a visit request should have been submitted to DCSA International with the required amount of lead-time.


What does it mean if the visit from a foreign contractor is non-sponsored?

If a visit is non-sponsored, the visit can still occur if your facility is in receipt of an approved export authorization to subject country. The response from the visit office would contain the security clearances of the visitors and it is the notification that the requesting government has provided the required security assurances to the U.S. Government. If a classified visit is sponsored by a US gov’t/military activity, then an export authorization is not required, as the sponsored visit authorization provides the disclosure guidance. If the visit is denied, the visit can occur, but only information in the public domain can be discussed. The process is initiated when the foreign government submits a visit request into the DoD Foreign Visits System (FVS). The foreign contractor facility or foreign government entity usually sends the visit request through their embassy in Washington, D.C. The request should be submitted 21 working days prior to the visit to allow for processing. Once their embassy enters it into the FVS, it is forwarded to the applicable Defense Visit Offices for review. The visit will either be sponsored (government approved), non-sponsored or denied. Notification of the approval will be forwarded to your facility and it will contain disclosure instructions on the classified and unclassified information involved, and any limitations.

An international visitor arrived with a SECRET classified CD. What do I do?

An improper receipt of foreign government material that is not received through government channels must be reported to DCSA per 32 CFR §117.19 (c)(12). The foreign visitor failed to submit the hand carry request through his government security authority for approval. When hand carrying classified material internationally, the security authorities of the receiving government (DCSA) must first be notified of the plan from the sending government (32 CFR §117.19 (d)(6)). It's the same as when one of your employees requests to hand carry classified material, the arrangements have to be coordinated and approved by both governments prior to being allowed to proceed with the plan.

We want to establish an office in Europe. Can I have an office overseas cleared with storage?

No. Refer to 32 CFR §117.19 (c)(7).

U.S. contractor employees assigned to foreign government or foreign contractor facilities under a direct commercial sales arrangement will be subject to the host-nation's industrial security policies. Additionally, unless a waiver was granted by DCSA headquarters, be aware that a consultant shall not be assigned outside the U.S. with responsibilities that require access to classified information in accordance with 32 CFR §117.19 (f)(2)(iv)(B).

Can I ship related unclassified items under a DSP -85?

No, unclassified material should not be shipped out under a DSP -85 "Application/License for Permanent/Temporary Export or Temporary Import of Classified Defense Articles and Related Classified Technical Data." It is unlawful for anyone to ship unclassified commodities on a classified license. Unclassified material is to be shipped on a Form DSP -5, "Application/License for Permanent Export of Unclassified Defense Articles and Related Unclassified Technical Data." The mixing of classified and unclassified items on a license is not allowed. What is permitted is when unclassified items are part of an assembled unit or system (actually bolted on at time of export).

Additionally, only items specifically listed on the license may be shipped. A statement such as "associated infrastructure" does not justify acceptance of unlisted items. It can only refer to a list that must be approved with the license application. Only those items on the list are approved for export.

My company employs foreign nationals. Are we required to have a Technology Control Plan (TCP)?

If your facility is performing on classified contract, you should have a TCP unless your cognizant DCSA Field Office determines that procedures already in place at your facility are adequate. A TCP is required to control access by foreign nationals assigned to, or employed by, cleared contractor facilities ((32 CFR §117.19 (e)(4)(v)). The TCP shall define what needs to be protected. Controls are necessary to ensure that no transfer of export-controlled information occurs unless authorized.

The TCP outlines the specific information that has been authorized for release to the foreign personnel or visitors, and provides disclosure guidelines for access. The use of badges, escorts, or segregated work areas would be examples of the types of access controls that can be used by your facility. These efforts will make the foreign employee or visitor more visible, thus reminding employees of their presence. All foreign persons should be briefed on the provisions of the TCP. U.S. citizen employees should be knowledgeable of the information that can be disclosed or accessed by foreign nationals. They should receive a copy of the TCP and be briefed on the contents of the plan.