Federal Agencies and Their Export Control Regulations

The Federal agencies and their export control regulations most commonly associated with research activity at academic institutions in the US are the following:

Violations of these export control regulations can lead to significant civil and criminal penalties.

Due to heightened concern for national security, international faculty, scholars, and students seeking U.S. visas often encounter lengthy delays due to the imposition of additional security clearances related to the Technology Alert List (TAL). The purpose of this is to protect national security by preventing the export of "goods, technology, or sensitive information" through activities such as "graduate-level studies, teaching, conducting research, participating in exchange programs, receiving training or employment, or engaging in commercial transactions."

Students or scholars who apply for a visa when the research area fall within activities designated on or related to the Technology Alert List (TAL) including:

  • chemical engineering
  • materials technology
  • information security
  • robotics
  • remote sensing and imaging technology
  • advance computer /microelectronic technology
  • sensors and sensor technology
  • lasers and directed energy systems technology, and
  • urban planning (including architecture, design and civil engineering)

may require additional scrutiny by the Department of State or the Department of Homeland Security.

Students or scholars who also

  • have citizenship or residence in a country designated as a “state sponsors of terrorism” (Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Syria);
  • may be involved in technology transfer-particularly for citizens from countries considered to possess nuclear capability (China, India, Israel, Pakistan, and Russia);
  • may have their name (or part of a name) on a US government watch list

may require additional scrutiny by the Department of State or the Department of Homeland Security as well.

Please view export control requirements as well as visa information (courtesy of UMBC International Education Services) for more information.


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