From COO Tim Meyer: Site access, the final frontier

Tim Meyer

This is the last of my series of columns* on site access and today we highlight the lab’s new Site Access Policy. I encourage you to review the policy, which became effective May 1, 2017. As a reminder, we have no plans to change Fermilab’s open culture and welcoming atmosphere, but we do need to gain a better understanding about who should and does have access to certain areas of the lab and how the lab manages those situations. Thus the need for a Site Access Policy.

Don’t have time to read the entire policy right now? Then know these key takeaways:

  • Anyone requesting remote access to Fermilab’s systems must go through the same credentialing process as someone who is requesting physical access.
  • All non-U.S. citizens must contact as soon as they are aware that they will be coming onto the site. This is a requirement of Unclassified Foreign Visits and Assignments Program (DOE O 142.3).
  • This policy applies not only to the Fermilab site, but also to the lab’s leased space at SURF in South Dakota.
  • Access for the public and for public events has not changed.
  • The access policy provides a consistent, inclusive framework that addresses export control issues, foreign-visit requirements and any additional DOE requirements for access to Fermilab. Each layer presents its own issues.

Following is a list of frequently asked questions that address the Site Access Policy. If you have a question that is not addressed, please email ACCESS@LISTSERV.FNAL.GOV and we’ll answer it. For the next few weeks your additional questions will be added to this article, then the FAQ document will be moved to a page on our website for future reference.

Do I need a badge if I’ll be visiting the lab for three days?

You do not need an ID badge but you will need to be escorted by a designated Fermilab point-of-contact (POC) in non-public areas of the laboratory. If you are a non-U.S. citizen, please be certain that your Fermilab POC notifies our foreign visits and assignments specialist ( of your plans to visit prior to your arrival.

My mom is meeting me for lunch. Do I need to notify someone?

If you are having lunch in the Fermilab cafeteria you do not need to notify anyone of her visit since the Wilson Hall atrium is a public area. However, if you plan to have lunch at The Frontier Pub, which is a nonpublic area of the lab, she must be escorted by you. Bon appétit!

Do I need to escort a non-U.S. citizen to the restroom if I’m their POC?

No restroom escorts needed! However, as the designated POC, you should be sure that your visitor understands that they are allowed to be unescorted only in public areas, as well as what they should do in cases of emergency.

Is the Village/Frontier Pub open to the public?

The public is welcome! As the Village and The Frontier Pub are located in nonpublic areas of Fermilab, therefore, any non-Fermilab-related individuals must have a designated Fermilab POC accompanying them to those locations.

I invited a colleague from another institution to attend our quarterly meeting. Do I need to notify someone?  If so, who?

Good question. If you do not plan to escort your colleague in nonpublic areas of Fermilab, please submit a request for them to obtain an ID badge and notify the foreign visits and assignments specialist in the Director’s Office ( if your colleague is not a U.S. citizen.

Are DOE staff members excluded from the Policy on Access to Fermilab?

No, DOE staff members also adhere to this policy. Guests of our Fermi Site Office are also required to have a designated POC.

My friend/colleague/family member would like to visit me at work. I would like to give them a quick tour of public areas and also of my work space. Do I need to notify someone?
Yes please refer to the information below:

  1. Tours for individuals or small groups (10 people or fewer) that include only public areas during our public hours (designated outdoor locations; Lederman Science Center; ground, atrium and 15th floors of Wilson Hall) are automatically approved.
  2. Tours for individuals or small groups (10 people or fewer) that include non-public areas require additional approvals (primarily because of export-control considerations) as follows: 1) The badged host must contact the foreign visits and assignments specialist as far in advance as possible if any members of the tour are not U.S. citizens. 2) The badged host must notify the site/area managers for all tour locations in advance. List of site/area managers are available on the Building Manager List.
  3. Tours for groups of more than 10 people must be approved by the Office of Education and Public Outreach (, Office of Communication or the Director’s Office (VIP tours and visits) in advance.

I am the POC for members of an external review team. Do they need a Fermilab ID badge if they plan to stay late?

It is a good idea to have the members of a review team obtain Fermilab ID badges if they plan to be unescorted in a nonpublic area or plan to stay onsite late or after public hours. The lab wants to ensure the safety of visitors in the case of emergency.

My colleague is here for a two-day meeting and is staying on site. He prefers to work from my office; however, I leave at 4:30 p.m. Can he work from my office if I lock my drawers and computer?

More than likely your office is in a nonpublic area, so they should obtain an ID badge if they plan to be there unescorted. The lab wants to ensure the safety of visitors in the case of emergency.

If I know that a person is from a designated State-Sponsor-of-Terrorism (T3) country but is going to be in meetings all day with other Fermilab staff. Do I need to escort him the entire time?

First, you should be sure to notify the foreign visits and assignments specialist in the Director’s Office ( of your visitor. If you will be the designated POC, then you will be required to escort your visitor in nonpublic areas of Fermilab and have an awareness of where their meetings will be held.

Can I invite my neighbor’s brother for a beer at The Frontier Pub after public hours?

Sure you can, just be sure that you are with your neighbor’s brother while at The Frontier Pub since it is located in an area of the lab open restricted to Fermilab-related individuals. Cheers!

I’m inviting a colleague from a collaborating institution in Texas and she comes from France and Iran. Do I need to inform anyone about her visit?

Great question. Yes, please notify the foreign visits and assignments specialist ( if your colleague is not a U.S. citizen. There may be additional lead time required for approvals.

I’m hosting a weeklong seminar here at the lab in three months and inviting U.S. and non-U.S. collaborators. I want to be sure that I follow the policy. What do I need to do?

Thank you for being proactive! Please notify the foreign visits and assignments specialist in he Director’s Office ( of the attendees of your seminar as soon as you have this information. If your seminar will be located in a nonpublic area of Fermilab, please be sure to that your collaborators obtain Fermilab ID badges.

I work on the LBNF Project and I plan to have several technicians who are U.S. and non-U.S. citizens travel to Sanford Laboratory for a project-related meeting and workshops. They do not plan to travel to Fermilab in Batavia. Do I still need to do anything?

Yes, please provide information regarding the non-U.S. citizens who are traveling to Sanford Lab for Fermilab project-related meetings to the foreign visits and assignments specialist in the Director’s Office (

I am bringing a friend who is a non-U.S. citizen to see a cultural event in Ramsey Auditorium. Do I need to identify anyone?

No, the auditorium is a public area of Fermilab, so there’s no need to provide notification. Enjoy the show!

Who can be a point-of-contact (POC)?

Anyone with a Fermilab ID badge can be a POC as long as they are fully aware of the responsibilities associated with being a POC. Please refer to the Policy on Access to Fermilab.

Can my roommate obtain an ID badge if she comes to pick me up after work each day?

No, ID badges are reserved for individuals coming to perform work at Fermilab and for authorized guests who reside in the Village. Your roommate may pick you up during public hours. If it’s after public hours, you must contact the Security Office (ext. 3414) and notify them of her arrival.

Can I have a taxi or Uber pick me up after hours?

Yes, but be sure to notify the Security Office (ext. 3414) to ensure that the guards are aware of their arrival so they can get you to your destination quicker.

*The first column, Site access, badging and you, reviewed nearly everything you need to know about badging, including who should and does have access to certain areas of the lab. The second column in the series, User or visitor: which is sweeter? outlined the distinction between users and visitors and why it’s important to understand the differences.

Tim Meyer is the Fermilab chief operating officer.