Keep in mind that export control regulations also require a license for the release of certain items, technology, or information to persons from other countries while they are located in the United States. This concept is known as the "deemed export rule." Consequently, before you hire or engage a foreign national to work with certain sponsored programs or in certain secure areas, you need to be aware of the implications of export control laws on employment.

If you have export control questions related to hiring a non-immigrant holding a temporary visa, contact International Student and Scholar Services at (205) 934-3328. You will be working with staff there to process the necessary visa paperwork, and they can provide more detailed information as it relates to your situation.

In completing the visa application, the International Student and Scholar Services office will need to know if the prospective employee's department (or any department that he or she will be working with) uses, produces, or maintains items, technology, or information that is subject to export control restrictions. In addition, you will need to provide the prospective employee's nationality, as well as his or her anticipated duties and access privileges. 

HiringYou can determine whether or not particular technology is restricted by reviewing the applicable lists of controlled technologies maintained by EAR and ITAR or by contacting the manufacturer of specific devices. An alpha-numeric classification, known as an Export Control Classification Number, or ECCN, has been ascribed to controlled technologies. EAR's Commerce Control List (CCL) can be found at; ITAR's U.S. Munitions List (USML) can be found at It is advisable for each department to maintain an inventory of any restricted technology that it uses, maintains, or develops.

The ECCN can also be obtained by using Visual Compliance, an online export controls compliance application to which UAB subscribes. Access to Visual Compliance can be obtained by contacting the University Compliance Office. In addition, federal law requires UAB to ensure that it does not undertake business dealings with an individual or entity listed on the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) and Blocked Persons List.

The OFAC SDN list includes:

  • Terrorists
  • Terrorist supporters
  • International narcotics traffickers and
  • Those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  

Therefore, UAB is legally required to comply with the OFAC requirements by screening employees against the SDN list. This will be accomplished using Visual Compliance when your department submits the visa application documentation to the International Student and Scholar Services office.


A license is necessary if the foreign national is likely to come into contact with restricted technologies and that person is from a country to which the restriction of that specific technology applies. So, you must first determine if the department where the foreign national will be working uses or maintains restricted technology. Next, you must determine if the employee is likely to encounter the restricted technology. This evaluation should be done on a case by case basis, taking the particular function of the prospective employee and the operational environment of the department into careful consideration.

  • If it is determined that the prospective employee will have access to restricted technology, then you must look to see if the export restrictions on that technology apply to his or her home country.
  • This can be done by entering the ECCN for the restricted technology into Visual Compliance, a database accessible by the University Compliance Office.
  • Even if you determine that the prospective employee is likely to encounter restricted technology, you still have options. 
  • For instance, you could evaluate the feasibility of erecting access controls to block the prospective employee's access to the restricted technology and develop a Technology Control Plan Plan
  • Your department could also determine that hiring the employee is simply too expensive, difficult, or time consuming and decide not to proceed with the petition.
  • Only if your department determines that the prospective employee needs access to the restricted technology and that the employee will add sufficient value to the institution, does it have to obtain a license.

Depending on the timeframe of the hire and the visa processing, there is a good chance that the employee will arrive before the license granting him or her access to the restricted technology. Therefore, your department should have a plan for controlling access to any such technology until it obtains the license. Since the license application process is long and complicated, you should contact the University Compliance Office for assistance as early as possible in the process. It usually takes several months to obtain an export license after filing, so it is important to start the process as soon as it is determined that a license is necessary. Once the application is made, the status of the license can be tracked.