For Administrators - Training, Resources & Forms for Current Staff

Incoming & Outgoing VAR Guidelines



Submit Visit Authorization Requests (VAR) to:
National Institutes of Health Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC)
Fax: 301-480-0108 
Tel: 301-402-9755  

​The Visit Authorization Request (VAR) Letter must contain the following information below and be submitted by fax or password protected email from the visitor’s Parent Agency according to the following guideline:  

    • MUST be submitted on PARENT Agency’s Letterhead 
    • MUST be signed by an authorizing signature from the SECURITY OFFICE  
    • Provide information at least 5 days in advance, 10 days for 6 or more visitors 

Visit ​Requests not submitted on proper letterhead or without a signature are subject to rejection.    

You may also download our Visit Authorization Request (VAR) Instructions, which contains the same information below.

Subject’s identifying information:

A. Name   

B. Date of Birth / Place of Birth   

C. Social Security Number (full number is necessary)  

D. Name of Agency (employer)     

Subject’s Security Clearance information: (Provided by the Agency’s Security Office)   

E. Level of Clearance granted   

F. Date Clearance was granted  

G. Clearance Granting Agency   

H. Type of Investigation completed   

I. Date Investigation was completed   

J. Investigating Agency (if different from granting agency)   

K. Ongoing Investigation Information (if applicable)     

Visit Information:

L. Purpose of visit (Please be specific about the PURPOSE to gain access to the facility)   

M. Length of visit (FORMAT: mm/dd/yyyy – mm/dd/yyyy)   

N. Point of Contact at the National Institutes of Health: include NAME, TITLE, OFFICE, PHONE, EMAIL     

NOTE: Always be mindful of Communication and Information Security when processing VARs. Never share details of VAR with those who do not have a need to know, always encrypt emails containing PII. VAR MAY CONTAIN CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION AND PII. NEVER SEND VAR LETTER VIA UNENCRYPTED CHANNELS  


​How to request a VAR for an NIH agency member who needs to visit an external agency:  

1. Review and complete the Outgoing Visit Authorization Worksheet for the NIH agency member who will be visiting external agency for classified meeting/detail. This worksheet provides instructions on what information needs to be collected regarding the visit/detail in order for DPSAC to populate the fields of the Outgoing VAR letter.
Submit the NIH VAR Worksheet to:  
National Institutes of Health Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC)
Fax: 301-480-0108 
Tel: 301-402-9755  

2. Provide at least 5-10 days for processing the VAR. Same day requests are most likely not going to be processed in time. Please note all external VAR requests for meetings that require a security clearance are processed through Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of National Security (ONS) and require at least 5-10 days notice for processing.    

3. Note that the NIH agency member may require an active National Security Clearance in order to attend classified meetings and will need to be cleared up to the level of clearance required for the meeting (i.e. Secret, Top Secret).  A background investigation should not be confused with a Security Clearance.  ​