For Applicants & Employees - Know Before You Go​

Information for Short Term Employees

The Restricted Local Access (RLA) Badge for Short-Term Staff, Summer Students and non-immigrant Foreign Nationals in the U.S. less than 3 years

The Restricted Local Access (RLA) Badge is a non-PIV Alternative Identity Credential that provides both physical and logical (NIH Network and IT systems) access. The following candidates are not eligible for an HHS Personal Identity Verification (PIV) and will instead be processed for a Restricted Local Access (RLA) Badge:

  • Short Term NIH Staff (individuals who will be employed by NIH less than six months)
  • Summer Students (RLA badges issued to these individuals expire September 30 of the year issued)
  • Foreign Nationals (who have resided in the U.S. for less than 3 years)

Purpose of the RLA Badge

​​​NIH worked with HHS to develop the RLA Badge in order to meet HSPD-12 security guidelines for individuals who do not qualify for an HHS ID Badge (PIV Card). The RLA Badge is an NIH-issued smart card that can be used for physical access to NIH facilities and logical access to NIH information systems. It looks similar to the HHS ID Badge and contains an embedded computer chip and displays an orange stripe.