The ATLAS User Program - Visitor Information

Site Access:

Researchers who plan to come to Argonne for an ATLAS experiment are required to complete certain forms. All ATLAS Users need to have a Guest Facilities User Agreement completed and signed (click here). The amount of lead time needed and complexity involved will depend on their status. In any case, Users should contact either Mrs. Barbara Weller ([email protected]) or the ATLAS User Liaison ([email protected]) as far in advance of their arrival as possible to find out if they need to renew their ATLAS User Status or to become ATLAS Users. If they are active ATLAS Users, their access to Argonne and ATLAS is still valid. Otherwise, please follow the instrctions as listed below.

Effective June 1, 2015 Argonne National Laboratory cannot accept regular driver's licenses (and ID cards) from the following jurisdictions: American Samoa and Minnesota. For detail information, please click here.

ATLAS Facility Access:

All access doors to the ATLAS facility are locked since January 12, 2009. As an outside user with the current completed training, you will get a temporary access card key from Barbara Weller upon your arrival. You may also get an ANL badge with an embedded access card key at the visitor center. If your training is not current, you will get the temporary access card key only after you have completed the required training. You will also need to sign a Radiation Work Permit (RWP) located in the ATLAS control room at least once a year if you plan to enter a controlled area. This requirement renews at the begining of each calendar year.

  • U.S. Citizens - This is the simplest case. A drivers license or other photo-ID is required. The visitor will need to stop by the Visitor Information Center adjacent to the main gate to pick up their temporary gate pass. Gate passes can be arranged in advance by contacting the people listed above. ATLAS Users are also encouraged to obtain an ANL photo-ID badge. Currently, all ANL employees and visitors are required to wear their badges or visitor passes in a clearly visible manner while on site.

Individuals entering the US under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):

Effective October 26, 2004, all individuals entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) must present a machine readable passport (MRP) at a U. S. Port of Entry to be admitted into the United States without a visa. Travelers without machine readable passports must obtain a non-immigrant visa at a U. S. Embassy or Consulate before gaining access to the United States.

If you are planning to come to Argonne for an experiment at ATLAS, please check your passport to make sure it is machine readable. If a family member will accompany you, each family member needs an individual passport since the MRPs typically have biodata for only one traveler in the machine-readable zone.

The following 27 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program:

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Starting January 12, 2009, Pre-Travel Authorization Required for Foreigners to Enter U.S. Under Visa-Waiver Program

The Department of Homeland Security has finalized a rule requiring all foreign nationals who wish to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to obtain permission from the Department's Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before embarking on their travel. The rule takes effect January 12, 2009.

ESTA is an automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the VWP. It requires the same information as the paper I-94W form that VWP travelers currently fill out immediately prior to their entry to the United States. ESTA was created as part of the Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Act of 2007.

ESTA applications can be completed at The website is already operational. Travel authorization is valid for two years or until the applicant's passport expires, whichever comes first. A visitor may make multiple entries to the United States during an authorized period. There is no fee for the ESTA application.

ESTA approval does not guarantee admission to the United States. In all cases, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer will still question the traveler upon entry to make a determination as to admissibility. If an individual is denied authorization under ESTA, he or she will be required to apply for a visa at a U.S. consular post abroad.

Canadians may enter the United States for business or pleasure purposes without a visa but are not part of VWP. This new requirement does not apply to them.

For more information on the Visa Waiver Program go to