Technology Alert List

The Technology Alert List (TAL) is no longer publicly posted by the Department of State. The list below is based on the most recently published version from 2002, and it may have changed recently.


Referrals for so-called “Mantis” Security Advisory Opinion (SAO) Referrals are one type of visa “administrative processing, and can happen to applicants from any country. They tend to happen to applicants from certain countries more often.  Citizens of China, and Russia with background in one of the fields below are often referred for a Mantis SAO.


(1) CONVENTIONAL MUNITIONS: Warheads, explosives, or other large caliber projectiles.


(2) NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY: Nuclear physics and/or nuclear engineering used in the development of nuclear materials for both peaceful and military applications.


(3) ROCKET SYSTEMS: Ballistic Missile Systems, Unmanned Air Vehicles, and space launch vehicles.


(4) ROCKET SYSTEMS AND UNMANNED AIR VEHICLE SUBSYSTEMS: Propulsion technologies, solid rocket motor stages, liquid propellant engines, re-entry vehicles, guidance sets, thrust vector controls, and warhead arming technologies.


(5) NAVIGATION, AVIONICS AND FLIGHT CONTROL USEABLE IN ROCKET SYSTEMS AND UNMANNED AIR VEHICLES: Internal navigation systems, tracking and homing devices, accelerometers and gyroscopes, flight control systems, and global positioning systems.

(6) CHEMICAL, BIOTECHNOLOGY AND BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING: Biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, immunology, virology, bacteriology, mycology, toxicology, genetic engineering, recombinant DNA technology, pathogenecity, microencapsulation, chemical engineering, neurochemistry, pharmaceutical production technology.

(7) REMOTE SENSING, IMAGING AND RECONNAISSANCE: Remote sensing satellites,high resolution radar, imagery instruments, photogrammetry.

(8) ADVANCED COMPUTER/MICRO-ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY: Supercomputing, speech processing systems, neural networks, data fusion, quantum wells, superconductivity, optoelectronics, acoustic wave devices, superconducting electron devices, flash discharge type x-ray systems, frequency synthesizers, microcomputer compensated crystal oscillators.

(9) MATERIALS TECHNOLOGY: High performance metals, alloys, and ceramics associated with military applications.

(10) INFORMATION SECURITY: Cryptography, cryptographic systems.

(11) LASER AND DIRECTED ENERGY SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY: High and low energy lasers, directed and kinetic energy systems, optoelectronics, optical tracking, high speed pulse generation, magnetohydrodynamics.

(12) SENSORS AND SENSOR TECHNOLOGY: Marine acoustics, optical sensors, night vision devices, gravity meters, high speed photographic equipment, magnetometers.

(13) MARINE TECHNOLOGY: Submarines and submersibles, undersea robots, marine propulsion systems, signature recognition, acoustic and non acoustic detection.

(14) ROBOTICS: Artificial intelligence, automation, computer-controlled machine tools, pattern recognition technologies.

(15) URBAN PLANNING: Architecture, civil engineering, community development, environmental planning, geography, housing, landscape architecture, urban design.

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