Foreign Travel

International travel consists of travel from the U.S. (including Alaska, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories and possessions of the U.S.) to a foreign country or travel between foreign countries.

Your letter of appointment will detail your options to travel internationally. Requirements may vary depending on the sponsoring agency. Please visit the appropriate section below for additional information.

Programs operating under the Oak Ridge Associated Universities ORISE contract with the Department of Energy (DOE) must adhere to the requirements set forth in DOE Order 550.1 Official Travel.

For travel that is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and DOE facilities, a complete and accurate Request for Authorization of Foreign Travel (RAFT) must be submitted to Travel Central at least 45 days prior to the departure date. Travel Central’s foreign travel specialist will provide the RAFT form to you, and will assist you with its completion.

It is recommended that you notify Travel Central of upcoming foreign travel at least 45 days before your proposed departure date, even if you do not know trip details. Travel must be approved before incurring any expenses in order to receive reimbursement.

The traveler shall not incur any cost or depart on foreign travel until officially informed by Travel Central that the travel has been approved by DOE.

Re-approval by DOE is required when substantial changes are made either before or after final approval. Substantial changes include but are not limited to the addition of one or more countries or a change in trip sensitivity from non-sensitive to sensitive. Please notify Travel Central of any changes to your trip as soon as you become aware of the change.

For additional information regarding Foreign Travel for DOE-Sponsored Programs, please see the ORISE Participant Travel Guide.

Safety and Security During Foreign Travel

Foreign Travel - Mandatory Overseas Training

ORISE participants who will be traveling outside the U.S. for more than 30 days are required to take security training prior to travel.

The following country specific information should be reviewed at International Travel on the U.S. State Department’s Travel Site:

  • Country entry/exit requirements
  • Passport requirements
  • Visa requirements
  • Required inoculations
  • Travel alerts or warnings (If active, you should use caution and consider postponing your travel when possible. Please check this often prior to your departure.)
  • Medical facilities and health information
  • Medical insurance

Foreign Nationals cannot register with the U.S. Embassy, but can use this website prior to commencement of travel to become familiar with country entry/exit and other requirements.

Airfare for Foreign Travel

Our contracted Travel Agency MUST purchase all airfare for foreign trips in order to ensure compliance with the Fly America Act. If you purchase your own ticket, you are taking the risk that the cost may not be reimbursed.

Per Diem for Foreign Travel

Foreign travel per diem rates and foreign per diem meal breakdowns to deduct any meals that are provided while on travel can be found on the U.S. Department of State websites linked below.

Preparing for foreign travel can be an exciting time, but it is important to note that there are additional items/regulations that may be required for this type of travel.

  • Passport – must be valid at least six months from the return date of the trip
  • Enrollment in the Smart Travel Enrollment Program (STEP) https://step.state.gov/ STEP, free of charge to U.S. citizens, allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you with important country specific information. This registration can assist you in case of a major crisis or emergency.

The following country specific information should be reviewed at International Travel on the U.S. State Department’s Travel Site:

  • Country entry/exit requirements
  • Passport requirements
  • Visa requirements
  • Required inoculations
  • Travel alerts or warnings (If active, you should use caution and consider postponing your travel when possible. Please check this often prior to your departure.)
  • Medical facilities and health information
  • Medical insurance

Foreign Nationals cannot register with the U.S. Embassy, but can use this website prior to commencement of travel to become familiar with country entry/exit and other requirements.

Airfare for Foreign Travel

Our contracted Travel Agency, Travel Leaders Corporate or TLC, MUST purchase all airfare for foreign trips in order to ensure compliance with the Fly America Act. If you purchase your own ticket, you are taking the risk that the cost may not be reimbursed.

Per Diem for Foreign Travel

Foreign travel per diem rates and foreign per diem meal breakdowns to deduct any meals that are provided while on travel can be found on the US Department of State websites linked below.

Conference Approval (For DOE-Sponsored Participants Only)

Additional approvals are required for participants sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and DOE facilities.

Conferences subject to DOE conference management guidance are also often referred to by names other than “conference.” Other common terms used include conventions, expositions, symposiums, seminars, workshops, or exhibitions. Indicia of a formal conference often include but are not limited to registration, registration fees, a published substantive agenda, and scheduled speakers or discussion panels. Individual events may qualify as conferences without meeting all of the indicia listed above, but will generally meet some of them.

Local events within the local duty location that do not require advance travel authorization may also qualify as a conference if the event exhibits other key indicia of a conference, especially the payment of a registration, exhibitor, sponsor, or conference fee.

All conference attendance requests, including virtual conferences, will be entered by ORISE into the DOE Conference Management System on your behalf once you have submitted a Travel Request Form. You will be notified by Travel Central when your attendance request has been approved.

When traveling to a conference or requesting approval to attend a conference, you must submit the Travel Request no less than 60 days in advance from the conference start date or as soon as you are aware that you may attend a conference. Note that some conferences may be “locked out” well in advance of the 60-day deadline; advance submission does not necessarily guarantee that your conference attendance will be approved. You should not book your travel or incur any travel or conference-related expenses prior to receiving notification from Travel Central that DOE has approved your conference attendance.

All requests for conference attendance approval should be made through Travel Central. Do not ask DOE hosting office to approve your conference attendance. You will not be reimbursed for expenses if the conference was not pre-approved by Travel Central.

There may be times when you may have the opportunity to add personal travel to appointment-related travel.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering adding personal travel:

  • The primary purpose of the travel must be appointment-related and personal travel must be incidental to the appointment requirement. Expenses for lodging, M&IE  and other associated travel costs will not be reimbursed for locations other than the city of business.
  • When personal travel is combined with appointment-related travel, an airfare simulation must be obtained on the same day of ticketing that reflects the lowest available airfare to meet the business travel need. The traveler will be responsible for any increase in airfare and other expenses due to the addition of personal travel and the increase in costs will be deducted on the Expense Report.
  • If an airfare simulation is not completed on the same day of ticketing, the traveler will be responsible for a proportionate part of their airfare cost equal to the number of days on personal travel as determined by Travel Central. 

Example:
Total number of travel days 10 | Business days 7 | Personal days 3

The program would pay/reimburse 70% of the airfare cost and the participant would pay for the remaining 30%.