Foreign Travel

Some research participants have the opportunity to travel internationally during their appointment. 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. 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) 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 departure.)
  • Medical Facilities and Health Information
  • Medical Insurance

*Foreign Nationals cannot register with the U.S. Embassy, but should review the information on the International Travel section prior to commencement of travel to become familiar with country entry/exit and other requirements.

Airfare for Foreign Travel

ORAU’s 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.

The Fly America Act requires federal travelers to use a United States air carrier service for all air travel and cargo transportation services funded by the United States Government.

One exception to this requirement is transportation provided under a bilateral or multilateral air transport agreement, to which the United States Government and the government of a foreign country are parties, and which the Department of Transportation has determined meets the requirements of the Fly America Act.

The United States Government has entered into several air transport agreements that allow federal funded transportation services for travel and cargo movements to use foreign air carriers under certain circumstances. ORAU will only allow the use of these agreements when approved prior to travel. The restrictions and allowances can be complicated and an experienced manager must approve the routing prior to ticket purchase.

There are currently four bilateral/multilateral “Open Skies Agreements” with the EU, Australia, Switzerland and Japan (U.S. Government Procured Transportation) in effect. Visit for details.

The rights given to airlines concerning U.S Government procured transportation under the Open Skies Agreement do not apply to transportation obtained or funded by the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of a military department.

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.