International Travel Guidance for DOI Employees
DOI Guidance for Official International Travel
International travel preparations take several weeks to complete, so travelers should begin the necessary steps as soon as possible. Office of the Secretary personnel can direct questions to the DOI Office of International Affairs Director, Karen Senhadji (202-208-5479), or in her absence David Downs (202-641-7440) or Barb Pitkin (202-510-0753). Bureau personnel may wish to confer with their own international office/ program to determine if additional guidelines or routing are necessary. In addition, travelers may wish to direct specific questions to the particular points of contact listed for the steps below.
REQUIRED for All DOI International Travelers:
- Submit DOI International Travel Clearance Form (DI-1175). All DOI employees must submit an electronic International Travel Clearance Form (DI-1175) 60-180 days before travel departure date, for all international destinations including cross border travel locations and same day travel to Mexico and Canada. The link to the international travel form can be found here: ForeignTravelForms. Please note: If you are outside a DOI or bureau office network, Pulse Secure (VPN) is required to access the form. For travel by political appointees, even if you have permission from your leadership, please notify Karen Senhadji as soon as you learn of the planned travel to facilitate timely reporting and approvals for your trip. Note that all political appointee travel MUST be routed to and approved by the DOI Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of Staff.
- Request your official passport and/or visa. All DOI employees traveling on official business must do so on an official passport. This is required per both DOI and State Department policy and applies even when just crossing the border for the day or traveling to and from a U.S. territory. Note that an official passport (brown cover) is distinct from a tourist/personal passport (navy blue cover) and that application procedures and guidance differ for each. Passport and visa information that you may find on public-facing Department of State or foreign embassy websites is for tourist passports and visas, and additional steps or different requirements may be applicable to official passports and visas. It normally takes 6-8 weeks to obtain an official passport, and an additional 1-3 weeks to obtain each visa from foreign governments, so travelers must begin this process as soon as possible. To obtain an official passport (new/renewal), an official visa, or to give notification of all travel in order to retrieve an official passport stored by the DOI Passports and Visas Division, please contact the INT Passport and Visa Division with a draft copy of the DI-1175 international travel clearance form or a Concur (link is external) travel authorization as soon as you know you will need to travel (to all countries, including Canada). The Passports and Visas Division will provide you with guidance on which forms and supplementary materials to complete and submit for processing. The DOI Passports and Visas Division can be contacted at tel. 202-208-5292, or fax 202-219-9822. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please see the web page of the Passports and Visa Division of the Office of International Affairs.
- Complete required State Department security training. The Department of State requires that all U.S. government personnel travelling internationally on official business take the online Counter-Threat Awareness Training (CT401/CTAT-formerly known as HSTOS training) before departure. Travelers anticipating international travel can register to take the course directly (at no charge) with State Department/Bureau of Diplomatic Security Registrar. They should send an email with a completed SF-182 (and contractor memorandum, if applicable) to DS-Registrar@state.gov. Please start this process as soon as you anticipate your travel, as the registration process can take some time.
- Request electronic country clearance (eCC) from the State Department. All U.S. government travelers who travel on official business internationally must receive approval from the local U.S. Embassy to enter the country. The Electronic Country Clearance must be obtained by submitting an eCC request to the State Department at least two weeks prior to travel. Please contact your bureau or office international travel coordinator for further instructions.
- Review State Department guidance on travel. Travelers should consult the State Department travel destinations website for information relevant to their destination, and to learn about any travel alerts or warnings. It is highly recommended that all travelers register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
- Review COVID-19 Requirements. Please note that countries may apply additional travel restrictions and requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic; check specific State Department guidance for the relevant foreign country and be prepared for requirements for re-entry requirements into the United States.
- Check for and get necessary immunizations. Plan ahead—immunizations may take several weeks to take effect, and some must be administered independently of one another. Each traveler’s medical and health concerns will vary. It is highly prudent to compare one’s individual health status/concerns with the details available from the Center for Disease Control, and to consult a medical professional.
- Notify DOI law enforcement/security office regarding travel by PAS (Senate-confirmed) appointees. Please note, the Office of Law Enforcement and Security (OLES) must be informed of international travel by PAS (Senate Confirmed) appointees.
- Notify your personnel security branch if traveling internationally with a Security Clearance (Secret, Top Secret, SCI). This includes personal travel.
- Be aware of DOI polices on international travel with electronics. The DI-1175 travel approval form includes a place to specify whether you wish to bring government-furnished electronic equipment with you. Once your bureau has approved your 1175, that will go to the attention of your organization's IT support / Associate Director for Information Resources, who will provide guidance on any security requirements. For background, visit the DOI International Travel with Electronics Advisory Site (link is external) which contains more information on travelling with electronics, including the official memo for the Department of the Interior Security Requirements for International Travelers and the use of Electronics on International Travel.
- Ensure compliance with all other federal/DOI travel requirements. In addition to international travel requirements, DOI employees must also complete all of the same documentation and approval procedures that are in place for domestic travel, including compliance with federal travel regulations (i.e. use of U.S. owned airlines to and from the continental U.S; when different classes of travel are permitted and when layovers for travel are allowed etc.) and completion of a travel authorization. (These travel requirements are administered by the Office of Financial Management and are documented in the Departmental Manual Chapter 347 and the DOI Temporary Duty Travel Policy Guidance document.)
RECOMMENDED for all DOI International Travelers
- Confirm health insurance coverage. Travelers should verify international coverage through their personal medical insurance representative, since not all carriers provide coverage overseas. Please note that State Department posts are increasingly requiring U.S. Government travelers to provide proof of medical evacuation insurance to obtain electronic country clearance (eCC). The State Department has provided a list of providers for this service which can be reimbursed as a voucher expense. The traveler should make sure that the coverage purchased meets the criteria for the coverage required by the relevant post.
- Notify bank and credit card companies of travel. Some banks or credit cards may close an account if they notice unexpected overseas activity. Travelers should contact their bank and credit card companies beforehand to provide the destination and dates of travel, as well as to inquire about any foreign transaction fees that may be applied if the credit or debit card is used outside of the U.S., and whether cards may require the use of a longer pin number or chip.
- Consult the latest exchange rate. Exchange rates fluctuate. There are many Internet sources to determine the most current exchange rate, such as Currency Converter (link is external).
- Consider requirements for electrical outlets. Other countries use a number of outlets that are not compatible with standard U.S. electronic devices. There are many internet sources which indicate if adapters are needed, such as the European Union standards site (link is external).
- Consider the time difference. There are many Internet sources to determine the time difference between your home and destination, such as the World Clock site (link is external).
Department and Bureau International Travel Contacts
Please note that bureau employees must work with their bureau's International Office Travel Contacts to process all of the documents listed above according to their bureau's policy. Office of the Secretary and PMB Employees should contact the DOI Office of International Affairs (INT).
DOI employees traveling for the International Technical Assistance Program: To learn more about the ITAP travel process of DOI employees, read "DOI-ITAP Travel Process for Bureau Employees".
Additional Links and Forms
Last updated November 2022.