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NPR 9710.1
Effective Date: June 20, 2018
Expiration Date: June 20, 2024
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: General Travel Requirements (Updated with Change 2 June 28, 2021)

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Financial Officer

| TOC | ChangeHistory | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | Chapter8 | Chapter9 | Chapter10 | AppendixA | ALL |

Chapter 7. Foreign Travel

7.1 Foreign Travel Overview

7.1.1 The Office of International and Interagency Relations (OIIR) is responsible for review and coordination of all foreign travel by NASA personnel (see NPD 9710.1). OIIR has delegated most review and final approval of Center foreign travel to the NASA Centers. OIIR will coordinate, review, and approve all Headquarters foreign travel, which includes non-program travel and travel to designated countries by all NASA personnel. Additionally, OIIR will review and concur on all non-program foreign travel to designated countries by all NASA personnel subject to paragraph 7.2 and NASA astronaut appearances requiring international travel. Each Center Director and Headquarters as a Center will appoint a Foreign Travel Coordinator to serve as a single point of contact. Foreign Travel Coordinators are responsible for ensuring compliance with all applicable Federal and NASA foreign travel policies and procedures. Center Foreign Travel Coordinators will electronically submit foreign travel requests to OIIR for review and concurrence. Center Foreign Travel Coordinators shall additionally provide weekly electronic foreign travel reports to the OIIR Foreign Travel Managing Official no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time each Monday. Such reports will conform to the standard format prescribed by OIIR and include the name of the traveler, city and country to be visited, dates of travel, e-Country Clearance (ECC) approval date, and purpose. Foreign travel reports will cover all received and projected travel requests for a four-week period beginning with the week the report is submitted to OIIR.

7.1.2 Foreign Program Travel is travel that is related to supporting a relationship and/or activities between NASA and a foreign government or entity that are governed by an existing International Space Act agreement, e.g., Memorandum of Understanding, letter agreement, or a contract which requires the foreign travel. Examples are activities that are required to implement a specific program, such as the International Space Station, or project, such as the Mars 2020 mission, and include flight readiness and design reviews, joint science/mission working groups, technical interchange meetings, launch and landing, and vendor meetings on specific contracts, etc. The program, project agreement, and/or contract in question should be referenced in the paperwork supporting the request for permission to travel.

7.1.3 All travel not described in paragraph 7.1.2 is non-program foreign travel and will require a NASA form 1167 for the entire trip. Non-program foreign travel is travel for the purposes of attending conferences, symposia, and workshops (such as the International Astronautical Congress or the American Geophysics Union), or conducting exploratory dialogues or preliminary discussions on the potential cooperative projects or activities with foreign entities, in advance of an International Space Act Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding, letter agreement, or contract. In instances where a particular trip mixes "program" and "non-program" purposes, the procedures for "non-program" travel are to be followed (i.e., a NASA Form 1167 is required for the entire trip).

Note: Certain statutory provisions prohibit more than 50 NASA employees from attending a single conference occurring outside the U.S. In order to ensure compliance with this requirement, Officials-in-Charge shall ensure prompt and timely submission of foreign travel requests, consistent with 41 CFR §301-2.1 and proper use of the NASA Conference Tracking System. OIIR will determine appropriate allocations for each international conference that may exceed the 50 Federal employee limit. These allocations will reflect conference focus and Agency strategic communication interests. For additional details on conference attendance and related policies, refer to NPR 9770.

7.2 Authorization and Approval of Foreign Travel

7.2.1 All official program and non-program foreign travel by NASA personnel, regardless of purpose, requires that NASA request a "country clearance" through the Department of State. OIIR has delegated this function to the Foreign Travel Coordinators at the NASA Centers and Headquarters. In order to receive country clearance for official travel, the Department of State requires that all U.S. Government personnel traveling overseas to certain countries complete the High Threat Security Overseas training prior to commencing official program and/or non-program foreign travel over a five-year period. Foreign travel will not be approved without completion of all required training and receipt of a country clearance. Employees shall consult with their Foreign Travel Coordinator for additional information including which countries are subject to this requirement. Additionally, the following forms will be submitted in advance as applicable to the Foreign Travel Coordinator for review and coordination (advance notification timelines are detailed in paragraph 7.2.4, a minimum of four weeks in advance).

a. Advance Notification Form.

b. Travel Authorization (See Paragraph 2.1).

c. NASA Form 1676, NASA Scientific and Technical Information (STI) Document Availability Authorization (DAA) or for electronic submissions: https://inside.nasa.gov/sti/center-specific-info.

d. NASA Form 1167, Request for Approval of Foreign Training, Non-Program Travel of Gifts of Travel From Non-Federal Sources. Where required pursuant to paragraph 7.1.1, OIIR concurrence will be achieved before the Foreign Travel Coordinator submits country clearance requests. Such concurrence will be made within five business days, or Foreign Travel Coordinators may assume OIIR concurrence. This timeline will be suspended if OIIR requests additional information.

7.2.2 Program and non-program foreign travel requests in accordance with paragraph 7.2.1 should be submitted to Foreign Travel Coordinators four weeks before the planned departure date. Justification for travel requests received ten working days or less before planned departure requires the signature of the Center Director or designated senior individual at the employee's NASA facility. There will be a presumption of denial for any foreign travel request received ten days or less before a planned departure. Final approval is contingent upon receipt of country clearance from the Department of State.

7.2.3 In the event that the employee's intended foreign travel is denied by the Center Foreign Travel Coordinator, NASA Headquarters, or OIIR, the reason for denial will be provided, and the trip will either be cancelled or rescheduled, depending upon the circumstances. All rescheduled or amended foreign travel will require a new travel request. Foreign Travel Coordinators will keep travelers apprised of the status of their travel requests.

7.2.4 Employees engaged in foreign travel should be aware of the following requirements:

a. Foreign travel involving support from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, discussions with senior representatives of foreign governmental organizations or discussions related to potential international cooperation: the traveler should coordinate with OIIR prior to submitting a request for foreign travel. Travel for activities that would require an international agreement may be denied or postponed pending review of the proposed activity or negotiation and execution of an international agreement.

b. Travelers who hold special security clearances such as NASA Special Access Program (SAP) or Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), should advise the appropriate program security officer or the NASA Special Security Officer (SSO) 30 days prior to travel. If the traveler is unsure whether or not he/she holds such access, which imposes this requirement, they should contact the Office of Protective Services at NASA Headquarters.

c. Foreign travel, regardless of duration and security clearance, may require a security/counterintelligence pre-brief and/or subsequent debrief, depending upon the country. If an employee is performing extended foreign travel, he or she shall complete the Mandatory Personal Security Training for ETDY.

d. NASA information technology (IT) assets (including laptops and smartphones) that process NASA sensitive-but-unclassified (SBU) information or use NASA accounts, should be taken outside of the United States only with authorization from the Center Chief Information Officer (CIO) or his or her designee. NASA IT assets include all assets permanently assigned to an individual, as well as short-term "loaner" devices provided for travel or other purposes.

e. NASA employees, contractors, or other individuals traveling with NASA IT assets shall observe the following guidelines when entering or exiting the United States or any other country: if U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Protection (CBP) personnel, foreign policy, or border agents request that a NASA asset be surrendered and/or that the user provide an access password, the user should inform the U.S. CBP personnel, foreign police, or border agents that the asset is the property of the U.S. Government and surrender the asset and/or provide the requested passwords.

f. Regardless of whether the NASA IT asset was or was not returned to the employee, contractor, or other individuals traveling with NASA IT assets, the NASA user shall notify the NASA Security Operations Center (SOC) of the incident as soon as possible. Seized devices should not be connected to the NASA network until further instruction is received from the SOC.

7.2.5 For ETDY, the Department of State requires the Chief of Mission (COM) to ensure that all U.S. Government civil service employees and U.S. Government contractors traveling to posts on permanent assignment, or TDY of 31 or more consecutive days in a year, complete mandatory security training, including but not limited to the Department of State threat-based overseas training referred to in paragraph 7.2.1. and any other training required. The training is required every five years. All requests for country clearance will be contingent upon completion of this training, and clearance request for employees who have not met this requirement may be denied and travel may not take place. The employee's Foreign Travel Coordinator and/or Center Human Resources Office will have training date/venue information.

7.2.6 Sponsored or invitational travel such as instances where a foreign entity pays or reimburses the cost of travel for speeches, appearances, or presentations, will require approval from the Center Director or their designee. Foreign Travel Coordinators will obtain OIIR concurrence. The cognizant official will request approval using NASA Form 1167 and shall communicate the approval to accept such an invitation to the traveler, after review by OIIR. Employees authorized to accept such an invitation will be considered on duty status during such time. Approval will be confirmed by preparation of the travel authorization. Submittal of the Form 1167 is due at the same time the rest of the foreign travel notification package is submitted in accordance with paragraphs 7.2.1. and 7.2.2., at least four weeks in advance.

7.2.7 All NASA Scientific and Technical Information (STI) and NASA-funded STI proposed to be released by or on behalf of NASA, such as into the public domain, presented at conferences, or meeting where foreign persons may be present, shall be reviewed in accordance with NPR 2200.2D, "Requirements for Documentation, Approval, and Dissemination of NASA Scientific and Technical Information" and as described on the Agency's STI Web site.

7.2.8 It is the responsibility of every NASA traveler to comply with U.S. export control laws and regulations. NPR 2190.1 provides basic procedures and requirement for fulfilling NASA's obligation to comply with all U.S. export control laws and regulations in its transfers of commodities, software, technical data, technology, equipment, non-public data and/or defense services, and/or technical assistance to foreign parties, including foreign contractors or U.S. representatives of foreign persons, in the course of approved international activities.

7.2.9 If an employee is invited to speak, make an appearance, or present a paper while on foreign travel, he or she will require approval from the Center Director or his designee. Center Foreign Travel Coordinators will request concurrence of OIIR at NASA Headquarters in accordance with the mission of OIIR. The cognizant official will request approval using NASA Form 1167 and communicate the approval to accept such an invitation to the employee, after review by OIIR. Employees authorized to accept such an invitation will be considered on duty status during such time. Approval will be confirmed by preparation of the travel authorization.

7.3 Foreign Training

7.3.1 Foreign training is instruction, education, or a structured development experience provided by foreign institutions or facilities located outside the United States and its possessions. OIIR is responsible for reviewing all foreign training pursuant to NPD 3410.2.

7.3.2 To request foreign training, the employee shall first establish the availability of NASA funds for both the foreign training and travel. Once funding is established, requests are submitted to the Office of Human Capital Management at NASA Headquarters six months before the proposed date of departure. NASA Form 1167 should be prepared for submission. All foreign training will be forwarded to OIIR at NASA Headquarters for review prior to approval.

7.4 Passport and Documentation Requirements

7.4.1 Per 22 CFR §51.3(b), "An official passport is issued to an official or employee of the U.S. Government proceeding abroad in the discharge of official duties. Where appropriate, dependents of such persons may be issued official passports." Additionally, the Department of State requires that travelers on official U.S. Government business travel obtain a valid official passport. The exception to this rule is Taiwan, which requires specific considerations. (Employee shall contact his/her Center's Passport/Visa office for details). Normally, the official passport will be valid at least six months after the planned trip end date. However, there are some instances where the official passport is valid up to 12 months (e.g., multiple entries into Russia) after the planned trip end date. Additionally, visas may be required to permit entry into foreign countries to persons traveling abroad on behalf of the U.S. Government. It is the traveler's responsibility to ensure that the validity of his/her passport expiration date meets the applicable requirements and that appropriate visas have been obtained prior to travel commencing. Employees are responsible for obtaining the necessary visa(s) required for their official foreign travel.

Note: Many countries that do not require visas for U.S. citizens who travel on tourist (blue) passports often require visas for U.S. Government officials who travel on official (maroon) or diplomatic (black) passports. Employees should consult with the Department of State Web site at www.state.gov for additional information.

7.5 Returning from Foreign Travel

An employee shall complete and submit their travel voucher no later than five business days once the travel has been completed. Reports or summaries of all activities on foreign travel may be required. Should a trip report be required, OIIR will advise the traveler by e-mail or NASA Form 1167 for non-program travel and will communicate trip report requirements for program travel to the Foreign Travel Coordinator, or for HQ employees, to the employee's office or the employee directly. If the traveler is involved in an unusual incident or suspects an unusual attempt by a foreign national to collect information, the traveler is required to report the incident to the Center counterintelligence personnel immediately upon return.

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