3 FAM 3770 

TRAVEL TO POST(S) UNDER AUTHORIZED Departure, ORDERED DEPARTURE, suspended operations, Contingency operations Or TO UNACCOMPANIED/Partially UNaccompanied POSTS

(CT:PER-881;   10-02-2017)
(Office of Origin:  HR/ER/WLD)

3 FAM 3771  subchapter Definitions

(CT:PER-816;   05-27-2016)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Agriculture)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)
(Applies to Family Members and Members of Household)
(Applies to Locally Employed Staff)

NOTE: These definitions apply to this subchapter only.

Authorized departure:  An evacuation procedure, short of ordered departure, by which post employees and/or eligible family members are permitted to leave post in advance of normal rotation when U.S. national interests or imminent threat to life requires it.  Departure is requested by the chief of mission (COM) and approved by the Under Secretary for Management (M).

Contingency Operations:  A term used to describe countries or posts in Department of Defense-designated contingency operations areas as defined in 10 U.S.C. 101(a)(13).  See 14 FAM 241.3a.

Employee (not including locally employed staff, which are defined below):  Foreign Service and Civil Service direct-hire employees; employees working under a personal service contract (PSC) or personal service agreement (PSA).

Family member:  The categories of persons listed as eligible family members (EFMs) in 14 FAM 511.3 and any children of the employee, spouse, or domestic partner under the age of 18, whether or not such children are listed on the travel orders or approved Form OF-126, Foreign Service Residence and Dependency Report, of a sponsoring employee.

Locally employed staff (LE Staff):  The general term used for Foreign Service Nationals, as well as U.S. citizens who ordinarily reside in the host country and are subject to local labor law.  LE staff are employed at a U.S. mission, or at an office of the American Institute in Taiwan by the U.S. Government under the authority of the COM and are paid under the local compensation plan (LCP) (see 3 FAM 7120); LE staff may be hired as a direct hire, on a Personal Services Agreement (PSA), or on a Personal Services Contract).  The travel policies outlined in 3 FAM 3770 may or may not apply to LE Staff, depending on their residency status.  LE staff on temporary duty (TDY) away from their place of ordinary residence must be considered when applying the 3 FAM 3770 travel policies.

Members of household (MOHs):  Those persons who have accompanied or have joined an employee assigned abroad, who reside at post with the employee, who are other than legitimate domestic staff, and who have been declared to the chief of mission as part of his or her household (3 FAM 4180).

Official Travel:  Official travel of employees or eligible family members as outlined in 14 FAM 500.

Ordered departure:  An evacuation procedure by which the number of U.S. government employees, eligible family members, or both, at a Foreign Service post is reduced.  Ordered departure is mandatory and may be initiated by the chief of mission or the Secretary of State.

Partially unaccompanied post:  A post at which only certain categories of family members or members of household are authorized to reside (e.g., only adults over 21 years of age, or only adults and nonschool-age children).

Post:  Any Foreign Service establishment maintained by the United States abroad (see 2 FAM 111.2).

Suspended operations:  A term used to denote a U.S. mission or post that has ceased operating.  During this period, U.S. direct hire personnel are usually removed from post (often evacuated).  It is possible that some locally employed staff may remain on premises to maintain the facilities.  Diplomatic relations with the host government are usually maintained under suspended operations; it is not a revocation of diplomatic relations with the host country.  Suspended operations may be initiated by the chief of mission or Secretary of State.

Third country national:  (TCN):  Direct-hire or contractor personnel, and their eligible family members, recruited from outside the host country and relocated to the host country for employment by the U.S. Government.  The policies in this subchapter apply to TCN employees assigned to, on temporary duty (TDY) to, or employed by affected posts.

Unaccompanied post:  A post at which no family members or members of household are authorized to reside.

3 FAM 3772  Scope and background

(CT:PER-816;   05-27-2016)

3 FAM 3772.1  Scope

(CT:PER-816;   05-27-2016)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Agriculture)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)
(Applies to Family Members and Members of Household)
(Applies to Locally Employed Staff)

Pursuant to the relevant legal authorities, including the Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorism Act of 1986, 22 U.S.C. 4801 et seq., this section sets forth policies and procedures regarding prohibitions and restrictions on official and personal travel to posts in evacuation status, in suspended operations status, and in unaccompanied or partially unaccompanied status.  The security implications of official travel by legislative or judicial branch employees to posts in evacuation, unaccompanied, or suspended post status shall be considered in connection with the Department’s role to facilitate such travel.

3 FAM 3772.2  Background

(CT:PER-805;   02-04-2016)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Agriculture)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)
(Applies to Family Members and Members of Household)
(Applies to Locally Employed Staff)

a. It is inconsistent with chief of mission (COM) and Department responsibility for the security of employees on official duty abroad and their accompanying family members to permit unauthorized travel to countries/areas where the United States is engaged in contingency operations or that the Department has determined to be dangerous enough to warrant authorized departure, ordered departure, or suspended operations, or designation as unaccompanied or partially unaccompanied posts.

b. The decision to approve authorized departure, ordered departure, or suspended operations status or, designate a post unaccompanied or partially unaccompanied affects the operations of the mission and the lives of employees and their family members, including certain benefits and allowances.  Congress maintains a high level of interest in the efficiency, process, and associated costs of the administration of evacuations.  The Department must retain the confidence of Congress with respect to our policies and decisions in order to maintain operational flexibility and necessary funding levels.

c.  The Under Secretary for Management (M) has the authority to designate posts in imminent danger areas or in areas with severe hardships as "unaccompanied" or “partially unaccompanied.”  In making this determination, M takes into consideration post and geographic bureau recommendations. 

d. The Department’s paramount concern is the security and personal safety of all U.S. citizens abroad, and the Department shares with post staff the responsibility for ensuring the security of members of the entire official American community.  Travel Warnings, issued by the Bureau of Consular Affairs, routinely urge private U.S. citizens to avoid travel to countries where authorized departure, ordered departure, or suspended operations is in effect or where our posts are unaccompanied.

3 fam 3773  travel to countries where the united states is engaged in contingency operations or where operations are suspended

(CT:PER-816;   05-27-2016)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Agriculture)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)
(Applies to Family Members and Members of Household)
(Applies to Locally Employed Staff)

a. Official and personal travel (including travel by a family member for employment outside the U.S. mission) to a post or country where the United States is engaged in contingency operations or where operations have been suspended is prohibited without the formal approval of the Under Secretary for Management (M) following approval of a post policy that clearly describes appropriate restrictions and limits exceptions, in accordance with the procedures described under Waivers of Travel Prohibitions (3 FAM 3776).

b. This prohibition on travel applies to:

(1)  Official travel by all Executive Branch employees, regardless of whether their travel point of origin and/or post of assignment is domestic or foreign, other than Voice of America correspondents on official assignment and employees under the command of a U.S. area military commander (now known as a geographic combatant commander or GCC);

(2)  Official travel of LE staff, other than travel to the country where the LE staff is ordinarily resident;

(3)  Personal travel of all employees assigned abroad under chief of mission authority, regardless of whether their travel point of origin is domestic or foreign;

(4)  Personal travel of LE staff while on TDY, other than travel to the country where the LE staff is ordinarily resident;

(5)  Personal and work-related travel of family members of employees assigned abroad under chief of mission authority, regardless of whether the family member’s travel point of origin is domestic or foreign.  This policy does not apply to family members of LE staff; and,

(6)  Third-country national (TCN) staff from countries where the United States is engaged in contingency operations or where operations have been suspended must obtain COM approval for official or personal travel to or from the post.

3 fam 3774  Travel to posts under authorized Departure or ordered departure

(CT:PER-881;   10-02-2017)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Agriculture)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)
(Applies to Family Members and Members of Household)
(Applies to Locally Employed Staff)

a. Official travel to a post or country where an authorized or ordered departure is in effect is prohibited without the formal approval of the Under Secretary for Management (M) following approval of a post policy that clearly describes appropriate restrictions and limits exceptions, in accordance with the procedures described under Waivers of Travel Prohibitions (3 FAM 3776). This prohibition on official travel applies to:

(1)  Official travel by all Executive Branch employees, regardless of whether their travel point of origin and/or post of assignment is domestic or foreign, other than Voice of America correspondents on official assignment and employees under the command of a U.S. area military commander (now known as a geographic combatant commander or GCC);

(2)  Official travel of LE staff, other than travel to the country where the LE staff is ordinarily resident;

b. Third-country national (TCN) staff from countries where the post is in authorized departure or ordered departure, or is unaccompanied or partially unaccompanied, or who are assigned to such a post, must obtain COM approval for official travel to or from the post.  This requirement does not apply to LE staff who are permanently resident in the restricted location.

c.  Employees, family members, and MOHs who are away from post or who have not yet arrived to begin an assignment when an authorized or ordered departure is approved are prohibited from traveling to post without the formal approval to travel to post. These individuals may request permission by submitting a formal request to the Under Secretary for Management (M), following the procedures outlined in Waivers of Travel Prohibitions (3 FAM 3776).

d. When a post goes to authorized departure or ordered departure, a travel warning is issued by the Bureau of Consular Affairs.  The warning routinely urges private U.S. citizens to consider leaving or avoiding travel to countries where authorized or ordered departure is in effect.  Employees and their dependents considering personal travel to countries where a post is under authorized or ordered departure may not conduct such travel on an official or diplomatic passport (other than when entering or exiting the foreign country of assignment) and should refer to any Travel Warnings issued by the Bureau of Consular Affairs that are applicable to the relevant location.  Such Warnings routinely urge U.S. citizens to avoid travel to countries where authorized or ordered departure is in effect. An individual's status as an employee of the U.S. government or dependent of an employee of the U.S. government, even when not traveling on official duty, may present unique risks.

3 FAM 3775  Travel to Unaccompanied Or Partially Unaccompanied Posts

(CT:PER-816;   05-27-2016)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Agriculture)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)
(Applies to Family Members and Members of Household)

a. M may place restrictions on official travel to posts in unaccompanied status or partially unaccompanied status on a case-by-case basis.  The relevant EX office should be consulted to confirm whether such a policy is in place for a specific post.  (The availability of family visitation travel that allows employees at unaccompanied or partially unaccompanied posts to visit family members who would normally reside with the employee is explained in 3 FAM 3730.)

b. Employees and their dependents considering personal travel to countries where a post is in unaccompanied or partially unaccompanied status may not conduct such travel on an official or diplomatic passport (other than when entering or exiting the foreign country of assignment) and should refer to any Travel Warnings issued by the Bureau of Consular Affairs that are applicable to the relevant location. An individual's status as an employee of the U.S. government or dependent of an employee of the U.S. government, even when not traveling on official duty, may present unique risks.

3 FAM 3776  WAIVERS OF TRAVEL PROHIBITIONS

(CT:PER-816;   05-27-2016)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Agriculture)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)
(Applies to Family Members and Members of Household)
(Applies to Locally Employed Staff)

a. Requests for a waiver of a prohibition on travel to a country or post under authorized departure, ordered departure, suspended operations, in contingency operations, or to a post designated as unaccompanied or partially unaccompanied must initially be made to the chief of mission (COM).  The COM shall consult with the regional security office, consular officers, and other country team members as appropriate, in determining when exceptional travel may be authorized to such a post. 

b. In limited circumstances, M may delegate to the COM the authority to approve travel to and from a post under authorized departure (including travel related to rest and recuperation (R&R), home leave, annual leave, etc.) for permanently assigned employees, family members, and MOHs who do not elect authorized departure status.  M also may delegate to the COM, in limited circumstances, the authority to approve travel to post for employees who were away from post when ordered departure was approved.

c.  In situations in which the Under Secretary for Management (M) has not delegated authority to the COM, waiver requests will be forwarded to the regional bureau executive director for review and a recommendation for approval or denial.  If approved in principle by the regional bureau, the request will be forwarded to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) for clearance and returned to the regional bureau executive director for submission to M.  To provide time for the review and approval/denial process, travelers must allow a minimum of 20 working days following submission of requests to the Department for all but the most urgent medical or casualty-related travel.  Given changing conditions in these locations, requests should not be submitted to the Department more than 35 days prior to the proposed departure date.

d. For posts where operations have been suspended or countries where the United States is engaged in contingency operations: Requests for a waiver of the prohibition on official and personal travel to a post or country where operations have been suspended or countries where the United States is engaged in contingency operations must be approved by the Under Secretary for Management, who may waive the prohibition in unusual or compelling circumstances.  The request must be made initially to the regional bureau executive director for review and a recommendation for approval or denial.  If approved in principle by the regional bureau, the request will be forwarded to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) for clearance and returned to the regional bureau executive director for submission to M.  To provide time for the review and approval/denial process, travelers must allow a minimum of 20 working days following submission of requests to the Department for all but the most urgent medical or casualty-related travel.  Given changing conditions in these locations, requests should not be submitted to the Department more than 35 days prior to the proposed departure date.  Approvals for such travel can be revoked at any time by M and M can impose conditions on the traveler’s length of stay, whereabouts, and/or activities in country.  The traveler must explain in detail where he/she will reside during his/her stay; unless approved by the Under Secretary for Management, no employee, family member, or member of household may reside in State Department leased or owned facilities while operations are suspended.

3 FAM 3777  SEPARATE MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE

(CT:PER-816;   05-27-2016)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Agriculture)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)
(Applies to Family Members)

The grant of an involuntary separate maintenance allowance (ISMA) or voluntary separate maintenance allowance (VSMA) on behalf of a family member must be suspended the day that the family member arrives at post when the stay is or will be in excess of 30 consecutive days, or has exceeded or will exceed 90 days during one 12-month period.  No other allowances or benefits under these regulations may be authorized for this member of family while visiting post.  ISMA or VSMA payments may be resumed effective the day the family member departs en route to the separate maintenance allowance (SMA) point, provided the family member’s stay at the post has not exceeded 90 days within one 12-month period (Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR) 266.1).

3 FAM 3778  Security RequiremenTS and enforcement/discipline

(CT:PER-816;   05-27-2016)

3 FAM 3778.1  Security Requirements

(CT:PER-816;   05-27-2016)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Agriculture)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)
(Applies to Family Members and Members of Household)
(Applies to Locally Employed Staff)

Persons approved to travel under this chapter must abide by any applicable security restrictions and requirements at post.  Depending upon the circumstances at a particular post, travel by family members and members of household may be restricted to post facilities by post authorities, as opposed to the country at large.  Unless approved by the Under Secretary for Management, no employee, family member, member of household, or LE staff may reside in State Department leased or owned facilities at a post where operations have been suspended.

3 FAM 3778.2  Enforcement/Discipline

(CT:PER-816;   05-27-2016)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Agriculture)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)
(Applies to Family Members and Members of Household)
(Applies to Locally Employed Staff)

The Department expects all employees to make every appropriate effort to ensure that their family members, members of household (MOHs), and houseguests comply with the policies in 3 FAM 3770.  Any employee not complying with the restrictions/prohibitions contained in these policies may be subject to disciplinary action by the Department of State, or referral for disciplinary action to their parent agency.  While employees cannot be disciplined for the actions of their family members, MOHs, or houseguests, if any such people violate these policies, depending on the circumstances, employees may be subject to involuntary departure/curtailment of assignment.  In extreme cases, the Department has the authority to cancel the diplomatic, official, or no fee regular passports of offending individuals.

3 FAM 3779  Travelers in Transit and Houseguests

(CT:PER-816;   05-27-2016)

3 FAM 3779.1  Travelers in Transit

(CT:PER-816;   05-27-2016)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Agriculture)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)
(Applies to Family Members and Members of Household)
(Applies to Locally Employed Staff)

Transit of a country for official travel in which a post is under authorized departure or ordered departure, or has been designated as unaccompanied or partially unaccompanied must be avoided by employees, their family members, and members of household.  If transit is unavoidable and the traveler will transit the country via a direct connecting flight with no intention to exit the airport, post should be informed of the party's transit.  The Under Secretary for Management (M) does not, however, need to approve such cases.  If the individual is required to stay overnight at the transfer point, the person must obtain M approval following the procedures in Waivers of Travel Prohibitions (3 FAM 3776).  This approval ensures that the Department and the host mission are aware of the individual's presence and location should further emergencies arise.  M may determine that these transit procedures will apply only to an individual post that is under authorized departure or ordered departure, or has been designated as unaccompanied or partially unaccompanied when that post’s status does not affect transit through the rest of the country.  This determination will be included in the documentation that establishes the post’s status as unaccompanied or partially unaccompanied or on authorized departure or ordered departure.

3 FAM 3779.2  Houseguests

(CT:PER-816;   05-27-2016)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Agriculture)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)
(Applies to Family Members and Members of Household)
(Applies to Locally Employed Staff)

a. At posts under authorized or ordered departure and at unaccompanied or partially unaccompanied posts, the chief of mission (COM) may determine that occupancy of U.S. government properties will be limited to employees, and, as appropriate, family members on official orders, members of household, and/or domestic staff.  The presence of houseguests could strain already reduced post resources during a critical time and send a mixed signal to members of the private U.S. citizen community, whom we would be urging to depart.

b. All visitors (including relatives and in-laws) who are not otherwise subject to the travel prohibitions of this subchapter applicable to employees, family members, and members of household but who will visit employees at post and stay with them also must be cleared in advance, following the procedures in Waivers of Travel Prohibitions (3 FAM 3776).  Any requests for such a visit must be justified by unusual or compelling circumstances and address the impact the visit will have on a post operating under challenging conditions.  When compelling circumstances result in approval of a visit to post, the COM and the Under Secretary for Management may impose limits on the number of such travelers, the travelers’ length of stay at post (normally not to exceed 2 weeks), and their use of U.S. government residential facilities.

c.  Unless approved by the Under Secretary for Management, no employee, family member, member of household, or house guest may reside in State Department leased or owned facilities at a post where operations have been suspended.