Foreign Travel

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Foreign travel must comply with regulations from Stanford, the Department of Energy, and the Department of State. To make sure you are in full agreement with the policies relevant to your travel, familiarize yourself with the information and resources below. If you have any questions you can contact

Official Foreign Travel Definition

SLAC National Laboratories individuals must receive SLAC and/or DOE approval to conduct official international travel prior to departure. This includes travel to Mexico and Canada.  The term "official" international travel is defined by DOE as:

"Official" International Travel - Approved travel (whether wholly or partly on official business) meeting any of the following criteria:

  • Travel from the United States, which includes the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories and possessions of the United States, to a foreign country (including Canada and Mexico).
  • Travel between international countries, by persons, including foreign nationals, whose salaries or travel expenses or both will ultimately be funded in whole or in part by DOE from its appropriations.
  • International travel funded by non-DOE sources for which the traveler represents SLAC, or the DOE, or conducts business on behalf of the U.S. Government.


Official International Travel requests must be submitted 35 calendar days prior to the date of departure. For more information contact Travel@SLAC


Foreign Travel Management System (FTMS)

The Foreign Travel Management System (FTMS) is a DOE-wide centralized system for recording, tracking, and securing approvals of all foreign travel conducted by DOE Federal employees and contractors. In order for DOE Federal employees and contractors to conduct international travel, the trip request must be entered and approved in FTMS.  Prior to final approval within FTMS, country clearance must be obtained from the respective country(ies) to be visited.


For more information visit DOE’s Office of Management Travel Page 

Fly America Act

The traveler must follow the Fly America Act; use a U.S. flag carrier to the extent that such service is available - even if this service is not the lowest cost (Note: A U.S. carrier means the ticket has a U.S. carrier's flight number. A code-share agreement does not automatically qualify a flight as a U.S. Carrier. You can read about the exceptions by visiting Fly America Act and Open Skies Agreement.

Pre-Trip Approval

Submit a foreign pre-trip request in Concur. This will route your request through the Foreign Travel Management System (FTMS) by Travel @ SLAC. Your trip request will approved in Concur by Travel @ SLAC once your approval is attained from DOE and the Department of State through the FTMS. Please note:

  • Foreign travel paid by non-SLAC entities or non-DOE funds still require foreign pre-trip request approval.
  • If you plan on conducting business while on vacation, you may need to fill out a foreign pre-trip request. For more information, please refer to the Foreign Travel Policy Memo and FAQ.
  • Trips to some select countries require that you receive additional mandatory training as a pre-requisite to the Department of State approving your trip. Please view our Security Training page for more information on these mandatory trainings.
  • If you are traveling to a Sensitive Country, it may take longer than normal to get your trip approved.
  • Current list of sensitive countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Cuba, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Macau, Mali, Moldova, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and Yemen.
  • Effective immediately, travel to China and Taiwan must have DOE/HEP/BES funding. Any trips funded by a Chinese host will not be approved. In addition, the traveler is required to provide an official briefing after their trip. This official briefing should include names of people met during the trip, purpose of the trip, and any outcomes or actions. Please use our briefing form when creating your briefing. SLAC Travel Office will then forward the briefing to the Office of Science. 

Travel Preparation

Egencia is SLAC's preferred booking tool, and is recommended for travelers due to its negotiated rates, compatibility with Concur, and built in International SOS feed. Visit our Booking page for more information on using Egencia.

If you need an internationally-enabled smart phone, please complete the Cellular Phone Request Form and contact for more information. Note that you will need an approved travel request to receive a loaner phone.

If your trip contains personal travel, be sure to pull a flight comparison for the business dates of your trip. This will be necessary later in order to get reimbursed for your airfare in Concur. Also note that personal travel in conjunction with foreign travel may not exceed a two business days to one personal day ratio (2:1). Please refer to the travel guidelines for more information.

Here are some useful travel links for resources you can use before or during your trip abroad:

Travel Re-Approval

Please inform the Travel@SLAC when there is any change to your original travel plans. Deviations from the approved travel authorization may require re-approval by the DOE and U.S. State Department. In particular:

  • Change of travel dates
  • Change and/or addition of country

CERN - Reduced rates and approved hotels

SLAC applies reduced rates for trips to CERN: Lodging at $150; Meals & Incidentals at $75.

The U.S. State Department maintains a list of approved hotels in the CERN area. Hotel lodging outside of the CERN hostel and the approved list may result in the State Department not granting country clearance (eCC) for your trip (i.e. trip disapproved). If you can't get lodging in the SLAC apartments, please book at the CERN hostel or within the approved list.

Visa Assistance

Contact CIBT if you need assistance with obtaining a visa for the country you are traveling to.

Awareness of Safety and Health Issues of Foreign Country

Please ensure that you are aware of safety and health issues of the country you are visiting. Check with your physician or the SLAC Occupational Health Center (OHC) at x2281 for health advise and for necessary vaccinations.

For more detailed information, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC): Travelers Health and Vaccinations.

Travel Guidelines

Visit travel guidelines and FAQ's for more policy and procedures information.

DOE Contracting Officer’s Official Travel Letter