The process of traveling internationally under grant funds entails steps similar to traveling domestically. Just a few additional issues must be considered so as to ensure compliance with many federally-based regulations.
1. Sponsor Authorization
Oftentimes, externally funded international travel is allowable under a grant only after advance permission for the specific trip is granted by the sponsor. Before proceeding with any steps outlined below, the traveler and ORS will confirm sponsor pre-approval.
2. Ensure Travel Budget Exists in Grant Account
Before any grant funded travel is undertaken, there must be adequate funds budgeted in the 553G category of the grant account. Please refer to your Mobius reports.
3. Incur Travel Expenses
Once the PI has confirmed adequate travel funds budgeted, the individuals traveling may incur expenses.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Federal grants will not cover the cost of alcohol with meals during travel.
- Business-class travel is normally not allowed under externally-funded grants.
- Keep all receipts.
- For travel under federal, state or municipal grants, please adhere to all FLY AMERICA REGULATIONS detailed below. If the PI is uncertain if FLY AMERICA applied to his/her grant, he/she should contact ORS.
4. Complete and Submit an Employee and Guest Reimbursement Form
The form should include an itemization of the expenses related to the trip, including air ticket and accommodation, with original receipts attached.
Any personal or non-grant related components (i.e. additional nights of accommodation, subsequent air travel) of the trip should be omitted or subtracted from the totals.
Expenses that are incurred in Foreign Currency should be converted to U.S. Dollars for processing. Travellers are to use an exchange rate for the day the cost was incurred. A link to determine date-specific exchange rates can be found here
The Employee and Guest Reimbursement Form should be approved by the Grant's budget manager or PI with a second signature of the department chair or business office of the associated College.
Detailed instructions for completing the Employee and Guest Reimbursement Form can be found here.
The form, with all original supporting documentation, directly to Accounts Payable for processing
Employee and Guest Reimbursement Forms do not have to go to ORS for authorization.
Travelers whose tranportation costs covered by federal grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts are required by 49 U.S.C. 40118, commonly referred to as the "Fly America Act," to use United States air carrier service for all air travel and cargo transportation services funded by the United States Government.
When purchasing airfares for yourself, other DePaul University Staff, or consultants, for international travel whose source is a federal grant, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you abide by federal regulations with regard to the use of foreign flag airlines when traveling on a grant awarded with public funds.
A U.S. Flag carrier is one whose corporation HQ is within the United States. Using a U.S. Flag carrier means flying one of their airplanes OR flying on a code-share ticket on another carrier (Example: United Airlines Flight 4173 is operated by Varig Airlines on one of their own planes. Your ticket is considered United Airlines.)
A U.S. Flag carrier shall be used to a destination OR, in the absence of direct of through service, to the farthest interchange point on a usually traveled route.
This usually means that all trans-oceanic travel must be completed on a U.S. Flag Carrier.
Foreign flag carriers may be used if:
- Transportation is provided under a bilateral or multilateral air transport agreement. Currently this applies to airlines based in the European Union, Switzerland, Japan, and Australia. See the GSA Website for more details.
- There are no U.S. Flag carriers servicing the destination or origin (but only to the nearest interchange point to a U.S.-served city).
- A U.S. Flag Carrier involuntarily re-routes the traveler via a foreign flag carrier.
- Utilizing a U.S. Flag carrier from a destination or origin would result in a delay of travel time of more than 24 hours.
- Utilizing a U.S. Flag carrier from an interchange point would result in a travel delay of more than 6 hours.
- The flight on a foreign flag carrier is less than 3 hours total and utilizing a U.S. Flag carrier would double the travel time.
- Traveler's ticket is code-shared to a U.S. Flag carrier.
- The sponsoring agency does not have a Fly-America Policy (call ORS).
U.S. Flag carries MUST be used even if:
- Utilizing a foreign carrier results in a significant cost savings to the project.
- Foreign flag carriers are preferred by or more convenient to the traveler.
REMEMBER: Unauthorized use of a foreign flag carrier may result in disallowability of the airfare and resulting rebate of funds to the sponsor, plus possible penalties.
View a PowerPoint Slide Show about the Fly America Act.