1.32.5 International Travel Office Procedures

Manual Transmittal

June 16, 2016

Purpose

(1) This transmits new IRM 1.32.5, Servicewide Travel Policies and Procedures, International Travel Office Procedures.

Material Changes

(1) This is the first issuance of this IRM.

Effect on Other Documents

None

Audience

All Operating Divisions and Functions

Effective Date

(06-16-2016)

Keith Walker
Director, Resource Solutions
Large Business & International Division (LB&I)

International Travel Office

  1. The International Travel Office (Travel Office) is situated within the Large Business & International (LB&I) division under the Director, Resource Solutions - Finance (SE:LB&I:PBS:RS:F). This office has the sole authority to approve all travel outside the United States for Internal Revenue Service business, except for the office of Chief Counsel. Employees of the Chief Counsel Office organize their travel through the Chief Counsel’s Travel Office.

  2. The Travel Office staff supports the IRS mission as the primary contact for securing official passports, visas, State Department electronic country clearances (eCC), and Form 1321, Authorization for Official Travel, for IRS personnel traveling overseas. Criminal Investigation (CI) also performs some of these functions.

    Note:

    Form 1321 must be approved by the LB&I Deputy Commissioner or his/her delegate prior to any foreign travel. The traveler’s manager must approve the funding for the travel and the travel authorization in the electronic travel system.

  3. The Travel Office provides travelers with guidance on completing the necessary travel documents for international travel including the Form 1321, as well as visa and passport applications.

  4. The Travel Office does not process requests for First-Class or Business-Class travel.

  5. See the International Travel Office website for the most current international travel procedures, updates, and contact information at: http://lmsb.irs.gov/international/adci/intl_meetings_tvl_and_visitors/ito_home.asp.

Responsibilities of the International Travel Office

  1. The Travel Office travel coordinators’ responsibilities include but are not limited to:

    1. Obtaining, renewing and tracking Official and Diplomatic passports

    2. Providing guidance to travelers for passports, visas and other travel related information

    3. Taking passport and visa photos for travelers located in the Washington, DC metro area

    4. Processing visa requests

    5. Coordinating with the courier service for passport and visa delivery to foreign embassies and the Department of State

    6. Obtaining approvals from the Department of State for eCC requests

    7. Updating the Passport Tracker system (see IRM 1.32.5.1.2.1)

    8. Maintaining travel files

    9. Providing completed and approved travel documents to travelers

    Travel coordinators will use the International Travel Coordinator (ITC) Desk Aid on the Travel Office shared drive for guidance and direction.

International Travel Office Processing Procedures

  1. The Travel Office manager will receive and review the foreign travel request including the authorization, and approve Form 1321 and the itinerary uploaded in the electronic travel system.

  2. The Travel Office manager assigns the requests to the travel coordinators.

  3. The travel coordinators will create and/or update existing files and contact the travelers to start the approval process.

  4. The Travel Office team will use the International Travel Coordinator (ITC) Desk Aid for further instructions.

Passport Tracker
  1. The Passport Tracker system is a SharePoint-driven database that maintains official and diplomatic passport information, as well as all related travel records.

  2. The Passport Tracker also maintains travel logs which include details of travel such as the Form 1321 approval dates, eCC approval dates, and specific dates and destinations of travel. It is also used to generate the TDF 70 Information Sheet which must accompany all passport applications.

  3. The database can be used to generate reports such as expiring passports which allows the Travel Office to notify the travelers to start the renewal process.

  4. The Passport Tracker contains Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and access is limited to Travel Office personnel .

International Travel Resources

  1. For immunization information, see the Center for Disease Control’s Traveler’s Health web site at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel.

    1. Review immunization requirements prior to making travel arrangements as some immunizations require shots over several weeks. Official travel related costs that are not reimbursed by the travelers’ health insurance are reimbursable travel expenses on the travel voucher in the electronic travel system. .

    2. Employees in the Washington, DC. metro area may get their immunizations at Department of State facilities in Washington D.C. upon approval of Form 1321, Authorization for Official Travel. For hours of operation and information, please contact the Department of State at http://www.state.gov/m/fsi/tc/1865.htm.

    3. Employees stationed outside the Washington D.C. area should contact personal physicians or a travel immunization clinic for immunizations.

  2. Government Travel Rules:

    1. See IRM 1.32.11, Official IRS City-to-City Travel Guide

    2. For Foreign Per Diem Rates, see http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104877.

      Note:

      The per diem rates for foreign travel include laundry and hotel taxes. These are not separately claimed expenses in the electronic travel system as they are for domestic travel.

  3. When traveling to a foreign country (or countries), it is advisable that travelers locate the contact information for the nearest U.S. Embassy/Consulate and keep that information available in case of an emergency.

  4. Other resources:

    1. See the Department of State Travel Warnings & Consular Affairs website at http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html for worldwide travel alerts and warnings.

    2. See the Oanda Foreign Currency Converter at http://www.oanda.com/currency for the most up-to-date foreign currency rates for conversion.

Responsibilities of International Travelers

  1. Travelers are required to use the electronic travel system to prepare Form 1321, Authorization for Official Travel, and obtain management approval for foreign travel authorizations and vouchers.

  2. Travelers will work with the travel vendor to make flight and hotel reservations when booked outside of the electronic travel system.

  3. Travelers may contact the Employee Resource Center (ERC) or the travel vendor with questions about travel reservations.

  4. Travelers may also contact the ERC with questions about travel authorizations and vouchers.

  5. Travelers must understand the cyber security requirements before taking a government laptop or PDA overseas. See IRM 10.8.1.4.1.18 .

Criminal Investigation (CI) Travelers

  1. IRM 9.11.2.4 provides administrative procedures governing foreign travel for Criminal Investigation (CI) travelers. In addition, CI employs travel coordinators to provide assistance to its travelers. However, Form 1321, Authorization for Official Travel, must be approved by the LB&I Deputy Commissioner or his/her delegate prior to any foreign travel.

  2. When CI travelers upload the approved Form 1321 and the travel itinerary into the electronic travel system, the documents will be routed to the Travel Office. The Travel Office manager will review and approve the authorization and retain an electronic copy of the approved Form 1321.

  3. The CI travel coordinator will secure electronic country clearance (eCC). The eCC will be sent to the Travel Office with the final Form 1321 for approval. An executed copy of Form 1321 will be returned to the CI travel coordinator and/or CI traveler.

  4. Travel coordinators will input CI’s approved Form 1321s into the Passport Tracker System.

Chief Counsel Travelers

  1. IRM 30.5.2.5 provides guidelines to Chief Counsel employees for official travel outside the continental United States.

Required Documents for Official Travel

  1. IRS employees must possess an official passport or diplomatic passport, electronic country clearance (eCC) and an approved Form 1321 in order to travel internationally.

Form 1321 - Authorization for Official Travel

  1. IRS travelers may not leave the United States for official travel without an approved Form 1321, Authorization for Official Travel. See IRM 30.5.2.5 for Chief Counsel exceptions.

  2. Form 1321 must be used to obtain authorization for:

    • Official foreign travel

    • An exemption from the requirement to use a government credit card

    • Travel with a laptop or PDA - see IRM 10.8.1.4.18

  3. Travelers are encouraged to submit Form 1321 for management approval well before their planned departure date.

  4. Travelers are encouraged to upload the approved Form 1321 and itinerary (if applicable) into the electronic travel system using the following time frames:

    1. 30 days in advance of travel if they already have an official passport

    2. 45 days in advance of travel if they need to apply for an official passport

    3. Add 15 additional days to these time frames if a visa is needed. See IRM 1.32.5.4.6.

Electronic Country Clearance (eCC)

  1. The U.S. State Department Electronic Country Clearance (eCC) is an electronic information system that allows online submission and processing of unclassified country clearance requests for travelers from any approved U.S. Government agency or organization traveling abroad on official business.

  2. An eCC is required for all foreign official travel.

  3. Form 1321 and travel Itinerary are used to obtain the eCC. Once approved the Travel Office will notify the traveler when the eCC has been secured.

  4. After the eCC has been secured, travelers must notify the Travel Office of any flight or lodging changes including any personal travel changes.

Official and Diplomatic Passports

  1. IRS employees must use an official passport for all official travel. The following sections detail procedures to obtain an official passport for IRS employees who are located within the Washington D.C. metro area and in other areas.

  2. Official Passports MAY NOT be used for personal travel including personal travel in conjunction with official travel.

  3. Official passports must be returned within 10 days of completion of travel or immediately upon cancellation of travel.

  4. Mail official passport(s) and/or applications with photos via United Parcel Service (UPS) or Federal Express (FedEx). See the Travel Office website for the most current mailing address.

  5. United States Postal Service (USPS) mail is NOT recommended for sending passports or photos as certain USPS mail items are required to go through x-ray machines at the mail processing center and the machines may destroy these items.

  6. Use the shipping rules that govern personally identifiable information when mailing travel documents.

  7. Contact the Travel Office for further guidance.

Request Initial Official Passport from Within Washington D.C. Metro Area

  1. To apply for an official passport when the traveler’s personal passports (current or expired) were issued within the prior 15 years:

    1. This process can take from 2 to 4 weeks.

    2. Travelers are required to complete and print TDF 70 Information Sheet (see Exhibit 1.32.5-1) and Form DS-82, U.S. Passport Renewal Application for Eligible Individuals.

    3. A traveler must submit both the TDF 70 Information Sheet and Form DS-82, along with two 2” X 2” passport photos, and the traveler’s personal passport to the International Travel Office. See the Travel Office website for the most current mailing addresses.

    4. The Travel Office will submit these documents to the State Department for processing. Upon completion, the Travel Office will notify the traveler when the documents are ready for pick up.

  2. To apply for an official passport when the traveler does not have a personal passport, or the personal passport was issued over 15 years ago:

    1. This process can take from 4 to 6 weeks.

    2. Travelers are required to contact the Travel Office for an appointment and complete the TDF 70 Information Sheet (see Exhibit 1.32.5-1 ) and Form DS-11, Application for a U.S. Passport.

      Note:

      Do not sign Form DS-11 until you are before a passport acceptance agent.

    3. The Travel Coordinator is certified by the U.S. Department of State as a Federal Passport Application Acceptance Agent. The coordinator will execute the oath and sign Form DS-11 and provide the Form TDF 70.02.1 which waives the fee for the official passport.

    4. The Travel Office will submit these documents to the State Department. After the documents have been processed, they will be returned to the traveler.

Request Initial Official Passport from Outside Washington D.C. Metro Area

  1. The Travel Office can only provide first-time passport services to travelers located in the Washington D. C. metro area because Form DS-11, Application for a U.S. Passport, must be signed under oath in the presence of an acceptance agent. Travelers located outside of the Washington DC metro area will complete the passport process at a local post office, passport agency, or county clerk’s office.

  2. Travelers must complete the TDF 70 Information Sheet (see Exhibit 1.32.5-1) and submit the form to the Travel Office. The Travel Office will create, sign, and return Form TDF 70-02.1 to the travelers. Travelers must obtain and submit passport photos as part of the passport application to the local passport agency. The cost of passport photos is a reimbursable expense on the travel voucher.

  3. Applying for an Official Passport when your personal passport (current or expired) was issued within the last 15 years:

    1. This process can take from 4 to 6 weeks.

    2. Travelers are required to complete the TDF 70 Information Sheet (see Exhibit 1.32.5-1 ) and Form DS-82, U.S. Passport Renewal Application for Eligible Individuals.

    3. A traveler must submit both the TDF 70 Information Sheet and Form DS-82, along with two 2” X 2” passport photos, and the traveler’s personal passport to the Travel Office. See the Travel Office website for the most current mailing address. Travelers should use UPS or FedEx to avoid damage to their photos during the mail screening process.

    4. After receiving all required documents, the Travel Office will process the passport application. The passport and any related documents will be shipped to the traveler via FedEx.

  4. If the traveler does not have a personal passport, or the personal passport was issued over 15 years ago:

    1. This process may take more than 6 weeks.

    2. Travelers may obtain official passports without having a personal passport.

    3. Travelers are required to prepare and return the TDF 70 Information Sheet (see Exhibit 1.32.5-1) to the Travel Office. See the Travel Office website for the most current mailing address.

    4. The travel coordinator will send Form TDF 70.02.1 to the traveler, which entitles the traveler to a no-fee official passport.

    5. Travelers are also required to complete Form DS-11, Application for a U.S. Passport, that will be signed in the presence of the passport acceptance agent.

    6. Travelers must apply in person before a passport acceptance agent (at a post office, passport agency, or county clerks’s office and submit Form DS 11, Application for a U.S. Passport, along with the Form TDF 70.02.1 fee waiver, proof of U.S. Citizenship (certified birth or naturalization certificate), an official picture ID, and two 2” X 2” passport photos.

    7. The acceptance agent will have the traveler sign the DS-11 under oath. Travelers may be asked to pay a processing fee which is a reimbursable travel voucher expense.

    8. Travelers must ask the acceptance agent to mail the information to:
      U.S. Department of State
      CA/PPT/SIA
      1125 Special Place
      Dulles, VA 20189-1125

    9. The U.S. Department of State will forward the passport to the Travel Office. The Travel Office will notify and ship to the traveler the passport and any related documents via FedEx.

Official Passport (DS-82) Renewal Request

  1. The Travel Office will send email notifications to travelers whose official passports will expire within 6 months. The State Department advises not to travel to a foreign country with less than six months remaining on a passport.

  2. Official passports must be renewed if travelers anticipate future foreign travel prior to the six month expiration of the passport. Travelers that do not anticipate future travel should notify the Travel Office.

  3. If the official passport expired more than 5 years ago, travelers must apply for an official passport as if they are applying for the first time.

  4. To renew an Official Passport that has expired within 5 years prior or will expire in 6 months:

    1. This process can take from 2 to 3 weeks.

    2. Travelers are required to complete the TDF 70 Information Sheet (see Exhibit 1.32.5-1) and Form DS-82, U.S. Passport Renewal Application for Eligible Individuals.

    3. Travelers must submit both the TDF 70 Information Sheet and Form DS-82, along with two 2” X 2” passport photos to the Travel Office. See the Travel Office website for the most current mailing address. Travelers should use UPS or FedEx to avoid damage to their photos during the mail screening process.

    4. After receiving all required documents, the Travel Office will process the traveler’s passport renewal application. The Travel Office will inform the traveler when their official passport has been renewed.

Passport Photos

  1. Travelers outside of the Washington DC metro area need to obtain two 2” X 2” inch passport photographs with a white or off-white background. The photograph cost is a reimbursable travel voucher expense.

  2. By appointment only, employees in the Washington DC metro area may use the Travel Office’s services to have their official passport and visa photos taken. To schedule an appointment, contact the Travel Office.

Diplomatic Passport

  1. Diplomatic passports are required for the top management positions of each IRS overseas post.

  2. With minimal differences, the process for obtaining a diplomatic passport is the similar to the process of obtaining an official passport. When a diplomatic passport is issued, any valid official passport is cancelled as one cannot have both at the same time.

  3. The following documents are necessary to process a request for a diplomatic passport:

    1. Unexpired personal or official passport

    2. A signed Form DS-82, Application for Passport Renewal

    3. TDF 70 Information Sheet (see Exhibit 1.32.5-1) requesting issuance of a diplomatic passport

    4. Two 2” X 2” passport photos

    5. A letter of orders from the LB&I Deputy Commissioner, or his/her delegate, outlining the need for an official or diplomatic passport. This is also referred to as the permanent change of station (PCS) travel authorization.

  4. For further guidance, see the Travel Office website.

Visas

  1. The Travel Office obtains visas for travelers when required for official travel. The Travel Office will determine the need for a visa. If needed, the traveler will be contacted to provide the necessary application forms for the country (or countries) in question. In most cases, the travelers will be required to complete and return the visa application to the Travel Office. The Travel Office will process the visa application and notify the traveler when the visa is received.

  2. For further guidance, see the Travel Office website.

Transit Visas
  1. Transit visas are for persons who are staying for a short period while in transit between two other countries. Many countries require a transit visa even for connecting flights.

  2. For further guidance, see the Travel Office website.

TDF 70 Information Sheet

In order to begin the process of obtaining an official passport, this information sheet must be filled out completely and legibly. After completion, fax or mail it to the International Travel Office at the address below.
DO YOU CURRENTLY HAVE AN EXPIRED OFFICIAL PASSPORT OR A CURRENT PERSONAL PASSPORT?
TRAVELER’S NAME:
SEID:
E-MAIL ADDRESS:
TITLE & GRADE:
FUNCTION (for example, LB&I, SBSE, etc.):
LEVEL OF SECURITY CLEARANCE:
TRAVELER’S OFFICE ADDRESS:
DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH:
PLACE OF TRAVEL:
DEPARTURE DATE (FROM U.S.):
RETURN DATE (TO U.S.):
MAILING ADDRESS (NO P.O. BOX) – to return birth certificates or personal/expired Official Passport)
PHONE NUMBER:
Send/Fax to:
Internal Revenue Service
International Travel Office
Mint Building - M4-415
SE:LB:IN:OO:IMTV
801 9th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone (202)515-4714
Fax (202) 515-4336
After the passport application is processed, the International Travel Unit keeps the official passport until it is required for travel. The birth certificate, personal passport, and/or canceled official passport are returned to the traveler.