9.11.2 Domestic and Foreign Travel

Manual Transmittal

August 28, 2015


(1) This transmits revised IRM 9.11.2, Domestic and Foreign Travel.

Material Changes

(1) Subsection is updated to reflect the current date of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) training material: Law Enforcement Officers Flying Armed.

(2) Subsection is revised to correct the revision date of Form 1321, Authorization for Official Travel (Rev. 7-2013).

(3) Subsection item a) reflects that the detailed justification for personal travel or rest periods is provided in "Section 7- Other Information " of the revised Form 1321.

(4) Subsection item f) reflects the new "Purpose of travel information" in section 6 of the revised Form 1321.

(5) Subsection item g) is updated to reflect the new “Other Information” section 7 of the revised Form 1321.

(6) Subsections items h) and i) are deleted due to obsolescence.

(7) Subsection is revised to state if travel is less than 30 days away, it is highly recommended that the traveler call Duluth Travel, Inc. (DTI) directly to book airline reservations. The subsection is further revised to change all SATO references to DTI (Duluth Travel, Inc.).

(8) Subsection is updated to reflect that Foreign Travel Requests (FTRs) are also forwarded to the Attaché.

(9) Subsection is revised to add that the Administrative Officer will also be notified if a trip is postponed or cancelled.

(10) Subsection is added to include the new Personnel Recovery Policy and Guidelines.

(11) Additional revisions, deletions, and grammatical changes were made throughout the section that did not result in substantive changes but contributed to procedural clarity of the subject matter.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 9.11.2 dated December 16, 2011. This IRM also incorporates procedure(s) implemented by the Director, International Operations, guidance memorandum dated: March 7, 2014 [Subject: "Personnel Recovery Policy and Procedures" ].



Effective Date


Domenic A. McClinton for Richard Weber
Chief, Criminal Investigation


  1. This section covers only those travel issues concerning Criminal Investigation (CI) that are not covered in IRM 9.4.8, Undercover Operations, or in IRM 1.32.1, Official IRS Travel Guide.

  2. The topics discussed in this section include:

    • Domestic Travel

    • Travel To Puerto Rico, The United States Virgin Islands and Guam

    • Foreign Travel

    • Travel Pursuant To Undercover Operations

    • Travel Pursuant To Simultaneous Criminal Investigation Program

Domestic Travel

  1. Criminal Investigation’s unique requirements regarding domestic travel include the following topics:

    1. inter-office travel

    2. travel with a firearm

    3. travel with Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray


  1. When a special agent from one field office makes investigative inquiries in another, the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the field office where the inquiries are to be made will be advised of:

    1. the nature of the proposed inquiries

    2. the name of the special agent

    3. the places to be visited

  2. If advance notice is not consistent with the maintenance of adequate security of communications, notification should occur at the first possible opportunity.

  3. Travel expenses in excess of $100, incurred to allow invitational travelers (e.g., state or local officers, key witnesses, etc.) to accompany special agents must be charged to the CI central billed (corporate) account. Invitational travelers should not purchase transportation from their personal funds.

  4. Non-bargaining unit employees accompanying special agents must use their own Government-issued travel charge card.

Travel with a Firearm

  1. Special Agents must be familiar with the provisions set forth in the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) training material: Law Enforcement Officers Flying Armed, dated June 2014, when traveling with a firearm. The TSA training material specifies current Federal regulations that special agents must adhere to. These regulations continually change and therefore are not detailed here. Criminal Investigation has enhanced the existing regulations (which must be reviewed and complied with) as follows:

    1. After declaring to an airline that they are flying armed as a Federal law enforcement officer and receiving approval to do so, special agents must carry their firearm on their person at all times until the termination of their flight. Special agents are not permitted to carry their firearm, either loaded or unloaded, in checked or carry-on luggage under any circumstances. This helps ensure special agents comply with regulations to maintain absolute control over their firearm at all times when flying armed.

  2. The pilot-in-command (Captain) is the In-Flight Security Coordinator (ISC) of an aircraft. The Captain is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to the operation of the aircraft. The ISC has the authority to deny boarding of any person believed to be a hazard to the flight. Neither the ISC nor the flight crew, however, has the authority to take possession of a Law Enforcement Officer’s (LEO’s) firearm.

  3. Special agents are not authorized by law to initiate emergency action during a flight emergency or disturbance unless requested to do so by a uniformed member of the crew or unless human life is clearly and imminently at risk. Special agents may also respond to a request for assistance by a Federal Air Marshal (FAM), if the FAM’s identity has been verified. If FAMs are not present on the aircraft, special agents should take necessary action to prevent loss of life or serious bodily injury pursuant to IRM 9.2.3, Use of Force Procedures.

  4. Special agents must maintain a professional demeanor aboard aircraft and act accordingly. Additionally, special agents will:

    1. notify the airline carrier at least one hour prior to departure, or in an emergency as soon as practicable, of the need to fly armed

    2. not consume alcoholic beverages during the 8 hours prior to flying, or during the flight

    3. request to meet other armed LEO’s on board the aircraft

    4. be discreet and not unnecessarily display a firearm

    5. maintain absolute control over the firearm at all times

    6. identify themselves by presenting their credentials upon request to the uniformed crew or FAMs

  5. All procedures for security of firearms and ammunition (see IRM 9.11.3, Investigative Property) should be adhered to by the agent traveling with a firearm. When making lodging reservations, a room equipped with a safe, which will provide adequate security for a firearm when it is not under the agent’s immediate control, should be reserved.

  6. See subsection, Firearms in a Foreign Country, for procedures to carry a firearm into a foreign country.

Travel with Oleoresin Capsicum Spray

  1. Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray is not permitted on board an aircraft under any circumstances (see 49 CFR §175). Criminal Investigation issued OC spray may, however, be transported within checked baggage pursuant to 49 CFR §175.10(a)(9).

Travel To Puerto Rico, The United States Virgin Islands & Guam

  1. Travel to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and Guam is considered domestic or non-foreign travel. In the event that travel to any United States territory or possession is contemplated, the SAC, Miami field office (for Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and/or the United States Virgin Islands), or the SAC Seattle field office (for Guam), will be so advised and furnished the information required by subsection, Inter-Office Travel.

  2. If travel includes a stopover on foreign soil, a Form 1321, Authorization for Official Travel, and an official passport are required. See the following subsection on Foreign Travel concerning these items.

Foreign Travel

  1. This subsection contains administrative procedures governing foreign travel and includes:

    • requests for authorization to engage in foreign travel

    • travel to Canada

    • travel by United States Flag Air Carriers

    • passports

    • immunization requirements

    • firearms policy

Requests for Authorization

  1. Requests for authorization for a special agent or other CI personnel to engage in foreign travel will be obtained by submitting standard Form 1321 (Rev. 07-2013) to the Deputy Commissioner, Large Business and International (LB&I) through the Director, International Operations (CI:IO). Form 1321, known as an Authorization for Official Travel, should be submitted to International Operations (CI:IO) no later than thirty (30) days from the expected date of travel. A Form 1321 is submitted by the SAC of the respective field office with the concurrence of the Director, Field Operations. The form must be signed by the Deputy Commissioner, Large Business and International (LB&I) prior to any foreign travel being conducted. The Director, Field Operation's office will forward the entire package to the “CI-HQ-International Foreign Travel Request” mail box. International Operations (CI:IO) will forward the package to the Manager, Tax Administration Advisory Services (TAAS) Division (LB&I) for approval. Upon final approval of Form 1321 and receipt of country clearances, the employee will be notified and provided electronic copies of the clearances.

  2. Travel to foreign areas may require a security clearance if official duties are being performed at an Embassy or Consulate. The valid levels of security clearances are Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret. If the special agent does not have a Secret or Top Secret clearance, they can request an "Interim Top Secret" clearance from the Personnel Security Office.

  3. A separate Form 1321 must be submitted for each traveler.

  4. A Form 1321 must contain the following information:

    1. Section 1 - Traveler Information - Name of traveler (first, middle, and last name); traveler's country of birth; traveler's official duty station; traveler's official passport number (if the traveler's official passport application is in process, include the date and place filed (see subsection, Official Passports, for information regarding the use of official passports by IRS employees and officials). Traveler should specify if travel will include personal travel or rest periods (if applicable, traveler should provide detailed justification in Section 7 of the forms).

    2. Section 2 - Type of Travel Requested - Specify type of travel requested and mode of transportation. Provide travel dates (include annual leave days if scheduled during the same period and the specific dates of travel) and the cost of airfare.


      A copy of the Duluth Travel Inc. (DTI) itinerary must be attached.

    3. Section 3 - Employee Health, Safety, Laptop/PDA Security and Government Credit Card Exemption Request - Traveler should place a check mark on the applicable items.

    4. Section 4 - Approving Officials' Signatures for Business Class or International Travel and Cyber Security

    5. Section 5 - International Travel and Government Credit Card Exemption Authorization

    6. Section 6 - International Travelers Information - Traveler should indicate their office address - Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation mailing address (no Post Office boxes), telephone number, office e-mail, fax number and indicate specific type of security clearance held - if standard, state "None." Purpose of travel - the traveler should check one of the following: Tax case, Non-Tax case, Both, Discovery/ Gathering evidence, Delivering training, Attending meeting with Gov. Officials, Other, Sensitive operation. Please note, if the traveler is a CI employee, the traveler should not provide a narrative in the narrative section. Traveler should list hotel information where he/she will be staying - Name, address, and phone number. Traveler should indicate emergency contact information.

    7. Section 7 - Other Information - if applicable, the traveler should list all foreign countries to be visited. Traveler should list Criminal Investigation case name and CIMIS number - If applicable. Expressions of interest - on the part of the countries to be visited - include names and titles of host government officials contacted and/or American Embassy contacts; and any information provided by the American Embassy concerning the visit. Provide a copy of the invitation letter from taxpayer(s)/subject(s) or their representative(s) (if applicable) and name and nationality of individual(s) to be contacted (include verification they have consented to this meeting).

  5. When travel is related to a grand jury investigation, the Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) handling the investigation should be consulted and must concur with the purpose of the travel.

  6. An application for an official passport and Foreign Travel Request (FTR) should be made as soon as foreign travel is anticipated. If the traveler has a current personal passport or a personal or official passport that expired within the past 15 years, these requests should be made no later than 30 business days from the expected date of travel. If the traveler never had a passport, or it expired more than 15 years ago, these requests should be made no later than 45 business days from the expected date of travel.

  7. Foreign Travel Requests for multiple countries should be submitted as soon as possible. These requests require additional time to secure all necessary country authorizations and clearances for travel.

  8. If the travelers travel is less than 30 days, it is highly recommended that the traveler call DTI directly to book their airline reservations. Emergency FTRs will be handled as expeditiously as possible. However, it is incumbent upon field personnel to ensure that these types of requests are rare exceptions dictated by special circumstances. In these instances, no assurances can be made that the travel authorization will be obtained by the specified travel dates. As soon as it is learned that an emergency FTR is necessary, the special agent should contact CI:IO to start the travel authorization process.

  9. After the Director, CI:IO reviews the FTR for completeness, the requests are forwarded to the Attaché/Deputy Commissioner, LB&:I for processing of country clearance. Foreign Travel Requests not submitted to the Director, CI:IO within the specified time frames will be returned to the appropriate Director, Field Operations, unless it is an emergency request as noted in the preceding paragraph.

  10. If for any reason the travel is denied, the Deputy Commissioner, LB&:I will notify the Director, CI:IO who in turn will advise the SAC of the field office requesting the travel.

  11. Special agents should contact CI:IO prior to submitting a Form 1321.

  12. Special agents traveling with their computers must contact their local Computer Operations Administrator (COA) to have the proper system changes installed prior to departing for an international post of duty.

  13. Executives and managers of CI will undertake foreign travel only when absolutely essential. Foreign Travel Requests by executives and managers will be submitted in accordance with applicable travel regulations, and will include detailed information concerning the nature of the travel, justification for the travel, and the mode of travel will be submitted with the request.

  14. See IRM 9.4.2, Sources of Information, regarding special procedures authorizing the use of a Confidential Informant/Cooperating Witness (CI/CW) which are required when the CI/CW is a foreign national, or foreign travel of a CI/CW is anticipated.

  15. The traveler will promptly notify the Administrative Officer and Director, CI:IO if scheduled travel is postponed or cancelled.

Travel to Canada

  1. The guidelines that apply to all foreign travel apply to travel to Canada.

  2. Consent from a taxpayer, witness, or custodian of records to be interviewed is required prior to traveling to Canada when the contact is related to a tax investigation. The required consent is governed by the United States-Canada Travel Agreement.

  3. Upon approval of the travel by the Deputy Commissioner, LB&I, the Director, CI:IO will obtain the necessary clearances, furnish the originating office with the procedure to be followed and, where appropriate, the name and location of the Canadian tax official who is to be contacted by the special agent. A Canadian agent will usually accompany the special agent when third-party contacts are made.

  4. For all travel to Canada, an FTR will be prepared in accordance with the instructions provided in IRM, Requests for Authorization.

Travel by United States Flag Air Carriers

  1. All air travel occurring between the United Sates and a foreign country or between foreign countries must be by " certificated" air carriers whenever service by these carriers is available.

  2. Certificated air carriers are carriers holding certificates under the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, excluding foreign air carriers operating under these permits. Certificated air carriers are also known as "contract carriers." See IRM 1.32.1, Official IRS Travel Guide.

Official Passports

  1. Each officer or employee of the IRS traveling under official orders to foreign countries must have in his/her possession a valid United States official passport. No official passport is needed for travel to any US territory.

  2. An application for an official passport should be made as soon as foreign travel is anticipated. If the traveler has a current personal passport or a personal or official passport that expired within the past 15 years, these requests should be made no later than 30 business days from the expected date of travel. If the traveler never had a passport, or it expired more than 15 years ago, these requests should be made no later than 45 business days from the expected date of travel.

  3. A tourist passport is not appropriate for official travel.

  4. The Director, CI:IO, has been delegated authority to request official passports. Procedures for obtaining official passports are contained on the CI's International Operations (CI:IO) web site together with the applicable forms. If you have any questions about the procedures consult with CI:IO.

  5. Official passports issued to CI employees should be returned within 10 days of travel completion to: CI:IO, 1111 Constitution Ave., NW, Room 2035, Washington, DC, 20224. All official passports are housed at this location until official travel is required.

  6. Employees are required to notify the Director, CI:IO for cancellation or destruction of their official passport upon retirement or separation from the IRS.

Immunization Requirements

  1. United States residents visiting foreign countries may be required to have in their possession an "International Certificate of Vaccination" . This certificate and all up-to-date information regarding immunization requirements of the country to be visited can ordinarily be obtained at the nearest office of the United States Public Health Service or the Department of State. The Department of State web site, www.state.gov, provides this information.

  2. Required immunizations should be obtained through United States government facilities, including the United States Public Health Service or Department of State, when available. If government facilities are not available, or if it is not otherwise practicable to use such facilities, the services of a private physician may be utilized and reimbursed on a travel voucher.

Firearms in a Foreign Country

  1. Under no circumstances will special agents carry firearms into foreign countries without the specific and written approval of the appropriate Ambassador. Requests for approval to carry firearms or electronic surveillance equipment into a foreign country need to be included in a request for foreign travel and will be coordinated through the Director, CI:IO. Only in extremely rare occasions will special agents be granted approval.

Personnel Recovery

  1. Any employee traveling internationally will be required to complete an Isolated Personnel Report (IsoPREP) Form and provide a facial photo. This information will be utilized to accurately identify an employee in the event they become isolated while on official assignment overseas and to negate any attempt by foreign combatants to deceive the responding recovery team. Employee’s will also be required to view the Level I training video.

  2. Employees traveling to areas considered “high threat” areas by the Department of State will be provided with a tracking device. The tracking device provides real time tracking, as well as emergency alert notification in the event an employee is in fear of being isolated. Once the emergency alert is activated, the Personnel Recovery Team (PRT) will be notified and every effort will be made to safely return the employee and/or family member back under agency control. Additional assets will be brought into play when it’s deemed appropriate.

  3. Employees working abroad will be required to complete the IsoPREP Form, provide a facial photo, and complete the Level I training video. Employees and spouses assigned to high risk areas will be assigned a tracking device and required to participate in the Level II training hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

  4. The El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) will serve as the PRT’s secondary alert system. In the event an emergency alert is activated, EPIC will make contact with the PRT to ensure the alert was received and the appropriate notifications have been made.

Travel Pursuant to Undercover Operations

  1. For all foreign travel, coordination is required between Director, CI:IO and Director, Special Investigative Techniques.

Travel Pursuant to Simultaneous Criminal Investigation Program

  1. The Simultaneous Criminal Investigation Program (SCIP) is outlined in IRM 9.4.2, Sources of Information. Once the request for continuous travel Form 1321, Authorization for Official Travel, is submitted to CI:IO they will coordinate the processing with the Office of the Director, International (LB&I:TAAS) for authority to travel on a trip-by-trip basis.