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Business and Financial Affairs

Foreign Travel Procedures

3-50-265 Foreign Travel Procedures

The University´s travel policy and travel expense documentation requirements apply to both domestic and foreign travel. Foreign travel (travel outside the continental United States, except Alaska and British Columbia) requires pre-authorization from the appropriate Vice President or Chief of Staff. Foreign travel is regulated by the same laws and rules as domestic travel. Foreign travel expenses are limited by the Federal per diem rate identified for the specific location.

Advances for foreign travel are subject to the University´s travel advance procedures.

All foreign advances must be reconciled according to CWU travel regulations. Late fees may be assessed on delinquent advances. Foreign travel advances over $10,000 must be signed by the Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs or the Assistant Vice President for Financial Affairs.

Foreign travel reimbursement is subject to the travel expense voucher procedures, international vehicle rental procedures, and meal reimbursement travel procedures. Proper receipts will include vendor name, date of transaction, general translated description, and amount of transaction.

Grant-funded foreign travel should be documented in the same manner as domestic travel. These costs must be reasonable, directly related to the project, and allowable under OMB Circular A-21. Under federal awards, ticket purchases on foreign air carriers are generally not allowable, as is first-class seating.

Foreign Group Travel

Foreign group travel refers to a group of students or non-employees traveling to the same international destination as a class, group, or unit on official CWU business. The term "Foreign Group Travel" does not refer to a situation when multiple employees are traveling to the same destination and each employee needs to fill out a separate travel authorization and travel expense voucher.

The group will have a group leader who shall be a permanent, non-student University employee. The group leader will coordinate travel arrangements including the preparation of the travel authorization form and obtaining the appropriate signature approvals. The travel authorization shall specify the group leader´s name and the name of each traveler. The department(s) funding the trip may submit one travel authorization form when multiple employees accompany the group of students or non-employees and all expenses are paid by and reimbursed to the group leader. Support for a university representative's travel to accomany students shall be provided by the entity.

Travel Advance

A travel advance is authorized to the group leader on behalf of the group. The group leader will obtain and account for the travel advance. Foreign travel advances for groups are still required to be reconciled per CWU regulations. Reimbursement for meals and lodging is not to exceed the foreign per diem amounts specified for state authorized travelers.


If students as a class, group, or unit are provided meals, the total costs of meals (including tax and gratuity) when combined with other meals for that day, shall not exceed the total daily meal rate. The group leader shall pay for the meal and obtain an official receipt. This receipt must detail the cost plus any tax or gratuity. The receipt will support the expense on the travel expense voucher. The group leader and any other employee accompanying the group shall receive the daily meal rate rather than the per meal allowance.

If students are provided meals as a non-unit, a group travel roster shall be completed. A travel roster will include the name of each traveler, amount disbursed to each traveler, and the traveler´s signature indicating that the traveler received said dollar amount. The travel roster shall be attached to the travel expense voucher.

It is recognized that foreign travel may have a combination of days where meals are provided as a unit and as a non-unit.


Detailed lodging receipts are required for reimbursement. The group leader shall obtain a detailed lodging receipt at the time of payment that shows the room costs and taxes and shall submit it with the travel expense voucher.


The Office of the Provost will forward a copy of each approved Travel Authorization Forms to the Office of Business Services and Contract, MS-7474. Annually, the Office of Business Services and Contracts will be responsible for reporting all approved foreign travel to the insurance carrier and for billing departments and offices for the insurance premiums.

Revised 10/09/2008


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