Travel Resources

Safety & Security
Travel Tracking
ISOS Travel Assistance Program (pdf)
ISOS Portal
Emergency Contact Form (pdf)
Safety/Security Video
Safety/Security Manual – English
Safety/Security Manual – Français
Safety/Security Manual – Español

• Short Term Health Clearance (pdf)
Long Term Health Clearance (pdf)
Traveler’s Medical Service for info on vaccination – (202) 466-8109
• Be prepared. First-aid resources can be found online. Red Cross app
CDC Information



IMPORTANT for U.S. Passport Holders
The Department of State announced that requests for additional pages for visas will not be allowed effective January 1, 2016, and that new passports will be required. Alert your MSI contact if you have questions.

Traveler Resources near MSI HQ

Traveler Resources near MSI HQ


MSI’s travel system is designed to protect the health, safety and security of our staff that travel anywhere in the world. The travel program includes emergency medical assistance and evacuation.

Our travel partner provides real time intelligence and travel alerts designed to keep our travelers informed. Registered travelers, those booked centrally through MSI HQ’s Travel team, will automatically receive direct email notices regarding political unrest, natural disasters, health warnings, etc.

Prior to your trip, we strongly recommend you download the app and update your profile. 

Air Transportation

Almost all airline tickets for MSI travel are purchased by MSI’s Travel Department. This ensures that flights are contractually and financially in compliance, particularly with USG funding and the Fly America Act. MSI’s Travel Department can advise you on allowable routes and carriers for your trip that will satisfy these requirements. If you have questions, email us at

Original boarding passes must be submitted with your expense report. Please be sure to retain them for each flight segment on your itinerary.

Per Diem

Per diem is an allowance covering expenses for lodging, meals and incidental expenses. It is MSI’s policy, in general, to use the rates established by the United States Government. Any exceptions to this will be provided to travelers and consultants before a specific assignment.

International rates are published the U.S. Department of State. They are updated regularly and can be found at:

Domestic per diem rates (referred to as CONUS for the continental U.S.) are published by the General Services Administration (GSA), are usually updated annually (October), and can be found at:

Per diem is divided into two components: 1) Lodging, and, 2) Meals and Incidental Expenses:


Lodging covers direct costs for overnight sleeping facilities. A lodging allowance will be paid based on actual costs up to the maximum lodging rate authorized for the location. Maximum amounts are provided by location at the above-listed websites. However, travelers are expected to take the same care in incurring official expenses as they would for if expending their own funds on personal travel. Accommodation should be sought that is secure, clean, comfortable and provides facilities required to have a productive trip. These conditions are often available at a cost well below the maximum lodging rate.

Original receipts are required for all claims for lodging reimbursement. Receipts must include: traveler’s name, dates of stay, number of nights of lodging received, number of room occupants, the lodging rate per night plus applicable taxes, and the total amount paid.

Domestic (in the USA) lodging rates from GSA are exclusive of tax.

Foreign lodging rates (outside of the USA) from Department of State are inclusive of tax.

Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE)

M&IE covers daily meals plus other incidental personal subsistence related costs typically incurred while traveling. Meals are defined as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Incidental expenses include tips to porters, laundry, transportation between places of lodging or business and places where personal meals are taken, and personal telephone calls. No receipts are required in order to receive an M&IE allowance. Full text of these rules can be found in the Foreign Affairs Manual, Chapter 14, 562.

The following travel expenses, when actually incurred and necessary for the project, can be itemized and reimbursed over and above the per diem allowance for lodging and meals and incidental expenses (M&IE):

1. Official project-related telephone calls, faxes, internet access fees.
2. Currency conversion fees; fees for traveler’s checks; ATM and credit card transaction fees.
3. Fees for issuance of passports, visas or other documents required to conduct official business.
4. Conference/meeting space rental or business center access required for conducting official business when suitable facilities are not otherwise provided or available.
5. Local transport (taxis, public transportation) fees incurred in direct connection with carrying out official duties.
6. Excess baggage fees associated with transportation of project / official materials.

If M&IE can be claimed, what percentage you are eligible for, and which location’s rate should be used depends on a number of factors. If a trip does not require overnight lodging and you will return home in less than 12 hours there is no eligibility for an M&IE claim. Travel in excess of 12 hours is eligible for M&IE, however, a day where any portion of the day is spent at home is only eligible for 75% of the maximum amount. For full days of travel the M&IE rate for the place of lodging should be used. When traveling internationally over multiple days you would base the M&IE rate you claim on the next place of lodging for the outbound trip, and the last place of lodging for the return trip. These concepts are illustrated in the tables below:

M&IE allowance must be reduced if you are provided a meal (at no cost to you) that was paid for by the project and/or the client. This situation commonly arises where catering is provided at a conference or meeting. Tables showing the breakdown of the M&IE rate into breakfast, lunch, dinner and incidental expenses can be found below. These tables allow you to determine the amount to subtract from your M&IE claim for the no-cost meal received.

Domestic per diem:

Foreign per diem:

Common situations where complimentary meals are provided, but a reduction in the M&IE rate claimed is not required:

• A meal is provided by an airline on a flight and there was not an option to purchase a lower cost ticket that excluded this meal.
• A hotel provides complimentary breakfast in the lodging rate and there was not an option to book the room at a lower rate that did not include breakfast.

STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program)
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency.

Travel Resources
There are four main categories on this site: International Travel (Alerts and Info by country), Passports (renewals, forms), Visas, and Children/Family.

International Travel Information– Home Page
As the home page for Travel information from the State Dept, this page contains numerous links to a wide variety of travel and emergency resources.

Invoicing for Time

Many staff or consultants will be able to use the Standard Form, which allows for up to 35 days of work on each invoice. The form will calculate all totals for hours and payment, based on the Agreement that you have with MSI. If this is the first time that you are completing a fee invoice for MSI, you may wish to access the sample form, and/or the instructions that accompany this form.

For staff and consultants who are working on MSI projects where allowances are approved by both MSI and the MSI client and which also appear on your agreement, the Project Time Invoice Form allows you to enter information for regular hours, danger pay hours and percentage, and post differential hours and percentage. It is important to note that allowances are not benefits, and cannot be paid unless they are approved. If you have been instructed to use the Project Time Invoice Form, and you are not familiar with the form, please access the sample and/or instructions under this section.