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Learn about International Travel

All travel outside the 48 contiguous states by University employees to a convention, conference, or meeting, regardless of amount, requires approval by the responsible Authorized Approver. It is imperative that employees obtain all necessary departmental/school travel authorization approvals before seeking approval from the responsible Authorized Approver. All business travel must be prudent and consistent with the University’s mission.

International Travel Website

The VCU International Travel website is designed for all Virginia Commonwealth University business-related international travel. Faculty and staff traveling on behalf of the university should use this website as a resource in planning travel, remaining safe during their time abroad and accurately representing VCU while outside of the United States. Please take time to familiarize yourself with the site

Chrome River Pre Approval

Chrome River requires users to select the destination country for their travel from a drop down menu. If a high-risk country is selected, an automatic, additional approval will be required from the Office of Research. VCU has an obligation to ensure that university travelers are in compliance with federal export control laws, which govern the transfer of certain information, items, or technologies to foreign countries to protect national security, trade, foreign policy or to comply with international agreements.

International Lodging and Per Diem Rates

  • GSA CONUS and OCONUS rates are used as the standard lodging and meal and incidental reimbursement guidelines.

    The M&IE per diem must correspond to the location specified for the overnight lodging.  The applicable M&IE per diem is payable to the traveler without itemization of expense or receipts. Reimbursement for actual expenses incurred during overnight travel for these expense categories is not permitted above the M&IE per diem. Departments may be more restrictive and reimburse actual expenses up to the appropriate M&IE allowance in place of maximum per diem.

  • This link is used to obtain allowable lodging and per diem rates for US Territories outside of the 48 contiguous states, such as Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska. Use “Maximum Lodging” category for the allowable lodging rate. Add together the “Local Meals” and “Local Incidentals” categories to get the full per diem rate. 
  • This link is used to obtain allowable lodging and per diem rates for all other international travel. Use the “Maximum Lodging” category for the allowable lodging rate. Use the “M&IE Rate” category for the full per diem rate.
  • This link is used to obtain the M&IE per diem breakdown

Currency Conversion

Chrome River uses XE for currency conversions.  Conversions are done automatically within the Chrome River tool by selecting the currency type within each expense widget.

Helpful Hints for Submitting International Travel Reimbursements

International lodging and per diem rates can potentially change on a monthly basis. When planning travel expenses ahead of time, the current rates may be used for estimation purposes, but Chrome River will use rates for the month in which travel was incurred.

  • For non-employee expense reimbursements, only one currency type may be selected within the Non Employee widget.  If multiple currency types are needed, simply add another Non Employee expense widget to the same report and select a different currency type.  You may include multiple Non Employee expense widgets on the same Expense Report provided the Payee is the same.
  • When submitting Meal Per Diem reimbursement for international travel, you must create one Per Diem expense widget for each month you are claiming per diem.  If the Start and End Dates in the Per Diem expense widget include more than one calendar month, itemized entries will be zero.
  •  Credit card statements may be utilized and submitted in lieu of currency conversions in Chrome River.  Enter in the expense as USD and be sure to upload the credit card statement image to the Expense Report.  
  • Foreign transaction fees shown on the credit card statement are reimbursable. These fees are based on a percentage and will be prorated if expenses listed on the receipt are not reimbursable.   You may include the fee as part of the expense in which it was incurred.  For example, if the fee was incurred as part of lodging, enter the fee as a Hotel expense in Chrome River and provide an explanation in the Notes field.

Foreign Travel Insurance

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