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NIH Notification of Foreign Travel (NFT) Screen Guidelines

Please make sure information entered on the Notification of Foreign Travel (NFT) is complete and accurate. If information is missing, the travel authorization will be returned, possibly delaying approval of the travel and passport/visa processing.

"Traveler's Information" Section

Complete the following fields:

Job Title

Employee Status: Choose from:

  • GS (General Schedule)
  • Other (such as Title 42 employee, IRTA, CRTA, Visiting Fellow, Special Volunteer, Guest Researcher)
  • PHS-CO (Public Health Service Commission Officer)
  • Schedule C (Political Appointee)
  • SES (Senior Executive Service)

Passport Type: Choose from:

  • Official
  • Diplomatic
  • Personal

Passport # and Expiration Date

Passport Issuing Country

Country of Birth


  • For information on applying for an official passport, see Passports and Visas for NIH Employees (or see the NIH CGE Travel System portal page for a link).
  • Check the Official Passport and Visa Chart (or see the NIH CGE Travel System portal page for a link) to determine if a visa is required. Requirements for U.S. official passports differ from those for U.S. personal passports.

"Organization and Trip Information" Section

Country Clearance Prepared? Answer "yes" to this question. FIC will prepare and submit the country clearance cable on behalf of NIH.

Multilateral Travel Activity?: If travel is associated with an activity/event sponsored by a multilateral organization (e.g., World Health Organization (WHO), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Bank), select "yes." Then using the drop-down menu, select the appropriate multilateral organization from list. Attach a copy of the letter of invitation from the multilateral organization to the travel authorization in the receipts section.

Late Reason: Must be completed if submitting NFT less than 30 days before the traveler’s departure from the U.S.; otherwise, leave blank.

"Destination Information" Section

Many of these fields are automatically populated with the trip itinerary information entered earlier in the authorization. For travel with multiple TDY locations, including layovers, a separate "Location" section will appear for each location in the authorization and require you to complete each section.

Hotel Name/Address/Phone – Complete each field with hotel/lodging information.

In-Country Point of Contact Name/Address/Phone – Complete each field with in-country contact information (host). Contact could be the in-country meeting sponsor or conference secretariat.

TDY Purpose: Select from the drop-down menu options.

Area of Activity: Select from the drop-down menu options.

Purpose of Travel: In the text box for each destination, describe purpose of travel, including research topic. For meeting travel, give name and sponsor of meeting. If the traveler is speaking, provide the title of the speech or presentation. For site visits or collaborative research, describe projects and provide names of principal contacts. Do not use abbreviations. If annual leave is included in the travel to the destination, enter that information in the explanation. If a waiver to annual leave restrictions is granted by the NIH Senior Travel Official, this must be noted under the explanation section with date of approval.

If security training is required (travel is for 30 days or more and/or travel to high threat/FACT mandatory country), add security course name(s) and completion date(s) and upload a copy of the course completion certificate(s) into the receipts. If HTSOS training is required, add the following statement: "Traveler has not and will not have spent more than 45 days in designated high-threat, high-risk/FACT-mandatory countries within the calendar year."


"Funding Information" Section


  • Funding Source
  • Funding Details
  • Funded Amount

"Cost Information" Section

Is business or premium class used for any leg of this trip? If yes, specify the appropriate HHS exception (no space in coach, medical justification, security purposes, inadequate sanitation, overall cost savings, upgrade with frequent flier miles, flying time over 14 hours/urgency of mission) in the business class explanation text block.


The NFT will be submitted to FIC once the appropriate official in the IC stamps the document NFT Pre-Approved. The NFT must be submitted to FIC 35 days prior to the trip start date. Be sure to leave enough time for the document to be conditionally approved and NFT pre-approved by your IC to meet the 35-day deadline.

Making Changes to an NFT

If an authorization returned by FIC for changes to the NFT, the travel planner will receive an e-mail. The planner will need to open the document in edit mode, update the NFT and reroute it through the IC. See Remarks field on the Document History page for comments as to why the NFT was returned.

If changes are made to the authorization that affect information on the NFT - travel dates, destinations, or contact information - after FIC has stamped the authorization "NFT Final Approval," update the NFT, use the Additional Remarks box on the Digital Signature page to communicate these changes to FIC and reroute the document. This is important so the U.S. Embassy in the foreign location may be notified by FIC of these changes.

Canceling an NFT after NFT Final Approval

To cancel an NFT that has been final approved by FIC, notify your FIC International Travel Program Specialist.

Trip Reports

Within five days of returning from a trip, all HHS travelers are required to prepare a brief written report of the significant aspects and results of his or her trip, including a summary of the extent to which the purpose(s) of the trip was achieved. Trip reports should be uploaded in the electronic travel system as part of the voucher process.

Our Office is Temporarily Moving!

Effective January 17, 2023, the Fogarty International Center (FIC) Visa Passport Office (VPO) will be temporarily relocated to Building 31, Room 3B41 due to renovations.

Time in temporary location

Currently, the renovation is scheduled for approximately six months. We will communicate as needed and when the renovation is complete as we prepare to move the Office back to its permanent location.

Important dates and information

On Friday, January 13, 2023, the VPO staff will physically relocate to the temporary location. Please recommend to your IC staff who have a visa or passport-related case that needs to be managed to submit their packages to the VPO before or after Friday, January 13, 2023. The VPO staff will not be available to receive or process cases because they will be physically relocating and their systems will be down.

Where to find the FIC VPO Staff

Starting on January 17, 2023:
FIC Visa/Passport Office
Building 31, Room 3B41
31 Center Dr. MSC 2220
Bethesda, MD 20892-2220

Office hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12 noon

We look forward to continuing our partnership with the NIH community during our temporary relocation.

Travel Specialist Contact Information

For questions about passports and visas, contact an International Travel Program Specialist at Fogarty:


Jeff Chen
International Travel Program Specialist
Fogarty International Center
Building 31, Room B2C05
31 Center Drive MSC 2220
Bethesda, MD 20892-2220
Tel: 301-402-7516 or 301-827-5555
Fax: 301-480-0680


Sandra Fuentes
International Travel Program Specialist
Fogarty International Center
Building 31, Room B2C05
31 Center Drive MSC 2220
Bethesda, MD 20892-2220
Tel: 301-496-3441 or 301-827-5555
Fax: 301-480-0680


Rhonda Lane
International Travel Program Specialist
Fogarty International Center
Building 31, Room B2C05
31 Center Drive MSC 2220
Bethesda, MD 20892-2220
Tel: 301-496-7614 or 301-827-5555
Fax: 301-480-0680

Page updated: January 6, 2023