Travel, Subsistence and Visa Costs Policy

Purpose

The AAS policy on travel, subsistence and visa costs defines the conditions and rates that can be used for the payment or reimbursement of costs incurred by applicants, grant holders and staff employed on grants, to compensate them for expenses incurred in the performance of their work while away from their usual place of residence either locally or abroad.

Definitions

Travel: Visits away from the vicinity of usual place of work

Subsistence costs: The actual necessary and reasonable cost of meals and/or accommodation incurred by those engaged on approved business, whilst away from the employee's normal place of work or another establishment where it has been agreed they will work for a fixed period.

Visa costs: Short-term and longer-term travel visa costs that are associated with business related to the AAS grant.

Policy Statement

The AAS will support claims or reimbursement for travel related costs when all the conditions set out below are met:-

  • The travel is necessary to fulfil the research objective of the project and it directly benefits the project being charged.
  • The cost for travel is reasonable and represents prudent use of the sponsor’s funds.
  • There is a clearly defined relationship between the traveller and how he/she supports the work of the project that is provided in the travel documentation. If the traveller receives salary from the project, that provides sufficient documentation of the relationship.
  • All travel funded by an AAS grant should be approved and authorised according to the grant holding institutions’ policies and procedures before costs are incurred.
  • Grant holders and staff employed on the grant may also be eligible to claim or request for travel related costs if they are working away from their employing organisation, either within the same country or overseas.

Budgets for travel, subsistence and visa costs

  • Travel, subsistence and visa costs should be identified in the proposal budget justification if possible and justified as to why it is necessary and allocable to the performance of the grant, for example travel to attend appointments at a visa application centre or embassy.
  • If visa and work permit costs were not requested in the grant application, for example, because the post-holder was unnamed at the time, existing funds within the grant should be used to cover these costs where possible. If such funds are not available, requests to supplement the grant will be considered.

a) Allowable and Excluded Travel Related Costs

 

Allowable

Exclusions
 

Airfare at economy class

Per diem

Standard class by train or sea

Passport fees

Taxi hire and any other form of connecting travel

Fees to expedite visa applications

Lodging

Immigration visas

Meals

Personal incidental expenses

Visa

 

b) Special Considerations

 

  • Business-Class Airfare - This is unallowable except for travellers whose medical needs require these accommodations. In certain cases, funder pre-approval may be required.
  • Infants under nine (9) months - This travel is allowed with prior arrangements.  If the infant is accompanied by a nanny, the nanny should be over the age of 21 years (not a minor). 
  • Visa costs for Grantee’s partner and dependents -  Allowed under specific conditions.  Contact your Programme Manager for more details

Procedure

c) Travel Costs
  • Travellers should use the recommended service for booking travel in their institutions and in accordance with approved procurement procedures.
  • Travellers are welcome to upgrade from standard at their own but the AAS grant can only cover the cost of the standard fare.
  • Travellers will pay for the cost of travel insurance as per their institutions policy.

d) Subsistence Costs

See the AAS Position Statement on Travel and Subsistence Costs (please provide link)
  • Individuals working away for up to one month may request a daily allowance for living expenses.
  • Individuals working away for more than one month and up to 12 months should discuss appropriate rates with their administering and host organisations, or the AAS, as appropriate. We expect applicants to choose the most economical options, booked in advance where possible.  AAS will not cover the cost of utilities or any refurbishments.
  • If the applicant receives a salary from an organisation in a low- or middle-income country and will be working in a high-income country for more than one month and up to 12 months, they can also ask for up to $20 a day to cover extra costs, such as transport and incidentals.
  • Applicants working away for more than 12 months may request housing costs. The applicant should discuss their housing needs with the administering organisation and host organisation. AAS will not cover the cost of utilities or any refurbishment.

e) Visa Costs

  • The traveller should seek information concerning visa requirements in the country of destination and comply.  
f) Accounting for Travel Related Costs
Travellers should account for travel advances or support claims for reimbursement according to institutional procedure, and with reference to AAS provisions in the award letter, grant terms and conditions, and this policy.
g) Breach of Policy
Any attempt to claim expenses in breach of the AAS Travel and Subsistence Costs Policy to assist another work colleague to breach it will be considered as fraud.