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Frequently Asked Questions

Choose a topic to view answers to common questions related to the JTR and travel policy. Access more than 800 additional FAQs [login required] in the TraX Knowledge Center.

FAQ | Jan. 25, 2023

Evacuations | OCONUS

Service member dependents, non-essential civilian employees, and civilian employee dependents are authorized evacuation allowances when authorized or ordered to leave an OCONUS location because of unusual or emergency circumstances.

A Service member ordered to evacuate a location must travel in a temporary duty (TDY) or permanent change of station (PCS) status. A Service member is ineligible for evacuation allowances.

State Department has the authority to declare an evacuation from a foreign location. Joint Travel Regulations (JTR), Chapter 6, Sections 0602 and 0603 prescribe allowances for Service member dependents. Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR), Chapter 600, §§ 611–639 prescribe allowances for civilian employees and their dependents. JTR, Chapter 6, Section 0604 implements DSSR allowances for Department of Defense (DoD) civilian employees.

Service member dependents, civilian employees and civilian employee dependents receive transportation and per diem for allowable travel time, excluding personal travel time, until they reach the safe haven location. Command-sponsored dependents, age 12 or older, receive up to the full locality rate and those under age 12 receive up to 50 percent of the locality rate. Per diem for departure and return days to the PDS are paid at 75 percent of the M&IE rate. If an evacuee travels by POV or rental car to and from a safe haven, then they are reimbursed at the TDY mileage rate.

A non-command sponsored Service member dependent is authorized transportation only (no per diem) to the safe haven and no safe haven allowances. A locally hired employee without a transportation agreement is not authorized any departure allowances for him or herself or dependents. That does not prevent them from receiving allowances as a Service member or civilian employee dependent.

Service member dependents, civilian employees and civilian employee dependents must not use DTS for evacuations. Instead, the evacuee must submit a voucher to the servicing finance office. Refer to Who May Use the Defense Travel System? [PDF, 5 pages] for a summary of travel situations when travelers are permitted to use the Defense Travel System.

For command-sponsored Service member dependents, safe haven allowances consist of a lodging allowance and M&IE allowance. The lodging allowance reimburses the cost of commercial lodging and must be documented by a receipt. Lodging tax in the CONUS and non-foreign locations OCONUS is a separately reimbursable expense. Reimbursement for lodging is not authorized if staying with friends or relatives.

  • First 30 Days: Dependents age 12 or older receive up to 100 percent of the locality rate. Dependents under age 12 receive up to 50 percent of the locality rate.
  • Days 31–180: Dependents age 12 or older receive up to 60 percent of the locality per diem rate. Dependents under age 12 receive up to 30 percent of the locality per diem rate.

For civilian employees and their dependents, Subsistence Expense Allowance (SEA) is based on the locality rate of the authorized safe haven and begins the day after arrival at the authorized safe haven location.

The commercial rate (receipts required):

  • First 30 Days: The first family member receives up to 100 percent (may be authorized up to 150 percent for special family compositions) of the lodging portion of the locality rate plus 100 percent M&IE. Each family member age 18 or older receives 100 percent M&IE. Each family member under age 18 receives 50 percent M&IE.
  • Days 31–180: The first family member receives up to 100 percent (may be authorized up to 150 percent for special family compositions) of the lodging portion of the locality rate plus 80 percent M&IE. Each family member age 18 or older receives 80 percent M&IE. Each family member under age 18 receives 40 percent M&IE.

The non-commercial rate (receipts not required):

  • First 30 Days: The first family member receives a flat 10 percent of the lodging portion of the locality rate plus 100 percent M&IE. Each family member age 18 or older receives 100 percent M&IE. Each family member under age 18 receives 50 percent M&IE.
  • Days 31–180: The first family member receives 80 percent M&IE. Each family member age 18 or older receives 80 percent M&IE. Each family member under age 18 receives 40 percent M&IE

A Service member or civilian employee may be authorized round-trip travel and transportation allowances to escort dependents incapable of traveling alone to the safe haven. This travel is considered official travel and the Service member or civilian employee is in a TDY status.

Service member dependents may ship up to 350 lbs. of unaccompanied baggage per dependent age 12 or older and 175 lbs. per dependent under age 12 up to a maximum of 1,000 lbs. per household (see JTR, Section 0603). If dependents are unable to ship unaccompanied baggage by air freight because of circumstances beyond the dependent’s control, an air freight replacement allowance may be authorized to help defray the cost of items ordinarily shipped that must be purchase. The air freight replacement allowance is $250 for an individual, $450 for a family of two and $600 for a family of three or more.

There is no authority for the Government to ship a civilian employee or civilian employee dependent’s unaccompanied baggage.

Transportation and quarantine is authorized for up to two household pets incident to an authorized departure from a foreign PDS. If pets are transported at personal expense, the Service member dependent, civilian employee or civilian employee dependent may be reimbursed up to the constructed cost to the Government for transporting the pets from the foreign PDS to the safe haven and return.

For a command-sponsored Service member dependent, a HHG shipment (other than those specifically authorized or approved as needed for the dependents’ comfort and wellbeing) is not authorized.

For a civilian employee or their dependent, HHG shipment is not authorized.

POV shipment to a safe haven is not authorized for an authorized or ordered departure.

A local travel allowance of $25 per day is authorized. The local travel allowance partially offsets local travel expenses.

Safe haven allowances terminate on the earliest of the following dates:

  • The date the sponsor departs or detaches on PCS from the OCONUS PDS;
  • The effective date of transfer when the employee is already at the PDS to which transferred;
  • The date of separation or retirement;
  • The date specified by the Secretarial Process;
  • The date specified by the Secretary of State;
  • The date specified by USD (P&R);
  • 180 days after the evacuation order is issued; or
  • The date the evacuee commences return travel to the duty station.