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Foreign Travel, Training, and Technical Assistance


The International Activities Office (IAO) supports the National Weather Service in various administrative areas related to international programs and activities. These support activities include coordinating foreign travel for NWS employees and coordinating the visits of foreign delegations and students coming to the NWS for various purposes.
Support for Foreign Travel for All NWS Employees
The IAO provides administrative support for foreign travel for all NWS employees and for visitors hosted by NWS/IA, known as "invitational travelers". This support includes:
  • Processing official passport and visa requests through the NOAA Travel Office
  • Providing guidance on the Federal Travel Regulations and NOAA Travel Regulations
  • Making travel arrangements for NWS/IA invitational travelers
  • Coordination and routing of NWS foreign travel packages to NWS DAA
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Submission of Foreign Travel Package to IAO Prior To Travel
Scenario Timeframe
Traveler does not have a passport and requires a visa 6-8 Weeks
Traveler does not have a passport and will not require a visa 6-8 Weeks
Traveler has a passport and will require a visa 4 Weeks
Traveler has a passport and will not require a visa 3 Weeks
Contact Darlene Roberts for more information.

The Department of State J1 Visa Program for Visiting Foreign Research Scholars

The IAO is the focal point for NWS-hosted visiting scientists and researchers who require NOAA-sponsored J1 visas. J1 visas are issued by the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services and administered by the Department of State through the Exchange Visitor Program.

J1 visas are non-immigrant visas, and participants in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program are expected to return to their home countries when they complete their programs. Entry into the United States as a participant in the Exchange Visitor Program is granted with the understanding that participants will complete the objectives of a single program category.

The IAO complies with Department of Homeland Security directives regarding the Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS), an automated process to collect, maintain and manage information about international foreign students and exchange visitors during their stay in the United States.
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The Focal Point for International Visitors to NWS Facilities Nationwide

The offices of the National Weather Service receive many different types of international visitors, including heads of foreign Meteorological Services and their staff and associates, delegations from foreign governments in related disciplines, members of regional and international organizations, individual scientific and technical collaborators, foreign students and trainees, and members of foreign academic communities.

Policy guidance for foreign national visitors to all Department of Commerce facilities are prescribed in the "U.S. Department of Commerce Manual of Security Policies and Procedures."

The policies contained in the Security Manual apply to all departmental facilities, activities, and operations. The NWS follows this guidance and coordinates with the Office of NOAA Security to ensure coordination with all of its visitors.
The NWS IAO is the focal point for both short-term and long-term international visitors to NWS facilities.

Related Links of Interest:


International Activities Office
1325 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Frank S Musonda  |  Bea Soulisak
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