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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 international travel for NWS employees and coordinating the visits of foreign delegations and students coming to the NWS for various purposes.

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Administrative Support for International Travel for All NWS Employees


The IAO provides administrative support for international travel for all NWS employees and for travelers hosted by NWS, known as “invitational travelers”. This administrative support includes:

  • Supplying information for NWS employees applying for official passports;
  • Sending Country Clearance Cables to U.S. embassies in countries to be visited;
  • Requesting visas from countries to be visited;
  • Reporting of trips and costs incurred to the Commerce Administrative Management System (CAMS) Program
  • Making travel arrangements for invitational travelers

Related Links of Interest:

    Department of State Travel

NWS Travel Card Program

Form CD-15: Transmit/Route Slip
Form CD-210: Record of Gift or Bequest
Form CD-334: Request for Approval of Extra Fare Air Accommodations
Form CD-342: Rcord of Gifts and Decorations from Foreign Governments
Forms by Number

Deadlines for Submission of Foreign Travel Package to IAO Prior To Travel
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


Related Links of Interest:

NOAA’s International Affairs Office

The Department of State’s 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 nonimmigrant 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 and 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.


Related Links of Interest:

U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services

Exchange Visitor Program

Department of Homeland Security

Student and Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS)

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 International Activities Office is the focal point for both short-term and long-term international visitors to NWS facilities.


Related Links of Interest:

U.S. Department of Commerce Manual of Security Policies and Procedures

Scholarships Through the Voluntary Cooperation Program and Four-Month Study Tours for Visiting Foreign Meteorologists at the NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction


The IAO, in cooperation with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), provides scholarships through the Voluntary Cooperation Program for meteorologists from other countries to study at the NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) in Camp Springs, Maryland.

Currently, NCEP provides four-month sessions at three training desks: the South American Desk, the Tropical Desk, and the Africa Climate Desk. The mission of the training desks is to manage an efficient capacity building program that meets the operational and climate needs of the U.S. and international meteorological services. Training provides opportunities to learn operational skill, such as numerical weather prediction techniques and application of the meteorological process in short and long term weather forecasting in operational environments.

Candidates be must nominated by their country’s Permanent Representative to the WMO and apply directly to the WMO.


Related Links of Interest:

Voluntary Cooperation Program

NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)

Hosting Visiting Foreign Delegations on Visits to NWS Facilities and Study Tours in the U.S.


For additional information, please see the International Study Tours and Visitors page.

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International Activities Office
1325 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
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Page last modified: 14-Apr-2009 5:03 PM

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