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FAQ – Family Visit (FV) travel

Q: Am I eligible for Family Visit travel ?

A: The main purpose of Family Visit travel is to provide periodic family visits for eligible staff members who live alone at their duty station. An Internationally recruited staff member holding a fixed-term, continuing or permanent appointment who serves and resides outside his/her home country may be eligible for Family Visit travel if the following conditions are met:

  • None of the staff member's eligible dependents has been present at the duty station, or in the area of assignment, after their travel there at the expense of UNDP, other than on education grant travel for the preceding:
    • 12 months if assigned to a duty station with a 24-month home leave cycle; or  
    • 6 months if assigned to a duty station with a 12-month home leave cycle  
  • Since departure on the last home leave, the staff member has completed at least:  
    • 6 months of service at the duty station if assigned to a duty station with a 24-month home leave cycle; or  
    • 3 months if assigned to a duty station with a 12-month home leave cycle;  
  • Since departure on the last family visit, the staff member has completed at least:  
    • 24 months of service at the duty station if assigned to a duty station with a 24-month home leave cycle; or  
    • 12 months of service at the duty station if assigned to a duty station with a 12-month home leave cycle

Example of eligibility questions:
Q:  I exercised Home Leave travel in January 2018 and would like to take Family Visit travel in May 2018, am I eligible?

A: 1) No. If duty station has a 24-month HL cycle, a minimum of 6 months of service at the duty station is required to be eligible for Family Visit travel.

    2) Yes. If duty station has a 12-month HL cycle (if duty station has hardship D, E and there is no R&R), a minimum of 3 months of service at the duty station is required to be eligible for Family Visit travel.

Q: My EOD is 01 January 2016 and my family was initially installed at my duty station. However, my spouse and children returned to my home country in August 2017. I would like to take Family Visit travel in December 2018. Am I eligible?

A: Yes, as 12 months has passed since the entire family returned to home country. For staff members assigned to a duty station with a 12-month Home Leave cycle, a minimum of 6 months needs to pass. To confirm the departure from the duty station, please submit either ticket stubs indicating travel dates or kindly ask your local office to confirm the departure including travel dates.

 

Q: How do I apply for Family Visit travel?

A: Family Visit Travel is not in eServices, please follow the steps below to submit a request. Note that Family Visit is charged to the Annual Leave balance, except if reverse Family Visit travel where the spouse travels.

To submit a request:

  1. Complete the form Request for Family Visit Travel (Paper form) and submit to your HR Focal Point in Global Shared Services Unit (GSSU) or JPO Service Centre.  
  2. Submit Annual Leave request in eServices for the travel period and include in comment field "Family Visit Travel".
  3. Once the absence period has been approved by supervisor, forward the approval email from the supervisor to your HR Focal Point for HR's approval of the travel entitlement.

 

Q: Am I eligible for travel time during my Family Visit travel?

A: Yes, a fixed number of days not chargeable to a staff member's annual leave balance will be granted for travel on outward and return journey on family visit. Travel time will be determined based on the most direct flight available as follows:

  • One day for each journey of less than 10 hours; 
  • Two days for each journey of 10 hours or longer but less than 16 hours; and 
  • Three days for each journey of 16 hours or more.  

 

Q: Can my spouse or child(ren) travel on Family Visit to visit me at my duty station?

A: A staff member may request family visit travel for his/her spouse to visit him/her at the duty station instead of the staff member's travel entitlement. Reverse family visit can be authorised provided the duty station has not been designated as non-family.

Family Visit travel cannot be authorised for children, eligible children may exercise Education Grant travel – see Education Grant travel FAQ.

 

Q: Is there a minimum length of stay on Family Visit travel?

A: No, there is no minimum length of stay.


Q: Is an interval required between Family Visit travel and other entitlement travels?

A: A minimum of 3 months interval is usually required between entitlement travels (such as reverse Education Grant Travel) counting from the date of return from one travel to the date of departure of the next travel. However, for designated duty stations with an eight-week (or less) frequency for rest and recuperation (R&R) travel, the normal 3-month interval is reduced to 2 months.

 

Q: How is Family Visit travel paid?

A: Family Visit travel will no longer be paid via voucher payment, but via payroll according to the salary distribution. As a result, and to ensure requests are processed timely, we encourage staff members to submit Family Visit travel requests 2 months prior to travel.

Tip: if you want a specific amount in an account, we recommend requesting salary distribution with a fixed amount. For example, if you have specified that USD 5,000 should be paid to bank 1 and the remaining amount should go into bank 2. Then, any amount that is paid beyond salary will go into bank 2 or vice versa. This way you can control which bank additional payments should go into.  the additional amount could be payment of Education Grant, Education Grant Travel, etc.


Q: Can I travel by car on Family Visit travel? 
A: The lumpsum is normally based on a flight ticket. However, if you choose to travel by car, the lumpsum will be based on 20% of the quotation fare provided by the UNDP Travel Services Section.  


Q: Can I request an Family Visit travel retroactively?

A: It should be emphasized that a request for Family Visit travel should be completed and submitted at least 3 months prior to travel. However, there may be reasons for submitting a request late. If so, a staff member has 1 year to claim an entitlement.

 

Q: Family Visit travel wasn't exercised as planned, how can I cancel the Family Visit travel request?

A: Please contact your GSSU/BES HR focal point and the payment will be deducted from the next payroll.

 

Q: Can I exercise Family Visit travel shortly before separation from service?

A: Yes. However, a staff member's service is expected to continue for at least three months beyond the date of return from the Family Visit travel. If the required 3 months is not fulfilled prior to separation from service, the staff member will not receive payment of repatriation travel expenses. The family visit travel will be considered as the repatriation travel and the staff member will receive only payment of repatriation shipment.

 

Q: Is there an interval between Family Visit travel and other entitlement-related travels?

A: Yes, a minimum of three months is usually required between entitlement-related travel such as reverse Education Grant Travel counting from the date of return to the duty station from one travel to the date of departure of the next travel. For staff members assigned to duty stations with an eight-week (or less) frequency for R&R travel, the normal minimum 3-month interval for entitlement-related travels (such as reverse EG travel) is reduced to 2 months.