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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS

USAID Exchange Visitor Visa Compliance, TraiNet/VCS and ADS Training - New Dates Announced

Last Call to Finalize FY 16 Data in Trainet

Last call to finalize the TraiNet data for FY 16, as we will be processing the FY 16 data very soon. Please review the notes below and update all FY 16 as needed as soon as possible.

  • In-country data for programs of 16 contact hours or more is mandatory.

"Sponsoring Units must enter data in TraiNet for any in-country training programs or sub-programs of two consecutive class days or more in duration, or 16 contact hours or more scheduled intermittently. However, Sponsoring Units should report any and all other in-country training events that are critical to their development effort" - the more data that is entered the more complete the sponsoring unit's portfolio will appear.

  • R1's are reminded that in-country and third-country data is to have been entered by program length, not by the length of the award. We are still finding short programs showing as long-term (6 months or longer) because the award dates are being used, not the actual training dates.
  • All training costs regardless of location are to be entered as U.S. dollars.
  • NO U.S. citizen data may be entered.
  • If you sent individuals to the U.S. on an exemption of the use of a J visa as detailed in ADS 252, you must make sure a copy of the a522-5 is sent to Linda Walker (lwalker@usaid.gov) and that the individuals listed on that form have been entered into TraiNet, but not submitted to VCS.
  • You MUST enter all of the various types of funding if other funding is being used such as host country funding, in-kind contributions, tuition waivers, personal funds from the participants, etc.:
    • Host Country Total
    • Private Total
    • Provider Total
    • Other Total
  • Programs that did not move forward must be appropriately managed. Please discuss this issue with the Help Desk if you have questions related to this type of program.

Information can be updated even if a program has ended.

The more training that is entered, the better the country profile.

Questions on basic data entry should be directed to the Help Desk at trainetsupport@riverainc.com. Questions related to the IAWG report or how the data will be used may be directed to me.

Thank you for your support. As always, if you are no longer serving as an R1, R2 or R3, please let us know.

Linda Walker
lwalker@usaid.gov


Notice related to travel ban and electronic devices

Please remain aware of all of the recent requirements and notices related to travel and visa issuance. It is expected that some or all elements of the various actions may change so anyone managing participant travel must watch for any new travel criteria.

The U.S. Department of State recommends the following two sites related to the proposed travel ban (currently under legal review):

https://share.america.gov/how-new-travel-order-works/

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/important-announcement.html

The latest information we have regarding the ban on electronic devices provided to USAID personnel in a travel advisory notice is shown below:

"Today, the United States government ordered nine airlines to stop passengers from bringing most electronic devices into the cabin for U.S.-bound flights from major airports in the Middle East and North Africa.

Passengers will have to check-in any electronic devices bigger than a smartphone including laptops, cameras, gaming devices and tablets such as iPads. Medical devices required during the flight will still be allowed in the cabin after security screening.

Which airports are involved?

Ten airports in eight countries - Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - are affected.

Which airlines are affected?

The nine airlines that operate direct flights to the U.S. from those airports are Egypt Air, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Turkish Airlines.

U.S. airlines are not affected because none of them fly from the airports in question. Passengers will still be allowed to take electronic devices onto flights departing from the U.S.

The UK has also instituted a similar electronics ban.

The UK government today also announced an electronic devices ban on inbound flights from the Middle East and North Africa.

The ban on anything electronic larger than a normal smartphone will affect direct flights from six countries: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. Under the new restrictions, passengers boarding flights to the UK from the countries affected will not be allowed to take any phones, laptops or tablets larger than a normal smartphone - specified as 16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm.

UK airlines will come under the ban, including British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson. Foreign carriers affected are Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Egypt Air, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air and Saudia."

The Participant Training Team will provide updates as they are made available to us by the Department of State.


Visa Processing Times Page has been updated

USAID Exchange Visitor Visa Compliance, TraiNet/VCS and ADS Training

Attention USAID TraiNet and Visa Compliance System Users: Renewal and Transition to GeoBlue - November 1, 2016

Thank you for the continued support of the inbound plan for your USAID participants. We are pleased to announce the transition to Geo Blue which becomes effective on the renewal of your plan on November 1, 2016.

Effective upon renewal, your coverage will be under the GeoBlue® brand offered by Worldwide Insurance Services (WIS) as an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The unsurpassed personal service and access to quality healthcare worldwide you rely on now will now have the added strength of the Blue brand. GeoBlue Student is offered in cooperation with local Blue Cross of Blue Shield companies, which collectively cover 1 in 3 Americans.

This transition allows us to extend our global reach through development of relationships, including those with Blue Cross Blue Shield network in the U.S. and Bupa outside the U.S., to address compliance, regulatory and network challenges. By leveraging our strong relationships we are able to deliver not only compliant local solutions but an extensive global network.

The participants will now access the HAC site through the following link which should be up and running by Monday 9/26/2016.

https://ogse.geobluestudents.com/HAC

It is a brand new look, however the functionalities are the same and the participants should have no trouble navigating the new site. We have replaced the former brochure with our new and expanded member guide. The new member guide has more information and available guidance for the participants with regards to available resources.

In addition, the member website has changed to the new member hub. Again offering a more visual review of the available resources. In addition, there is a new claim form which is available on the site under the claims tab.

The existing link https://www.hthstudents.com/HAC is up and running and will automatically jump people over to the new GeoBlue link, however, if they are enrolled prior to November 1, 2016, they will be enrolled with HTH until the end of their enrollment period. They will be directed to and receive HTH ID cards. However all enrolled after November 1, will be enrolled under GeoBlue. In addition, the next time a student previously insured with HTH enrolls it will be with Blue and they will maintain the same certificate number.

I have attached the new certificates for each plan offering as well as a revised HAC Summary page. I will be sending he member guides as well for your review.

There are a few plan changes. We have removed the conception clause for maternity benefits, so that conception does not have to occur while the plan is in force. We have also removed the $35 per visit limit to outpatient therapies. There are changes to the list of exclusions as well however, they are mostly enhancements and clarifications.

The rates for the short term and third country national plan have remained the same while the monthly rate for long term has increased slightly.

Thank you again for your cooperation . I look forward to your program continuing to grow and a successful year.

Denise Donegan
GeoBlue Account Manager
610-254-8757


Last Call to Finalize FY 15 Data in Trainet

Last call to finalize the TraiNet data for FY 15, as we will be processing the FY 15 data very soon. Please review the notes below and update all FY 15 as needed as soon as possible.
  • In-country data for programs of 16 contact hours or more is mandatory.

"Sponsoring Units must enter data in TraiNet for any in-country training programs or sub-programs of two consecutive class days or more in duration, or 16 contact hours or more scheduled intermittently. However, Sponsoring Units should report any and all other in-country training events that are critical to their development effort" - the more data that is entered the more complete the sponsoring unit's portfolio will appear.
  • R1's are reminded that in-country and third-country data is to have been entered by program length, not by the length of the award. We are still finding short programs showing as long-term (6 months or longer) because the award dates are being used, not the actual training dates.
  • All training costs regardless of location are to be entered as U.S. dollars.
  • NO U.S. citizen data may be entered.
  • If you sent individuals to the U.S. on an exemption of the use of a J visa as detailed in ADS 252, you must make sure a copy of the a522-5 is sent to Linda Walker (lwalker@usaid.gov) and that the individuals listed on that form have been entered into TraiNet, but not submitted to VCS.
  • You MUST enter all of the various types of funding if other funding is being used such as host country funding, in-kind contributions, tuition waivers, personal funds from the participants, etc.:
    • Host Country Total
    • Private Total
    • Provider Total
    • Other Total
  • Programs that did not move forward must be appropriately managed. Please discuss this issue with the Help Desk if you have questions related to this type of program.

Information can be updated even if a program has ended.

The more training that is entered, the better the country profile.

Questions on basic data entry should be directed to the Help Desk at trainetsupport@riverainc.com. Questions related to the IAWG report or how the data will be used may be directed to me.

Thank you for your support. As always, if you are no longer serving as an R1, R2 or R3, please let us know.

Linda Walker
lwalker@usaid.gov

USAID Exchange Visitor Visa Compliance, TraiNet/VCS and ADS Training

New Form AID 252-2 AID 252-2, Exemption of Requirement to Use USAID-Sponsored J-1 Visa

The Agency's Participant Training & Exchanges Team (E3/ED/PT&E) is pleased to notify USAID Mission and Washington staff that form AID 252-2, Exemption of Requirement to Use USAID-Sponsored J-1 Visa, was recently revised and is available on the USAID Forms page.

In accordance with ADS 252, USAID staff are required to use the AID 252-2 form to except foreign nationals, who are participating in U.S.-based USAID-sponsored activities, from the Agency requirement to use a USAID-Sponsored J-1 visa.

The form has been revised to clarify its use to except the Agency requirement for "USAID-Sponsored" J-1 visas, specifically. The form also includes other enhanced text and formatting features.

The new AID 252-2 form, dated November 2015, replaces the previous version of the form which was numbered AID 522-5 and dated June 2009. Mission and Washington staff should destroy copies of the previous form and begin using the revised form going forward for new programs.

AID 252-2, Exemption of Requirement to Use USAID-Sponsored J-1 Visa

Any questions concerning this notice may be directed to:
-- Jeffrey Shahan, E3/ED, (202) 567-4061, jshahan@usaid.gov


New Form AID 252-1 Conditions of Sponsorship for U.S.-Based Activities

The Agency’s Participant Training and Exchanges Team (E3/ED/PT&E) is pleased to notify USAID Mission and Washington staff that form AID 252-1, Conditions of Sponsorship for U.S.-Based Activities, has been revised and is available on the internal MyUSAID (intranet) Forms page. USAID implementers (contractors/grantees) may access the form on USAID’s external (internet) Forms page.

In accordance with ADS 252, USAID staff are required to use the AID 252-1 form to obtain agreement from every selected individual participating in a U.S.-based activity with the Agency’s Conditions of Sponsorship. The form has been revised to clarify certain USAID sponsorship conditions including, U.S. departure and home-country return, program termination, automobile operation and ownership, and repayment of program costs. The form also includes enhanced formatting features.

The new AID 252-1 form replaces the previous version of the form which was numbered AID 1381-6 and dated December 2013. Mission and Washington staff should destroy copies of the previous form and begin using the revised form.

AID 252-1, Conditions of Sponsorship for U.S.-Based Activities

Any questions concerning this notice may be directed to:
-- Jeffrey Shahan, E3/ED, (202) 567-4061, jshahan@usaid.gov


New Form AID 253-1 Demand for Participant Training Costs Repayment
  • The Agency’s Participant Training & Exchanges Team (E3/ED/PT&E) is pleased to notify USAID Mission and Washington staff that form AID 253-1, Demand for Participant Training Costs Repayment, has been revised and is available on the MyUSAID (intranet) Forms page.

    In accordance with ADS 253, the AID 253-1 form is used by USAID staff in carrying-out internal accounting procedures upon confirmation that a USAID-sponsored Participant has become a non-returnee or has been terminated by USAID from a program.

    The form has been revised to incorporate updated Office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) administrative content, as well as enhanced formatting.

    The new AID 253-1 form replaces the previous version of the form which was dated June 2004. Mission and Washington staff should destroy copies of the previous form and begin using the revised form.

    Any questions concerning this notice may be directed to:
    -- Jeffrey Shahan, E3/ED, (202) 567-4061, jshahan@usaid.gov

USAID Exchange Visitor Visa Compliance, TraiNet/VCS and ADS Training

Establishment of New Email Address for all email communications regarding Exchange Visitor (EV) Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN)
  • USAID's Participant Training Team (E3/ED/PT) would like to announce the establishment of a new email address, USAIDITIN@RIVERAINC.COM, for all email communications regarding Exchange Visitor (EV) Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN). See TraiNet Help Site for details.

Issuance of Partially Revised ADS Chapter 253, Participant Training and Exchanges for Capacity Development
  • This notice announces the partial revision of ADS Chapter 253, Participant Training and Exchanges for Capacity Development. This chapter has been revised to update the policy directives and required procedures for the design and implementation of Participant Training programs, including Exchanges, for foreign nationals that are financed, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by USAID. Foreign nationals, who are selected by the Agency to engage in Participant Training programs, including Exchanges, are considered Participants. See TraiNet Help Site for details.

Issuance of Partially Revised ADS Chapter 252, Visa Compliance for Exchange Visitors
  • This notice announces the partial revision of ADS Chapter 252, Visa Compliance for Exchange Visitors. This chapter has been revised to update the policy directives and required procedures related to visa compliance for foreign nationals who are traveling to the United States for any purpose, including invitational travel and participant training, and are financed (either program or administrative costs), in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by USAID. See Trainet Help Site for details.

Submission of files from TraiNet to VCS to obtain DS 2019 form for U.S.-based programs

USAID Exchanges and Participant Training team (AID/E3/ED/HEWT) has re-issued Form AID 1381-6
  • The USAID Exchanges and Participant Training team (AID/E3/ED/HEWT) has re-issued Form AID 1381-6, Conditions of Sponsorship for U.S.-Based Activities (see ADS 252.3.6), to make the form fully applicable to all U.S.-based activities, regardless of the USAID-sponsored traveler's visa type. This agreement between USAID and the sponsored traveler continues to fully reference the Exchange Visitor J-1 visa, as appropriate, but is now also applicable to travelers who have received an exception to USAID's policy regarding use of the J-1 visa (see ADS 252.3.1).

    Form AID 1381-6 (USAID Internal / External)

Participant Training Data Entry and Documentation
  • Please read this notice in it's entirety as the information for each level of responsibility will help you to understand why data must be entered so precisely and why each level of review is so critical.

    Recent events in Boston are bringing student visas into greater visibility within the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Congress. If you are modifying the end date of a program you must tick the box for a reprint. Updated forms are corrected within the Homeland Security database once submitted but you will only get a new form if you ask for one, they do not reprint automatically. You are also reminded that the implementer is responsible for making a copy of the DS 2019 and uploading it to VCS.

    Click here to access the message details.

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