Arrival Preparations

Personnel assigned to the USA and parented through the Embassy should follow the checklist and notes contained below. If you are in doubt about the process please contact the Arrivals Assistant.

Assignment Preparation Checklist

Single/Unaccompanied Personnel
Submit application for flights through their current admin organisation.

Married Accompanied Personnel
Submit applications for flights on FMOV564E through their current unit HR; this will then be sent to the Families Section ([email protected]). The Families Section should contact you upon receipt of the FMOV564E, they will provide you with further guidance and also provide advice on family medical packs that have to be completed before travelling. Flights will not be confirmed until Defence Travel Management Organisation (DTMO) have received the VISA applications.

RN/RM Married Accompanied Personnel Only. DO NOT go through your current unit as HMS NELSON are the delegated unit for RN/RM overseas moves, therefore contact Amanda Cleveland, Relocations Officer before completing any forms –[email protected]

It should be noted that the Family Section have been instructed not to book flights which do not meet the current briefing schedule.

Individuals are to book their own hotel in DC via HRG either:

Online at https://modgovuk.sharepoint.com/sites/defnet/HOCS/Pages/Booking-travel.aspx 

Or phone (0203 668 2210) – this attracts an admin fee.

At the time of booking please highlight any special requests such as cots and also request a late checkout for 1500hrs on the briefing day

BEET (British Embassy Estates Team) will advise all D.C. personnel about booking hotels if required (through HRG), personnel posted to the DC area can opt to be allocated a property or to source their own accommodation on arrival. Personnel who have a property allocated by the BEET will move into their permanent accommodation the day after they arrive in country, Personnel opting to source their own accommodation will move into fully furnished and equipped temporary housing the day after their arrival in country. If temporary accommodation is not available incoming personnel will be authorised to book a hotel through HRG for 14 nights. Personnel occupying temporary accommodation are not able to claim daily subsistence.

All personnel posted outside the D.C. area will need to book a hotel at their final unit location through HRG. It is not possible to approve properties or authorise payments in respect of rent and security deposits prior to your arrival in country.

Personnel posted to the Norfolk/Virginia Beach areas of Virginia should contact the Norfolk Accommodation Desk Officers when they are in receipt of their AO.

The Families Section at MOD Abbey Wood on receipt of the FMOV564E will send you a separate pack containing notes for your family members, which includes a requirement to complete a certificate of medical fitness for each family member, which will need to be completed by a doctor. If you do not receive this pack, they can be contacted at [email protected].

If you have any issues with healthcare and education for your family members you should contact the BDSUS Team immediately, as the staffing / approval of cases can take time.

Healthcare
Contact the Healthcare Coordinators if there are any ongoing medical issues of concern. Medical examinations are required by all dependants. If you or a dependant has a repeat prescription, it is important to check that this medication is available in the US and whether it has a different name. It is also advisable to bring a three-month supply of your medication with you when you first come to the US. You should be aware that until formal medical clearance is received by BDSUS health team dependants will not be allowed into post. As medical clearance can take time you must not delay in submitting your health clearance forms as directed in this letter.

Children’s Education
Schooling in the US has some differences to schooling in the UK and it is the responsibility of the parent to research the school options in your posting location and determine if a US posting is suitable for your family. Read through the information available in the Education section. Contact the Health and Education Team if you require any Information with sending your child(ren) to school in the USA.

It is vital that you read carefully the education advice and direction on UKGOV web site.  If your child has special needs or other educational issues, then it is imperative that you apply early to DCYP for educational clearance for your posting as directed in your pack from Abbey Wood as clearance by BDSUS will not be given without formal authority from DCYP first and this can take a significant time. You should note that children with Autism are currently not authorised by DCYP to attend US schools due to incompatible differences with the US approach to specialist education.

While there are no specific vaccination requirements for entering the USA, those travelling with children of school age will be required to provide proof of their vaccination records before they can register for any US school. It is therefore recommended that you familiarise yourself with the immunization information found on the UKGOV.net website, as well as contact your future US school (if known) prior to leaving the UK. Many US schools require immunization against Hepatitis B; all vaccinations required by schools can be obtained for free in the US. If you pay for any vaccinations prior to arrival, the cost will be a personal expense. Additional assistance is available from the Healthcare team.

There are additional medical tests for those travelling on International Travel Orders (ITOs).  Personnel should check current guidance and seek assistance from their respective medical facilities.  

The Vaccination program in the USA is different to that in the UK and personnel should be aware of this prior to arrival.

It is your responsibility to arrange, through your current parent unit, for the shipping of your entitlement PE to your new duty station and the remainder to be stored in the UK. Agility Logistics is the company responsible for the processing of your UB and storage of PEs. The application for movement of PE and storage is completed online at the following link https://grms.agilitylogistics.com. Once you have completed the registration process for each type of move, you will be prompted to print the application form which you are required to have completed and stamped by your Unit Designated Officer.

RN/RM Personnel Only. Do not go through your current unit as HMS NELSON are the delegated unit for RN/RM overseas moves, therefore contact Amanda Cleveland, Relocations Officer [email protected] before completing any forms.

Contact the J1 SNCO to discuss requirements before arrival. Failure to do this might delay your CEA claim being processed.

The British Embassy Estates Team (BEET) will contact individuals approximately 12 weeks prior to your arrival in country or upon receipt of a completed BDSUS Arrivals Data Capture Sheet and copy of the AO being sent to the Embassy if this is provided less than 12 weeks prior to arrival.

US Department Of Defence Base Housing should be considered as a first option where available. Requests to the BEET should be made via Email to [email protected]

The BEET system relies upon rules to allocate  emails to the right area; it is therefore vital that you follow the correct naming convention.

Please ensure you include ‘BEET –‘ at the start of the subject matter line. This is the most essential element, failure to do so will lead to a slower response.

This should be followed by either ‘DC’ or ‘NONDC’, your issue and finally your name.

Examples:          

  • BEET –NONDC-New Arrival – Location – Arrival Date –SMITH, JOHN
  • BEET –DC-Arrival – Arrival Date –BLOGGS, JOE

BEET will advise all D.C. personnel about booking hotels if required (through HRG), personnel posted to the DC area can opt to be allocated a property or to source their own accommodation on arrival.  Personnel who have a property allocated by the BEET will move into their permanent accommodation the day after they arrive in country, Personnel opting to source their own accommodation will move into fully furnished and equipped temporary housing the day after their arrival in country.  If temporary accommodation is not available incoming personnel will be authorised to book a hotel through HRG for 14 nights. Personnel occupying temporary accommodation are not able to claim daily subsistence.

All personnel posted outside the D.C. area will need to book a hotel at their final unit location through HRG. It is not possible to approve properties or authorise payments in respect of rent and security deposits prior to your arrival in country.

Personnel posted to the Norfolk/Virginia Beach areas of Virginia should contact the Norfolk Accommodation Desk Officers when they are in receipt of their AO.

It is important to engage in some sound financial planning prior to your departure from the UK. Most personnel find that the first year in the USA can be quite expensive, so the USA Sp Gp recommends individuals investigate credit cards, credit ratings and which US bank would be suitable for their final unit location. Research carefully.

Bank Account
It is vital to open a bank account at the earliest opportunity and to pass these details to your respective unit HR. These bank details are used to update JPA and Olli (US local IT system) which is used in paying your house deposits, monthly rent and bills.

Your current Unit HR will be able to advise on allowances for the journey over to USA, including hotel stays, night and day subsistence and advances. 

Advance of Pay
You are entitled to request up to 4 months Advance of Pay (if required) from current unit admin which will be repayable over 12 months. Your initial expenses will more than likely be far more than would normally be expected on assignment and you are therefore strongly advised to research this entitlement. The advance is paid back over 12 months which will affect your overall monthly pay. The advance should be in your UK account prior to your arrival in the USA.  Please contact HR Specialist for more information, especially concerning implications on tax for advances in excess of £10,000 (JSP 754 para 01.0505 refers).  

Your current unit HR should not under any circumstance advance you an EPIC in lieu of the advance.  

You will be able to transfer funds from the Advance of Pay through JPA (not personal savings) through the Claims Processing Centre (CPC) to your US bank account at the FFR.  The CPC is based within the Embassy.

Advance of Subsistence
Advances for subsistence taken prior to arrival on JPA must be cleared within 30 days. This should not be confused with your advance of pay. This is to cover night and daily subsistence. SP can claim up to 90% of cost and the advance should only be used if necessary.  

The current rate of Daily Subsistence for the UK and USA can be sought from Unit HR.

Disturbance Expense (DE) 
Submit claim on JPA which can be completed from 45 days prior to assignment date on your AO. Accommodation in USA is classed as SFA/SLA and not privately rented.

A mail stop will be allocated to you via BFPO 2 (BF1 3AA).

All personnel are to ensure that they have a Defence Gateway account prior to departure. This will enable access to pay statements, on line training, information and the BFBS TV Player. To register for an account or reset passwords, access the following link; https://sts.defencegateway.mod.uk/login.aspx

If you own your home and it is your Residence at Work address you may be entitled to legal fees if you sell or let your property. Check with your current HR unit for additional information.

In recognition of the unique nature of this location, a maximum of 14-days car rental at your new place of duty is permitted. The vehicle is for the purpose of commuting, searching for accommodation and using local amenities. This local concession cannot be extended beyond the 14-day limit, regardless of the circumstance.

These vehicles are booked through Babcock, therefore there should be not personal cost for the hire. The hire location may occasionally ask the individual to provide their credit card details, but this would only be for potential minor incidentals, such as traffic camera violations that are initially billed to the rental company. Please contact the BDSUS Travel Centre at [email protected] if you encounter any issues with the booking.

Spouses may drive the hire-car provided they hold a valid UK driving license and YOU purchase the necessary additional insurance from the hire company. The MOD acts as its own insurer for rental vehicles and as such, any insurance purchased at the time of hire for your spouse will not be refunded. Also, the MOD will only fund the first 14-days hire, therefore, if you require a vehicle for longer you will be required to book and pay for it separately, including insurance, as cover ceases at the 14-day point. The size of the hire car is relevant to the family size. Unauthorised upgrades are prohibited including hiring devices such as Sat Navs and Child Car Seats.

This can be done via JPA Expenses under ‘Change of Assignment’; do not use Other Duty Travel or your claim will be rejected. If you do not have JPA access and have not applied for an advance of travel and subsistence, use the JPA F016 and forward to the Sp Gp.

If you have taken an advance on JPA, your claim will need to be completed on JPA or through a manual form.  Failure to carry out this action will result in the advance being automatically recovered through your pay.

Arrival briefing

All personnel assigned to the USA apart from those assigned to Creech AFB, Edwards AFB, Eglin AFB, and NOPF (Dam Neck) will receive a comprehensive virtual arrival brief pack up from the BDSUS J1 Team before taking up their new appointment.  All personnel will also be booked onto a BDSUS Arrivals Confirmatory Brief nearer to the assignment date.  This brief provides the opportunity to ask specific questions relating to individual circumstances and includes members of the BDSUS J1 HR Team, British Embassy Estates Team (BEET) and the Healthcare and Education Team.

Allowances & charges in the US

Additional information regarding allowances and charges can be found at the references below or via Unit HR specialists.

Local Overseas Allowance (LOA)
All personnel serving in the US will be entitled to LOA. Rates are dependent upon your rank, PStat Cat and number of children (this will depend on location of children). Ask your HR Specialist for the current rates applicable to USA or the link below on the Intranet. A small number of Attache posts receive COLA and information will be provided separately.

Link to the index of worldwide LOA rates, via MODnet. Click here. See the ‘LOA’ section for more information.

This allowance applies to single or married unaccompanied personnel. Ask your HR Specialist for the current rates applicable to USA or the link below on the Intranet.

Link to the index of worldwide LOSLOA rates at Annex B, via MODnet. Click here. See the ‘LOSLOA’ section for more information.

HDT will be started on return of hire car. SP can either claim manually or automatically – further details provided at the Embassy arrival brief.

See the Home to Duty section for further information. 

If Voluntarily Separated (VOLSEP) service personnel will receive Level 1 LSA.  Those personnel who are Involuntarily Separated (INVOLSEP) will attract the level of LSA that the SP is currently on.  All individuals will receive LSA if they are away from their normal unit for more than 7 days. Rate is dependent on individual’s level.

All eligible SCVs are booked by this Embassy upon receipt of a BDS Form 704. This process should be undertaken after initial application on JPA. Personnel should read JSP 752, Chapter 10 Sect 2 concerning entitlement and criteria for SCV’s.

SP and their families are entitled to one GYH(O) flight back to the UK every 12 months starting from their arrival date.  There are currently 3 rates of allowance, West coast, East coast and Hawaii. The divide between West and East coast rates is the line between the Central and Mountain time zones. Personnel should read JSP 752, Chapter 9 Sect 11 concerning entitlement and criteria for GYH(O).

See the GYH(O) section for additional information. 

SP will be entitled to two grants.

  • ASG is intended to purchase bedding, cushions, curtains etc. Rates are dependent on property size and what type of lease individuals are on.
  • SEG Supplement is intended for individuals to purchase items such as hairdryers, toasters and kettles due to the alternative voltage of US goods.

You are required to purchase the items within 12 weeks of occupation of permanent accommodation.  Any unused monies should be paid back to the CPC. Personnel are subject to audit and should retain receipts for 3 years.  

Personnel should read JSP 752, Chapter 9 Sect 5 concerning entitlement and criteria.

Embassy HR Specialist will brief in more detail and provide rates on day on Embassy arrival brief.

DS is the re-imbursement of actual receipted costs, up to a DS limit for expenditure necessarily incurred for food and drink during the day for periods of over 5 hours’ absence from the permanent or temporary assignment station, when neither a Core Meal in a PAYD Unit or an Entitled Casual Meal in a non-PAYD Unit can be purchased.

  • Please retain receipts for audit purposes.
  • Can be aggregated over the whole period.
  • Includes laundry costs
  • Tips can be included – up to 15%

Meals should be interpreted as prepared food, which is defined as food made by a manufacturer, restaurant or food outlet, to be ready for consumption at the point of sale or temporary duty location (thus replacing what would be provided by the Service mess facility); exceptionally, microwavable meals are included in this definition.  As an example, a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar does not constitute a meal. A DS claim may not include an alcoholic drink.

Current rates are available, through MODnet at this link.

See the ‘Subsistence’ section for more information. 

NS is paid for an overnight absence where there is no suitable Service accommodation provision.

Book through HRG/DHRS. They will provide a booking reference number. SP to pay for costs up front then claim through JPA or manual claim form.

See the ‘Subsistence’ section for more information. 

Service Family Accommodation – Whilst in the USA charges will be for Service Family’s Accommodation if married accompanied:

  • Accommodation Charges, including CAAS banding
  • Garage/Carport (If applicable)
  • Fuel and Light
  • CILCOT (these charges are now waived for overseas personnel)

Single Living Accommodation – Single or married unaccompanied personnel, who are subject to charges, will be charged single accommodation rates due to the receipt of LOSLOA.

All personnel will pay Grade 2.

See the ‘Accommodation’ section for more information.

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2021 @ 7:47 am

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