Country Clearances (eCC)

What are country clearances?

Country Clearances (formerly known as "Cables" (or telegrams) are a means of communication within the foreign diplomatic network. Country clearance cables notify the Department of State officials in Washington, D.C., and embassy and post officers abroad, of a traveler’s presence in a foreign country. Today, the "cable" system is offline and eCountry Clearances are now submitted electronically to the U.S. Department of State/U.S. Embassy. 

Anyone traveling on behalf of PPPL outside of the United States must obtain a country clearance. A country clearance request is a mandatory memorandum for government employees requesting approval to enter a country in order to conduct official business. 

Who prepares country clearances?

Country clearance cables are prepared and submitted by the PPPL Travel Office. Information is extracted from your Foreign Travel Request Form.  

Why is there a need to prepare country clearances?

1) Embassy information. Consular offices are required to know about all scientific activities conducted during official foreign travel. In some cases, the embassy will provide a contact at the embassy for the traveler. The embassy may request a meeting or report from the traveler

2) Traveler safety. For travelers who have received country clearance, Department of State will provide assistance in situations including, but not limited to, political unrest, health emergencies, and crime

3) Traveler’s convenience. Travelers can receive consular assistance for lost or stolen passports as well as general assistance with hotel accommodations; etc...

4) Potential for clearance to be refused. The embassy may have knowledge of reasons or situations which would prohibit the visit during the proposed period, and may therefore refuse to provide clearance. In such cases, travelers would reschedule the visit to accommodate embassy recommendations.

How long will this take?  

Depending on the foreign country, it can take 5-10 working days for the foreign government to grant host country clearance. While U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to obtain the clearance expeditiously, it is very helpful if the official traveler submit the paperwork early in the process. Waiting until the last minute, such as the day before the scheduled departure, may mean that the trip will have to be postponed, since foreign countries cannot process such requests on such short notice.