Employment Resources While Overseas

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Overseas Allowance Wizards

Allowances By Location
Allowances By Type


Due to electronic banking, most of the conveniences of home are available to you on post and in most large cities.

Link: Information on banking overseas.

Date Estimated Return from Overseas (DEROS)

DEROS is the date an employee is expected to return from overseas.  DEROS is commonly referred to as "tour of duty".

Link: Information on how DEROS is determined.

Early Return of Dependents Travel

Early return of dependents is government funded travel of dependents from the current overseas duty station to the United States (usually the home of record) once the employee completes the prescribed tour of duty or because of unusual circumstances.

Link: Information and request forms.

Foreign Exchange Rates

The H.10 weekly release contains daily rates of exchange of major currencies against the U.S. dollar. The data are noon buying rates in New York for cable transfers payable in the listed currencies.

Link: Foreign Exchange Rates

Home Leave

Home leave is a leave category available to employees who are permanently assigned to an overseas area, were originally recruited for an overseas assignment from the United States (including its territories or possessions), and have completed a one-time requirement of 24 months of continuous service abroad.

Link: Additional leave category for overseas employees.

Identification Cards

One of the first orders of business you will take care of when you arrive at your overseas assignment is to get your ID card. This card is required to get you on post, into the Commissary and Exchange, pick up packages at the Post Office, and for numerous other day-to-day tasks. Civilian employees and their authorized family members are issued an ID card different form what you may have had in the Continental United States (CONUS). You and your family should carry your ID cards wherever you go. Your new supervisor or assigned sponsor will be able to assist you in obtaining ID cards.

Living Quarters Allowance (LQA)

Living Quarters Allowance is granted for the annual cost of suitable adequate housing for an employee and his/her family at the overseas duty station.

Link: Non-taxable supplement covering expenses for rent and utilities.

One time Living Quarters Allowance Reconciliation

Living Quarters Allowance Reconciliation is a comparison of estimated expenses paid to an employee versus actual expenditures to determine if an overpayment or underpayment of allowances occurred.

Link: LQA reconciliation requirements and forms.

Pay Problems

If you are encountering problems with your pay, contact the Overseas Entitlement Team for assistance and resolution.

When calling or sending electronic mail, please have the following information available:

  • Name
  • Social Security Number
  • Leave and Earnings Statement(s) for the period of time in question
  • Identify which overseas entitlement you're having a problem with
  • Provide description of the problem (i.e., salary advance payment not being deducted, etc.)

Post Allowance

Post allowance is a non-taxable cost of living allowance granted to employees stationed at a post or foreign area where the cost of living, exclusive of quarters costs, is substantially higher than in Washington, DC.

Link: Information on Post Allowance

Post Differential/Danger Pay

Post differential/danger pay are two separate entitlements (taxable compensation) provided in addition to regular salary for employees permanently and temporarily assigned to certain overseas areas, which have been declared a "hostile area" by the Department of State.

Link: Information on Differential and Danger Pay

Ration Cards

Because of host nation tax laws, some items are rationed in the Commissaries and Exchanges.  Gasoline is a big one.  Other rationed items include cigarettes, distilled liquor, and coffee.  You will be issued a ration card.  You will need your ID card to obtain the ration card and must present the ration card and ID card anytime you buy a rationed item.  Separate cards are issued for each adult family member authorized privileges and should be more than adequate for your needs.  DO NOT abuse the privilege.  Using your ration card to purchase items for someone not authorized privileges, except as a bona fide gift, is a violation of both military regulations and host nation tax laws.  A result of abuse may be loss of privileges, fines, and disciplinary action.

Gasoline: Gasoline is VERY expensive on the economy.  The NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) allows the sale of fuel to authorized members of the NATO forces free of local country taxes, on a controlled basis.  When your register your vehicle, you will receive a certificate which conveys your gasoline allowance and is used as your ration document for gasoline.

Renewal Agreement Travel (RAT)

Renewal Agreement Travel is round-trip travel from the overseas duty station to the United States. 

Link: Information and request forms.

Separate Maintenance Allowance

Involuntary SMA may be granted when an agency determines that adverse, dangerous, unhealthful living conditions, such as lack of medical facilities, warrant exclusion of your family from your post of assignment or when the agency determines that there is a need to exclude family members from accompanying an employee to the area.

Voluntary SMA may be authorized when there are special family needs or hardship prior to or after arrival at post for reasons including but not limited to career, health, educational or family considerations for the spouse, children, or other family members.

Link: Information on Separate Maintenance Allowance

Student Educational Travel

Student Educational Travel allows for payment of a child’s travel expenses between school and the employee’s foreign post of assignment once each way annually for secondary or post-secondary education.

Link: Information on Student Educational Travel

Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance (TQSA)

Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance is a non-taxable supplement for employees traveling to/from an overseas duty location on official travel orders and authorized Living Quarters Allowance.

Link: Information and forms regarding TQSA available while locating suitable housing in the overseas area.