Best Practices for Visit Services
Here are a few best practices you should be aware of before organizing an official visit abroad.
More information is better
- Identify clear expectations, interests or goals that you want to accomplish for every destination country for which you are planning an official visit.
- Review the core services offered by Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) Political Economic (PE) program.
- Review the core services offered by DFATD’s Trade Commissioner Service.
- When planning official visits abroad, it should be borne in mind that Canadian missions have differing levels of resources and personnel.
- Well coordinated and strategically planned visits and meetings abroad help to ensure the consistency of Canadian messages and maximize results.
- Travellers should review DFATD country-specific Travel Reports and Warnings prior to departure.
Advance notice for visits
- The more senior the visitor, the more advance notice is recommended and earlier notice will facilitate a successful outcome. Provincial, territorial and municipal partners should provide eight weeks notice of international travel plans.
- Advice of posts on the strategic timing of visits is key and shall be taken into account.
- In the case of private sector or civil society involvement in official visits, a Business Mission Agreement (contact the Trade Commissioner Service Client Feedback Line at: 1-888-306-9991) is recommended.
- Visit-related activities should be scheduled within the normal work week and office hours of the post. For program activities taking place outside the parameters of a normal work week, overtime costs will be charged directly to the visitor.
- No spousal or private programs are provided unless the agenda will advance governmental priorities
- The International Conference Allotment (ICA) does cover some financial aspects of high-level visits (see accompanying chart for further details).
- Except for visits funded by the ICA, funds to cover anticipated costs of the visit must be transferred in advance to DFATD and the visiting organization must identify to the mission the names of officials who will authorize expenditures.
- If travelling to New York or Washington, more specific guidelines are available from the Permanent Mission to the United Nations and the Embassy in Washington respectively. Please request the latest guidelines directly from these missions.
For feedback on Business and Trade-related visits, please call the Trade Commissioner Service Client Feedback Line at: 1-888-306-9991.
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