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Annual Leave Carryover
Most employees serving in a foreign area may accumulate up to forty-five days (360 hours) of annual leave. Upon returning to CONUS, the forty-five days’ maximum annual leave may be retained until the employee’s leave balance falls below 45 days (360 hours) at end of the leave year. Some employees, generally “local hires”, may not be eligible for 360 hours’ carryover (versus 240 hours). Consult HRO if you are recruited from overseas or new to federal employment. (5 U.S.C. 6304(b) applies)

Returning from an overseas post – When you return from an overseas post you can carry a maximum of 360 hours of annual leave into a new leave year. At the end of that year, if your leave balance is less than 360 hours, then that lower balance becomes your new maximum carry-over amount. As each year goes by, any lower balance at the end of the leave year than what you started with at the beginning of the leave year becomes your maximum carry-over amount, until you reach 240 hours.

PCS/Relocation Frequently Asked Questions

Home Leave
Employees serving in foreign areas receive five (5) calendar days of home leave for each 12-month period overseas. Employees may take home leave after completion of 24 months of continuous creditable service. Previous accumulated home leave may be used at any time during subsequent overseas tours, subject to certain restrictions during the last months of the current tour. Home leave is typically used in conjunction with Renewal Agreement Travel (RAT), at which time an employee, who has been offered and has accepted an invitation to extend his/her overseas tour, elects to take his/her RAT entitlement. (From Overseas Allowances Benefits 18 Aug 15)

Home leave is a period of approved absence with pay authorized by 5 U.S.C. 6305 for employees stationed abroad. Home leave is for use in the United States, or if the employee’s place of residence is outside the area of employment, in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or the territories or possessions of the United States.

Eligibility for Home Leave
Employees serving outside the United States who meet the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 6304(b) for the accumulation of a maximum of 45 days (360 hours) of annual leave are eligible for home leave benefits. “Local Hires” are not eligible for Home Leave.

Accrual of Home Leave
Service abroad means service by an employee at a post of duty outside the United States and outside the employee’s place of residence if his or her place of residence is in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or a territory or possession of the United States.
No home leave will be accrued for an employee who would normally meet the requirements for the accrual of home leave, when the period of service abroad is interrupted by a tour of duty in the United States Armed Forces. However, the time spent in the Armed Forces will be counted towards “continuous creditable service.”

Environmental Morale Leave (EML) Program
The Environmental Morale Leave (EML) Program is offered to all active duty military personnel, all DOD civilians with travel agreements and their sponsored dependents. Authorized EML destinations are designated by appropriate authority and subject to change. Only Unfunded EML (UEML) is available in Bahrain. UEML is like Space “A” Travel but has a higher priority. EML orders are good for 90 days from the date EML orders are issued.
Unfunded EML: This benefit allows travelers to travel in a priority space available status aboard military aircraft or commercially contracted missions to a designated authorized EML destination.

EML Categories of Travel

CAT II - EML (Environmental Morale Leave):

  • Sponsors on environmental and morale leave (EML) and accompanied family members (Military personnel must be on ordinary leave, DoD Dependent School (DoDDS) teachers and their accompanied family members are in EML status during school year holiday or vacation periods).

Category IV - Unaccompanied dependents on EML:

  • Unaccompanied family members (18 years or older) traveling on EML orders. Family members under 18 must be accompanied by an adult family member who is traveling EML (DoDDS teachers or family members [accompanied or unaccompanied] in an EML status year-round).

Facts about EML

  • Sponsors and their accompanied dependents travel in category II.
  • Unaccompanied dependents travel in category IV.
  • Dependents must be at least 18 years old to travel unaccompanied.
  • Only one (1) EML location is authorized per trip. First designated/authorized EML destination reached EML travel stops.
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