Travel Reimbursements

Procedure for Reimbursing GHI Event Participants for Travel Expenses 

The GHI-Washington is obliged to adhere to the regulations prescribed by the German Federal Travel Expenses Act (Bundesreisekostengesetz, BRKG), as amended, in the reimbursement of GHI event participants for travel expenses. For this reason, the GHI-Washington can only reimburse event participants for travel expenses if the following procedures have been followed. If travel is not carried out in accordance with the procedures outlined below, then the GHI-Washington will not be able to issue reimbursement for travel expenses, or it will only be able to issue reimbursement for a portion of the incurred expenses. 

1. Flight Costs 

Your event invitation letter included your maximum flight allowance, which was calculated for you individually. Your flight costs will be reimbursed up to this amount upon presentation of your airline receipt. The following guidelines were used to determine this maximum allowance: 

Flight costs were calculated for the officially defined travel days. These travel days were selected to guarantee your full participation in the planned event. Specifically, this means: 

  • The arrival day is usually the day before the first day of the event or workshop, unless it is possible for a participant to arrive on the first day of the workshop, e.g. if the workshop does not start until the afternoon. 
  • The return day is usually the day after the final day of the event or workshop, unless the workshop ends early enough for the participant to return to his/her/their residence by midnight on the final day. 

Your maximum flight allowance was based on the lowest-price ticket category for flights from the airport closest to your university or residence. 

Please note that you are free to select flights on other dates, from other airports, and in other price categories. Please be mindful, however, that the GHI-Washington can only reimburse you for actual flight costs up to the maximum allowance communicated to you in the event invitation letter. If the cost of your flight exceeds this maximum allowance, you must pay the difference yourself. 

2. Other Travel Costs 

In addition to flight costs, the GHI will also reimburse event participants for their travel to and from the airport, or for travel from their residence to the event venue. The following rules apply: 

Bus/subway/train costs 

Travel to and from the airport or from the participant’s residence to the event venue by bus or train with tickets in the lowest price category can be reimbursed upon presentation of the relevant receipt(s). Travel costs of up to EUR 10.00 for bus, subway, or train tickets can be reimbursed without a receipt. 

Taxi, ride share, or rental car 

Costs for a taxi, ride share (Uber or Lyft), or rental car can only be reimbursed under certain conditions. Please contact the event coordinator before using these means of transportation. 

There can be valid reasons for participants to use a taxi, ride share, or rental car, particularly when: 

  • an individual participant has an urgent work-related issue or a compelling personal reason (e.g. a health problem or family emergency), 
  • regularly scheduled means of transportation are not running or are not running on time, 
  • occurs between 10:00pm and 06:00am. 

In the absence of prior approval, receipts for travel by taxi, ride share (Uber or Lyft), or rental car cannot be reimbursed directly. Instead, reimbursement will be made on the basis of the distance traveled (0.20 Euros per kilometer). 

3. Reimbursement for VISA or VISA Waiver Costs 

If you require a fee-based visa or a visa waiver (e.g. ESTA) for your entry, you can also submit these receipts for reimbursement. The GHI-Washington will only reimburse event participants for the fees themselves, and not for additional costs from service providers. 

4. Travel Expense Report 

At the end of your trip, please compile all relevant documents and receipts and send them as a single pdf file to within one month of the final day of the event or workshop. This single pdf should include: 

  • Payment Request Form
  • Invitation Letter
  • All invoices or receipts (excluding those for hotel accommodations or food and drink) 

If you have lost or misplaced your invoices, you also have the option of submitting your credit card or bank statement as proof of payment. Please cross out any payments that are not relevant to GHI event travel. 

Your travel expense reimbursement will be transferred to the bank account included in the payment request form. 

The GHI-Washington will begin processing your reimbursement as soon as you have provided all of the necessary documents and receipts and will aim to issue your reimbursement within a few weeks. 

If you have questions regarding reimbursement procedures for your forthcoming trip, please do not hesitate to contact us: 

Markus Borchertmeyer 
Administrative Associate 
German Historical Institute Washington 
1607 New Hampshire Avenue Northwest 
Washington, DC 20009-2562 
Phone: 001 202 552 8935 

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