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Transition leave


Transition leave is a period of excused absence for resettlement purposes for non-career civil service employees at overseas posts who return from abroad and exercise their reemployment rights. Transition leave may only be approved for resettlement purposes and is to be used before reporting to a new assignment in the United States. 

An employee may request transition leave after he or she reports to a new assignment only for compelling personnel reasons of a compassionate nature, or if required to be at the new assignment for the needs of the Service. A request to defer the use of transition leave must be made in writing to the leave approving official at the new duty station upon reporting to duty. 


Civil Service employees on limited non-career appointments who serve at least 18 consecutive months abroad on an overseas assignment and immediately return to work for their parent agency in the United States for at least six (6) months will be granted transition leave.

Maximum Usage

A maximum of ten (10) working days of transition leave, or excused absence, may be granted to eligible Civil Service employees.

Charging Transition Leave

Unless an operating unit has established a policy or negotiated an agreement to charge transition leave in quarter-hour increments, the minimum charge to transition leave will be one hour. Additional leave will be charged in corresponding units. 


Transition leave is generally to be used before the employee returns to his or her new assignment in the United States. However, if the leave approving official has approved deferred use of the leave (see Purpose above), employees must use the leave no later than 30 calendar days after he or she reports to the new duty station. 

Repayment of Leave

An employee who fails to complete the required six months of service with the parent agency in the United States, and after using the transition leave, will be indebted to the Federal Government for the period of transition leave used, not to exceed ten working days. The period of used transition leave may be charged to accrued annual leave to offset the indebtedness, or repaid at the time of separation. 

Waivers for repayment of transition leave used may be requested in writing and approved by the respective assistant secretary of the appropriate bureau.


Under no circumstances may transaction leave be the basis for or included in a lump-sum payment upon separation. 

Travel Authorization Documentation 

Requests for approval of transition leave or to defer usage are to be included in the request for travel orders and, if approved, are to be noted in the travel authorization. 

Related Laws and Regulations

3 Foreign Affairs Manual 3463.3