Vacation Travel Allowance / Post Travel Assistance
What is the Vacation Travel Allowance?
The Vacation Travel Allowance (VTA) is to assist you as an eligible Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member and your family to take a vacation away from your posting Outside of Canada (OUTCAN).
In April 2019, the National Joint Council (NJC) updated Foreign Services Directive (FSD) 50 to refer to Post Travel Assistance (PTA) rather than VTA. Since the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has not yet updated the Military Foreign Services Instructions (MFSI), both terms now refer to the same benefit.
A combination of both directives may apply to your VTA. Therefore, we recommend you consult both documents.
Who is eligible for the VTA?
If you are posted on assignment to a place of duty OUTCAN for a period of twelve months or more, you may be eligible for VTA.
If you are deployed or assigned (unaccompanied) to an operation, you are not eligible for the VTA benefit.
VTA also applies to eligible dependants who normally reside with you at your OUTCAN post. This includes primary and secondary school students who are attending school away from the post, but not in Canada.
For more information, review the MFSI 10.22.02 - Eligible Members.
How is the VTA calculated?
The Director Compensation and Benefits Administration (DCBA) sets the VTA rate table every year on 1 June. A third-party service provider calculates the rates according to the method described in section 50.3 of the FSD, Calculation and Certification of Allowance.
The DCBA communicates the rates via Foreign Service Messages. Your OUTCAN Coordination and Support (URS) can provide you with the rates. Both of these websites are accessible only on the Defence Team Intranet.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NJC’s Foreign Service Directive Committee decided that the DCBA will continue to apply the June 2019 rates until further notice. The NJC is reconsidering this decision every three months.
How is the VTA benefit paid?
The CAF pays the VTA in advance upon your arrival at post. Your allowance and the frequency of its use will depend on your posting duration as well as the level of hardship indicated in your posting message. Initial family size is also a factor; your VTA cannot be adjusted later if there is a size change. However, some circumstances may result in a rate adjustment. For more information, contact your OUTCAN Coordination and Support (URS). You can access this link only on the Defence Team Intranet.
You must prove that you spent your VTA according to the directive (MSFI 10 - 10.22.04 - Verification). You must provide this proof to the approving authority:
- within 30 days of travel completion if you use your VTA for one trip; or
- on completion of all travel for which VTA was issued, but no later than the final departure from the post, if you use the VTA to pay for more than one trip.
If proof is not provided, you could be subject to recovery of funds.
In case of your early repatriation or if you household size decreases after the VTA has been issued, you may have to reimburse all or a portion of the VTA you received. Should this situation arise, contact your OUTCAN Coordination and Support (URS) for assistance. You can access this link only on the Defence Team Intranet.
For more information about the VTA and other travel provisions, review MFSI 10.22.01—Vacation Travel Allowance
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