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STEP 2 Travel Reimbursement (after travel)

Please apply for reimbursement of the travel after the trip wihtin 6 months after the travel. The central travel department will decide if your trip has been conducted according to all regulations of the Federal Travel Expenses Act. The travel department decides if everything is correct and will pay you the rest of the sum and any other expenses that you had during the trip afterwards.

Sure. Travel plans change all the time, especially during fieldwork, pandemics and other situations. If you want the travel to be reimbursed, you can send the office or the cost center representative a short email to indicate that the plans have changed and you ask for an extension or a change of destination during the travel. A mail should suffice. If you extend for several weeks, you may be asked to fill out the application for approval again.

Please download and fill out the form for travel reimbursement "Abrechnung der Reisekosten" at the FU intranet.

(The form is only available through the FU intranet. If you cannot access it, try to go to www.fu-berlin.de and click on \Direct Links\Personal)

Please note that the university is only able to reimburse incurring personal expenses. No third party or accompanying person can be reimbursed.

What you need for reimbursement:

  1. Copy of travel approval by the department.
  2. Program (full program) of event.
  3. Invoices for travel and/or accommodation (Original)
  4. Receipts (original). Bills and receipts for food and drinks are not necessary. Germany has fixed daily allowances.
  5. Invoices and Receipts for extra costs (which include i.e. necessary vaccinations, PCR tests, visa (in some cases), and other costs during conferences - please see the administrative part of the BRKG for more info).
  6. Itinerary and boarding cards/train tickets. (original or pdf/jpg printouts with scan code).
  7. By payment with credit or debit card: bank statement of transfer.
  8. Should you have paid the fees for any expenses in another currency than EUR, please
     use the sum indicated in the bank statement (if in EUR) or use the following website to calculate the rate for the exact date of payment: OANDA
  9. Tape your receipts/boarding cards on one or more sheet(s) of Din A4 paper, indicating your name and date of travel.
  10. Third persons cannot be reimbursed. If you share a hotel room with another colleague or partner, make sure each of you pays separately and receives a separate bill. You will not get reimbursed unless you can prove that you have paid your debts to the third person involved. If you have paid for the room for your partner, please only apply for the reimbursement of your part.
  11. If you decide to travel from another city than Berlin/return from another city than the location of your conference, please state your reasons in advance. These can only be approved if fees for travel from the other location are cheaper than the fees for the travel itinerary from Berlin. Note that you need to submit proof and a comparison that the usual train/flight is more expensive. Keep screenshots in case you have compared prices for flights/tickets online before booking and submit them with all other documents.
  12. Check the Travel Guidelines from FU Berlin or the BRKG (German Federal Travel Expense Act) for more info.

If you are travelling to more destinations during your business travel (i.e. fieldwork), and these are not part of the vacation days, please download the form (Anlage 1) at https://www.fu-berlin.de/sites/abt-1/formulare/05dienstreisen/pdf_dienstreisen/An1_DR_ABR-09-01.pdf

The travel department will ask you about filling out this form, but it is also possible to make a list of all your destinations yourself.

  1. The central travel department will notify you by email when your application has been received. Keep this mail.
  2. The central travel department will send back all incomplete applications ASAP. Please check your mailbox regularly.
  3. The central travel department will also send back all documents once processed, including a list of expenses reimbursed. The documents will be sent in closed envelopes and only to you personally. Keep these documents safe and please keep them until the end of your time in Berlin.
  4. The central department will also send back all documents when they have decided not to reimburse your travel. As the staff are not allowed to open your personal mail, please check both your online and post room mailbox regularly and notify GEAS Office immediately after having received such note.
  5. You can always object to the decisions of the travel department with a written statement.

Please always try to book accommodation or tickets with a flexible or refundable/rebooking option. The university is unlikely to pay for travels that have not taken place.

Should you have to cancel the travel due to illness, and if the travel was approved, you can apply for reimbursement of the preparation expenses. Note that it is your responsibility to keep the expenses as low as possible and provide proof of sickness, accident, or otherwise - ask for cancellation or reimbursement with the airline/booking providers first.

If you get sick or have an accident during business travel and need to come back earlier, some of your expenses can be reimbursed, if the travel was necessary and was approved by the department earlier. The university accident insurance only ensures employees and only for short trips. Students and external parties should take out insurance of their own.

To make sure you are safe, it is best to take out health (accident) insurance for travels before the travels (about 10 EUR annually with any German insurance provider - Reisekostenversicherung). The insurance provider will pay most of the expenses much more easily and will also ensure your safe transport back home.

If you want to be sure to get your money back when cancelling non-refundable things, take out cancellation insurance (Reiserücktrittskostenversicherung). Some travel insurance packages come with this as well. Also, try to always book accommodation or flights with a cancellation option.

Yes, you need to apply for reimbursement, especially when having received an advance payment of 80%. The prepayment is only a support structure for travels that cost more than 200 EUR. Nevertheless, you have to apply for official reimbursement within 6 months after travel. 

The travel department has to decide if your trip has been conducted according to all regulations of Federal law, and they will reimburse the rest of the travel expenses (20%). If you did not need the advance payment or spent less on the travel than anticipated, you need to pay the advance payment or the difference back.