TraiNet and Visa Compliance System Support United States Agency for International Development

Participant Training Data Entry and Documentation

Please read this notice in it's entirety as the information for each level of responsibility will help you to understand why data must be entered so precisely and why each level of review is so critical.

Recent events in Boston are bringing student visas into greater visibility within the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Congress. If you are modifying the end date of a program you must tick the box for a reprint. Updated forms are corrected within the Homeland Security database once submitted but you will only get a new form if you ask for one, they do not reprint automatically. You are also reminded that the implementer is responsible for making a copy of the DS 2019 and uploading it to VCS.

Please be reminded that each of you carries a level of responsibility related to the processing of participants sponsored by USAID. In recent months the number of errors and omissions has risen dramatically. Validations are not being received within the required 3 day window, and updates and cancellations have not been processed on time. Errors in the date and place of birth and participant name are being received daily and take a great deal of time to correct, and have on occasion resulted in the cancellation of a participant because there is no time to get a new DS 2019 to the field.

Please review ADS 252 and 253. Not all requirements are noted in this message. More information can be found on the Participant Training Blog Site (for USAID email addresses only).

Centrally-funded activities:

Missions that receive files for approval without any prior notice may be rejected automatically or, simply not managed at all if no contact information is readily available. AOR's/COR's of Washington funded/managed participants should be contacting each mission with an overview of what the program is, how many individuals are planned and the timeline. Missions do not always have the staff to manage participants from other programs, so you must plan ahead and make sure the mission is aware of the program and can assist. Extra time is almost always needed for Washington-based programs. You must comply with the lead-time and documentation requirements and not just the 5 minimum documents required by ADS 252. Some missions require far more documentation.

Non-Presence country programs:

If you are planning to program from non-presence countries and have no organization in that country that will assist, the AOR/COR will need to serve as the R3, and along with the implementer will be responsible for compliance with all documentation requirements, including a valid SRFI. While there are some USAID regional missions that do manage participants, you should not assume that they will automatically assist with the management of programs outside their responsibility.

Documents:

Please use the most recent version of the Conditions of Sponsorship form. All relevant and current forms are available from the USAID website under "forms". Outdated versions of the Conditions of Sponsorship are still being uploaded.

There are 5 documents required (at a minimum) in order for an R3 to approve a file:

  • Participant-signed copy of the Conditions of Sponsorship form
  • Bio data information
  • Copy of the passport face page
  • Confirmation of HAC coverage
  • Security Risk and Fraud Inquiry (SRFI)

A SRFI cannot be based solely on documentation gathered by an implementer, and a letter of recommendation by itself should never be considered a SRFI. ADS 252 has a list of items that can be used to build a SRFI.

Alumni Association:

Please remember to review the Alumni Association information and disseminate widely.

Travel Validation:

Please remind U.S.-based participants that they must have prior approval to travel and their DS 2019 form must be annotated by USAID Washington. A letter from the advisor detailing the approval, the purpose of the trip and the dates and a pre-paid, addressed FedEx envelope must be provided.

End of year data call:

Please reply to our messages related to the end of FY data. We are responsible for the yearly report to Congress and we work for months correcting data that should have been caught much earlier.

All FY data is required to be completed in TraiNet within 30 days of the end of the FY. We then send every R1 a report of all data they have entered and ask that it be reviewed and corrected. Missions that report NO in-country training are always asked to confirm this fact. After R1's/R2's have confirmed or corrected their data we send a report to all R3's. If data is not considered accurate or if there are questions, all R3's have ample time for questions and reviews.

The Report to Congress is the showcase of USAID training activities and the data is also provided to the USAID Administrator and others within USAID. If you want Congress and Senior USAID management to be aware of the level of work you are undertaking you must make sure it is accurately reported in TraiNet.

Notification if you are no longer fulfilling duties:

If you are no longer holding the position of R1, R2 or R3 you must notify us immediately. R1's must notify the Help Desk and R2's and R3's must notify Linda Walker so that your profile can be de-activated.

R1's:

You are responsible for the initial data entry for all participants. At the bottom of this message you will find the current contact information for the Help Desk. If you have a question about top tier data, initial data entry, password resets, please contact the Help Desk for assistance.

- In-country data is required to be entered quarterly. All data for programs over 16 hours in duration is required, and many missions want all data entered, regardless of duration. If in doubt, ask your USAID sponsoring unit for guidance.

- Data for U.S.-bound participants must be submitted to Linda Walker no later than 3 weeks before the program start date, so please plan accordingly. Data does not necessarily need to be in VCS to start the process, so please check with the Mission or individuals assisting with the pre-program data and SRFI for lead-time and required documents.

- Please double check the budget. In many cases the entire budget for a larger group is listed for each participant, so 5 participants that should cost $10,000 each are actually showing a cost of $50,000 each. This kind of error will skew the overall project or mission data.

- Please work from a copy of the passport face page. There have been too many errors with the date of birth and even the name of the participant, some caught by the Consul that has resulted in a denied visa or the need to correct and receive a new DS 2019...some programs have had to be cancelled or their dates adjusted. Please remember you must enter the name of the participant exactly as it appears on the passport, and the DOB must be in the U.S. format month/day/year. The Department of Homeland Security is matching the passport to the DS 2019 form. The city of birth must also match.....unless it exceeds the number of characters permitted by the data base. In such case you can abbreviate.

R1's are responsible for correctly amending files to show a U.S participant active so the validation process is started. R1's must set up a tickler system to make sure they do not forget to amend a file since their initial work may have started several months before a program. If a file needs to be amended with a change of date instead of a change to active, the R1 must manage this within the appropriate time lines. A validation must be completed within three days of arrival, and cancellations or updates must also be managed on time. Each implementer must make sure there are sufficient numbers of R1 and R2 staff nominated and established within the system to process data.

Questions related to this process should be directed to the help desk.

R2's:

The R2 is usually the supervisor of the R1, but in many cases a mission wants a staff member to serve as the R2 because of the documentation requirements.

- The R2 should also be working from a copy of the passport face page and must catch the errors made by the R1.

- The R2 is usually responsible for uploading all of the documentation. R2's must contact the appropriate R3 with questions related to time lines and documentation requirements.

- R2's are responsible for finalizing the validation and should be working with the R1 to set up a tickler system to ensure validation within the three day time limit. TraiNet-VCS is available 24 hours a day from anywhere with an Internet connection. We have R1's and R2's who accompany participants and manage files from airports and hotels so there is every expectation that every file will be managed as appropriate. If staff are planning a vacation when files must be managed then an alternate must be available to process the information.

- It is permissible to have all 5 required documents uploaded as one file...but they must be named correctly:

  • "Conditions of Sponsorship/SRFI/passport face page/HAC confirmation/bio data form"

Please remember that NO SRFI can be composed solely of implementer-gathered information, and letters of reference by themselves are not a SRFI. esiest way to document the SRFI is for the documents to be uploaded and then for the R3 or other mission staff member to list everything used in the SRFI determination on page three of the Conditions of Sponsorship form, and then sign that page.

- Confirmation of HAC for programs using university coverage may be in the form of a letter confirming that university coverage will be used.

R3's :

- Please check your queue if you are receiving messages about individuals to approve. Some files are time sensitive such as changes in dates, cancellations or terminations. If you are the primary R3 and will be on extended TDY or leave, please make sure you have alternate approvers assigned to handle the files while you are away.

- Please do not approve a file if documentation is missing. All 5 documents required documents must be uploaded.

- Please do not approve a file if incorrect data has been entered...including errors in the budget. You have every right to question what has been presented to you to approve.

- Please do not approve a file if you are aware that there is no way that the DS 2019 can be received and processed in time for a participant to start a program on the start date listed. If you see a notice within the VCS file that there is insufficient time to process, the file should be rejected and the start date amended.

TraiNet-VCS Helpdesk:

E-mail: TrainetSupport@riverainc.com
Phone: +1.703.879.8611
Skype: trainetvcs

Questions related to this notice should be directed to Linda Walker, E3/ED/HEWT


Announcement Date: May 6, 2013

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