Travel Reviews, Approvals, and Restrictions
See the Rochester International Travel and Program Development Policy (PDF) for detailed information about travel reviews, approvals, and restrictions.
UPDATE: On January 10, 2018, the U.S. Department of State launched improvements on how they share risk information with U.S. travelers. Under the new system, every country will have a Travel Advisory, providing levels of advice ranging from 1 to 4:
- Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions
- Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution
- Level 3 – Reconsider Travel
- Level 4 – Do Not Travel
The new Travel Advisory system replaces Travel Warnings – which is how Rochester previously defined high-risk destinations in the International Travel and Program Development Policy. In response to the removal of DoS Travel Warnings, Rochester has made an interim change to our definition of a high-risk destination until our travel policy is amended. See the FAQ question “What is considered a High-Risk Destination” for this change.
The Travel Review Subcommittee (TRS)
The TRS evaluates the health, safety, and security of University-sponsored or supported international programs and activities involving Rochester undergraduates traveling to high-risk destinations. The TRS also reviews operational logistics, planning, and risk mitigation strategies for in-country program components.
Travel Approval Requirement for High-Risk Destinations
To minimize health and safety risks, all undergraduate students (and any faculty/staff leading them) going to high-risk destinations on University-sponsored or supported programs or activities must get special permission from the TRS.
Sponsoring academic units, faculty leaders, or individual undergraduate students seeking to travel to high-risk destinations should submit a Travel Permission Request Form (PDF) to the Office for Global Engagement.
Note: For any faculty-led trips, the sponsoring unit or faculty/staff member in charge is responsible for ensuring all participants (including any students) have TRS approval well in advance of their departure.
Travel Permission Request Forms (PDF) should be submitted at least three months prior to departure. However, we suggest submitting as early as possible to allow for any logistical changes that might have to be made to your travel plans.
- What is considered a High-Risk Destination?
Interim definition of a high-risk destination:
Countries under current US Department of State Travel Advisory levels 3 (“Reconsider Travel”) and 4 (“Do Not Travel”), or regions, provinces, and cities that contain the language “Reconsider Travel” or “Do Not Travel” within the narrative of any level 1–4 Travel Advisory. Locations under a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designation of “Warning Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel” are also considered high-risk. Rochester may apply the designation “high risk” to locations that pose a specific health, safety, or security concern as indicated by other sources, such as our insurers or travel providers.
- What types of travel require submission of a Travel Permission Request?
Any University-sponsored or supported academic or business travel to a high-risk destination requires a Travel Permission Request if it includes undergraduate students.
This includes travel that is developed, funded, or administered by the University. Such travel may include, but is not limited to:
- Teaching, research, or conferences
- Administrative work
- For-credit study
- Internships, field studies, or service learning
- Volunteer programs, work programs, and other experiential learning programs
- Performances or athletic competitions
- Trips abroad in connection with student organizations recognized by any University academic or administrative unit
- Students in absentia
- How do I submit a Travel Permission Request?
Contact the Director of Global Travel Risk Management to receive the appropriate form.
- Is there a sample Travel Permission Request I can use as a reference?
Yes. Contact the Director of Global Travel Risk Management to receive a sample.
- Who can help me with the travel review and approval process?
Contact the Director of Global Travel Risk Management with any questions.
- How long will it take to review my request?
Every request is different and some require more time to review than others. We recommend submitting requests as early as possible, but all requests should be submitted at least three months in advance of proposed travel. Contact the Director of Global Travel Risk Management with any questions.
- When should I fundraise and book travel?
You should NOT purchase ANY flights, promote the program, or fundraise, until after receiving written approval from the TRS.
- What is the process for faculty and staff traveling to high-risk destinations?
See the University of Rochester’s International Travel and Program Development Policy (PDF) for more information.
- University-sponsored or supported travel to high-risk destinations is not restricted unless traveling with students. However, faculty and staff members are encouraged to seek advice from the Director of Global Travel Risk Management to develop steps to help mitigate risks.
Access to Benefits
- All staff are required—and all faculty are strongly encouraged—to register their travel plans, whether to a high-risk destination or otherwise.
- Registered travelers are eligible for Rochester Travel Assistance Services, although some destinations are excluded from coverage. Failing to register your travel may impact access and eligibility for such services.
- The University may evaluate and make recommendations regarding any trip interruption and/or evacuation. Faculty and staff who fail to heed instructions to interrupt or evacuate do so at their own risk and may forfeit emergency coverage, expense reimbursements, etc.
- Am I required to submit a Travel Permission Request if I am traveling to my home country?
All travel to high-risk destinations that is sponsored or supported by the University requires a Travel Permission Request regardless of your country of origin – although this is heavily factored into the review process.
- I lead a recurring trip to a high-risk destination. Do I need to submit a Travel Permission Request each time I go to this country?
Depending on the timing of travel and the situation in the destination country, the University may approve all travel at one time. Alternatively, we may approve the first trip and then require follow-up prior to subsequent travel. If you are returning for subsequent travel after receiving permission for one trip, you may edit and resubmit your original proposal to request approval for the new travel.
The US Department of State usually updates Travel Advisories and country-specific information at least annually. Please review the Advisory details, alerts, and related information. Then, make any necessary changes to your proposal before submitting it to the TRS.
- My request was denied. Can I resubmit for further consideration?
No. All decisions are final.
- Who is on the TRS?
The TRS is a subcommittee of the Committee on International Travel, Health, and Safety (CITHS), which administers the University of Rochester’s International Travel and Program Development Policy under the direction of the Provost. The CITHS comprises representatives from The Office for Global Engagement, Office of Counsel, Department of Public Safety, Center for Education Abroad, University Health Service, and each school at the University.