Pol-International Travel

policy international travel policy abroad study modified Tue Nov 30 2021 15:04:40 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time)

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University of Louisville

OFFICIAL
UNIVERSITY
ADMINISTRATIVE
POLICY

POLICY NAME

International Travel

EFFECTIVE DATE

August 10, 2021

POLICY APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to University of Louisville employees (administrators, faculty, and staff), students, and all other persons traveling internationally on behalf of the University of Louisville.

REASON FOR POLICY

The University of Louisville supports and encourages its employees and students to participate in international travel activities and promotes the development of opportunities for international study and research.  The purpose of this policy is to protect the students, employees, and other persons traveling abroad on behalf of the University of Louisville and to reduce potential risks associated with international travel.

POLICY STATEMENT

The University of Louisville (University) supports and encourages its employees and students to participate in international activities and is committed to the health and safety of individuals traveling abroad for University educational or business purposes.

The University requires all employees, students, and other persons traveling internationally on its behalf to comply with the procedures and conditions outlined in this policy.  No student, employee, or other person traveling on behalf of the University shall be required to participate in an international activity under University auspices in a country for which the Department of State (DOS) has issued a Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4.  The University prohibits student travel to DOS Advisory Level 4 locations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Warning Level 3 and above locations without an approved appeal.  Employees may not travel to DOS Advisory Level 4, CDC Warning Level 3 and above locations without an approved appeal.  When traveling to countries on the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) Sanctions List, employees and students must obtain additional permissions outlined in the Procedures section of this policy.  Additionally, all employees, students, and other persons traveling internationally and on behalf of the University are required to register their travel with the University-approved international travel insurance.

In any situation involving a Travel Advisory, Travel Health Notice or Travel Health Warning (the special conditions that caused the advisory, notice, or warning to be issued) may warrant additional or different University interim policies and precautions.  In such a case, the Executive Vice President and University Provost (Provost) has the authority to establish such interim policies and precautions in consultation with University officials as deemed appropriate under the circumstances.  In the case of any conflicts between the interim policies and precautions and this policy, the interim policies and precautions will take precedence over this policy.

Exceptions to this policy may be provided through an appeal process outlined below.

Securing University Devices and Data

Any person traveling internationally on behalf of the University who intends to take University devices or data or access such information must adhere to ITS requirements and review the University’s Information Security policies on how to safeguard the University devices and data.  Questions regarding the information security policies may be directed to isopol@louisville.edu.  Technical questions should be directed to the ITS Helpdesk or your Tier 1.

Policy Compliance

Failure to comply with this policy and associated procedures will result in individuals not receiving pre-approval authorization for international travel, will result in the University not approving reimbursement requests related to such travel, may result in increased personal and financial risks to the individual traveling, and may result in individuals being subject to disciplinary action in accordance with University policy.

PROCEDURES

Part I. International Travel Procedures

All employees, students, and other persons traveling internationally on behalf of the University, regardless of funding source, are required to follow the University’s International Travel Procedures.  The procedures may vary, as noted below, depending on the traveler’s role or the country to which the person is traveling.

Individual Employee Trips:

  1. Travelers must complete and submit the required forms to the Travel and Expense module in PeopleSoft at least twenty (20) working days before the travel start date.   The forms must have approval signatures from the Department Chair and Dean prior to submission. 
  2. Travelers must obtain a pre-approval authorization email from the International Center prior to purchasing airfare, lodging, and travel insurance. 
  3. Employees who do not receive prior approval will not be reimbursed for their international travel expenses.
  4. Travelers must complete the travel insurance form to register the CISI travel insurance.    
  5. Travelers are required to submit their travel itinerary and lodging information to the International Travel Service Account at fasit@louisville.edu prior to departure. 
  6. Once all above steps have been completed, the International Center designee will sign and send full Provost approval via email. 
  7. Prepaid expenses (airfare, lodging deposits, conference registrations etc.) should not be charged until they have been pre-approved by the International Center.
  8. Travelers must comply with policies and procedures as outlined in the Controller’s Office Travel Policy.    


Group Trips:

The lead contact or host of the group trip shall complete steps 1-4 above and submit the additional required group trip forms to fasit@louisville.edu.  Please refer to the checklist on the group trip page to ensure all forms are submitted correctly. Once all of the above steps have been completed, the International Center will verify approval via email. Travelers must also comply with policies and procedures as outlined in the Controller’s Office Travel Policy.

Student Trips:

Students traveling for non-study abroad purposes must complete all required forms and submit them to the Office of Study Abroad and International Travel.  Students traveling for study abroad purposes follow a different process and must work through the process listed here.

Part II. Procedures for Department of State Travel Advisories

The University will not require travel to any country ranked as a Level 3 or 4 on the DOS’s Travel Advisory list.  Anyone traveling on behalf of the University to a country on the DOS Travel Advisory list (Levels 2-4) must follow the procedures outlined below.  Please allow up to an additional thirty (30) days for the processing of requests for approval to travel to one of these countries.  The additional amount of time is required to request approval from the University’s Travel Advisory Committee or other appropriate University officials.

Section I. Student Travel

When the DOS issues Travel Advisory Levels 2-4 the following procedures and conditions apply to student travel:

Level 2

  1. The student wishing to travel to a Travel Advisory location must review the Advisory and the “Safety and Security” section on the DOS’s country information page in consultation with a study abroad advisor. 
  2. The student must carefully consider the risks described in the Travel Advisory and subsequent safety and security information.  The student must weigh those risks against the value of the educational opportunity and determine whether to continue with the planned research or activity.  The student should take into consideration that the University and even the DOS may be unable to assist with difficult matters encountered abroad. 
  3. The student must sign an additional release, acknowledging the existence of the travel advisory and the student’s decision to continue with the planned activity despite the advisory, releasing the University from all liability including, but not limited to, death, injuries or losses suffered while participating in the activity.  If a student is under age 18, the student’s parent or guardian must also sign the release.


Level 3

  1. Complete Level 2 steps 1 through 3.
  2. The student must provide a written statement and risk mitigation plan to the Office of Study Abroad. The letter must include: an explanation of why travel is essential to the student’s research and graduation plan, a demonstrated understanding of the risks present in the destination, a plan to mitigate those risks, any regional experience, language ability, depth of in-country networks, and why this experience cannot be obtained in a safer location. The Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA) and Travel Advisory Committee need to have a clear understanding the student understands the risks and has thought about steps to mitigate these risks.
  3. The student must obtain a faculty recommendation confirming, in writing, that the planned academic activity is essential to the student's academic plan. This confirmation needs to affirm failure to study abroad would delay the student’s graduation, impede their ability to complete a degree, or another academic reason. 
  4. The VPSA, in consultation with appropriate University officials, will review on a case-by-case basis all requests from students wishing to travel to regions under a DOS Travel Advisory Level 3.  Anyone wishing to travel to a country on the Travel Advisory list must have advance permission from the Director of Study Abroad and International Travel, and the approval of the VPSA. 


Upon completion and submission of the steps listed above for Level 3 to the Office of Study Abroad and International Travel and upon receipt of acknowledgment from the Director of said office permitting travel, students may use approved University funding in accordance with Financial Aid guidelines, including any external funding administered through and dispersed by the University, for approved research, study, training, or presentation.

Level 4

When the DOS issues a Travel Advisory Level 4 to a particular district or country, University promoted study abroad programs, research, training and presentations in that district or country shall be suspended.  

Students are prohibited from traveling to DOS Level 4 Advisory countries unless the Level 4 Travel Advisory is in place due to a pandemic and the student has received an approved appeal. Student appeals to travel to a DOS Travel Advisory Level 4 country may only be approved if the advisory is in place due to a pandemic and the travel is part of a group trip or with a pre-approved university partner.

The Vice President and/or Dean of the Department and the Vice President for Student Affairs must agree on the appeal and may consult with others as needed. If they do not agree, the Provost must make the final decision on the approval of the appeal. To obtain approval the following criteria must apply and the procedures must be followed by the student:

  1. The student shall provide advance notice of travel plans to the International Center designee in the International Center prior to making travel arrangements.  The traveler shall prepare a written request that describes the necessity and value of the proposal travel and the steps that will be taken to mitigate risks during the trip.  The information should be submitted to the International Center designee. 
  2. The International Center’s designee will present the travel request to the Travel Warning Committee, which, in consultation with appropriate University officials, may authorize or prohibit travel, or require modification of schedule or itinerary as needed to manage risks.  
  3. Complete Level 3 steps 1 through 3.


If the student is already in a district or country where travel is prohibited, the following procedures will apply: 

  1. Director of Study Abroad and International Travel, in conjunction with the Vice President and/or Dean of the Department hosting the program, the Vice President for Risk, Audit, and Compliance, and the Vice President for Student Affairs will make a recommendation to the Provost as to whether the student shall be required to return to the U.S.   
  2. The Provost will make the final determination. 
  3. If the student is required to return to the U.S. under these circumstances, the University will, at the student’s request, work with the student, the University required international travel insurance company, and the third-party provider (when applicable) to make arrangements to return to the U.S. Failure to comply with a University’s directive may result in disciplinary action as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct
  4. The International Center will attempt to notify those students who are already in the district or country where the Level 4 advisory has been issued of the University’s actions regarding its programs in that district or country and the safety of its students. 


Section II. Employee Travel

The University recognizes that when conducting research, teaching, or public service on a global level, opportunities will arise for employees to travel to countries that are on the DOS Travel Advisory List (Levels 2 or 3), or to countries where other hazardous conditions such as a disease outbreak exists.  The University does not prohibit such travel, but does attempt to balance the value and necessity of the travel against the potential risks.  To this end, the following procedures and conditions apply to such travel:

Level 2

  1. The employee shall review the DOS Advisory and the “Safety and Security” section on the DOS’ country information page about the conditions of the country in question and continually evaluate the value and necessity of the travel against the potential risks. 
  2. The employee shall take precautions with respect to personal safety.  The employee shall recognize that the University required international insurance company, and even the DOS may be unable to help in the event the employee encounters difficulties abroad. 
  3. The employee must sign an additional release, acknowledging the existence of the travel advisory and the employee’s decision to continue with the planned activity despite the advisory, releasing the University from all liability including but not limited to death, injuries or losses suffered while participating in the activity. 


Level 3

  1. Complete Level 2 steps 1 through 3.
  2. The employee shall provide advance notice of travel plans to the Provost’s designee in the International Center prior to making travel arrangements.  The employee shall prepare a written request that describes the necessity and value of the proposal travel and the steps that will be taken to mitigate risks during the trip.  The information should be submitted to the Provost-designee. 
  3. The Provost-designee will present the travel request to the Vice President of Student Affairs (VPSA), who, in consultation with the Travel Advisory Committee and other appropriate University officials, may authorize or prohibit travel, or require modification of schedule or itinerary as needed to manage risks.  If the VPSA and Vice President and/or Dean of the Department approve the request, the travel will be approved. If the VPSA and Vice President and/or Dean of the Department do not agree on the request, the Provost will make the final decision.
  4. If a request for funding, grant proposal, or University contract states a need to travel to a country under Travel Advisory status the planning and approval steps described above must be completed prior to submission of the request. 
  5. If an employee is already in the country when a Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 is issued, the International Center designee will contact the employee.  The employee must then consult with the employee’s Department Head and Dean regarding whether the employee will be required to relocate to a safer area or return to the U.S.
  6. If the employee wishes to remain in a country after a DOS Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 is issued, the review and approval process described herein becomes applicable.  In the event the employee is hired specifically to perform a job located in a district or country for which a Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 is issued, the Director of Study Abroad and International Travel, in conjunction with the Vice President and/or Dean of the Department of the employee, the Vice President for Risk, Audit, and Compliance, and the Vice President for Student Affairs will determine if the employee can  continue the activity under Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 conditions, or suspend, relocate, or terminate the program. 


Level 4

Employees are prohibited from traveling to DOS Level 4 Advisory countries unless they receive an approved appeal.  The Vice President and/or Dean of the Department and the Vice President for Student Affairs must agree on the appeal.  If they do not agree, the Provost must make the final decision on the approval of the appeal.

If an employee elects to travel to a country listed as an Advisory Level 4, and against the direction of the University (through the Department Head or Provost), then the employee’s travel and all associated activity will be deemed to be outside the course and scope of University employment.  In such situations, University funds may not be used for the travel or any associated expenses.

Additional Information and forms are available on the University Provost’s International Travel Site.

Part III. Procedures for CDC Travel Health Notices

When considering travel to countries where health issues are a concern, the CDC uses travel health notices to alert travelers to health threats around the world and how to protect themselves.  The CDC has three types of health notices: 

  1. Watch Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions: Usual baseline risk or slightly above baseline risk for destination and limited impact to the traveler 
  2. Alert Level 2: Follow enhanced precautions: Increased risk in defined settings or associated with specific risk factors; certain high-risk populations may wish to delay travel to these destinations
  3. Warning Level 3: Avoid all non-essential travel: high risk to travelers 


The CDC may also provide travel health notices that are specific to current health issues that may impact a traveler’s health, such as a disease outbreak (e.g., COVID-19) or natural disaster. When the CDC implements a disease specific advisory system for categorizing international destinations, travelers should review the level that applies to their destination prior to traveling.

All travelers should review the CDC’s website for any travel notices, advisories, or warnings that may impact their travel destination.  Additionally, in the case of a disease/health outbreak, the University may issue interim policies, precautions, and procedures to reflect the CDC’s travel health notices, advisories, or warnings.  In the case of any conflicts between the interim policies and precautions and this policy, the interim policies and precautions will take precedence over this policy.

Section I: Student Travel

CDC Alert Level 2

No student shall be required to travel to a country for which the CDC has issued any of the Travel Health Notices set out above.  A student who wishes to travel, under University auspices, to a country for which the CDC has issued a Watch Level 1 or Alert Level 2 may do so; however, the following procedures and conditions apply:

  1. Review the Alert Level 2, as well as the CDC Traveler’s Health page for such notices and warnings.  
  2. Carefully consider the risks described in the Travel Health Notices.  The student must weigh those risks against the value of the educational opportunity and determine whether to continue with the planned research, training, presentation, or study activity.  The student should take into consideration the University and even the DOS may be unable to assist if the student encounters difficulties abroad.  
  3. Students may be obliged to “shelter in place” in the event that commercial airlines drastically curtail or even cease operations, and/or travel restrictions prevent people from returning to the U.S. or leaving the affected country.  “Shelter-in-Place” information is available at the U.S. government’s pandemic influenza website, the World Health Organization website, and the Center for Disease Control website.
  4. Take into consideration the possibility that an existing Alert Level 2 may be changed to a Warning Level 3, at which time the CDC Travel Health Warnings section noted below shall come into effect. Such travel may affect a student’s ability to receive a refund of monies already expended for the research, training, presentation, or study activity.
  5. Sign a release, acknowledging the existence of the Alert Level 2 and the decision to continue with the planned activity despite that alert, and releasing the University from liability for death or injuries suffered while participating in the activity.  For students under 18, the student’s parent or guardian must sign the document as well. 


CDC Warning Level 3 and above

When the CDC issues a Travel Warning Level 3 and above that recommends avoiding non-essential travel to the area, University promoted study abroad programs, research, or other activities in that country shall be suspended. 

Students are prohibited from traveling to CDC Travel Warning Level 3 and above countries under the University auspices without an approved appeal unless the Level 3 and above Travel Warnings are in place due to a pandemic and the student has received an approved appeal. Student appeals to travel to a CDC Level 3 and above country may only be approved if the advisory is in place due to a pandemic and the travel is part of a group trip or with a pre-approved university partner.

The Vice President and/or Dean of the Department and the Vice President for Student Affairs must agree on the appeal and may consult with others as needed. If they do not agree, the Provost must make the final decision on the approval of the appeal. To obtain approval the following procedures must be followed by the student:

  1. The student shall provide advance notice of travel plans to the International Center’s designee in the International Center prior to making travel arrangements.  The traveler shall prepare a written request that describes the necessity and value of the proposal travel and the steps that will be taken to mitigate risks during the trip.  The information should be submitted to the International Center’s designee. 
  2. The International Centers designee will present the travel request to the Travel Warning Committee, which, in consultation with appropriate University officials, may authorize or prohibit travel, or require modification of schedule or itinerary as needed to manage risks.  
  3. Complete Level 2 steps 1 through 5.


If the student is already in the country for which the CDC Travel Health Warning Level 3 and above has been issued, the following conditions apply:

  1. The Director of Study Abroad and International Travel shall decide, in consultation with other appropriate University officials, whether the student shall be required to return to the U.S. 
  2. If the student is required to return to the U.S. or the student desires to return to the U.S. under these circumstances, the University will, at the student’s request, attempt to help the student make arrangements for the student’s return. However, students should be aware that the University, the University’s international insurance carrier, and even the DOS, may be unable to assist, and that the student may be obliged to “shelter in place” in the event that commercial airlines drastically curtail or even cease operations, and/or travel restrictions prevent people from returning to the U.S. or leaving the affected country.  “Shelter-in-Place” information is available at the U.S. government’s pandemic influenza website, the World Health Organization website, and the Centers for Disease Control website
  3. Students who are able to return to the U.S. but refuse to do so may be subject to disciplinary action as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.


The student may be subject to screening at the port of entry, a process that may include voluntary or involuntary isolation or quarantine of the traveler.  Further, the student is not permitted to return to campus until the student has completed appropriate health monitoring and/or screening to determine that the student is not infected with the disease in question.  The monitoring and screening required will be decided on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Study Abroad and International Travel in consultation with appropriate University officials.

Section II. Employee Travel

CDC Alert Level 2

No employee shall be required to travel to a country for which any of the CDC Travel Notices listed above have been issued.  The University recognizes that, in times of international health crisis, its employees may possess valuable expertise that is needed to assist with the resolution of the crisis. Consequently, the University does not prevent its employees from traveling to countries for which the CDC has issued an Outbreak Notice, Travel Health Precaution, or Travel Health Warning. However, the following procedures and conditions apply to such travel:

  1. Employees must review the Travel Notice and the CDC Travel Health Warning, Definitions, Criteria and Rationale as well as other available materials about the conditions of the country in question.
  2. Employees must carefully consider whether the value of such travel outweighs the potential risks they could face if they choose to travel. Employees shall take precautions with respect to personal safety, recognizing that the University and even the Department of State may be unable to help in the event employees encounter difficulty abroad. 
  3. Employees shall prepare to “Shelter-in-Place” in the event that commercial airlines drastically curtail or even cease operations, and/or travel restrictions impede people from returning to the U.S. or leaving the affected country.  “Shelter-in-Place” information is available at the U.S. government’s pandemic influenza website, the World Health Organization website, and the Centers for Disease Control website.
  4. Sign a release, acknowledging the existence of the Alert Level 2 and the decision to continue with the planned activity despite that alert, and releasing the University from liability for death or injuries suffered while participating in the activity.  
  5. Employees may be requested to monitor their health upon return or be subject to screening at the port of entry.  The screening may include voluntary or involuntary isolation or quarantine of the traveler.  Further, employees will not be permitted to return to campus until the employees have completed appropriate health monitoring and/or screening to determine that they are not infected with the disease in question.  The monitoring and screening required will be decided on a case-by-case basis by, the Executive Director Campus Health Services, the Vice President for Student Affairs in consultation with other appropriate University officials and Public Health officials. 


CDC Warning Level 3 and above

Employees are prohibited from traveling to CDC Warning Level 3 and above countries unless they receive an approved appeal. To obtain approval the following procedures must be followed by the employee:

  1. The employee shall provide advance notice of travel plans to the Provost’s designee in the International Center prior to making travel arrangements.  The traveler shall prepare a written request that describes the necessity and value of the proposal travel and the steps that will be taken to mitigate risks during the trip.  The information should be submitted to the Provost’s designee. 
  2. The Provost’s designee will present the travel request to the Travel Warning Committee, which, in consultation with appropriate University officials, may authorize or prohibit travel, or require modification of schedule or itinerary as needed to manage risks.  
  3. Complete Level 2 steps 1 through 3.
  4. Sign a release, acknowledging the existence of the Warning Level 3 and above and the decision to continue with the planned activity despite the warning, and releasing the University from liability for death or injuries suffered while participating in the activity.  
  5. If a request for funding, grant proposal, or University contract states a need to travel to a country under Warning Level 3 or above status, the planning and approval steps described above must be completed prior to submission of the request. 
  6. Upon return from travel, complete Level 2 step 5.


If an employee is already in the country when a CDC Warning Level 3 or above is issued, the following procedures and conditions apply: 

  1. The Provost’s designee in the International Center will contact the employee. 
  2. The Director of Study Abroad and International Travel, in conjunction with the Vice President and/or Dean of the Department of the employee, the Vice President for Risk, Audit, and Compliance, and the Vice President for Student Affairs, in consultation with other appropriate University officials, shall determine whether the employee shall be required to return to the U.S., shelter-in-place, or relocate to a safer area. 
  3. If the employee wishes to remain in a country after a CDC Warning Level 3 or above is issued, the review and approval process described herein becomes applicable. 
  4. In the event the employee is hired specifically to perform a job located in a district or country for which a Warning Level 3 and above is issued, the Department Head, in consultation with the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Dean, the Director of the Office of Study Abroad and International Travel, and the Executive Vice President and University Provost must determine whether to continue the program under the conditions, or suspend, relocate, or terminate the program. 


If an employee elects to travel to a country listed as a Warning Level 3 and above, and against the direction of the University (through the Department Head or Provost), then the employee’s travel and all associated activity will be deemed to be outside the course and scope of University employment.  In such situations, University funds may not be used for the travel or any associated expenses.

Additional information and forms can be found on the University Provost’s International Travel Site.

Part IV. Procedures for Traveling to OFAC Sanctioned Countries

When traveling to countries on the Department of Treasury’s OFAC Sanctions List the following procedures and conditions apply:

Section 1: Student Travel

Students are prohibited from traveling to countries listed on the Department of the Treasury’s OFAC’s Sanctions List.

Section 2: Employee Travel

Employees must receive permission to travel to countries listed on the Department of the Treasury’s OFAC’s Sanctions List.  The employee must work with the University’s Office of Export and Secure Research Compliance to obtain appropriate government licenses.  This is in addition to the general requirements to travel to a Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 country.



RESPONSIBILITIES

All University employees, students, and other persons traveling internationally on behalf of the University, regardless of funding sources, are responsible for complying with this policy and associated procedures as a condition of their travel.

The University is responsible for establishing interim policies and precautions to address travel advisories, travel health notices, and travel warnings and will do so in consultation with University officials as deemed appropriate under the circumstances. 

ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY

Executive Vice President and University Provost

RESPONSIBLE UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT/DIVISION

Study Abroad and International Travel
University of Louisville
First Floor, Brodschi Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
502-852-0374

fasit@louisville.edu 


HISTORY

This policy incorporates and replaces the Travel Warning Policy approved by the Provost on September 18, 2009 and the Out of Country Travel Procedures approved and implemented on May 13, 1999. 

Revision Date(s): November 30, 2021

Reviewed Date(s): 

The University Policy and Procedure Library is updated regularly. In order to ensure a printed copy of this document is current, please access it online at http://louisville.edu/policies.