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What do I need to do to move forward with my travel?

You need information on two topics to move forward with your travel – (1) travel approval and (2) travel registration.  The approval rules that apply to you depends on who you are and to, some extent, where you want to travel.  On the other hand, the registration rules apply the same to everyone.  Read on for more information concerning the following questions:

  1. Am I allowed to travel to more dangerous areas of the world? 
  2. What is approval process for individual faculty, staff, and grad students travelers?
  3. What is the approval process for undergraduate travel?
  4. What if I want to travel to an area where the University discourages travel?
  5. Who is required to register before traveling internationally?

Travel to More Dangerous Areas

The information in this section is critical to understanding how approvals are handled for different groups of University travelers.  In the interest of the safety and well-being of students, faculty, and staff, the University strongly discourages student, faculty, and staff travel to countries or regions subject to travel warnings and other unsafe conditions as determined by US State Department Travel Warnings or to those countries or regions with International SOS travel security ratings of “high” or “extreme,” especially when viable alternatives are available.

Before registering in DU Passport or submitting a travel request, review the University’s list of countries subject to travel warnings and other unsafe conditions (including some countries with extreme and high medical and/or political risks).  The International Travel Risk Analyst regularly updates the list with input from the ITC.  Countries or regions appearing on the list are those subject to US State Department Travel Warnings, those with International SOS travel security ratings of “high” or “extreme,” or other areas that the ITC deems unsafe for travel. 

After determining whether an intended destination is subject to travel warnings and other unsafe conditions, review the requirements in the subsection below applicable to your current status at the University.

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Individual faculty, staff, and grad student travelers

In the interest of academic freedom – except for regions of the world designated as an “extreme” security risk by International SOS or other regions designated as extremely unsafe for travel by the ITC – there is no approval process through DU Passport for faculty, staff, and graduate students who wish to travel individually to any country or region of the world.  However, faculty, staff, and graduate students must obtain approval in writing for travel from their Dean, manager, or other designated department or unit approver.  Further, as prescribed in the final subsection below, faculty, staff, and graduate students, must register all planned travel in DU Passport.  And, as part of that registration process, individual faculty, staff, and graduate students wishing to travel to a country subject to travel warnings or other unsafe conditions must provide a statement that demonstrates the need to travel to the country, approval of the travel by an appropriate person in the department or unit, and a clear acceptance of the risk involved. 

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Approval process for undergrad travel

The first step is to determine whether your travel is part of a preapproved program, such as study abroad programs through the Office of International Education, DU Partner Programs, and faculty-led travel.  Steps for obtaining approval of programs vary between departments.  Travelers should check with the Office of International Education (study abroad), the Office of Internationalization (faculty-led travel), their Dean, Dean’s designee, or manager (for staff) for additional information.  If planned travel is part of a preapproved program, register in DU Passport, as discussed in final subsection below. 

If planned travel is not part of a preapproved program, and your intended destination does not appear on the University’s list of countries subject to travel warnings and other unsafe conditions, follow these steps:

  • Obtain approval in writing of the proposed travel from a Dean or other designated department or unit approver.  Individual units may establish additional specific processes, workflows, and timelines for travel approvals, depending on the type of travel.  Refer to materials within the appropriate department for additional information.
  • Submit a completed online International Travel Approval Form in DU Passport, providing the following information:
    • The purpose of the travel and a description of activities at the destination
    • A copy of the signed approval document of the proposed travel from a Dean or other designated department or unit approver.

Once you receive confirmation that your travel has been approved in DU Passport, register in DU Passport, as discussed in final subsection below. 

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Travel to areas where University discourages travel

The following approval rules apply to two different groups of travelers, as follows:

  • Faculty, staff, and graduate students traveling as individuals proposing travel to an area appearing on the list of countries or regions subject to an “extreme” security rating by International SOS or other regions designated as extremely unsafe for travel by the ITC – the University does not approve of travel to such areas of the world and travel request reviews will be on a case-by-case basis.
  • Undergraduate students and travel by groups of University students, such as faculty-led classes, whether comprised of graduate or undergraduate students, proposing travel to a country appearing on the list of countries or regions subject to travel warnings and other unsafe conditions – please note, though, that undergraduate travel and travel by groups of students is not permitted in countries or regions subject to an “extreme” security rating by International SOS or other regions designated as extremely unsafe for travel by the ITC.

Proceed with the following steps before registering the travel in DU Passport, and at least two months in advance of the planned travel:

  • Obtain approval in writing of the proposed travel from a Dean, manager, or other designated department or unit approver.  Individual units may establish additional specific processes, workflows, and timelines for travel approvals, depending on the type of travel.  Refer to materials within the appropriate department for additional information.
  • Submit a completed International Travel Approval Form in DU Passport. 
  • Applicants must provide the following information in the online International Travel Approval Form:
    • The purpose of the travel and a description of activities at the destination
    • An explanation why travel to the particular destination, rather than an alternate destination, is important to the field of study
    • An explanation why the applicant believes the travel will be safe, along with a description of the steps the applicant will take to avoid the risks of travel to the country or region
    • A clear acceptance of the risk involved
    • In the case of students, a statement of support from a faculty sponsor who understands the intent of the travel and who believes the applicant is adequately prepared for travel to the destination
    • A copy of the signed approval document of the proposed travel from a Dean, manager, or other designated department or unit approver

The International Travel Risk Analyst will present the completed International Travel Approval Form to the ITC for further consideration. The applicant may need to answer follow-up questions raised by the ITC and/or the International Travel Risk Analyst.  The ITC will determine whether to allow the requested travel by evaluating whether the reason for travel to the particular destination outweighs the risk of travel to that destination.  If travel is approved, the applicant and any other persons accompanying the applicant must sign a waiver and release form for travel to a country appearing on the list of countries or regions subject to travel warnings and other unsafe conditions.  In addition, travel may be subject to conditions established by the ITC.  A failure to adhere to those conditions can result in the disallowance of funding or academic credit. 

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 Register before traveling internationally

All students, faculty, and staff traveling internationally for University-related academic or business matters must first register the travel through the University’s travel registration system, DU Passport.  Registration facilitates coordination of repatriation and evacuation travel benefits.  For faculty and staff, registration also significantly aids in the handling of workers compensation claims.  Failing to register travel or respond to all registration questions before leaving the U.S. can result in the disallowance of funding or academic credit.  Expense reimbursement requests through University Accounts Payable must include confirmation on the appropriate form that travel was registered in DU Passport and that necessary approvals were obtained.

As part of the DU Passport registration process, all students must read and sign electronically within the DU Passport site the following forms:

  • Risks and Responsibilities Agreement
  • Student Responsibility Statement
  • Student Code of Conduct

The University recommends that all travelers who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents also register travel with the US Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  This will place the traveler’s name on a consular listserv to receive time-sensitive updates from the local US embassy.  Non-US citizens should inquire about similar services provided by their home government. 

As part of the registration process, all travelers must certify that steps have been taken to comply with US Export Controls requirements [see Section 3(c) below]

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