The University of Texas at Austin supports and encourages international travel and collaborations and recognizes that a global perspective is essential to its academic mission. The University is committed to the safety and well-being of its students, faculty and staff when they participate in these activities and realizes that some areas of the world present heightened health and safety risks. In particular, countries that have U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings have been identified as regions that require special efforts to mitigate risk and, when necessary, call for the avoidance of travel altogether.
The University of Texas System requires all travel to countries with U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings to be reviewed and approved by the University's International Oversight Committee (IOC). This policy outlines the procedures that all students, faculty and staff must follow to ensure their international travel complies with the UT System directive. These procedures are in addition to all other requirements for travel set forth by the traveler's department/unit.
Who Needs to Follow This Policy?
- UT graduate and undergraduate students, traveling internationally as individuals or in groups, with or without University funding, for any UT-sponsored, UT-administered, or UT-related activity/program (including, but not limited to, activities such as taking part in official study abroad programs, participating in recognized student organization trips abroad, conducting research, and attending conferences).
- UT faculty and staff traveling internationally with or without University funding to conduct University business within one's capacity as faculty or staff members, such as participation in research, conferences or teaching endeavors.
UT Travel Policy to Restricted Regions
The University's International Oversight Committee (IOC) maintains a Restricted Regions List indicating locations worldwide where approval is required for student, faculty and staff travel. No student, faculty or staff can be required to travel to a location on the Restricted Regions List. This list may include, but is not limited to, all countries with a current Travel Warning issued by the U.S. Department of State.
The IOC has the authority to determine what countries are on the Restricted Region List, including or excluding specific locations, as warranted. Locations are chosen based on careful examination of the most current U.S. Department of State Travel Warning and in consultation with International SOS (UT's emergency assistance provider) and other international security and health experts. Absence of a country from the Restricted Regions List does not indicate that a location is safe or without travel risk.
The list is monitored regularly and updated by the IOC whenever specific conditions warrant. The Restricted Regions List is reviewed quarterly by the IOC. Locations on the Restricted Regions List are evaluated for risk and assigned to a category as described below.
Category 1 - Extreme Risk: All international locations with an International SOS Extreme Risk rating, regardless of U.S. Department of State Travel Warning.
Category 2 - High Risk: All international locations with an International SOS High Risk rating, regardless of U.S. Department of State Travel Warning.
Category 3 - Medium Risk: All international locations with an International SOS Medium or Low Risk rating and a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning.
Category 4 - Variable Risk: All international locations where part of that country has an International SOS travel risk rating of High or Extreme, yet there is no U.S. Department of State Travel Warning.
Note: Category 4 does not apply to faculty/staff travel.
(See campus-wide email announcement sent in November, 2012)
Restricted Regions Travel Authorization Requirements
University approval is required for all students, faculty and staff proposing travel to a Restricted Region. Approval may be granted by Requesting Travel Authorization and meeting all requirements set forth by the IOC.
UT reserves the right to withhold reimbursement and/or take other disciplinary actions for noncompliance with the UT Travel Policy to Restricted Regions.