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Travel Policies and Exceptions

SPECIAL ALERT

Consistent with UNC System guidance, Carolina is prohibiting University-affiliated travel outside the State of North Carolina unless approved via one of the processes outlined on this page. Please see the Carolina Together website and the resources below for additional guidance.

How to Request Approval for University-Affiliated International Travel

University-affiliated international travel includes international travel funded by the University and international travel for academic credit.

In accordance with UNC System Office policy, Carolina has prohibited University-affiliated travel outside the State of North Carolina until further notice. Exceptions to this travel restriction may be granted by the chancellor or provost, as detailed in the following processes. Click on the specific category of travel below to view guidelines and criteria for requesting an exception.

The following processes apply to all international travel. For information specific to domestic travel exceptions, please see the Travel Guidance section of the Carolina Together website.

Important Notes for Approved University-Affiliated International Travel

  • Deans and others weighing whether the benefits to UNC of the proposed travel outweigh the risks should review guidance updated January 28, 2021, on increased risks of travel.
  • Individuals who are approved for any of the categories of University-affiliated travel below must comply with all applicable guidelines and requirements, including the Department of State requirement of a negative COVID-19 test for travel to the US, which went into effect January 26, 2021. Other requirements may include mask-wearing and recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after entry into the United States.
  • Individuals on approved University-affiliated travel will generally be asked to sign an assumption of risk and acknowledgement document.
  • Individuals on approved University-affiliated travel must be enrolled in international health insurance such as the program established by the UNC System Office and administered by GeoBlue.

UNC-Chapel Hill is operating a limited number of study abroad programs for Spring 2021. These are provided by the Study Abroad Office and Kenan-Flagler Business School.

1. Approval

Exceptions for University-affiliated travel must be approved by the traveler’s 1) department chair or director of graduate studies; and 2) appropriate senior administrator (school dean or associate dean). By approving the request, the dean or dean’s designee has determined that the articulated benefits to the University outweigh the risks associated with the travel. In weighing whether to certify that benefits to UNC of the proposed international travel outweigh the risks, deans or designees should review the guidance on increased risks updated January 28, 2021.

The exception must also be acknowledged by the provost.

2. Submit requests for exceptions through Rapid Admin Service Request (RASR)

On The Graduate School tab, select the “Graduate Student Request for Travel Restriction Exception” form. For RASR access issues, contact Julie Montaigne at julie_montaigne@unc.edu. Applicants can follow the approval process in the RASR system under “My Forms.”

3. You will be asked to provide:

   a. Specific dates and destinations of proposed travel

   b. Purpose of the proposed research and an explanation as to why the work can’t be fulfilled remotely via video conferencing or through other electronic means

   c. If the proposed travel is related to COVID-19 or other pressing public health matters

   d. A summary of how the trip will explicitly advance the research mission of the University

   e. A description of travel risks, how the traveler proposes to mitigate the risks; specifically address travel notices and warnings of the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control; address how the traveler intends to address mobility restrictions, border closings, and testing and quarantine requirements.

   f. Acknowledgement of the traveler’s assumption of risk

   g. A signed Advisor Approval Form

   h. A copy of your proposed travel itinerary detailing the travel route

If you are an approver for this process, please visit The Graduate School website for more information.

1. Approval by School Dean

Exceptions for University-affiliated travel must be approved by the traveler’s dean, or designee, and acknowledged by the provost. In weighing whether to certify that benefits to UNC of the proposed international travel outweigh the risks, deans or designees should review the guidance on increased risks updated January 28, 2021.

Units may require additional levels of approval including supervisor, department chair, and senior administrator. Be sure to gain necessary supervisory approval before submitting your request.

2. Send request for exception to

    •  Bob Blouin, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (provost@unc.edu)

    •  Debbi Clarke, Associate Provost for Strategy and Special Projects (debbi_clarke@unc.edu)

    •  Emma Dehne, Executive Assistant to the Provost (emma.dehne@unc.edu)

3. Include

   a. Dates, routes/itineraries, and destinations of proposed travel

   b. Purpose of proposed activity and explanation as to why the activity cannot be fulfilled remotely via video conference or through other electronic means

   c. Completed and signed Assumption of Risk and Acknowledgement

   d. Detailed explanation of how the trip advances the University’s mission of teaching, research, public service; reference supporting documentation when available (i.e,. external funded research)

   e. Description of travel risks, how the traveler proposes to mitigate the risks; specifically address travel notices and warnings of the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control; address how the traveler intends to address mobility restrictions, border closings, and testing and quarantine requirements

   f. Signed statement by the dean, or designee, that he/she has reviewed the request and has determined that the articulated benefits to the University outweigh the risks associated with the travel

1. Approval

Exceptions for University-affiliated travel must be approved by the vice chancellor for human resources and acknowledged by the chancellor.  Units may require additional levels of approval depending on the traveler’s reporting lines, including, from the traveler’s 1) supervisor; 2) department chair, center or institute director, or other unit head (if different from supervisor); and 3) appropriate senior administrator (school dean or executive dean, vice chancellor, or vice provost). Be sure to gain necessary supervisory approval before submitting your request.

In weighing whether to certify that benefits to UNC of the proposed international travel outweigh the risks, senior administrators should review the guidance on increased risks updated January 28, 2021.

2. Send request for exception to
  • Becci Menghini, Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Compliance (becci_menghini@unc.edu)
  • Katie Nolan, interim chief of staff, (kbnolan@unc.edu)
  • Sherene Jenkins, executive assistant (sherene_jenkins@unc.edu)
  • The traveler’s immediate supervisor or manager and the appropriate school dean or senior administrator
3. Include

   a. Dates, routes/itineraries, and destinations of proposed travel

   b. Purpose of proposed activity and explanation as to why the activity cannot be fulfilled remotely via video conference or through other electronic means

   c. Completed and signed Assumption of Risk and Acknowledgement

   d. Detailed explanation of how the trip advances the University’s mission of teaching, research, public service; reference supporting documentation when available (i.e,. external funded research)

   e. Description of travel risks, how the traveler proposes to mitigate the risks; specifically address travel notices and warnings of the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control; address how the traveler intends to address mobility restrictions, border closings, and testing and quarantine requirements

   f. Signed statement by the appropriate school dean or senior administrator that he/she has reviewed the request and has determined that the articulated benefits to the University outweigh the risks associated with the travel 

Other categories of travel may also be considered for an exception. Some processes are still being finalized but will be posted here as soon as possible. In the meantime, please contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs at GlobalAffairs@unc.edu with any questions.

Global Travel Registry

The legacy Global Travel Registry system is not being used to manage University-affiliated travel under the current restrictions and special procedures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Record-keeping for University-affiliated international travel is being managed manually by the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs, with entry into the registry the last step of the international travel approval process. Contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs at GlobalAffairs@unc.edu with any questions.

International Health and Evacuation Insurance

Students, faculty, and staff are required to have international health insurance coverage when traveling abroad on University-affiliated business. Affiliates granted an exemption to current travel restrictions can visit our page on travel insurance for full details.

For any questions, please contact Janet Hoernke in Risk Management Services and Mission Continuity at +1.919.962.6681 or janet_hoernke@unc.edu.

Special Insurance Guidance for Students Returning from Overseas Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Students who were enrolled in Blue Cross Blue Shield GeoBlue travel health insurance are eligible to enroll in the U.S.-based StudentBlue plan. Loss of GeoBlue is considered a qualifying life event to obtain Student Blue. Coverage is retroactive to the date after the loss of GeoBlue and will be activated once prorated premium payment is made.

Student Blue does cover coronavirus testing at 100% and does not require prior approval. However, doctor visits to screen for COVID-19 will be covered the same as any other doctor visit, subject to the applicable copay, deductible or coinsurance. Student Blue members will also have access to telehealth services through MClive. To begin your application, contact Vicki Warwick, vwarwick@email.unc.edu, and include your name, PID, date of birth and date that you are canceling GeoBlue. 

UNC-Chapel Hill Travel Policies and Forms

Currently, the restrictions and special procedures regarding University-affiliated travel as described above supersede the provisions outlined in the legacy Policy Concerning Global Study, Travel and Research.

This policy was created to ensure compliance with state and University regulations; establish guidelines for approval, control and accounting for employees and others who travel on University business; and ensure fairness for both the traveler and the University.

View full policy.

Additionally, UNC Finance & Operations provides information about using the web travel system, travel authorizations, travel reimbursements, airfare requests, the business travel card program and related forms on the Travel Services website.

If you are traveling outside the country, sending items overseas, inviting a visiting scholar to your lab on campus, or related activities, then export control regulations likely apply. Export controls are federal laws that govern the transfer of items, materials, equipment, commodities, biologics, software, encryption, and/or technical information to foreign nationals, wherever located. Many University activities fall under these very comprehensive regulations, and violations of these laws carry both individual liability and significant penalties.

The UNC-Chapel Hill Export Compliance Office is here to help UNC faculty, staff, students, and other personnel navigate through U.S. export controls. The Export Compliance Office is committed to supporting the University’s global mission, as well as our extraordinary foreign national population on campus. Please contact exportcontrol@unc.edu with questions or for help with your international engagements.

View full policy.

Communications

Download and print an emergency information card before traveling.

Carolina faculty, staff and students who experience an emergency while traveling abroad on University business should contact UNC Police at +1.919.962.8100. UNC Police is first in the chain of response. Students should ask UNC Police to contact the dean of students on call to find the appropriate resources for assistance. UNC Police will assist faculty and staff with identifying a human resources administrator or Employee Assistance Program officer who can help coordinate support.

For emergency evacuation and other 24/7 health insurance assistance, call GeoBlue collect from outside the U.S. at +1.610.254.8771, toll free within the U.S. at +1.844.268.2686, or via email at globalhealth@geo-blue.com. In an emergency, seek appropriate medical care immediately, and then call GeoBlue. Insurance coverage must be purchased in advance of travel.

The Risk Management Advisory Committee (RMAC) serves as an advisory board for the Vice Provost for Global Affairs.  The Vice Provost for Global Affairs seeks the advice of the RMAC on matters such as the following:

  • whether to cancel or suspend a UNC program or programs abroad
  • whether and how strongly to encourage UNC students and/or faculty to travel back to the U.S. or another home country
  • whether to recommend restrictions on University-affiliated outbound travel

The Risk Management Advisory Committee is composed of:

  • Barbara Stephenson, Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Chief Global Officer
  • Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, Senior Associate Dean for Social Sciences and Global Programs, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Heather Ward, Associate Dean of Study Abroad & Exchanges, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Jason Kinnear, Assistant Dean of Study Abroad & Exchanges, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Desirée Rieckenberg, Dean of Students, Office of the Dean of Students
  • Katie Bowler Young, Director of Global Relations, Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs
  • Andrew Hunt, Global Operations Specialist, Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs
  • Derek Kemp, Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Safety & Risk Management, Division of Finance and Operations
  • Catherine Brennan, Executive Director of Environment, Health and Safety and Risk Management, Division of Finance and Operations
  • Sarah Schtakleff, Associate University Counsel
  • David Perry, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Chief, UNC Police
  • Rasheem Holland, Captain, UNC Police
  • Angela Bond, Director of Global Programs, Kenan-Flagler Business School