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International Travel

Consistent with UNC System guidance, University-related international travel requires prior approval. Travelers should familiarize themselves with conditions in destination countries:

Approval is required only for university-related travel, not personal travel.

Personal travel is:

  • travel for reasons not associated with employment or education abroad activities with the university
  • travel before or after university related business travel or education abroad programs for visiting friends or family, independent cultural exploration and sightseeing, volunteer opportunities, or other interests.

International Travel Approval forms will be returned if they are incomplete, including box #4 for advancement of the university’s mission, and a signature for the Assumption of Risk.

Request Approval for University-Related International Travel

1. Download and complete the International Travel Approval form.
2. Obtain designated approver signature on the International Travel Approval form.
  • Designated approvers include Deans, Department Chairs, Division Chiefs, Center and Area Directors
3. Upload the approved International Travel Approval form into Concur.

 

* Complete these additional steps if you are Faculty or Staff traveling with undergraduate students:

 

If you are traveling to a Level 1 or Level 2 country and your designated approver has approved, YOUR TRAVEL IS APPROVED. Upload your form into Concur and proceed with your travel planning.

If you are traveling to a Level 3 or Level 4 country and your designated approver has approved, your request will be reviewed in Concur by the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs. Once you see an approval in Concur, your travel is approved.

If your request requires additional levels of review, you will receive an email from Kim Priebe. For questions, please email Kim Priebe at kim.priebe@unc.edu.

1. Obtain approval from your advisor

Have your advisor complete the Advisor Approval Form.

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

Note: You must first be logged into the campus VPN to access RASR.

Under the Graduate School tab, under Travel, select “Graduate Student Request for International Travel.”

In RASR, international travel must be approved by the graduate student’s:

  • Department chair or director of graduate studies
  • Appropriate senior administrator (school dean or dean’s designee, typically a senior associate dean)

By approving the request, the dean or senior administrator is affirming that they have determined that the articulated benefits to the University outweigh the risks associated with the travel.

You may follow the approval process of your request in RASR under the MY RASR Form Submission (blue tab).

For RASR access issues or questions, email Julie Montaigne.

Travel to State Department advisory Level 3 and Level 4 destinations often requires additional time.

Travel to countries with additional restrictions requires a review by the Export Compliance Office. Further, travel to certain countries requires review and approval by the Research Science & Security office. See the UNC International Traveler’s Toolkit for more details. Please email Kim Priebe at kim.priebe@unc.edu if you have questions.

1. Download and complete the International Travel Approval form.
2. Obtain designated approver signature on the International Travel Approval form.
  • Designated approvers include Deans, Division Chiefs, Department Chairs, and Center and Area Directors
3. Upload the approved International Travel Approval form into Concur.

If you are traveling to a Level 1 or Level 2 country and your designated approver has approved, YOUR TRAVEL IS APPROVED. Upload your form into Concur and proceed with your travel planning.

If you are traveling to a Level 3 or Level 4 country and your designated approver has approved, your request will be reviewed in Concur by the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs. Once you see an approval in Concur, your travel is approved.

If your request requires additional levels of review, you will receive an email from Kim Priebe. For questions, please email Kim Priebe at kim.priebe@unc.edu.

 

1. SOM Approval

Complete the School of Medicine International Travel Approval form and obtain approval from the appropriate School of Medicine official. The form must be signed before uploading it to RASR.

  • Approver for medical students is the Dr. Alice Chuang, Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
  • Approver for residents and fellows is the Dr. Kerry Thomas, Designated Institutional Official.

By approving the request, the Associate Dean or DIO has determined that the articulated benefits to the University outweigh the risks associated with the travel.

2. Submit approved request through Rapid Admin Service Request (RASR).

Under the UNC Global tab, under Travel, select “International Travel Approval – School of Medicine.”

Note: You must first be logged into the campus VPN to access RASR.

Note: School of Medicine Department of Health Sciences students use the Graduate Student Research Travel process above.

You may follow the approval process of your request in RASR under the MY RASR Form Submission (blue tab).

For RASR access issues or questions, email Julie Montaigne.

Travel to Level 3 and Level 4 destinations often requires additional time. Travel to countries with additional restrictions requires a review by the Export Compliance Office. Further, travel to certain countries requires review and approval by the Research Science & Security office. See the UNC International Traveler’s Toolkit for more details. Please email Kim Priebe at kim.priebe@unc.edu if you have questions.

UNC-Chapel Hill is successfully administering study abroad programs through the Study Abroad Office and Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Students participating in a UNC study abroad program do not need to submit an individual request for a travel exception. For study abroad, approval is sought and granted for the program, and all student participants in the program are covered.

Faculty and staff traveling with students on an approved study abroad trip must submit the International Travel Approval form and have their travel approved in Concur, as outlined in the Faculty, Staff, Post-Doc travel section above. All faculty and staff leading study abroad programs are also required to complete an online health & safety training prior to departure.

All travel will be reviewed for academic merit and risk and must be approved by the provost before any funding may be released or travel proceeds. Travel will only be approved to countries with a U.S. Department of State Level 1 or 2 Travel Advisory.

Students Traveling Independently

Undergraduate students may initiate a request for approval of their independent education abroad activities through the HeelsAbroad portal administered by the Study Abroad Office: https://go.unc.edu/independent-edabroad. A complete request for approval must be submitted no later than 45 days prior to the student’s departure date.

Students Traveling with UNC Faculty/Staff

Students who plan to travel internationally with two or more students and a faculty or staff member on not-for-credit experiences must register their travel after their faculty leaders have received notification of approval. The Study Abroad Office will contact students directly with more information about how to register.

At this time, no exception process exists for other categories of travel. Please email Kim Priebe at kim.priebe@unc.edu.

Deans and other designated officials weighing whether the benefits to UNC-Chapel Hill of the proposed travel outweigh the risks should review International Travel Guidance (updated May 11, 2023).

International Health and Evacuation Insurance

Students, faculty, and staff are required to have international health insurance coverage when traveling abroad on University-affiliated business.

After approval and prior to travel, please contact Janet Hoernke in Risk Management Services and Mission Continuity (+1.919.962.6681; janet_hoernke@unc.edu) to be enrolled in the required Travel and Study Abroad insurance. A copy of your International Travel Approval form will be needed. (Students on education abroad programs will be automatically enrolled by their school/college administrator.)

Students and faculty/staff leading study abroad programs are authorized to access the UNC System group GeoBlue insurance policy for personal travel for up to 30 combined days before or after university-related travel.

For any questions, please contact Janet Hoernke at +1.919.962.6681.

Relevant Travel Policies


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.

As a State agency, UNC Chapel Hill is subject to the Office of State Budget and Management’s (OSBM) policies.

  • 5.2.29 Authorization for Out-of-Country Travel (for employees): All out-of-country travel must be authorized by the agency [university] head or such department official designated by him or her.
  • 5.5 Travel Policies for Non-State Employees [non-employees (5.5.1) and post-secondary students (student employees and non-employee students) (5.5.2)]:  Traveling on state business whose expenses are paid by the State are subject to state regulations.

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: 1501 – Policy on Business Travel.

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.

Emergency Communications

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.