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International Travel

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

Request Approval for University-Affiliated International Travel

1. Download and complete the International Travel Approval form.
2. Obtain your Dean’s signature on the International Travel Approval form.
3. Upload the approved International Travel Approval form into Concur.

ALL APPROVED INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL FORMS SHOULD BE UPLOADED INTO CONCUR.

On September 8, 2022, the Provost delegated authority to Deans to approve international travel to Level 1 and Level 2 countries as determined by the U.S. State Department.

If you are traveling to a Level 1 or Level 2 country and your Dean has approved, no further review will be needed.

If you are traveling to a Level 3 or Level 4 country and your Dean has approved, your request will be reviewed in Concur by UNC Global. Once you see an approval in Concur, your travel is approved. You will no longer need the OVPGA approval email.

UNC Global will need up to 10 days to review Level 3 and Level 4 requests. If you are experiencing a longer delay, please email Jill Wilhelm at jill.wilhelm@unc.edu.

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

On the Graduate School tab, select “Graduate Student Request for Travel Restriction Exception.”

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.”

2. Approval

Have your advisor complete the Advisor Approval Form.

Exceptions for University-affiliated international 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. Deans or designees should review the updated international travel guidance from September 8, 2022.

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

For questions about the review and approval process, contact Kim Priebe at kim.priebe@unc.edu.

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.

For faculty and staff traveling with students on an approved study abroad trip, you will need to submit the forms for Faculty and Staff travel listed above.

Undergraduate University-affiliated international travel outside study abroad is currently prohibited.

Please contact Associate Dean for Study Abroad Jason Kinnear for advice on pursuing international options for UNC-Chapel Hill undergrads.

At this time, no exception process exists for other categories of travel. Please email Jill Wilhelm at jill.wilhelm@unc.edu.

Important Notes for University-Affiliated International Travel

  • Deans and others weighing whether the benefits to UNC-Chapel Hill of the proposed travel outweigh the risks should review international travel guidance. (updated Sept. 8, 2022)
  • After approval and prior to travel, please obtain the required GeoBlue insurance. A copy of your International Travel Approval form will be needed. Please contact Janet Hoernke, insurance and risk manager, at +1.919.962.6681 or janet_hoernke@unc.edu.

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


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.

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.