Policy on Travel to Restricted Regions
UTSA joins with the University of Texas (UT) System commitment to do everything possible to ensure the personal safety and well-being of our faculty, staff, and students when they participate in international activities. In particular, countries with U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings and Alerts are identified as regions that require our special attention and actions to mitigate risk and—when necessary—the avoidance of international travel to the region altogether.
The UT System has suspended all faculty, staff, and student travel to countries with U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings. Additionally, the UT System has charged the UTSA International Oversight Committee (IOC) with evaluating any proposed university activity or travel to areas in which a DoS Travel Warning has been issued, or where significant health and/or safety concerns are present. The UTSA IOC is charged to closely review and recommend to the Vice Provost for International Initiatives/Senior International Office, the approval or disapproval of all requests for exception to travel restrictions to areas listed on the UTSA Restricted Regions List.
Disapproved requests to the IOC and Vice Provost for International Initiatives (for exception to UTSA travel restrictions) may be formally appealed by submitting a written document to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. The document must outline the reasons for the travel and why an exemption should be granted. Any appeals must be received by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs within 5 calendar days of the Vice Provost’s decision. The Provost’s decision on the appeal is final.
The purpose of this policy is to designate those countries/regions in which UT System and UTSA has determined travel activities are to be restricted and to outline the procedure for requesting an exception to the travel restriction associated with those locations. These procedures are in addition to all other requirements for travel set forth by the traveler’s department, unit, or University.
THIS POLICY APPLIES TO:
- UTSA faculty and staff traveling internationally to conduct University business as faculty or staff members. This includes (but is not limited to) participation in research, conferences, teaching endeavors, and travel with or without University funding. No UTSA faculty or staff can be required to travel to a location on the UTSA Restricted Regions List.
- UTSA graduate and undergraduate students, traveling as individuals, in groups, and/or with faculty/staff for any University sponsored, administered, and/or related activity or program. This includes (but is not limited to) activities such as official study abroad programs, student organization trips abroad, research, attending conferences, and travel with or without university funding. No UTSA student can be required to travel to a location on the UTSA Restricted Regions List.
IDENTIFYING THE UTSA RESTRICTED TRAVEL REGIONS
The UTSA International Oversight Committee (IOC) maintains a UTSA Restricted Regions List of locations throughout the world where UTSA faculty, staff, and student travel is not allowed. The risk management related information on the Restricted Regions List is monitored and updated weekly by the UTSA Office of International Programs (with review and approval by the Vice Provost for International Initiatives) whenever specific changes are warranted. The IOC membership is informed of any changes and updates to the Restricted Regions List on a weekly basis.
The UTSA Restricted Regions List includes (but is not limited to) all countries with a current U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings and/or Alerts. The Department of State-issued Travel Warnings and Alerts describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable. Travel Warnings and Alerts are sometimes issued when the U.S. Government’s ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate, or because of a drawdown of its staff. The UTSA Restricted Regions List may also include any other identified international locations, regions, or countries with specific health, and/or safety concerns which the IOC and Vice Provost deems sufficient to warrant inclusion on the list.
LEVELS OF RISK CATEGORIES FOR RESTRICTED REGIONS
The regions within the countries listed on the UTSA Restricted Regions List are evaluated and assigned specific risk categories, as described below.
Category 1: Designates regions of extreme risk. Approved travel to these areas is extremely limited due to acute levels of risk associated with health, safety, and security. Exceptions to Category 1 travel restrictions are rarely recommended for approval by the IOC. Only faculty and staff may request an exception to travel to a restricted region identified within this extreme risk category.
Category 2: Designates regions of high risk. Approved travel to these areas is very limited, due to high levels of risk associated with health, safety, and security. Exceptions to Category 2 travel restrictions are occasionally recommended for approval by the IOC, although on a very limited basis. Only faculty, staff, and graduate students may request an exception to travel to a region within this category. Undergraduate student travel to Category 2 regions is not allowed. This restriction on undergraduate student travel to Category 2 regions includes (but is not limited to) activities such as official study abroad programs, student organization trips abroad, research, and attending conferences.
Category 3: Designates regions of moderate risk. Approved travel to these areas is limited, due to moderate levels of risk associated with health, safety, and security. Exceptions to Category 3 travel restrictions may be recommended for approval by the IOC, although mostly on a limited basis. Faculty, staff, and students may request this exception.