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Policy on Travel to Restricted Regions

International travel and partnerships promote a global perspective among faculty and students and are a critical component of UTSA’s academic mission. UTSA has adopted travel procedures that govern student, faculty and staff travel for university-related travel in some areas of the world that have heightened health and safety risks. 

The International Oversight Committee (IOC) is responsible for administering these procedures under the direction of its chair, the Vice Provost for International Initiatives and Senior International Officer (Vice Provost).

Appointed by the UTSA President, the IOC meets at least once a semester (or more frequently, if required) to review, discuss and make necessary changes to the policies, guidelines and procedures that govern UTSA-sponsored travel to restricted regions.

Restricted Regions List >>

Restricted Regions Classifications >> 

Who is Affected by Travel Policy?>>

Travel Request Process >>

General FAQ / Other Considerations >>

Start the Process / Restricted Region Travel Forms  >>       

Where are the restricted regions?

The UTSA International Oversight Committee reviews and approves a list of restricted regions across the world that potentially pose a travel risk. Any UTSA student, faculty or staff who would like to travel to any of these regions on a UTSA-sponsored activity must have an exception approved by the International Oversight Committee before traveling there. These include, but are not limited to, areas listed by the U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings.

*This list is updated frequently, but, when in doubt, contact the Office of the Vice Provost for International Initiatives/Senior International Officer.

 

How are restricted regions classified?

Restricted regions are broken up into the following categories:

• Category 1 – Extreme Risk

Students: are not allowed to travel to these regions
Faculty & staff: travel must get approval, in sequential order, from:

• Category 2 – High Risk

Students: Typically only graduate students may request an exception to travel to region in this category, but all students must apply. Approval must be in sequential order, from:

TRAVELER’S CHAIR/UNIT HEAD > COLLEGE, SCHOOL, UNIT DEAN OR VICE PRESIDENT > INTERNATIONAL OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE OR INTERNATIONAL OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE TRAVEL REVIEW COMMITTEE > VICE PROVOST

Faculty & staff: Travel must get approval, in sequential order, from:

TRAVELER’S CHAIR/UNIT HEAD > TRAVELER’S COLLEGE/SCHOOL/UNIT DEAN OR VICE PRESIDENT, IN COLLABORATION WITH VICE PROVOST

• Category 3 – Medium Risk

Students: must request an exception to travel to a region in this category. Approval must be in sequential order, from:

TRAVELER’S CHAIR/UNIT HEAD > COLLEGE/SCHOOL/UNIT DEAN OR VICE PRESIDENT > INTERNATIONAL OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE OR INTERNATIONAL OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE TRAVEL REVIEW SUBCOMITTEE > VICE PROVOST

Faculty & Staff: No request for exemption required

• Category 4 – Variable Risk

Students: must request an exception to travel to a region in this category. Approval must be in sequential order, from:

TRAVELER’S CHAIR/UNIT HEAD > COLLEGE/SCHOOL/UNIT DEAN OR VICE PRESIDENT > INTERNATIONAL OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE OR INTERNATIONAL OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE TRAVEL REVIEW SUBCOMMITTEE > VICE PROVOST

Faculty & Staff: No request for exemption required

Who is affected by policy on travel to restricted regions?

  • UTSA faculty and staff traveling internationally with an intended destination that's on the restricted region list (with or without university funding) to conduct university business within one's capacity as a faculty or staff member, such as participation in research, conferences or teaching endeavors.
  • UTSA graduate and undergraduate students, traveling internationally for a UTSA-sponsored, UTSA-administered, or UTSA-organized activity or programs. This includes, but is not limited to: 

i. study abroad programs;

ii. student exchange programs;

iii. field studies;

iv. research trips;

v. internships or practicums;

vi. conferences, seminars, or meetings;

vii. service learning opportunities; and

viii. volunteer, experiential, or work programs organized, endorsed, or promoted by UTSA

  • Any event, program, or activity involving international travel that is UT-sponsored, UT-administered, or UT-organized. This includes, but is not limited to:

i. study abroad programs;

ii. class field trips;

iii. registered student organization trips;

iv. sponsored student organization trips;

v. conferences, seminars, or meetings;

vi. service learning opportunities; and

vii. volunteer, experiential, or work programs organized, endorsed, or promoted by UTSA. 

• Officially sponsored UTSA events and programs (with or without university funding) including, but not limited to: study abroad programs, conferences and seminars, and class field trips, regardless of UTSA student, faculty, or staff participation.

Note: These guidelines do not apply to, or include either personal or vacation travel that is unaffiliated with UTSA.

 

What is the travel request process?

 Download appropriate form for travel restriction exception

 Provide adequate explanation for how travel is linked to institutional and academic goals, as determined by department, college or unit.

 Show a thorough grasp of all major health, safety, or security concerns in the request

 Provide an adequate risk mitigation strategy

 Include academic purpose, logistics information (mode of travel, lodging, schedule, etc.), knowledge of the area, language skills and challenges, and emergency points of contact for each traveler in both the restricted region and the U.S.

 Follow risk classification approval process listed above

 Once approved, book travel 

Other Frequently Asked Questions and Other Considerations:

Q: Are there deadlines to submit restricted region travel requests?

A: Yes. The following is a recommended timeline for requests:

Proposed Departure Date: Submission Deadline:
Summer Programs January 15
Fall Programs March 1
Winter Break & Spring Programs September 1

Q: If I follow the request process and meet deadline, is my program guaranteed approval?

A: Submitting a UTSA sponsored student activities/program request does not guarantee approval to conduct a program in a Restricted Region. Program organizers are advised not to purchase any travel or promote programs prior to receiving IOC pre-approval. In some cases, the respective approvers may decide to issue a "preliminary approval," which will allow the program to move forward with planning and promoting the activity. Organizers are then responsible for contacting the respective approvers 6-8 weeks in advance of the program start date to request "final approval." The respective approvers will review the request once again, in light of any change in circumstances or security climate since the preliminary approval.

Q: I have a new study abroad program I want to launch in a restricted region. Can I promote the program prior to getting approval from the IOC?

A: No. These programs or other activities in locations on the Restricted Regions List should not be announced or promoted until the program or activity has been pre-approved by the IOC. This includes all print and web-based promotional material.

Q: I didn’t meet the suggested deadline and have a last minute request. Will the IOC consider my request?

A: All faculty and staff related travel requests must be submitted to the Vice Provost prior to booking travel and no less than 28 calendar days in advance of the proposed travel to a restricted region Category 1, and at least 5 calendar days in advance to a restricted region Category 2 and 3. Late requests cannot be guaranteed an IOC decision prior to the proposed departure date, and may result in a denied application and/or delayed start date for travel. Incomplete requests will not be accepted.

All individual student related travel requests must be submitted to the Vice Provost prior to booking travel and at least 28 calendar days in advance of the proposed travel to a restricted region. Late requests cannot be guaranteed an IOC decision prior to the proposed departure date, and may result in a denied application and/or delayed start date for travel. Incomplete requests will not be accepted.

Other Considerations:

Sudden Change of Condition

Though uncommon, it is possible that programs or activities abroad need to be modified or suspended by the university due to a sudden change of condition. In making this assessment, the university will consider:

1) the risks associated with continuing the activity at that location
2) the risk management plan for the students, faculty, or staff involved; and
3) the value of the academic experience in that specific location.

The Vice Provost makes the final decision. In circumstances where students are perceived to be in imminent danger and immediate action is required, the Vice Provost has the authority to suspend the affected programs or activities immediately and initiate evacuation proceedings.

Change in Circumstances after Approval

If travel plans are adjusted after the requisite approval has been granted, the traveler or program/activity sponsor is responsible for contacting the approvers to discuss the nature of the changes and review the conditions of approval.

If there is a change in circumstances within the terms of the proposed itinerary, the critical nature of the trip, or the health, safety, or security climate of the region of interest (either prior to or after departure), the University retains the right to withdraw the travel approval and/or require the traveler(s) to return to the United States.

Violation of travel procedures to restricted regions:

The university will not support travel that takes place without adhering to the requirements of the Travel Procedures. To receive credit for coursework taken or research conducted in a Restricted Region, UTSA students must obtain IOC approval prior to travel. Violators may by denied credit or face non-academic sanctions.

Start the Process

 

RESTRICTED REGION TRAVEL FORMS

• Individual International Travelers – Travel Restriction Exception Request Form
• International Group Travel – Travel Restriction Exception Request Form
• International Faculty-led Programs – Travel Restriction Exception Request Form
• International Travel Faculty-Staff:  Category 2 or 3 – Request for Restricted Region Travel Form