Traveling abroad

Travel policy

All faculty, staff, contract professionals, and students traveling on, or in support, of University business must register their international travel. Examples of University business include, but are not limited to: attending a conference, guest lecturing, recruiting, conducting research supported by UA, and collaborating with institutions abroad. Personal travel, such as vacation, should not be registered.

Exception:

  • Students traveling internationally for an education abroad program or University-related competition, performance, program, or student organization activity do not need to register here. That travel is approved through a different process. Contact Heather Pollock for more details.

Travelers must obtain approval from their department and the relevant dean or vice president and then submit a Travel Registry form at least 4 weeks before travel.  The International Center will follow up if more information is needed.

  • If the destination is rated Level 3 (COVID-19 High) by the CDC, the traveler must submit an Acknowledgment and Assumption of Risk form
  • If the destination is rated Level 3 or 4 by the U.S. Department of State, the traveler must submit a High Risk Travel Exception Request with their Travel Registry form. The exception request may be uploaded to the Travel Registry or emailed to Robyn Brown.
  • The International Travel Review Committee will then consider your request.
  • If your travel is approved, the International Center will send the traveler an insurance confirmation letter.
  • If you change or cancel your travel plans, contact Robyn Brown.

Travel to high-risk destinations is generally not permitted. Exceptions will be considered by the International Travel Review Committee on a case-by-case basis.

“High risk destinations” are:

International travel funded by federal grants must also be approved by the Office of Research Administration before traveling. See the policy relating to the Fly America Act. To request an exception to the Fly America Act, complete this form.

  • Special approval must be sought for travel to countries where export controls or economic sanctions are implicated. (See dropdown Travel Guidance)

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you do not travel internationally until your COVID-19 vaccinations are up to date.

  • The traveler must be able to meet all entry requirements of the destination country and any transit countries.
  • UA generally will not pay for quarantine periods required by the destination country.
  • The traveler may be responsible for any additional travel costs outside the approved travel.
  • Registration will enroll you in UA’s insurance and International SOS assistance for international travelers.
  • Questions may be directed to the Compliance and Risk Management Office by contacting Laura Miller-Francis.
  • Registration provides the University with a better understanding of where global partnerships and collaborations are developing, which can aid in decision-making about future opportunities.
  • Registration enables the University to keep track of where employees and students are located in the event of an emergency abroad, so we can more effectively respond.

Travel guidance

Passport:

When to apply for a passport

Apply for your passport several months in advance if you:

  1. Do not have a passport,
  2. Have a passport that will expire at least six months beyond your expected return date to the U.S., or
  3. Have a passport that does not contain at least 2 blank pages.

Exceptions:

  • Some countries (such as Canada) will allow you to travel with a passport expiring sooner than six months beyond your return date.
  • But, always check with the country’s embassy, as these requirements are subject to change.

Getting your passport:

Visas:

  • Check the entry and exit requirements for your destinations.
  • If you need more information then contact the embassy of the countries you will be visiting.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you have the appropriate visa category for your intended activities in your destination countries.

Need help getting started?

Note:

  • UA is not responsible for detention or administrative actions that employees may face due to violation of visa regulations.

Prior to departure:

  1. Familiarize yourself with safety information in the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory for your destination country.
  1. Review and follow recommendations for your destination country at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  1. Review entry/exit requirements for your destination by visiting the U.S. Department of State Country information website and entering your destination in the left-hand search bar.
    • Take steps to apply for a visa and/or passport if needed.
  1. Review Your Health Abroad to learn about traveling with prescriptions, obtaining medical care abroad, and more.

All transfers of research materials, software, or data must comply with export control and trade sanction regulations. It is important to be aware of these laws because violations of export controls and trade sanctions can result in institutional, civil, and criminal penalties. The following is a brief summary of these restrictions.


Export Control

Export controls are federal laws that regulate the export of sensitive technologies, equipment, software, biological agents, and related data and services. The regulations are intended to restrict the use of and access to controlled information, goods, and technology for reasons of national security or protection of trade.

If an item or information is subject to export control, the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), 15 C.F.R. Parts 770-774, and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, may require U.S. persons to seek and receive authorization from the U.S. Government before exporting that information, goods or technology to a foreign country.[1]

Most research conducted within The University of Akron is "fundamental research" and exempt from export control requirements.

  • Fundamental research includes basic or applied research in science and/or engineering at an accredited institution of higher learning in the U.S. where the resulting information either is ordinarily published and shared broadly in the scientific community or where the resulting information has been or is about to be published.
  • Read the Office of Research Administration’s Export Control Statement

Is an export license required?

If you have questions about whether an export license is required please refer to:

The licensing requirements described above will affect only a small percentage of travelers because most types of technology are not controlled for export or release to foreign persons. The technology and technical data that are controlled for release to foreign persons are identified on the EAR's CCL[2] and the ITAR's U.S. Munitions List (USML[3]).

  • [1] Please note: the release of controlled technology or information to, or access to certain goods or equipment by foreign nationals in the United States could constitute a deemed export under Export Control regulations. Questions concerning deemed export should be directed to the Office of Research.
  • [2] Commerce Control List: CCL is found at 15 CFR Part 774, Supp. 1 – Prohibited items may include encryption technology, lasers, navigation equipment, material processing equipment, and other items that do not initially appear to be particularly sensitive.
  • [3] USML is at 22 CFR 121.1

All transfers of research materials, software, or data must comply with export control and trade sanction regulations. It is important to be aware of these laws because violations of export controls and trade sanctions can result in institutional, civil, and criminal penalties. The following is a brief summary of these restrictions.


Economic and Trade Sanctions

Trade sanctions may prohibit travel, payment, or providing anything of value to the sanctioned individual, entity, or country, regardless of the fundamental research exemption. Current lists of targets of these regulations are maintained by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Trade sanctions may prohibit activities such as transfer of items and services to sanctioned nations.

Destinations currently subject to the most comprehensive U.S. restrictions include:

  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • Syria
  • Crimea region of Ukraine

Note: If you are planning to travel to one of these locations, you will need to request special approval and may need to obtain an export license prior to your trip. These licenses can take several months to obtain.

Fly America Act

Travelers who are charging flights to a federally funded sponsored program account must comply with the Fly America Act, 49 U.S.C. 40118.

  • The Act requires travelers to use a U.S. carrier, a carrier that codeshares with a U.S. carrier, or to qualify for an exception if the air travel is funded by the U.S. Government.
  • Therefore, all international travel on grants must be approved by the Office of Research Administration.

For more information, read the policy.

To request an exception, complete the Fly America Act Exception Form.

Traveling outside the U.S. with hardware, software and data

Do not travel with the following items without determining whether you need an export control license:

  • Devices, systems, or software that are not standard, off-the-shelf products available to the public;
  • Devices, systems, or software specifically designed or modified for military or space applications;
  • Data or information received under an obligation of confidentiality;
  • Data or analyses from a project that has restrictions on the dissemination of the research results;
  • Classified information; or Export controlled information.

Secure your data

Carefully review this information security guidance.