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UTSA joins with the University of Texas (UT) System commmitment 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 Executive Vice Provost, 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 Executive Vice Provost (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 Executive 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 Executive Vice Provost) 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 Executive 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 - Extreme Risk: UTSA students are not allowed to travel to a Category 1 location on any officially sponsored UTSA activity or program. All travel requests to category 1 locations will be reviewed by full IOC Committee.    

Category 2 - High Risk: UTSA undergraduate students are not allowed to travel to a category 2 location on any officially sponsored UTSA activity or program. Only faculty, staff, and graduate students traveling on University related programs may request an exception to travel to a region within this category.          

Category 3 - Medium Risk: Exceptions to Category 3 travel restrictions may be recommended for approval by the IOC for faculty, staff, and students traveling on University-related programs.

Category 4 - Variable Risk: Faculty and staff may travel to Category 4 locations without requesting an exception.  Students seeking to travel to a category 4 location on an officially sponsored UTSA activity or program must request an exception from the IOC.


REQUESTING A ONE-TIME EXCEPTION FOR FACULTY-LED TRAVEL TO A RESTRICTED REGION International Faculty-led Programs – Travel Restriction Exception Request Form. This form must be completed by all departments and/or faculty proposing to sponsor faculty-led international travel and programs to a country, region, or area listed (including all categories of risk levels) on the UTSA Restricted Regions List.

This form must be completed by the faculty member(s) proposing to lead the international program and then submitted to the UTSA Executive Vice Provost a minimum of 15 working days in advance of the date of the proposed travel. No incomplete requests will be accepted.

If approved, each traveler in the group must complete the UTSA High Risk Trip and Project Waiver/Release Form and submit it to the Office of the Provost prior to departure.

 

WHAT IF MY REQUEST FOR EXCEPTION IS APPROVED?

In addition to submitting the UTSA High Risk Trip and Project Waiver/Release Form, all travelers are also required to register with International SOS, UTSA’s emergency assistance provider. Travelers who use one of UTSA’s travel agencies to schedule transportation are automatically registered with International SOS. Because of this, group leaders/organizers are strongly encouraged to use a UTSA-contracted agency to schedule transportation for all of the members of your group.

If a University-contracted travel agency is not used, then each traveler must manually register his/her travel itinerary into the International SOS database, attach written proof of his/her SOS registration to the completed UTSA High Risk Trip and Project Waiver/Release Form, and then submit both forms to the Executive Vice Provost prior to departure.

 

WHAT IF MY REQUEST FOR EXCEPTION IS DISAPPROVED?

If a travel exception is not granted (for an individual or program), the traveler(s) are not allowed to travel to the restricted region. Travelers who engage in unauthorized travel may be subject to disciplinary action, and any expenses associated with such travel will not be reimbursed.