Restricted Regions Travel
UT Austin believes that international experiences are essential to our academic mission. While all travel abroad has inherent risks, some parts of the world pose heightened risks to the health and safety of travelers. To safeguard the well-being of students, faculty and staff going abroad, the International Oversight Committee (IOC) created the Restricted Regions Travel Policy.
This policy does not apply to personal or other travel that is unaffiliated with UT Austin.
Navigating the Restricted Regions List
The IOC maintains a Restricted Regions List of locations worldwide that pose a heightened travel risk. Students, faculty and staff are not permitted to travel to locations on the Restricted Regions List unless an exception is granted by the IOC. Additionally, no UT Austin student, faculty or staff member can be required to travel to a location on the Restricted Regions List.
- The Restricted Regions List is closely monitored regularly by the IOC and is updated whenever specific conditions warrant.
- The absence of a country from the Restricted Regions List does not mean that a location is without travel risk.
Travel Request Process
While UT Austin maintains the right to restrict travel to regions with a heightened safety risk, you may request an exception to travel to a Restricted Region. The IOC Subcommittee, appointed by the president, reviews and makes all final decisions regarding travel requests on behalf of the IOC. The IOC strongly recommends that you do not purchase airline tickets until you have received an official letter of approval.
Travel to a Restricted Region may be approved when there is compelling justification and no suitable alternative opportunities exist. All requests to travel to Restricted Regions must be strongly linked to academic goals and must adequately address major health, safety, or security concerns. The IOC will not support travel that takes place without adhering to the requirements of the Travel Policy.
Changes in Travel Arrangements
Last-Minute Travel Requests
Late requests may result in a denied application and/or delayed departure date. Please take note of the deadlines for submitting requests.
Sudden Changes in Travel Conditions
Although uncommon, it is possible for the university to modify or suspend travel abroad due to a sudden change of health and safety risks. In making such an assessment, the IOC will consider:
- The risks associated with continuing activity in the affected region(s);
- The risk management plan for the students, faculty or staff involved;
- The value of the academic experience in the affected location(s).
Under circumstances where students, faculty or staff are perceived to be in imminent danger and immediate action is required, the university has the authority to immediately suspend the affected programs or activities and initiate evacuation procedures.
Circumstantial Changes Following IOC Approval
You or the program/activity sponsor are responsible for notifying the IOC and GRS if your travel plans are adjusted - either prior to or during your IOC-approved trip. Please send any updates to your planned itinerary to GRS at email@example.com as soon as possible. You may be required to provide additional information or complete an updated Restricted Regions request form if your updated itinerary includes travel to a location that is designated as higher risk than your original request.
If there is a change to the proposed itinerary, the critical nature of the trip, or the health, safety, or security climate of the region, the university reserves the right to withdraw IOC travel approval and/or require travelers to return to the United States.