Frequently Asked Questions
Student international travel has two policies, the International Travel Planning Policy and the Undergraduate International Travel Policy. Students should reference these policies, including the Pre-Departure Requirements, and use this website to navigate travel planning.
Officers of instruction, officers of research, officers of the libraries, and postdoctoral fellows/scholars traveling with students are required to register international Columbia Travel. For other travel to Medium-, High-, and Extreme-risk locations, they are strongly encouraged to have their itinerary reviewed by ISOS. They must ensure that all student travelers have complied with all Pre-Departure Travel Requirements.
If you are running a global program or course that is open to undergraduate students, please see the Travel Program section of the Undergraduate International Travel Policy and reach out to [email protected].
If you are traveling to your home country for Columbia related business (research, conferences, meetings, etc.), then yes, the International Travel Planning Policy or Undergraduate International Travel Policy applies to you.
If you are traveling to your home country, strictly for personal/leisure travel, these policies do not apply.
International travel is any location outside of the 50 United States, including Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.
You are not required to register, but we highly encourage you to do so. Registering in ISOS MyTrips helps our office contact you in the event of an emergency, such as political uprisings and natural disasters.
If you are traveling with students, see 'Policy' above.
No, the University does not govern personal travel. You can purchase International SOS coverage for personal travel at a discount. Please see the ISOS website for more information.
If you are traveling to your home country for research, meetings, or anything related to your work or academics at Columbia University, you must comply with the International Travel Planning Policy or the Undergraduate International Travel Policy.
Visa & Travel Documents
The 'certificate of coverage' letter is sometimes required for visa applications and refers to the university's coverage for medical evacuation, repatriation, and repatriation of mortal remains to home country or home campus from any other overseas country for a certain amount for Columbia University travelers going abroad on behalf of the University.
Send an email to [email protected] with the following information:
- Name of traveler(s)
- Date of birth
- Travel Destination(s)
- Travel Dates
- Purpose of Travel
Columbia University does not have an outbound immigration unit, but please see the following links for information.
- For International Students and Scholars, please see the Visas and Travel
EmbassyPages.com lists the foreign consulates in New York City
You can dial ‘311’ to find a Consulate (NYC Contact a Consulate)
Either through arrangements by your University unit or for a fee, the following agencies provide assistance in obtaining passports and visas and will work with both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens for travel abroad:
A travel signature is relevant only to F-1 students or J-1 students (and their dependents) who are planning to travel abroad and return to the U.S. in F or J status. You must have an unexpired travel signature on the date you re-enter the U.S.