Pre-departure Travel Requirements

Eiffel Tower Paris

Pre-travel requirements described in the Policy primarily impact (a) students, Officers of Administration, support staff, and (b) faculty and other Columbia employees traveling internationally with students or organizing international student travel.

Columbia University utilizes the Travel Risk Ratings produced by International SOS (ISOS) to determine the pre-travel requirements for Columbia affiliates. 

Pre-Departure Steps: 

Contact your school/department Administrator prior to making travel plans. Some schools and departments assist students in the completion of the pre-departure steps. Undergraduate students planning international travel must comply with the Undergraduate International Travel Policy

  1. Review the pages for Plan a Trip and Alerts 

  2. Verify the International SOS Global Risk Rating of your destination(s), this refers to country, city, or region. (For example, the country of Mexico is listed as 'Medium Risk' , but there are multiple states within Mexico designated as 'High Risk'. If going to one of those listed as 'High Risk', you follow the steps for 'High Risk' travel.) 

  3. Complete the appropriate pre-departure requirements based on the highest level of destination (if you are planning travel to multiple locations, you will complete the step for the highest level). Undergraduate Students must comply with the Undergraduate International Travel Policy which includes a separate process of the ISOS itinerary review listed below)

    • For travel to Insignificant-risk and Low-risk locations, students on Columbia Travel are required to register international Columbia Travel.
    • For travel to Medium-risk locations, students on Columbia Travel are required to register international Columbia Travel and have their itinerary reviewed by ISOS
    • For travel to *High-risk locations, students on Columbia Travel are required to register international Columbia Travel, have their itinerary reviewed by ISOS, and secure written approval from their dean or unit head. 
    • For travel to *Extreme-risk locations, students on Columbia Travel are required to register international Columbia Travel, have their itinerary reviewed by ISOS, and secure written approvals from their dean or unit head and, for Morningside affiliates, from the Provost, and for CUMC affiliates, from the EVP and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine.

      4. Columbia students must register their international Columbia Travel through the University’s Global Travel portal 

*For travel to a High and/or Extreme Risk location, students are required to complete the High and/or Extreme Risk Travel Approval Form. Upon completion of this form, return to Global Travel at [email protected] for processing. Global Travel will effectuate review by the Dean and Provost for Morningside Affiliates, or the Dean and EVP and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine for CUIMC Affiliates. 

The International Travel Planning Policy establishes a set of guidelines and requirements for planning international Columbia Travel, which includes Columbia-Led Travel and Columbia-Facilitated and/or Recognized Travel. Pre-travel requirements described in the policy impact students, Officers of Administration, support staff, faculty, and other Columbia employees traveling internationally with students or organizing international student travel.

If planning travel with Undergraduate students, you must comply with the Undergraduate International Travel Planning Policy

Officers of Administration and Support Staff are required to register their international Columbia Travel through the University’s Global Travel portal and complete other pre-departure travel requirements as follows:

  • For travel to Insignificant-risk and Low-risk locations, these affiliates are required to register international Columbia Travel.

  • For travel to Medium-risk locations, these affiliates are required to register international Columbia Travel and have their itinerary reviewed by ISOS.

  • For travel to High-risk locations, these affiliates are required to register international Columbia Travel, have their itinerary reviewed by ISOS, and complete the *High and/or Extreme Risk Travel Approval Form for dean-level review and approval.

  • For travel to Extreme-risk locations, these affiliates are required to register international Columbia Travel, have their itinerary reviewed by ISOS, and complete the *High and/or Extreme Risk Travel Approval Form for review and approval from their dean or unit head and, for Morningside affiliates, from the Provost, and for CUMC affiliates, from the EVP and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine.

*Upon completion of this form, return to Global Travel at [email protected] for processing. Global Travel will effectuate review by the Dean and Provost for Morningside Affiliates, or the Dean and EVP and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine for CUIMC Affiliates. 

Officers of instruction, officers of research, officers of the libraries, and postdoctoral fellows/scholars traveling with students also 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 as noted above.

Officers of instruction, officers of research, officers of the libraries, and postdoctoral fellows/scholars traveling without students are strongly encouraged to register their international Columbia Travel. For travel to Medium-, High-, and Extreme-risk locations, they are strongly encouraged to have their itinerary reviewed by ISOS.

Officers of instruction, officers of research, officers of the libraries, and postdoctoral fellows/scholars who organize or facilitate international student trips must ensure that all student travelers have complied with all pre-departure travel requirements as noted above.