Travel to High and/or Extreme Travel Risk and Elevated Evacuation Status Locations

Travelers are required to fulfill pre-departure travel requirements aligned with the highest-risk location* included in their itinerary and ensure compliance with the International Travel Planning Policy.
You must review the ISOS Global Risk Ratings and ISOS Elevated Evacuation Status to determine the highest level of risk and/or Elevated Evacuation Status for your location; these ratings can be found on: ISOS Travel Risk Ratings and ISOS Evacuation Status. Please note this list is updated bi-weekly or as necessary (latest update July 18, 2024).
Additionally, the University may issue guidance, requirements, and restrictions regarding travel to specific designations, including countries subject to Comprehensive U.S. Sanctions. 


*"Location" can refer to country, city, and/or region. For example, if you are traveling to a region designated as 'Low Risk', but the entire country is designated as 'High Risk', you will complete the pre-departure requirements for 'High Risk' locations. 



Stand-by Alerts are issued when ISOS identifies a high level of risk to people, and are issued only in response to events that present a clear danger to the safety of travelers and expatriates. With a Stand-by alert, ISOS authorizes the evacuation for scholastic clients. 

  • Burkina Faso
  • Chad
  • Guinea
  • Iran
  • Mali
  • Pakistan
  • Sierra Leone
Evacuate: Non-Essential Personnel (the second highest alert of ISOS) 

Evacuate: Non-Essential Personnel are issued when ISOS determines that business is severely disrupted and there is a critical risk to the safety of staff, travelers, and expatriates.

  • Central African Republic
  • Ethiopia
  • Iraq
  • Israel 
  • Libya
  • Myanmar
  • Niger
  • Palestinian Territories
  • South Sudan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Venezuela
Evacuate: Full Evacuation (the highest alert of ISOS) 

Evacuate: Full Evacuation (the highest alert of ISOS) are issued when ISOS determines that, “the safety or security situation in country or a particular location makes it unsafe to remain, or where the subsequent means for evacuation are going to be virtually non-existent. These decisions are made in consultation with medical and security professionals, consular and government sources, staff and clients.”

  • Afghanistan
  • Haiti
  • Lebanon
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Ukraine
  • Yemen
Travel to countries subject to Comprehensive U.S. Sanctions must be reviewed by Columbia’s Office of Research Compliance and Training (“ORCT”) prior to travel and as early in the planning process as possible.  Comprehensively sanctioned countries and regions include: 
  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • Russia*
  • Syria
  • Venezuela
  • The Crimea, Donetsk (DNR) and Luhansk (LNR) Regions of Ukraine.

Additional information about U.S. economic sanctions regulations is available on ORCT’s website at

Please contact the Office of Research Compliance & Training at [email protected]

Requesting Travel to an ISOS High and/or Extreme Risk Location(s) or Locations with an Elevated ISOS Evacuation Status

In an effort to better standardize the High and Extreme Risk approval process, our office has implemented the High and Extreme Travel Risk Approval Request Form. 

  • Completion of this form is required for Students, Officers of Administration and Support Staff that propose travel to “High” or “Extreme” Travel Risk locations and countries with an ISOS Elevated Evacuation Status.
  • Completion of this form is required for Officers of Instruction, Officers of Research, Officers of the Libraries, Postdoctoral Fellow/Scholars proposing travel to countries with an ISOS Elevated Evacuation Status. 

This form must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the proposed departure date

Please note, you should not complete this form until you receive a response to your ISOS Pre-Trip Itinerary Review submission. 

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 CUMC Affiliates. Please complete at least four weeks prior to trip departure to allow for processing time.