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International Travel

All University-sponsored international travel must be reviewed and approved according to the process described below. A minimum of three week's notice is required to process all travel requests.



Waiver Request Process Overview

All faculty, staff, students, and sponsored-guests who intend to engage in essential MSU-sponsored international travel must obtain a waiver. The waiver request process has two steps. First, the traveler(s) must obtain approval from their Major Administrative Unit that their travel is considered essential. Approval forms are available below. Next, the traveler(s) must submit an online waiver request form (signed approval forms must be uploaded to the waiver request). Waiver requests must be submitted at least three weeks before departure. 

Undergraduate and graduate/professional students waiver requests will be reviewed by the Risk and Security Assessment Committee (RSAC). RSAC will make a recommendation to the Provost who has final authority for approving waivers. 

Faculty and staff waiver requests will be reviewed by the Faculty and Staff Travel Review Committee (FASTR) which will make a recommendation to the relevant dean who has final authority for approving waivers.  

All travelers should carefully review the COVID-19 travel health resources before submitting a waiver. International travel must also be registered in the MSU Global Travel Registry and Concur (if applicable).

For any international travel that will entail human subjects research, both travel health and safety and the Human Research Plan for a Safe Return will be reviewed concurrently after obtaining Major Administrative Unit (MAU) determination of essential and before consideration by FASTR. For more information on the human subjects research, please review the MSU Human Research Protection Program's COVID-19 webpage.

For MSU faculty and staff who reside internationally, MSU’s international travel review process applies for any travel taking place from the country of residence to another country (except the United States). MSU’s domestic travel review process applies for any travel taking place within the country of residence. In both cases, the most stringent health and safety requirements (MSU and U.S. versus country of residence and country of destination) will prevail. For any travel to campus, MSU’s inbound health protocols apply.

The information above does not apply to Education Abroad. Specific guidance has been published online and sent directly to Program Directors. The Office for Education Abroad is also communicating directly with Program Directors and participants and is posting the latest updates on their website.

Groups may submit one MAU approval form and one waiver request provided all travelers will be following to same itinerary and health precautions. Please list all travelers covered by the form and the waiver request.


First Step: Secure MAU Approval

Major Administrative Units (MAUs) are responsible for determining if proposed MSU-sponsored international travel is considered essential. Travelers are asked to submit the form below to their Dean, Associate Dean, or Unit Head for approval. 

Guidance on what may be considered essential travel and what minimum health and safety measures should be in place is provided below.

Examples of Permitted Travel

MAUs are responsible for evaluating what they consider essential travel according to programmatic priorities and budgetary implications. Remote alternatives should be considered first. 

Below is a list of examples of the kinds of activities that could be considered essential travel. This is not an exhaustive list but is intended as guidance.

Faculty and staff

  • maintaining critical functions
  • COVID-related research and work
  • essential research to fulfill grant obligations
  • timely or seasonal and critical research
  • Extension and Advancement work travel
  • teaching/essential work at MSU satellite locations
  • long-distance commuters
  • essential small meetings/events with mitigation measures

Graduate and professional students

  • essential research to fulfill grant obligations
  • timely or seasonal and critical research
  • travel necessary for degree completion/academic continuity
  • COVID-related research and work, teaching at MSU satellite locations
  • long-distance commuters
  • essential small meetings/events with mitigation measures
  • study away
  • research assistantship
  • excursions embedded in academic courses

Undergraduate students

  • study away
  • internships
  • research assistantship
  • excursions related to academic courses (all with strong mitigation measures) 

Student groups

  • alternative break
  • community-engaged learning
  • Registered Student Organization travel (RSO advisor may approve in lieu of MAU)

 

 

Minimum Health and Safety Measures

  1. Travelers should assess their suitability for travel by reviewing public health guidance, reviewing COVID-19 spread at destination, and discussing travel plans with their primary care physician.

  2. Traveler abides by all local restrictions at destination(s).

  3. Travel should involve the fewest staff needed to complete the activity while assuring employee safety.

  4. Air travel and public transportation is permitted if physical distancing is maintained. Travel by car preferred (private vehicle, rented/Motor Pool vehicle, taxi/rideshare permitted so long as physical distancing maintained).

  5. Travel by car preferred when reasonable.

  6. Maintain physical distancing during travel and at worksite(s).

  7. Travel with food/water to avoid unnecessary stops. If necessary, obtain food from places that allow physical distancing (drive-through, take-away).

  8. Traveler must participate in health screening before and after travel.

  9. Carry hand sanitizer and disinfectant to sanitize hands and frequently touched surfaces/equipment. Note that TSA is permitting 12 oz bottles of hand sanitizer on flights.

  10. Wear a mask or cloth face covering in enclosed spaces or if near other people. This includes during a flight when a mask should only be removed to eat or drink.

  11. Wear PPE is applicable to setting (e.g. health care worker).

  12. Room-sharing is not permitted.

  13. Traveler must follow all TSA and airline health and safety requirements and may refuse to board a flight if they feel unsafe.

  14. No one can be required to travel as part of their job duties or academic coursework.

  15. Alternate assignments should be provided to any student who does not want to travel as part of an academic course.

  16. Faculty/staff are responsible for enforcing health and safety measures when traveling with students.

  17. Travelers must be prepared to sign an Acknowledgment of Risk form.

side-by-side_agriculture-africa.jpgMAU Approval of Essential Nature of International Travel Form

Submit this form to the relevant MAU administrator. Retain a copy of the signed form and upload it the online international travel waiver request form.


Second Step: Submit Waiver Request

As the second step in the waiver process, please submit the online international travel waiver request form at least three weeks before intended departure. Waiver requests are reviewed by the Faculty and Staff Travel Review (FASTR) committee which makes a recommendation to the relevant Dean who has final approval.

Groups may submit one MAU approval form and one waiver request provided all travelers will be following to same itinerary and health precautions. Please list all travelers covered by the form and the waiver request.

side-by-side_windmill.JPGInternational Travel Waiver Form

Submit this online waiver form at least three weeks before departure. This form may be used by students, faculty, and staff. One form may be submitted for a group if their travel details are identical. Here is a preview of the form that you are encouraged to review before completing it online.


Pre-Travel Health Screening

Travelers should assess their suitability for travel by reviewing public health guidance, reviewing COVID-19 spread at destination, and discussing travel plans with their primary care physician and/or the MSU Travel Clinic

Travelers must also be prepared to comply with local public health guidance and entry restrictions, including self-quarantining upon arrival if advised by local authorities. Any travelers who develop symptoms upon arrival should self-quarantine immediately and contact International SOS for medical assistance.

Traveler must complete the Spartan Health Screening before they arrive at their work location and then each subsequent day of travel if applicable.


Return to Campus/Regular Worksite Health Protocols

Please follow MSU health procotols for returning to MSU from an international location. Faculty and staff should also complete the Spartan Health Screening before returning to their regular worksite. Do not travel to campus or your regular worksite if you feel sick.

As of January 26, 2021, anyone traveling by plane to the United States from an international location must present proof of a negative viral COVID test (NAAT or antigen) from within 72 hours of departure to the U.S. Anyone without evidence of a negative test will be denied boarding. This requirement applies to everyone including citizens and permanent residents. It’s also required even if the traveler has been fully vaccinated against COVID. Please review detailed guidance from the CDC.


International Travel Framework

(you are welcome to download this PDF as a reference tool, but please check this website frequently as new guidance may be published)