GS&S Travel Policy

A safari vehicle in a Kenyan savanna


The Office of Global Safety & Security (GS&S) is responsible for ensuring that University Travel is conducted with a risk-based, intelligence-driven approach—one that strives to enable Princeton travelers to safely, securely, and legally travel to as many places as possible. To help Princeton community members understand what is needed to prepare as a traveler or as a travel manager, leader, or organizer, this Policy contains the most recent requirements and restrictions. 

This policy is concerned with travel safety and security and does not wholly authorize or approve University Travel. Compliance with the Global Safety & Security Travel Policy and other related University policies for University Travel is an individual responsibility. Failure to adhere to these policies may result in a traveler being ineligible for University funding and other travel-related resources and/or subject to disciplinary action. Travelers are advised to review the Other University Approvals, Other University Policies, and Resources sections below to understand what other University approvals and policies may be applicable to their trip and ensure compliance before departure.

GS&S Travel Policy

With the limited exception of faculty, researchers, and staff traveling domestically, University Travel must be registered in the Enroll My Trip system prior to departure. To learn more about registering University Travel, please refer to the Procedures section.

Personal Travel is not the responsibility of the University and is not eligible for Princeton's travel-related support resources.

A PDF version of this policy can be found below.

University Travel is defined as:

Travel supported through funds disbursed by the University or a University-affiliated entity 


Regardless of funding source, travel that meets at least one of the following: 

  • Undertaken by an enrolled undergraduate or graduate student and results in work that will be considered for academic credit or is otherwise related to a student’s program of study. 
  • Undertaken as part of a faculty, professional researcher (“researcher”), or staff member’s job duties, including participation in events or programs funded by external sources resulting from the participant’s affiliation with the University. 
  • Related to or resulting from participation in any program offered or coordinated by the University. 
  • Related to or in support of University operations. 

Examples of University Travel include, but are not limited to*: 

  • Travel for conferences, speaking engagements, or research affiliated with the traveler’s position at the University, regardless of funding source. 
  • Travel resulting in work that will be considered for academic credit or is otherwise related to a student’s program of study or degree completion (including graduate students traveling for Graduate School-approved In Absentia status), regardless of funding source. 
  • Travel that is supported or being funded by the University, even if the traveler is not a Princeton student, researcher, or faculty or staff member. 
  •  Travel organized by a University employee. 
  • Travel organized by a University student group, club, organization, or athletics team. 
  •  Office of the Dean of the Faculty approved paid leave, including for sabbatical. 
  •  Emeritus/emerita faculty travel for academic purposes, regardless of funding source.

* Travel that is conducted by University independent contractors (as defined in the Independent Contractor Policy) is not subject to the contents of this policy and is not eligible for Princeton’s travel-related support resources. 

Domestic Travel: Travel within the U.S. and to U.S. overseas territories. 

  • For faculty, researchers, and staff, domestic travel registration is optional, though it is encouraged to register domestic travel involving field research.  
  • For students, domestic travel registration is required except for day trips within the state of New Jersey or the greater New York–Philadelphia metro areas, which need not be registered unless the trip is over 24 hours and/or requires an overnight stay away from the traveler’s home location. 

Personal Travel: 

Travel that does not meet the definition of University Travel (e.g., travel not associated with employment or education, such as sightseeing, visiting friends or family, etc.) or which is not registered in compliance with this policy. Extensions to or deviations from University Travel, such as adding days or locations, is deemed personal travel.

Because of the expansive range of possible travel risks, the University must capture certain information about University travelers’ plans. Travel registration provides travelers with important information and resources (including University-provided international insurance and 24/7 emergency assistance for medical and security issues), and helps GS&S to proactively prepare, support, and assist travelers, especially in an emergency. 

All required fields in the Enroll My Trip system and any certification or exception process (if required) must be completed to finalize your travel registration. 

Travelers should review the three-step travel registration procedure below to understand the requirements, including any additional steps required in the certification and exception processes for higher-risk destinations. 

Travelers and (if applicable) travel managers and organizers will receive an email upon successful completion of the registration process that can be used as a travel registration receipt. This receipt may be requested as proof of travel registration by University offices and funders of travel.

GS&S has established a risk categorization framework based on more than 30 health, safety, and security (HSS) data indicators as well as government, private, and public risk-related information. These categories are regionally and globally benchmarked for accuracy and reliability. The risk categories are:

Risk CategoryCriteria
Cat. A
  • Any location in the United States or its overseas territories. 
  • Lower-risk international destination.
Cat. B
  • Medium-risk international destination.
Cat. C
  • Higher-risk international destination.
Cat. X
  • International destinations with restrictions or ongoing HSS risks that, as determined by GS&S, make such travel unfeasible, even with significant precautions taken.


To determine your destination’s risk category, search the list.

With your destination risk category in mind, review the legend and matrices below to determine your travel registration requirements to complete. 

Domestic travelers or Category A travelers can skip to Step 3 and register their trip.

Traveler TypeCategory BCategory CCategory X


(except approved "In Absentia" status)

Approved "In Absentia" Status*TRAVEL NOT PERMITTED

*In Absentia travel refers to University Travel undertaken by a graduate student with approval status (by the Graduate School) to relocate from their home location to a location related to their "In Absentia" activities.

Travel TypeCategory BCategory CCategory X
Faculty, Researchers, or Staff* TRAVEL NOT PERMITTED**

*Faculty, researchers, and staff conducting domestic University Travel are not required to register their trip - only international University Travel.

**Contact GS&S if you'd like to request an Exception.

Traveler TypeCategory BCategory CCategory X

External Guest*

(Travel less than 30 days)


*Travel that is conducted by University independent contractors (as defined in the Independent Contractor Policy) is not subject to the contents of this policy and is not eligible for Princeton’s travel-related support resources. 

**To enroll international University Travel involving external guests (including the completion of any certification), please follow the instructions found in Guest Enrollment and Support section. It is not required to enroll domestic University Travel involving external guests.

Consult the recommended registration timelines below and plan accordingly. Coordination with other University units may be required, so additional processing time may be necessary.

For students, if University funding disbursement is contingent on the completion of trip registration in the Enroll My Trip system (and therefore before travel can be booked), it is best to complete the trip registration process (with tentative travel plans) as soon as possible. Please note you must update your travel registration with final itinerary details before departure.

University Travel may be subject to other University approvals that are not the subject of this policy. Princeton travelers are advised to review the information below and obtain any necessary approvals in advance of departure. 

  • Students on University Travel will need additional approvals. The approving office may vary based on if you are an undergraduate or graduate student, your student status, and the type of project or trip. Most student travel has an approval process built into an application or funding request. However, students with additional questions can reach out to: 
    •  For undergraduate students -  
    • For graduate students -  
    • For co-curricular activities (such as University Travel involving approved student groups, clubs, and organizations), travelers should be in contact with staff in their sponsoring department (e.g., the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students (ODUS), Student Affairs in the Graduate School, Office of Religious Life, the Pace Center for Civic Engagement, or Office of Campus Activities). 
  • Staff members should seek approval for University Travel from their direct supervisor.
  • The University recommends that Faculty inform their departments of University Travel to determine whether approvals (or other requirements) may be necessary. 
  • Researchers should inform (in the case of postdocs) their principal investigators or their departments of University Travel to determine whether approvals (or other requirements) may be necessary.

In addition to this policy, University Travel may be subject to additional University offices' policies, processes, and best practices including, but not limited to: 

• Office of Finance and Treasury: The University Travel Policy, the Business Expense Policy, and the Global Work and Services Policy 

• Office of Research & Project Administration: The Export Controls Policy and compliance with US government export control and OFAC sanctions regulations 

• Office of Research Integrity and Assurance: The policies and processes related to research activities involving human subjects, animals, and biological agents (e.g., IRB, IBC, and IACUC) 

• Office of Environmental Health and Safety: Research-related policies and processes, such as shipping samples and other regulated materials, hazardous materials, use and importation of regulated materials, and research safety

• Information Security Office: Travel guidelines for keeping your information safe while abroad

  • University Travel for faculty, researchers, staff, students, groups, and University guests should be booked through the Travel and Expense program, either via Concur or by contacting World Travel.
  • Funds awarded to students for the purpose of travel and related activities should be recorded in the SAFE system. 
  • Princeton travelers can find more information throughout this site on topics such as routine and emergency issues while traveling and frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  • Princeton travelers should also carefully review the Essential Content section (found in their travel registration in the Enroll My Trip system), where they will find important information and resources (including University-provided international insurance and 24/7 emergency assistance for medical and security issues). 
  • Princeton travelers are encouraged to email Global Safety & Security before, during, or after their trip with any safety and security questions or concerns.

Policy and Forms

Responsible Office: Global Safety & Security  |  International Affairs & Operations  |  Office of the Provost 

Contact:  Director, Global Safety & Security

Version History: Revision 2.0 11 December 2023

Current version of the GS&S Travel Policy in PDF format
Learn about the requirements for travel to medium and higher-risk destinations