Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Travel Requirements & Restrictions

The GS&S Travel Policy contains the most recent University travel requirements and restrictions.

GS&S has addressed many of the common questions related to University travel requirements and restrictions. Please review the FAQs below see if your question has been answered before messaging GS&S at globalsafety@princeton.edu.

With the limited exception of faculty, researchers, academic professionals, and staff traveling domestically, University Travel must be registered in the Enroll My Trip system prior to departure.

University Travel is defined as:

  • Travel supported through funds disbursed by the University or a University-affiliated entity 
    OR
  • Regardless of funding source, meets at least one of the following criteria: 
    • 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, academic professional, 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 by or coordinated through 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.

For the purposes of the GS&S Travel Policy, Domestic Travel is defined as travel within the U.S. and to U.S. overseas territories. 

  • For faculty, researchers, academic professionals, 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. This means that a day trip to Philadelphia, Trenton, New York, New Haven, or DC wouldn't need to be enrolled, but an overnight trip to New York would require enrollment.

If your trip meets the criteria outlined above, you must register your travel prior to departure. Step-by-step walkthrough instructions are available on the Enroll My Trip page. 

You should not enroll personal travel. Personal Travel is not the responsibility of the University and is not eligible for Princeton’s travel-related support resources. For the purposes of the GS&S Travel Policy, Personal Travel is defined as 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.

Destination Risk Categories

The GS&S Travel Policy details Princeton's destination risk categories, which inform University travel requirements and restrictions.

GS&S has addressed many of the common questions related to the destination risk categories. Please review the FAQs below see if your question has been answered before messaging GS&S at globalsafety@princeton.edu.

Health, safety, and security risks affect University travelers in all destinations. The extent and nature of those risks vary from destination to destination, as they are often related to the wider political, social, economic, and security environment in a particular country or location. They often include:

  • Armed conflict  
  • Crime
  • Civil unrest and protest-related violence 
  • Disease 
  • Kidnapping/hostage taking
  • Poor healthcare infrastructure 
  • Terrorism 
  • Wrongful detention by a foreign government 

GS&S has an 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. GS&S also considers the existence of restrictions on exports, financing, sensitive research, transactions, and insurance coverage. These categories are regionally and globally benchmarked for accuracy and reliability. The risk categories are:

  • 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. 

Category X destinations are determined by at least one of the below:

  • Conditions that significantly endanger the life, health, and safety of University travelers 
  • Conditions that significantly hinder the ability of government authorities to support University travelers 
  • Conditions that significantly hinder the ability of Princeton University to support University travelers 
  • Conditions that cannot be mitigated by the traveler or Princeton University within reasonable bounds 

Destination Risk Categories inform University Policy by communicating both health, safety, and security risks in countries worldwide and University Travel requirements to Princeton travelers. Based on the risk category and the traveler population (student, faculty, or staff), University travelers can determine their travel requirements and begin their travel registration process in the Enroll My Trip system. It is important to note that additional steps are required for travel to higher-risk destinations, so please refer to the FAQs section for Certifications and Exceptions. 

Destination risk categories can be found on the Destination Risks page by searching for your destination country. Please note that for a small number of countries that have multiple risk categories, so may see the label M which refers to a "mixed category" location. This means that there are areas within the country that have a different risk category than the rest. One example of this is Egypt, where most of the country is assessed as Category B risk, but some specific areas are assessed as Category C due to security risks and assistance limitations.

GS&S reviews risk categorizations monthly and publishes changes to the Princeton community on the Destination Risks page. Major in-country developments may prompt GS&S to conduct an ad hoc review of the safety and security environment and adjust a destination’s risk category accordingly. An example of a major in-country development impacting the safety and security environment was the 7 October 2023 Hamas attack on Israel and the subsequent Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.

Destination risk categories can be found on the Destination Risks page by searching for your destination country.

It’s possible that significant or unforeseen circumstances could drive an urgent update to a destination’s risk category. 

  • If the risk decreases, no additional requirements will apply. 
  • If the risk increases, GS&S will consult on what additional requirements may be needed. These will vary from case to case, based on the time until departure, the reason for the increase in risk, and University requirements already completed, among other factors. Only in the most extreme of circumstances will GS&S and the University require that travel be postponed on short notice before departure or require your immediate departure from a country if abroad already.

Enroll My Trip system

The GS&S Travel Policy requires University Travel to be registered in the Enroll My Trip system before departure. 

GS&S has addressed many of the common questions related to the Enroll My Trip system. Please review the FAQs below see if your question has been answered before messaging GS&S at globalsafety@princeton.edu.

Because Concur is a travel booking tool that all University travelers are not required to use and is not a travel tracking or emergency management tool, the University must capture certain information about University travelers’ plans in the Enroll My Trip system as a master record of University Travel. 

Not only does the Enroll My Trip system allow GS&S to track University Travel and provide real-time health, safety, security assistance, but it proactively shares travel information with campus partners (for instance, Export Controls, via internal system workflows) as well as provides important information on risk and University-provided resources (like international insurance and 24/7 assistance from International SOS) to travelers.

To be added as a user that can create a group travel registration, please email globalsafety@princeton.edu. GS&S will enable your user profile to register group travel. 

You will receive a confirmation email from GS&S that you were given the necessary permissions. Please be sure to review the Group Travel Organizer step-by-step walkthrough instructions.

Please review the step-by-step walkthrough instructions for Delegates. You can also view instructions for supporting the creation and completion of individual and group travel registrations.

Yes, you can enter tentative or placeholder information such as TBD in the required fields. However, it is very important that you update the information prior to your departure. Not only does GS&S use this information to respond to incidents and emergencies, but it is required to conform with University Policy, so it must be kept up to date. 

There are two possible issues: 

One is related to answering "no" to the question on Forms tab of your travel registration asking if you received SAFE funding. This field is conditional and requires a "yes" answer to display additional SAFE-related fields, like your SAFE Project ID field. 

The other is often related to the SAFE Project ID field in your travel registration (on the Forms tab). Unfortunately, GS&S doesn't have access to SAFE to crosscheck what was entered, but SAFE should automatically find and associate your travel enrollment once your corresponding Project ID is added to your travel registration. Please verify that the correct SAFE Project ID is entered in the relevant field in your travel registration. Only numeric values should be entered.

This could be a result of a trip being registered after the trip has occurred. A trip that is registered after it has occurred is non-compliant with Univeristy policy, as travel must be registered before departure. If this is the case, please email globalsafety@princeton.edu.

Princeton departments or programs supporting international University Travel involving external or guest travelers should review the Guest Enrollment Instructions and Support section of our website for information on how to enroll these trips. If the external guest is traveling domestically, there is no action required.

Certifications & Exceptions

The GS&S Travel Policy requires certain University travelers to obtain a Certification or an approved Exception before they depart. 

GS&S have addressed common questions related to Certification and Exception Request processes below. Please review the FAQs below see if your question has been answered before messaging GS&S at globalsafety@princeton.edu.

Note: There are separate forms for individual travelers and group travel.

Certifications and approved Exceptions are a way to ensure that travelers and/or travel organizers are (1) aware that one or more of their destinations may expose them (and their travelers) to increased levels of risks and (2) engaging in thoughtful reflections on the risks and benefits of traveling to a given destination. These processes also provide the University with higher touch points on elevated and higher risk travel, which may require additional risk mitigations measures, approvals, training, and assistance.

First, please search here for your destination country(s) for the Destination Risk Category, namely A, B, C, or X. For more information, please see the Destination Risk Categories FAQ at the top of the page. 

If you’re traveling anywhere with a categorization other than A, you may need a Certification or approved Exception. A combination of what type of traveler you are (e.g., student, faculty, researcher, academic professional, or staff member) and the Destination Risk Category determine your next steps. Reference the matrices found in Step 2 to determine if your travel registration also requires additional steps, such as a Certification or approved Exception.

The Certification process documents the traveler’s attestation that their travel is feasible, University-related, and that they are aware of resources to better understand risks they could face. 

  • If you're undertaking individual travel, it is your responsibility to complete the required Certification process. The individual travel form can be accessed here
  • If you're participating in group travel, the travel organizer will facilitate the Certification process and complete the form for the entire group. The travel organizer will share a copy of the completed form with all travel participants, who will need to upload a copy to their travel registration per the instructions below. If you are a group travel organizer, please see the FAQs on group travel certifications and exceptions below. The group travel form can be accessed here

The Certification process requires an endorsement (signature) of the proposed travel from an authorized person, which is based on the traveler(s)’ population (undergraduate student; graduate student; faculty or staff reporting lines). Those requiring a Certification should follow the Certification instructions on page 1 of the form. Please remember to save your form FIRST NAME, LAST NAME, PROGRAM NAME, TRAVEL DESTINATION. 

Complete Sections 1, 2, and 3 yourself; then, obtain a signature from the authorized University Certification endorser listed below in Section 4:

  • Undergraduate students (for travel to Category B destinations) — Submit your Certification to travelcert@princeton.edu for processing to the appropriate Certification Endorser
  • Graduate students (for travel to Category B destinations) — Department chair, program director or dean for Certification endorsement
  • Faculty, Postdoc, Researcher, Academic Professional & Staff (for travel to Category C destinations) — Department chair, program director, unit head, or supervisor (as applicable)

Again, a completed Certification must have Sections 1 through 4 completed in their entirety. Incomplete Certifications will not be accepted. 

Finally, upload the completed form to the "file upload" field on the Essential Content tab of your travel registration and that's it. You will receive an automated email that your travel registration is complete when GS&S approves your trip in the Enroll My Trip system. Safe travels!

The Exception Request process adds a layer of consideration to requests for proposed University Travel to high-risk locations. This involves a risk consultation with GS&S, risk-based assessment, and recommendation to a University Exception approver. Please review the steps below and email globalsafety@princeton.edu if you have any questions. 

  • If you're undertaking individual travel, it is your responsibility to complete the required Exception process. The individual travel form can be accessed here
  • If you're participating in group travel, the travel organizer will facilitate the Exception process and complete the form for the entire group. The travel organizer will share a copy of the completed form with all travel participants, who will need to upload a copy to their travel registration per the instructions below. If you are a group travel organizer, please see the FAQs related to group travel certifications and exceptions below. The group travel form can be accessed here

Those requiring an approved Exception should download the form and follow the Exception instructions on page 1.  Please remember to save your form FIRST NAME, LAST NAME, PROGRAM NAME, TRAVEL DESTINATION.

Like the Certification process outlined in the question above, the Exception process documents the traveler’s attestation that their travel is feasible, University-related, and that they are aware of resources to better understand risks they could face. It also requires an endorsement (signature) at a department level from an authorized person, which is based on the traveler(s)’ population (undergraduate student; graduate student; faculty or staff reporting lines).

Complete Sections 1, 2, and 3 yourself, then obtain a signature from the authorized University Exception endorser listed below in Section 4:

  • Undergraduate students (for travel to Category C destinations) — Submit your signed form to travelcert@princeton.edu for processing to the appropriate endorser
  • Graduate students for travel:
    • to Category C Destinations — Department chair only
    • to Category X destinations for PhD dissertation-related research only* - Department Chair only
  • Faculty, Postdoc, Researcher, Academic Professional & Staff (for travel to Category X destinations) — Department chair, program director, unit head, or supervisor (as applicable)

*In exceedingly rare circumstances, graduate students who wish to conduct PhD dissertation-related research only may request an Exception following the Exception Request process detailed in this FAQ. 

Once you are returned your form with Section 4 signed by the authorized person, you should complete Section 5 next and submit the form to globalsafety@princeton.edu.

The traveler is required to have a risk consultation with GS&S. GS&S will schedule a risk consultation with the traveler to further identify and discuss risks that could negatively impact their health, safety, and security and mitigation plans. This tailored discussion lays the foundation for GS&S to perform a residual risk assessment (e.g., risk after implemented mitigations) and make a recommendation to the authorized University Exception approver

  • Undergraduate students — The Dean of Undergraduate Students
  • Graduate students — The Dean of the Graduate School
  • Faculty, Postdoc, Researcher, Academic Professional & Staff — The Provost

GS&S will assess the proposed risk mitigations and make a recommendation to the authorized University Exception approver responsible for approving or denying the Exception. The Exception approver will then return an approved or denied Exception directly to the traveler via email with globalsafety@princeton.edu copied.

Again, a completed, approved Exception form must have Sections 1 through 7 completed in their entirety. Incomplete Exceptions will not be accepted. 

The traveler must upload the completed, approved Exception form using the "file upload" field on the Essential Content tab of your travel registration. GS&S will be in touch with any final steps and approve your trip in the Enroll My Trip system. You will receive an automated email that your travel registration is complete. Safe travels!

Mitigations are, in most instances, common-sense actions you will take to either to lessen your exposure to risks in a given destination or to lessen risk impact if you do encounter it. 

Every traveler and the risks at every destination are unique, so there is no universal checklist of mitigations. It is important to think through risks that could negatively impact your health, safety, and security and what mitigation strategies to deploy to lessen your exposure to risks or to lessen risk impact. Mitigations can be intrinsic to you, such as your lived experience in a destination (e.g., previous travel to a country or living in a country for an extended period), language skills, or extrinsic practices you will adopt while traveling, such as staying in a group at night to avoid petty crime or avoiding popular public areas during peak times where terrorism is a concern.

Here are some examples:

  • If using public transportation at night is a safety concern due to crime, a traveler can plan to not utilize public transportation after dark to reduce their risk of fallen victim to crime.
  • If walking alone at night is safety concern for solo female travelers due to crime and sexual assault, a traveler can plan to utilize safe means as transportation after dark such as a private taxi service to reduce their risks.
  • If earthquakes are a safety concern due to seismic activity, a traveler can prepare a go-bag, have an emergency communication plan, and know what actions to take in the event of an earthquake to lessen risk impact. 

Developing a mitigation plan begins with a thorough understanding of the risks at your destination. GS&S maintains a library of travel safety resources and destination-specific risk information that can help you better understand the risks you may face and possible mitigations one might adopt. We strongly advise travelers to thoughtfully reflect on their destination risks in conjunction with their own profile, identity, planned activities, lived experience, abilities, and knowledge. In some cases, additional training or pre-identifying local assistance may be advised or required by the University. 

Remember, GS&S is here to help. If you have questions about destination risks (ahead of the required risk consultation as part of the Exception process) and would like to schedule a meeting with a member of the GS&S team, please email globalsafety@princeton.edu. Due to the volume of requests ahead of peak travel periods, such a consultation may require up to two to three weeks notice from the time you contact GS&S — please plan accordingly.

Where a group travel certification or exception is required, the group travel organizer is expected to provide information on the importance of the program or trip (in the case of a Certification) and the risk mitigations the group will employ to keep students healthy and safe ( in the case of an Exception Request). 

In general, if you will be sending a group of students on the same itinerary or to participate in the same academic or other program, a group Certification or Exception is easiest and most streamlined approach. This is also true where you may only be sending one student to a destination, but a program makes all or almost all the arrangements related to living and travel arrangements and specific activities. However, where student funding is granted but the travel is student directed, each student must complete an individual travel Certification or Exception – even if several students choose to travel to the same destination separately.

Group travel organizers should also begin the group travel registration process in the Enroll My Trip system. If you are submitting a group travel registration in the Enroll My Trip system for the first time, please contact GS&S before you begin to ensure you are enabled in the tool to create group travel registrations.

Once a Certification has been completed or Exception approved, the group travel organizer should share the final, signed form with all group/program participants, so that they can review the information presented there, have answered their questions about risks, benefits, and planned mitigations, and make an informed final decision to participate. To help ensure this step takes place, each group participant will be asked to upload a copy of the completed group Certification or Exception form in the Enroll My Trip system (upload icon under the Essential Content section).

If you are still unsure about which process is most appropriate, contact Global Safety & Security.

This typically happens when using applications, extensions, or browsers other than Adobe Acrobat to try and sign and save pdf documents.

This form was developed in Adobe Acrobat. GS&S recommends that users complete and digitally sign the form in Adobe Acrobat (full Windows or Mac versions) to avoid functionality issues as PDF functionality can be limited when using other PDF applications or browser-based PDF readers/extensions, including the available Adobe pdf browser extensions.

All Princeton University students, faculty, and staff have University-licensed access to Adobe Acrobat. Upon authenticating with Adobe Creative Cloud (NetID authentication), users can download and use the Adobe Acrobat program.

Travelers may be able to utilize certain browser-based PDF readers/extensions without limitation, but GS&S is unable to assist in troubleshooting form functionality issues outside of the recommended, supported environment of the University-licensed Adobe Acrobat program.

Finally, please remember to save your form FIRST NAME, LAST NAME, PROGRAM NAME, TRAVEL DESTINATION.

Please make sure you're using the latest version of the form on the GS&S website, and that you're using Adobe Acrobat to complete the form. As an example, the Immigration Status field is a selectable drop-down, not a field that accepts text entry. Using applications, extensions, or browsers other than Adobe Acrobat to try and complete pdf forms can result in experiencing this issue.

This form was developed in Adobe Acrobat. GS&S recommends that users complete and digitally sign the form in Adobe Acrobat (full Windows or Mac versions) to avoid functionality issues as PDF functionality can be limited when using other PDF applications or browser-based PDF readers/extensions, including the available Adobe pdf browser extensions.

All Princeton University students, faculty, and staff have University-licensed access to Adobe Acrobat. Upon authenticating with Adobe Creative Cloud (NetID authentication), users can download and use the Adobe Acrobat program.

Travelers may be able to utilize certain browser-based PDF readers/extensions without limitation, but GS&S is unable to assist in troubleshooting form functionality issues outside of the recommended, supported environment of the University-licensed Adobe Acrobat program.

Finally, please remember to save your form FIRST NAME, LAST NAME, PROGRAM NAME, TRAVEL DESTINATION.

Please understand that due to the additional actions required to process hardcopy forms and pictures of completed forms (e.g., digital signatures of others) - plus the limited available resources to do so during peak travel periods - travelers should only be completing the Certification and Exception forms digitally. 

The Office of the Dean of the College (ODOC) and Office of International Programs (OIP) will not accept hardcopy forms or pictures of completed forms for submission by undergraduate travelers.

Finally, please remember to save your form FIRST NAME, LAST NAME, PROGRAM NAME, TRAVEL DESTINATION.