Frequently Asked Questions

Italian allyway

Frequently Asked Questions

GS&S Travel Policy

Yes! The GS&S Travel Policy supersedes all previous guidance and guideline documentation regarding permissible travel, University-sanctioned travel, and travel enrollment. The policy should be referenced online to ensure users are accessing the current version of the policy.

Travel Requirements

Traveler populations, risk categories, certifications and exceptions, and prohibited locations.

There have been some changes to minimize burden while increasing policy conformance through streamlined and simplified processes and administrative efforts.

There are now two forms for Certification & Exception requests: one for individual travel and one for group travel. Travel requiring a Certification will need the form to be completed through Section 4. Travel requiring an Exception will require the entire form to be completed.

Travelers (or travel organizers) should visit the Certification & Exception page of this website to learn more about the processes and requirements.

Certifications and exceptions are a way to ensure that travelers/travel organizers are engaging in thoughtful reflections on the risks and benefits of traveling to a given destination.

While Global Safety & Security can define the risks at a given destination, deciding whether the benefits of trip outweigh these is a choice best left as close to the purpose of travel as possible.

By using the certification and exception processes, we facilitate a meaningful consideration of this choice while also allowing for the greatest possible flexibility in allowing important travel to proceed.

This will be determined by the destination's general risk category and the traveler's population (e.g. student, staff/faculty, guest).

General risk categories can be referenced in the Destination Guidance page of the Global Safety & Security section on the Princeton International site. These are reviewed on a monthly basis and, if required, can be adjusted more frequently.

The current version of the GS&S Travel Policy contains requirements matrices (page 4 of the policy) which communicate what locations require certification or exception based on general risk category and traveler population.

As an example, staff and faculty require a certification to travel to Category C destinations.

Students wanting to travel to a Category C destination must obtain an approved exception (unless they are graduate students traveling on an approved In Absentia status to an approved location in which case only a certification is required).

University Travel by students (all undergraduate and graduate students) to Category X destinations is fully prohibited. For staff/faculty, an approved exception must be obtained for travel to Category X locations.

Risk categories can be referenced in the Destination Guidance page of the Global Safety & Security section on the Princeton International site. These are reviewed on a monthly basis and, if required, can be adjusted more frequently.

The Risk Category section of this FAQ has additional information that may be helpful to you.

This depends if you are going to be undertaking group or individual travel.

If you're participating in group travel, the travel organizer will be preparing the Certification and Exception form. Once they have completed the form and obtained any endorsement or approval required, they will share the completed form with you. You will then upload this form to your group travel enrollment ('Certification and Exception' file upload field under the 'Essential Content' tab).

If you're undertaking individual travel, it is your complete any required certification or exception process for your travel. The Certification and Exception form can be accessed on the related page of the Global Safety & Security site section. You can also find additional information on each process.

All undergraduate certification and exception requests must be submitted to for further handling. Do not submit forms to individual endorsers or approvers!

This depends if you are going to be undertaking group or individual travel.

If you're participating in group travel, the travel organizer will be preparing the Certification and Exception form. Once they have completed the form and obtained any endorsement or approval required, they will share the completed form with you. You will then upload this form to your group travel enrollment ('Certification and Exception' file upload field under the 'Essential Content' tab).

If you're undertaking individual travel, it is your complete any required certification or exception process for your travel. The Certification and Exception form can be accessed on the related page of the Global Safety & Security site section. You can also find additional information on each process.

Your department, program, or dean may wish to handle certification endorsements in their own ways. Please reach out to them to determine how they would like to review and endorse.

Exception approvals will be coordinated directly between Global Safety & Security and the Dean of the Graduate School's office. Graduate students should submit exception requests, as indicated in the Certification and Exception form instructions, to Global Safety & Security once Sections 1 through 5 are completed.

Mitigations are, in most instances, not much more than common-sense actions you will take in order either to lessen your exposure to risks that exist in a given destination or to lessen how much impact one of those risks will have on you, if you do encounter it. Because every person and the risks at every destination are unique, there is no checklist of mitigations that apply in every instance. The best mitigations are those measures you arrive at on your own, after researching, understanding, and thoughtfully reflecting on the risks in a given destination and your own abilities and knowledge.

Mitigations can be intrinsic to you, such as your experience living in a destination previously or your language skills, or extrinsic practices you will adopt while traveling, such as going out only in a group at night where crime is risk or avoiding popular public areas during peak times where terrorism is a risk.

Developing a mitigation plan begins with a thorough understanding of the risks at your destination, and this is best achieved through your own research. Global Safety & Security (GS&S) maintains a library of links to resources that can help you with this task. Many of these resources also discuss possible mitigations one might adopt against the most prevalent risks at a destination. Keep in mind as you research that although the COVID pandemic is a significant risk factor in most places worldwide, it is not the only one. Unfortunately, crime, terrorism, civil disorder, armed conflict, and many other risks exist alongside – and often far outweigh – the COVID risks in a given place.

If you would like to consult with GS&S about possible mitigations, we are here to help. Due to volume, you should plan that scheduling such a consultation may require up to three weeks’ notice from the time you contact GS&S.

There remains a chance that significant, unforeseen circumstances could drive an urgent update to a destination’s risk category. Where that happens,

  • If the risk decreases, no additional requirements will apply. If you follow the process applicable at the previous higher risk level, you have already engaged in an appropriately rigorous risk-benefit conversation and process.
  • If the risk increases, Global Safety & Security (GS&S) will consult with the traveler or program 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 the type of certification already completed, among other individual factors. Only rarely, and in the most extreme of circumstances, will GS&S ask that travel be held shortly before departure due to an increase in a destination’s risk category that occurs shortly before a trip is to begin.

Given the great variety of programs that sponsor and organize travel, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The purpose of the certification and exception processes is to ensure a thoughtful conversation around the balance between the risks and benefits of a given trip. So, in the end, the technicalities of which form to use are less important than the quality of that conversation; each program sponsor or travel organizer knows their program best, and can decide when a group or individual form is most appropriate.

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 best. This is also true where you may only be sending one student to a destination, but your program makes all or almost all of the arrangements related to where they will live, how they will travel, and in what specific activities they will engage.

Where you simply provide funding to a student as part of a program, but the student is then responsible for arranging the specifics of what they will do with the funding, having each student complete an individual certification or exception is generally best – even if several students end up choosing to travel to the same destination separately.

In cases where you are still unsure about which process is most appropriate, you can always contact Global Safety & Security to discuss the best approach.

Where a group certification or exception is required, you play the vital part of providing information on the importance of the program and the risk mitigations it will employ, so that the certifier or exception granter can consider the balance between the risks and benefits of the group travel or program. Global Safety & Security (GS&S), through its risk categories, defines the level of risk at destinations worldwide; you are therefore not being asked to determine risk. Rather, you are providing context around the benefits of the trip or program, as well as details on your plans to keep students healthy and safe.

Submission of the relevant forms for groups is done under the same processes as those for individual forms. See other frequently asked questions in this section for more details. In parallel with submitting the form, you can also begin the group registration process in the Enroll My Trip (EMT) tool, where a group is involved. If you are submitting a group in EMT for the first time, please contact GS&S to ensure you are enabled in the tool to create group records.

Once a certification has been completed or exception approved, you 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 group certification or exception as part of the individual portion of the group registration in EMT.

The approach for determining requirements based on risk categorization has been simplified. The matrices have been redesigned to help the process. The established risk categories (A, B, C, and X) remain unchanged, but you may notice the matrices now display requirements based on traveler population and are color coded (traffic signal approach) to further associate risks to requirements.

We continue to use a variety of open source and curated information resources to guide the baseline risk categorization process. Professional assessment of locations and the health, safety, and security risks, especially as it relates to travel conducted by the University community, further informs our categorization process.

GS&S reviews risk categorization on a monthly basis and on an ad-hoc basis, as needed.

GS&S has established a risk categorization framework to communicate general health, safety and security risks at an intended destination. The three main categories (A, B, and C) progress from lower risk destinations (Category A) to medium risk destinations (Category B) and higher risk destinations (Category C). There is one additional category for destinations that have risks present that cannot be effectively mitigated or in which the University is wholly unable to support travel (Category X). GS&S reviews risk categorizations monthly and publishes changes to the Princeton community on the GS&S website. Major in-country developments may prompt GS&S to conduct an ad hoc manual review and adjust a destination’s category accordingly.  

Health, safety, and security (HSS) risks affect University travelers in all destinations. The extent and nature of HSS 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 outbreak 
  • Kidnapping/hostage taking by criminal or terrorist groups 
  • Poor healthcare infrastructure 
  • Terrorism 
  • Wrongful detention by a foreign government 

GS&S considers the extent of the HSS risks present in a location, in addition to factors that may specifically compound risks to University travelers and the existence of restrictions on exports, financing, research, transactions, and insurance coverage.  

Risks such as those listed above are particularly elevated in Category X destinations, to the extent that at least one of the below conditions is present:

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

University travelers can search for their destination’s risk category on the GS&S website. Based on the risk category and the traveler population (student, faculty, or staff), University travelers can determine their requirements and begin the Enroll My Trip process. Please note that if a University traveler desires to travel to a higher risk destination, a certification or exception may be required. There are no exceptions for students to travel to an X destination at this time. 

University travelers who desire to travel to a Category X destination are required to submit an exception request. In doing so, University travelers are responsible for reviewing destination risk information and developing strategies that can be realistically adopted to mitigate health, safety, and security risks. Travelers may reach out to GS&S for guidance on identifying risks and developing mitigations but must develop their own plans. This does not guarantee an Exception will be approved. 

Global Safety & Security consider the risks, traveler’s profile and experience, and planned activities during the residual risk assessment process and makes a recommendation to the University exception approver.  


The easiest way to reference a destination's risk category is to look it up on the Destination Guidance page. Using the key on the page, you can see that locations will be labeled with their risk category (A, B, C, X).

For a small number of locations, you may see them labeled as M which refers to being a "mixed category" location. This means that there are areas within the country that have a different risk category than the rest. A great example of this is Egypt where most of the country is assessed as Category B risk, but some specific areas are assessed as Category X due to significant security risks and assistance limitations that cannot be mitigated.

Once you know your risk category, you can crosscheck this against your traveler population (page 4 of the GS&S Travel Policy) to determine your requirements. If a Certification or Exception is required, this must be completed following the established process (including uploading the completed document to your travel enrollment) prior to travel commencing.

Enroll My Trip platform

This depends on the type of travel that is occurring. GS&S only captures the enrollment of University Travel. All University Travel must be enrolled via the Enroll My Trip platform.

University Travel is defined as travel that meets one or both of the following criteria:

  • To a location outside of the state of New Jersey and the New York - Philadelphia greater metropolitan areas
  • To any location for a period that exceeds 24 hours or that requires an overnight stay away from the traveler’s home location

AND that meets one or both of the following criteria:

  • 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, 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 results from participation in any program offered by or coordinated through the University.
    • Related to or in support of University operations.

This means that a daytrip to Philadelphia, Trenton, New York, or New Haven wouldn't need to be enrolled, but an overnight trip to New York would require enrollment.

You should not enroll personal travel.

To be added as a user that can create group travel, please email your request which is the main thing that needs to happen for your user profile to have the actual ability to register such travel. 

Once you receive a confirmation email from GS&S that you were added, you can begin creating group travel. Please see the associated step-by-step guidance documents available on the Enroll My Trip resource page of this website.

While it may seem like a duplicative effort to have to register travel in Enroll My Trip after booking through Concur, this is largely due to the lack of travel tracking functionality in the Concur environment and also in part because University Travel is not required to be booked through Concur or World Travel. This means there is a substantial amount of travel that isn’t running through these systems (which ultimately function in more of a travel agency capacity). Concur used to have a travel registration/tracking functionality, but it was sunset by the vendor which prompted our team to pursue a different system. 

Global Safety & Security (GS&S) needed to have a system for travel tracking because our office supports University travelers when they are on University Travel (real-time health, safety, security assistance and international health coverage).  

The travel registration requirement through Enroll My Trip allows us to capture all travelers, including those that do not book through Concur/World Travel, so that we are appropriately positioned to provide support in advance of travel, respond to support requests during travel, and allocate resources long-term. 

We also use the travel registration system to capture certain required information (Export Control info, for example) as well as provide information on risk and available resources to travelers. 

Please navigate to the Enroll My Trip page of this website for related support resources. You can access a step-by-step guide to adding delegates as well as similar documents supporting the creation and completion of individual and group travel enrollment.

You can enter tentative information (or placeholder) in the required fields. For example, this might be where you intend to book or what airline/route you intend to fly or can be placeholder information like “TBD” or something similar. 

With that said, it is very important that you go back and update the information prior to your trip departure to conform with University policy.  You can enter placeholder information until your funds are awarded or details confirmed, but please ensure you then update the information once booked and/or confirmed. GS&S uses this information to be able to respond proactively when an incident may occur in a location to ensure the safety of Princeton travelers and their access to support/care. 

The issue can be related to the input in the SAFE Project ID field. 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 the appropriate Project ID is input.  Please verify that the correct SAFE Project ID is entered in the relevant field in your enrollment.

This could be a result of the travel registration being entered after the travel has occurred. This is ultimately non-conforming with University policy and the system will not deploy appropriate workflows for postdated registration. If this is the case, please email to discuss. 

This is something that is tagged onto all travel booked through the University’s Travel & Expense office (Concur/World Travel) to serve as a reminder for the University community to register travel. 

Travel is registered to ensure travelers have access to Princeton resources if there is a health, safety, or security incident while on travel and that they have appropriate international health care coverage when traveling overseas. That said, if the guest is traveling domestically, there is no action required. We do not capture external/guest domestic travel. 

Princeton departments or programs supporting external/guest international travel may request a PDF enrollment form from GS&S that can be completed, in-part, by the guest for basic provision and capturing of information to support duty of care efforts.

Unfortunately, this is related to the data that is fed into the system from Princeton into the Enroll My Trip system. We can assist in granting access through a manual action from technical support. This takes time to process and requires action by you, the user, at the end of the process. Please email for additional information.