Summer 2017 Travel Guidance

If you plan to travel, be sure to review the travel resources provided on the International Center website for international students, scholars and employees.  If you are in F or J immigration status, you should, as always, check your I-20 or DS-2019 form to see if you need a new travel signature, and request a new signature if necessary at least a week prior to departure.  International students, scholars, faculty and staff may also wish to review the newly released Summer 2017 Travel Guidance, which addresses registering overseas travel, trips within the U.S., and how to handle electronic devices. 

As members of the University of Michigan community prepare for summer international and domestic travel, the campus international centers, Office of the General Counsel, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Engagement and Interdisciplinary Academic Affairs have prepared this information guide to promote safe and efficient travel.  More detailed and expansive information, including emergency contact information while traveling, is available on the Global Michigan website.  We encourage you to explore all the travel resources available on the site while planning your travel.   In addition, community members may find updates regarding immigration enforcement, safe computing practices and security issues in the pre-departure planning section of the Global Michigan website.


All travelers:

  1. Register your travel in the university’s Travel Registry before departure.
    All individuals on University of Michigan Related Travel (“UMRT”) must register their travel, in compliance with SPG 601.31 – International Travel Policy.
  2. Register for the university’s travel abroad health insurance.
    Faculty, staff and students also may purchase travel abroad insurance through the university’s approved vendor for personal or leisure travel for themselves and accompanying dependents.  Faculty and staff who register their UMRT are automatically enrolled in the travel abroad insurance program.
  3. Review the pre-departure planning checklist on the Global Michigan website.
    This website includes, for example, information regarding necessary travel documents, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) policy on Inspection of Electronic Devices, and Department of Homeland Security travel advisories and safe computing practices.
  4. Register with the U.S. State Department Smart Travel Enrollment Program (STEP) which is a free service that provides important information about current safety conditions in your destination countries.

International faculty, staff, students and scholars

  1. If you will need to apply for a visa to re-enter the U.S., plan ahead to accommodate expected visa issuance delays.  Before departing the U.S. visit the website of the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate to determine local procedures for scheduling interviews.
  2. If you are a citizen of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and you do not have a valid re-entry visa or you cannot travel on the passport of an unrestricted country, consult with your campus international center before making travel arrangements.   The university discourages unessential international travel during this time of uncertainty.
  3. Please remember that international student and scholar advisors are available by appointment or during walk-in hours at each campus international center if you have questions or need advice.

Undocumented or DACA students

     Undocumented individuals and DACA students should not travel abroad.



The recent White House executive orders regarding immigration and travel do not impact domestic travel within the United States.  Nevertheless, additional caution and planning is wise in order to minimize possible disruption in travel plans.

  • Anyone who is not a U.S. Citizen must carry evidence of immigration registration at all times.  If you are traveling within the U.S., especially outside of the immediate campus area, you should carry your original immigration/status documents (e.g. passport, I-94 printout and H-1B approval notice) with you. Even though you most likely will not be asked for them, it is important to note that, by law, you are required to carry your “registration form” with you. As a non-immigrant, your registration form is your I-94; permanent residents should carry their original green cards.   Please be sure to store copies of all your immigration documents in a safe place, should you lose your original documents and need to replace them.  DACA recipients should carry their DACA approval notice and EAD card.
  • Undocumented students and their families should avoid air travel or other modes of travel where identification is checked.  Recent Department of Homeland Security memos and enforcement action indicate that the removal of undocumented individuals is a priority. ICE will not exempt any classes or categories of removal foreign nationals from potential enforcement. Undocumented individuals are strongly encouraged to consult with an immigration attorney before using commercial services for domestic travel.

Security issues and traveling with electronic devices

Community members should familiarize themselves with university policies and procedures regarding taking university-owned electronic devices out of the country, storing sensitive, proprietary or privileged university data on personal devices and safe computing practices for international and domestic travel. Before taking university-owned devices or sensitive, proprietary, or privileged university data out of the country, consult with your department leadership and IT team to develop an effective data security plan.  Resource information is available under the pre-departure planning section of the Global Michigan website.

CBP officers have significant discretion to determine the appropriate level of inspection that is required of travelers.  In addition, CBP utilizes a random selection process for identifying travelers for additional inspection.  As a general rule, the university encourages travelers to comply with lawful requests of law enforcement officers at ports of entry who have the authority to search all bags, merchandise, and devices; inspect travel documents; and to inquire about your citizenship and travel itinerary.  This authority at the border currently includes the right to inspect electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops, tablets, etc.  Non-compliance with law enforcement requests at a port of entry could impact your ability to enter the U.S. depending on if you are a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or visa holder.  Lawful permanent residents and visa holders could be denied entry.

If you are asked by a law enforcement agent at a U.S. port of entry to provide access to university-owned devices or personal devices that contain sensitive, proprietary, or privileged university data, it is important that you advise the officer that the device contains sensitive, proprietary, or privileged university data. It is possible that the device will be detained or seized if you decline to provide access to the device in order to avoid compromising sensitive, proprietary, or privileged data. You must promptly comply with the university’s Information Security Incident Reporting Policy (SPG 601.25) if university-owned devices or data are compromised at any time for any reason.


Please direct initial inquiries regarding travel concerns to your campus international center or the Global Engagement Team within the Office of the Provost.

U-M Ann Arbor International Center:

U-M Dearborn Office of International Affairs:

U-M Flint International Center: