April 5, 2019
As members of the University of Michigan community embark on international and domestic travel this summer, the campus International Centers, Office of the General Counsel, and Office of the Provost have prepared this informational 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 that 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.
INTERNATIONAL or TRAVEL ABROAD
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Review the current list of U-M Travel Warning and Travel Restriction Locations and if your destination is listed, submit an Individual or Group Safety Plan Proposal well in advance of your departure date for approval by the International Travel Oversight Committee.
International faculty, staff, students and scholars:
- 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.
- If you are a citizen of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, or Yemen, please review the current information on the Presidential Proclamation (travel ban) and consult with your campus international center before making travel arrangements. Based on immigration status, some citizens without a valid re-entry visa or who cannot travel on the passport of an unrestricted country, may be subject to additional scrutiny (“enhanced screening and vetting requirements”) or fully restricted from (re)entering the U.S. The university discourages unessential international travel during this time of uncertainty.
- 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:
Despite recent court rulings that seemingly require advance parole reinstatement, undocumented individuals and DACA students should not travel abroad at this time due to the evolving legal landscape.
While the executive orders regarding immigration and travel (also known as the “Travel Ban”) do not automatically impact domestic travel within the United States, 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 at all times. 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 foreign nationals from potential removal 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
Prior to taking university-owned electronic devices out of the country, community members should familiarize themselves with international laws and university policies and procedures regarding such electronic devices and taking them 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. Also, you must make sure to comply with the laws of the country to which you will be traveling, which may be quite restrictive toward or prohibitive of data security mechanisms such as encryption. Resource information is available under the safety and security section of the Global Michigan website and on the ITS travel safely 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 retain your electronic device or 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 confiscated 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 e-mail the Global Engagement Team of the Office of the Provost at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- U-M Ann Arbor International Center: https://internationalcenter.umich.edu/
- U-M Dearborn Office of International Affairs: https://umdearborn.edu/offices/international-affairs
- U-M Flint International Center: https://www.umflint.edu/international/international-center-home/