International Travel Guidance

1. Submit a request for International Travel

For SJSU faculty and Students

You must submit your requests for international travel online at least 45 days in advance through the Financial Transaction Services (FTS). Your request will be reviewed to ensure that SJSU Risk Management can obtain travel insurance on your behalf.  

For Research Foundation employees and project participants:

You must submit your requests for international travel via the Travel Request Form [pdf] at least 60 days in advance. Your travel insurance will be arranged through Research Foundation Risk Management.

2. Does your destination require special approval?

If you are traveling to a country that is deemed a war risk or high hazard area [pdf], you must get pre-approval from the SJSU President’s office, the Provost’s office, the CSU Chancellor’s office, and the California State University Risk Management Authority (CSURMA) insurance company. It is essential that you submit your request as far in advance of travel as possible.

3.  Are you taking your University laptop with you?

Before traveling: 

  • Make sure that all security updates have been applied and that your anti-virus software is up to date.
  • Remove all sensitive data or access it through the cloud, if possible. Leave unnecessary data at home.
  • Use strong, unique passwords for all accounts and enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) when available.

While traveling: 

  • Use a VPN to access University resources and approved cloud services.
    All electronic devices should be transported in your carry-on baggage, not checked baggage.
  • Avoid using open, unencrypted public Wi-Fi hotspots. Turn off your wireless, Bluetooth, and GPS when not being used.
  • Never plug in accessories (flash drives, charging cables, memory cards) from untrustworthy sources.
  • Do not allow anyone access to your passwords.

When you get home: 

  • Avoid immediately connecting your computer to your home or University network.
  • Wipe your computer, reinstall the operating systems, and restore the applications and data.
  • Change all passwords and credentials used during your travels.

4. Are you taking research equipment, supplies, data, or student information?

  • Are you going to an embargoed or comprehensively sanctioned country? Travel to Iran, Cuba, Syria, North Korea, or certain regions of Ukraine will, in most cases, require a license from the Federal Government.
  • Hand-carrying is still an export. Contact the Research Compliance Unit to make sure that your equipment is not subject to US Export Control laws. Violating these laws can lead to civil fines and, in some cases, criminal charges.
  • Make sure you’re familiar with local laws and regulations. VPNs, satellite phones, or encrypted devices are illegal in many countries. Your device may get detained or seized, even if you are just transiting through that country’s airport.
  • If you’re carrying HIPAA- or FERPA-protected data on your laptop, inspection by Customs and Border Patrol agents can constitute an unauthorized disclosure. Make sure to inform CPB agents about this protected data before unlocking your devices for inspection. Better yet, leave protected data at home or access it through the cloud.
  • Every US export is an import somewhere else. Make sure you check for required permits, especially if you will be bringing seeds, soil, or agricultural or animal products with you.

5.  What are you bringing back?

Depending on the nature of your samples, you may require permits from the CDC, UDSA Aphis, the FDA, or the NRC. To avoid having your valuable research samples seized by Customs and Border Patrol agents, make sure you have the appropriate import permits in place.

Resources