Travel

This page was last updated: April 24, 2020 at 9:03 a.m.

In response to the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has urged the community to practice social distancing in order to help slow the spread of the virus. As part of institutional efforts to promote social distancing, the university has issued a number of travel restrictions.

Study Abroad

The University has extended the suspension of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign study abroad through January 15, 2021. This decision applies to Fall 2020 and Academic Year 2020-21 programs and includes all program types (exchange, direct enroll, provider programs, faculty-led, and study abroad by petition). This decision also applies to Fall and AY inbound exchange students from partner institutions. Study abroad departing after January 15 will evaluated in August or September. 

The University will not permit any waivers or exceptions for fall 2020 study abroad, including for those programs with delayed start dates in September or October. Participants choosing to study abroad will have no University connection or support, including access to study abroad options through the University, international insurance, and pre-articulation of course credit. 

The latest communication and guidance sent to study abroad students may be found on the International Safety and Security website.

International Travel

University-sponsored international travel
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has canceled all international Spring Break programs sponsored by the university, as well as all international university-sponsored programs from March 14 to at least May 18. 

Those who believe they have an essential business reason to travel by air may be able to request approval through their unit executive officer (dean, vice provost, vice chancellor, etc.). It is expected that permission to travel will be granted only in the most limited of circumstances.

The U.S. Department of State, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have all issued global health and travel advisories. All individuals returning from study or travel abroad should follow the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines.

Personal international travel
The Department of State has issued a Global Health Advisory that: “advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.” Individuals returning from personal travel abroad should consult the CDC FAQs on returning to the U.S.

Domestic Travel

University-sponsored domestic travel
The university is limiting domestic travel for faculty, staff and students to pre-approved travel for essential university business. 

Those who believe they have an essential business reason to travel by air may be able to request approval through their unit executive officer (dean, vice provost, vice chancellor, etc.). It is expected that permission to travel will be granted only in the most limited of circumstances.

Programs that involve domestic air travel that have not yet departed are canceled. Programs that involve domestic air travel that have already departed (are currently away from campus) should follow CDC guidelines for travel in the United States.

Personal domestic travel
The university is strongly advising against all personal domestic travel for faculty, staff and students, especially those in a high-risk category.

International Travel if Returning to Your Home Country

With the switch to online course delivery, some international students and scholars may wish to return to their home country. If you choose to travel outside of the U.S., you should be prepared for the possibility for your return may be significantly delayed. This could pose different problems depending on your unique situation, from not being able to resume classes when face to face instruction does resume to not being able to apply for OPT. Each student should consider their own circumstances.

International students and scholars can refer to the International Student and Scholar Services website for visa and immigration specific questions.