Get your passport ready!

Things change rapidly these days - pandemics, political climates, and environmental threats, to name a few - and UMB wants to be sure we can help YOU wherever you are if changes happen quickly.

International travel with UMB requires prior authorization and the use of a UMB-approved travel agency to procure tickets and accommodations. Our team can assist with these requirements to ensure smooth and safe travels. Please be aware that the requirements and procedures to submit your travel requests differ depending on whether you are faculty/staff, a student, or a non-employee. Please let us know whether you are faculty/staff, a student, or a non-employee, and follow the instructions below:  


Do these international travel requirements apply to me? 

Yup! This policy applies to:

  • All UMB personnel, regardless of funding source
  • Authorized affiliate employees and other nonemployees whose travel is paid for, in part or in whole, with UMB Funds
  • UMB personnel regularly performing their UMB duties in Maryland
  • UMB personnel regularly performing their UMB duties out of state
  • The purchase of transportation, lodging, meals, and other expenditures charged to UMB Funds and paid directly to a travel services provider or reimbursed to the traveler
  • All UMB Business Travel that takes place internationally, even if the traveler does not enter or leave the United States

The only types of travel this does not apply to are:

  • Moving and relocation of UMB personnel
  • Travel undertaken by registered UMB students that does not qualify as UMB Business Travel (see more on UMB Business Travel below under What counts as "UMB Business Travel"?)

What counts as "UMB Business Travel"? 

Will any UMB Funds pay for any travel expenditures? Then likely the trip counts as UMB Business Travel, as defined in the UMB Policy on Business Travel for UMB Employees and Nonemployees and as follows:

UMB Business Travel = any trip undertaken for UMB business purposes or UMB employee work-related business is UMB Business Travel

  • It includes travel of UMB Personnel who participate in academic travel as part of their job functions.
  • It excludes an employee’s regular commute between home and the workplace.
  • It applies not only to employees but also to authorized affiliate employees and other nonemployees whose travel expenditures will be charged, in part or in whole, to UMB Funds.

UMB Funds = All funds administered by UMB, regardless of fund source. UMB funds include State-appropriated general funds, tuition, fees, and other income, as well as auxiliary funds, revolving/discretionary funds, Designated Research Initiative Funds, gifts, contract or grant revenues, and other restricted funds.

Why do I need pre-approval? Who needs to approve my travel? 

Why? UMB requires pre-authorization of travel to support fulfillment of UMB's commitment to the safety and security of those traveling on UMB business, to assure compliance with US government regulations and sponsor terms and conditions, and to assure proper and judicious use of UMB financial resources.

Who approves?

UMB Employee: Your travel must be approved by your supervisor and by a person with fiscal authority for the funds used to pay for the travel  - see UMB Policy VIII-14.00 (A) Policy on Approval, Payment and Reimbursement of Personal Business-Related Expenses of UMB Employees.

High-risk destination: If traveling to a high- or extreme-risk destination, the travel must be cleared by the AVP of International Operations or their designee, as per Step 2 above.

What if I don't have UMB credentials to enter UMB's Concur Travel System? 

No problem! The UMB unit you're traveling under gets the pre-approval and books the travel on your behalf before you start traveling. See the Nonemployee International Travel Information for details.

What if I already bought my ticket through a UMB-approved travel agency, but without the pre-approval? 

Seek approval right away! You are still required to submit a travel request, upload a signed International Traveler Attestation Form with Risk Acknowledgement, and obtain authorization in UMB's eTravel System prior to your departure.

What if I can't or didn't use a UMB-approved travel agency? 

Would you like to pursue an exception and obtain permission to procure the ticket elsewhere? Reasonable exceptions most often arise in the rare case that a traveler’s departure and arrival destinations are outside the US and involve no stop within the US. Seek prior written approval from your supervisor or department administrator to proceed. You still need to follow ALL the other UMB procedures, starting at Step 1 above.

Did you already procure the ticket with an unapproved travel agency? You still need to follow UMB procedures for seeking pre-approval of travel and authorization of related expenditures. Start at Step 1 above with the Personal Safety and Security training. Be forewarned that you do risk denial of your reimbursement request for that airfare.

In both cases, you must manually enter your travel itinerary into the International SOS system. You'll need to add your Trip via MyTrips (which may require registering first) or forward your trip directly to International SOS. International SOS provides a User Guide for how to do this; more information can be found here. 

What if someone else is paying for my international airfare? (not UMB) 

You still need to follow ALL the other UMB procedures, if this counts as UMB Business Travel:

Recommended - UMB Step 1: Take Personal Safety and Security training.

Required - UMB Step 2: Get prior approval if you are traveling to a high-risk destination.

Required - UMB Step 3: Sign the International Traveler Attestation Form with Risk Acknowledgement, Agreement, and Release.

Required - UMB Step 4: Request and obtain travel authorization. Do not skip this step!

DIFFERENT from UMB Step 5: Since another organization is paying, book your air travel as required by that organization or on your own.

ADDITIONAL Step: You must manually enter your travel itinerary into the International SOS system. You'll need to add your Trip via MyTrips (which may require registering first). International SOS provides a User Guide for how to do this.

Recommended - UMB Step 6: Get the International SOS resources you need.

Do I need a visa? If so, how do I apply for one? 

Every country has its own process, requirements, and fees for applying for a visa. Some countries may require you to travel to an in-person appointment at a consulate or embassy in select US cities. You can find current visa information by contacting the consulate or embassy of your host country.

A consular office may deny your visa application, so it’s best to adhere to their requirements and apply as early as possible. It is important that you know what is required of you before attempting to enter a country. Failing to obtain a visa could result in a denial of entry into a country and even criminal charges.

I plan to rent a car at my international destination - what do I need to know? 

Please contact to discuss your options. We're concerned about your personal liability, as well as UMB's. It may be prudent for UMB to use the MGIC mechanism for entering into some vehicle rental contracts.

Some considerations:

  • Renting a car or other vehicle is considered a procurement, so do follow UMB procurement procedures.
  • UMB/MGIC may need to acquire motor vehicle insurance for your rental car.
  • We may want to ask legal counsel in your destination country to review the rental contract if the contract amount is high and/or the duration long.
  • Rental costs that will be charged to a federally funded grant or contract must meet the requirements of the US government’s Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200.465).

REPORT ANY CRASH OR OTHER INCIDENT in which a person is harmed or a vehicle is damaged. Notify us within 24 hours via the International Safety & Security Incident Hotline.

How can you reduce your risk of a vehicle crash or other safety incident?

Allow only authorized personnel to drive the vehicle and follow this list of precautions:

  • Abide by traffic rules and regulations, including those related to speed limits.
  • Do not use mobile phones and similar devices while driving, even if traffic regulations allow for that use.
  • Do not drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Ensure the vehicle is equipped with a seatbelt for each passenger, and require that passengers wearing seatbelts at all times when the vehicle is in motion.
  • Wear a helmet at all times if riding a motorcycle, moped, or scooter, and require that any passenger also wear a helmet.
  • Carry safety supplies, such as flares, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, and any other items required by local law.
  • Avoid travel after nightfall and in insecure areas.

In insecure environments: Make sure you're educated on what to do if you have a car crash and how to handle checkpoints, roadblocks, and other activities by armed groups.

Can I get a travel advance for my international trip? 

Wanting a cash advance to pay for lodging, food, and other travel costs?

In general, UMB does not provide travel or other cash advances. Whenever possible, the University should pay directly for your major travel expenses such as your airfare, lodging, and vehicle rental.

For smaller expenses, you need to pay out of pocket and seek reimbursement upon completion of travel - see UMB's Travel Reimbursement procedures for details.

Seeking a cash advance for payment of other business expenses while traveling?

  • Planning to provide an international collaborator with an honorarium?
  • Planning to rent training space and pay for training materials, participants' per diem, coffee/tea breaks, etc.?
  • Planning to pay for casual labor for field research work?

Contact us at to discuss your plans and/or check out our Global Hub Finance FAQs, notably:

  • How do a I pay a person or entity outside the US in cash?
  • Can I pay an honorarium to a person outside the US in cash?

In general, UMB recommends not making payments in cash to persons or entities outside the US, especially when the financial consideration exceeds US$200 or the equivalent in foreign currency.

What if I want to travel to a country sanctioned by the US, like Cuba, Iran, Syria, Sudan, or North Korea? 

Hmmm, we should probably talk about why you're going to any of these countries, as research and other activities may be restricted. More information is available on the UMB Export Compliance - International Travel webpage but probably best to contact us at!

The country I'm traveling to requires proof of insurance for entry. Can you help me with that? 

Yes! Please send the following information to International Operations at

  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth
  • Travel start date
  • Travel end date
  • Country or countries you are traveling to

International Operations will work with UMB's international travel insurance broker to obtain a letter for you.

I'm adding on vacation travel during my international trip - how does that work? 

If you'd like to add on personal travel for leisure or other purposes, that's fine, BUT...

  • If your personal travel increases the cost of your airfare or other travel expenses, you personally must pay that increased amount, preferably at the time of purchase.
  • If your airfare, lodging, or other expenses have been paid by UMB, you must reimburse UMB immediately for the cost that exceeds the business portion. For airfare, that means submitting your reimbursement PRIOR to flying.
  • Expenses for any portion of a trip that is not for UMB business purposes must be CLEARLY identified and excluded from your request for reimbursement of travel expenses.

Remember! All expenses charged to UMB funds must be entirely for UMB Business Travel.