CCAS Interim International Travel Policy

All travel requests by CCAS faculty, staff, and graduate students must be submitted through the CCAS Dean’s Office of Global Initiatives (CCAS Global) and are subject to approval by the Dean.

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May 04, 2020

Message from the Dean

Dear CCAS Faculty, Staff, and Students,

Based on GW's Interim International Travel Policy that was announced by GW Provost M. Brian Blake and Executive Vice President Mark Diaz on May 19, we would like to inform you of the approval process for requesting essential international travel in the Columbian College of Arts & Sciences (CCAS). 

All essential travel requests by CCAS faculty, staff, and students must be submitted through the CCAS Dean’s Office of Global Initiatives (CCAS Global) and are subject to approval by me. This process will assist us in facilitating, tracking, and making informed decisions around travel as we continue to navigate the evolving public health situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have any questions about the process for requesting essential international travel, please contact Ms. Taoran Sun, Executive Director of Global Initiatives, at [email protected] or the CCAS Global office at [email protected]. Questions about the interim policy as established for university-wide guidance can be directed to the Office of International Programs, via [email protected]. Thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding as we work together to promote the health and safety of our community.

Best regards,

Dean Paul Wahlbeck


What Qualifies as Essential Travel?

  • International travel may be considered essential if avoiding or delaying would cause harm to university operations, would result in loss of existing grant funding, or would result in failure to meet contractual obligations that cannot be renegotiated or postponed. 
  • For faculty, staff, and graduate students, essential travel for research is defined as travel that cannot be postponed or whose purpose cannot be fulfilled by alternative methods and is required to preserve the results of an ongoing research activity.  
  • All travel by and with undergraduate students is considered nonessential.


Important Things to Consider and Review Before Applying for Essential Travel

  • Any international travel by faculty and staff undertaken in connection with their GW responsibilities fall within the scope of this policy, regardless of funding source.
  • No costs incurred for international travel will be reimbursed without prior approval of the proposed travel. Prior purchase of any airfare or other expenditures associated with travel prior to approval is at the travelers own risk.
  • Additional costs that may occur as a result of preventative quarantines, travel restrictions and the like are the responsibility of the traveler. Please familiarize yourself with the Acknowledgement of Travel Responsibilities and Limitations of Support.
  • University assistance in the form of health, security, and legal support is not extended for unapproved trips by GW faculty, staff, or students.
  • For GW travelers returning to their “home” country or country of citizenship, please be aware that travel is not prohibited, but the traveler may not have access to GeoBlue or U.S. Department of State services.
  • Any program approvals would be contingent on updates to the interim policy and changing conditions worldwide. The Office for Study Abroad, the Office of International Programs, and the Office of CCAS Global will remain in communication with any travel organizers regarding updates to GW policy and next steps for proposed travel.


What is the Process for requesting Essential Travel Approval?

All proposals are reviewed by the Office of CCAS Global in the following process. Only after receiving the notification of Dean's Office's approval may the Requestor begin travel plans. 

Step 1: Complete the Essential International Travel - Approval Request Form.

CCAS will first determine if the travel request meets the essential travel guidelines. Please also be sure you have reviewed the Acknowledgement of Travel Responsibilities and Limitations of Support. Once the travel request is deemed as essential, the Requestor will be notified to proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Complete the Essential Travel Risk Awareness and Mitigation Questionnaire.

The Requestor will receive a link to complete the Essential Travel Risk Awareness and Mitigation Questionnaire. In this phase, the Requestor will provide information regarding Risk Awareness and Mitigation Plans to demonstrate the viability of this travel plan. If the risk mitigation plan is satisfactory, the Requestor will proceed to Step 3.

Step 3: Register Travel in GW Passport.

CCAS Global will only approve the travel request if it is deemed both essential and viable. We will communicate any approval decisions made by the CCAS with the Office of International Programs (OIP). OIP will reach out to the Requestor directly to register their travel in the GW Passport system. Travel may NOT occur until the travel registration in the GW Passport system is complete.

Resources required to complete Request Forms can be found on GW Global.