The following information outlines the steps Auburn University faculty, students and staff must take when planning foreign travel for university business or otherwise under support from Auburn University.
You will need:
- Auburn University approval (Request for Authority to Travel)
- Visa or visa waiver
- Auburn University emergency medical assistance program for international travel
You will need to know about:
- Auburn University Policy on Students and Faculty to Travel Warning Countries
- Fly America Act (guidance for U.S. federally funded international travel)
- Health requirements
- Foreign currency conversion
- AU international travel reimbursement policies
- United Healthcare Global insurance coverage for sickness and emergencies
AU TRAVEL FORM CHECKLIST
Authorization to Travel Outside the 50 United States
- AU Business travel outside the 50 United States requires review and full approval by the Office of the Provost one month prior to departure.
- The RAT 50 form is used to secure this approval. It is prepared and signed by the traveler, approved by the Department Head and Dean and then submitted to the Office of the Provost for final approval. For more requirements concerning the RAT 50, please review the checklist below.
- The RAT 50 utilizes the U.S. Foreign Per Diem Rates for International Locations to estimate expenses for your trip.
- AU business travel outside the 50 United States requires AU Emergency Medical Assistance Insurance. The RAT 50 forms include the enrollment document and space is provided on the RAT 50 to assign the AU FOAP that will fund the AU Emergency Medical Assistance Insurance.
- You will find the RAT 50 form under employee information within Self Service Banner. You will need an AU account number to cover the MEDEX fee and the expenses you anticipate.
The AU international travel process provides for:
- Destination, rationale, funding source, estimated costs
- The RAT 50 MUST be approved prior to travel. “After the Fact” forms will be rejected and reimbursement of expenses denied.
- Form should describe the purpose of the trip on the form itself, but if not sufficient room, a separate memo may be used.
- Form MUST be approved by the Office of the Provost one month prior to the departure date. Forms submitted for approval less than one month (30 days) prior to departure require a memo from the Vice President, Dean or Director containing justification for the Provost to authorize an exception to AU policy.
- Form MUST show source of funding. If from an AU account, sufficient funds must exist in the funding account. If travel is funded outside AU, the name of the sponsoring agency must be provided where indicated on the form.
- It must show source of funding for the MEDEX Insurance fee of $2 per day (Department FOAP DEBIT Account).
- Form MUST be approved prior to any commitment of university funds for international travel expenses including airfare, registrations for international conferences, visas, inoculations, etc. This will now be enforced.
- Form MUST be submitted at the same time when multiple AU faculty, students or administrators are attending the same event. A memorandum from the VP, Dean or Director justifying the need for multiple travelers is required.
- Travel requests for conferences or similar meetings should provide a brochure or announcement of the conference or meeting.
- Form may only be signed by the actual Department Head and Dean. Delegated signatures will not be accepted.
- For emergency assistance purposes a RAT 50 must be completed when traveling to any location outside of the 50 U.S. states (including U.S. territories such as: Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, etc.). Failure to complete a RAT 50 will result in the loss of coverage for MEDEX emergency assistance including medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, etc.
- Travel to countries for which there is a U.S. State Department travel warning is subject to review by the Provost.
- Due to AU liability insurance requirements, all travelers to such locations will be required to sign an informed consent and liability document.
- Undergraduate student travel to countries for which there is a U.S. DOS travel warning is subject to review by the Office of International Programs and the Office of the Provost.
- Once submitted, any changes to travel plans should be sent by memo or e-mail to the Office of the Provost in a timely manner to avoid any added insurance charges.
- If new plans deviate from the original schedule by more than two days, a new RAT must be submitted with the new dates.
- Cancellations received after the travel date will result in loss of any premium paid, no refunds.
The Clerk of Circuit Court at the Lee County Justice Center (near the Tiger Town shopping area) accepts applications and fees for passports. Be sure to bring two passport photos and the identity documents described in the State Department page below. You also can apply for a passport at the Waverly, AL post office.
U.S. State Department Passport Services describes the requirements, procedure and fees for obtaining a new passport, renewing a passport, adding pages, reporting a lost or stolen passport, etc.
Unless special services are used, passports are normally issued in three months.
Visa Links are here. Some embassies have several U.S. locations; this is because some foreign embassies have divided the United States into specific jurisdictions for their various offices. For example, the Consulate for the Peoples Republic of China in Houston, Texas, has jurisdiction for Alabama. If given several embassy locations, choose the one nearest to Alabama to determine if we are in their jurisdiction. OIA often uses an expeditor such as BCV Visa to obtain the Chinese visa. Most AU travel will require the “F no-business” visa of the 16 types that are available.
Brazil requires a visa for U.S. visitors; the Atlanta Consulate covers Alabama.
Apply here for a Vietnam visa.
Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda (for examples) will issue visas at airports or border crossings; Ghana (for example) requires that a visa be obtained in advance. Each country has its own policy and the policy depends on the source and kind of passport you are holding.
Once you have selected the appropriate consulate, please review the requirements for visa application. These requirements can include the documentation required (application, photo, airline ticket itinerary, etc.), the cost and method of payment, the manner in which the visa section will receive the information (either by mail or in person) and how they will process the visa.
Follow each consulate’s procedures strictly to assure that your visa is processed promptly. If your trip is imminent, you can use a firm that provides visa services (called an expediter) that can shorten the time. Call 334-844-9210 and ask for guidance.
Auburn University Emergency Medical Assistance Program
MEDEX provides emergency medical assistance to all Auburn University students and all employees who travel abroad on Auburn University business. The agreement is administered by the Office of International Education. When your RAT is approved, you are automatically covered by MEDEX.
MEDEX insurance is provided by Auburn University as an employee benefit, so there is no cost to the traveler unless additional coverage is purchased for family members who may accompany an AU employee on an international business trip.
Benefits include: Emergency medical evacuations, repatriation of remains, transportation to join a hospitalized member, medical and dental referrals worldwide to English speaking health care providers, case managers to review the traveler’s case while they are hospitalized abroad, political security evacuations, transportation after political and security evacuations and many other services listed on the MEDEX card. MEDEX also has a major medical portion called Global Benefits.
Information concerning the United Healthcare Global agreement is available online or contact Deborah Weiss in the Office of International Education at 334-844-5007.
International travel funded by U.S. federal funds typically requires travelers to follow regulations requiring the use of U.S. air carriers, but new agreements relax these rules, particularly for Europe and Australia. Otherwise, the rules require that U.S. flag carriers be used whenever possible or the federal agency will not allow the expenditure.
Travel warnings and security precautions
Travel warnings are issued when the U.S. State Department decides, based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country.
Countries where travel is NOT recommended will have Travel Warnings as well as Country Information. These contain the latest information concerning Travel Warnings and Public Announcements as they are issued in addition to other security-related issues.
CDC Travel Health Information by Country will help you determine the need for vaccinations and other medical precautions (malaria, etc.) for the country of destination.
You may obtain yellow fever and other vaccinations, as well as malaria prophylaxis at the AU Medical Clinic.
The U.S. State Department provide comprehensive information links about health, security and other matters that help you plan international travel.