Mobility Updates

COVID-19 and Global Mobility

The COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly transformed operations across IU, and has had particularly significant consequences for the international mobility of students, faculty, and staff.

These are challenging times for international affairs, but it has never been more important to stay globally engaged. As the outbreak has spread to every continent, we realize now more than ever how truly connected we are as global citizens.

While global mobility is put on pause, we strive to be responsive and continue meeting immediate needs and concerns across all areas of OVPIA. The information below addresses questions you may have regarding changes to university policy and practice as a result of COVID-19 response.

See Vice President Hannah Buxbaum's messages of support to all Hoosiers around the globe.

International Travel Policy for Fall 2020

In light of the U.S. Department of State’s travel advisories and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all university-affiliated international travel remains suspended for fall 2020. Requests from faculty, staff, or graduate students for an exception from this policy will be considered for travel for humanitarian purposes related to the pandemic or for essential international travel. Such requests should be sent to for committee review and must be accompanied by a statement of approval from the relevant dean or unit head. 

International travel FAQ

Travel is university-affiliated if it is undertaken within the scope of the traveler’s role and responsibilities at IU, regardless of the source of funding for the trip. For faculty, examples include travel in order to conduct research, teach, or participate in a professional meeting; for graduate students, examples include travel in order to conduct research or study at a foreign institution.

No. The policy applies to all international travel undertaken within the scope of the traveler’s role and responsibilities at IU, even it is funded by a third party or by personal funds.

Travel will be considered essential if it is necessary in order for the traveler to fulfil their responsibilities—for instance, to advance relevant research, to fulfill course or program requirements toward a degree, or to discharge professional obligations. The review committee will consider whether the travel could be postponed, or whether alternatives (such as remote options) are available.

  • Prevailing health conditions in the country of destination
  • The absence of any entry bans or mandatory quarantines in the destination that would make the proposed travel impracticable
  • The feasibility of the proposed travel (e.g., flight availability, ability to re-enter the U.S.)
  • Access to necessary resources and facilities at the destination    

All international travelers are advised to follow CDC guidance for returning from travel

Fall 2020

A statement issued by President Michael A. McRobbie announced the completion of a set of recommendations about the medical and public health measures that would permit IU to begin a phased reopening of research and teaching operations. Plans for the fall 2020 semester are now being developed in light of those recommendations.