High Risk Travel

Petition Process

High-Risk Destinations

Students are not permitted to travel to High-Risk Destinations. However, the university recognizes there might be a rare and compelling reasons to consider an exception to the travel policy’s prohibition for a “high-risk” travel.

All student travelers and faculty traveling with students who are considering sponsored travel to a “high risk” destination must complete a petition. The petition process is designed to make travelers aware of the potential risks in their proposed high-risk destination and connect travelers with the appropriate support mechanisms to minimize potential travel disruptions.

  • Travelers must submit the completed petition for the Global Safety and Security Advisory Council (GSSAC) review when their specific destination is identified as a Travel Advisory level 3 “Reconsider travel”, level 4 “Do not travel”, or is among the states, provinces, or cities mentioned within the Travel Advisory’s caveat as “Reconsider travel” or “Do not travel”.   Travelers are authorized to depart for a high risk destination once the exception petition receives provost approval.
  • Travelers are required to meet with the International Safety Office to review the completed petition, but are not required to obtain provost’s approval, when their destination is on the universities high-risk list, holds a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory level 1 “Exercise normal precautions” and level 2 “Exercise enhances caution”, and the particular state, province or city is NOT mentioned in the Travel Advisory’s caveat as “Reconsider travel” or “Do not travel”.  Travelers are authorized to depart for a high-risk destination once they review the exception petition with ISO.

Faculty and Staff traveling to High-Risk Destinations must consult the International Safety Office located in NUPD for a pre-travel country risk assessment.

What is “high risk” travel?

The university’s Policy on International Travel uses three indicators to determine if a country, city, or region presents a “high risk” to travelers.

  1. Countries with current U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories levels three and four.
  2. Countries and cities designated with a risk rating of “High” (Level Four) or “Very High” (Level Five) by WorldAware, the university’s international response provider.
  3. Areas or regions under a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Notice Warning Level 3.

Visit this webpage for a list of high-risk destination. The University reserves the right as its sole discretion to designate other locations as “high-risk.”


Please contact your program or NUPD’s International Security Office to learn more about the university’s requirements for sponsored travel to high risk destinations.


Requirements for seeking an exception to travel to a “High Risk” destination:

  • To facilitate visiting a high-risk location, an Exception Petition must be submitted to the Global Safety and Security Assessment Committee (GSSAC).
  • Information and guidance regarding the submission of an Exception Petition is available in the Global Experience Office (GEO)
  • All students seeking an Exception Petition need to submit their completed petition at least two months in advance of their intended travel.
  • Information regarding “high risk locations” is outlined in the International Travel Policy.
  • The Exception Petition Form, which can be found at the Documents and Forms page, should be completed in consultation with and the assistance of your faculty or co-op advisor.
  • Click to see examples of completed individual, home country, and group petitions.


The university maintains a dynamic list of countries, cities and regions within a country that are consider high-risk according to the university’s Policy on International Travel.  The list is located here.

Academic or business travel taken by Northeastern faculty, staff, administrators, and students authorized, funded, coordinated, or administered, by Northeastern University. Such travel may include but is not limited to teaching, research, consulting, coop, service, administrative work, field studies, volunteer work, performances, athletic contests, and trips abroad in connection with any university recognized student organization, academic or administrative unit.

Your program office and the GEO International Travel Coordinators, can help answer general questions.

The NUPD International Safety Office will help walk each petitioner though the process and can help answer questions regarding evacuation plans, emergency protocols, etc.  ISO can be reached at mytravelplans@northeastern.edu.