Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to common questions regarding COVID-19 and OSU's response. Questions and answers are updated frequently, so check back often for more information.

Currently, in the event a credit is issued back in the traveler's name, the contracted agency and our central office coordinates with the individual and/or department to see if the unused ticket credit can be used for a future travel date.  However, under the current circumstances we are examining whether there may be more flexibility with the university's contracted travel agency to provide alterative options.

Last updated: March 25, 2020

These may be granted by the appropriate dean, vice provost or vice president. Exceptions should be very rare, and requests should weigh the relative risks of travel against the potential serious disruption to research or university programs. Examples of essential travel may include:

  • Travel required to fulfill contractual agreements and that may not be canceled or postponed under the terms of those agreements;
  • Field work-related travel with seasonal or other particular constraints;
  • Travel—generally by automobile—between university locations that is essential to maintain business continuity or to carry out critical research, teaching, engagement, operational or leadership activities. In these cases, we ask travelers to sanitize their vehicles, especially motor pool or other shared vehicles; manage occupancy to maximize social distancing; avoid overnight stays; and limit use of hotels or other public spaces when possible.
Last updated: March 23, 2020

This is currently unknown. If you decide to travel, be prepared, understand the risks, and be advised that you might not be able to return to the US for an unknown period of time; your trip could be disrupted or you may be quarantined upon your return. OSU is continually monitoring the travel restrictions, please contact the Office of International Services for the most up-to-date information.

Last updated: March 25, 2020

All non-essential OSU-sponsored travel is suspended at this time, including international travel and domestic travel. Also, OSU is strongly discouraging all travel, including essential OSU-sponsored travel and personal travel. OSU-sponsored travel includes all travel related to research projects sponsored by various funding agencies, including federal agencies. If you have a scheduled OSU-sponsored trip in the next few months, or are considering one, please reach out to your department/school/college leadership as well as the Research Office with details on the work you have planned. Details may include information on circumstances around the planned trip, the timing, the location, the mode of transportation, whether or not social distancing is possible, and information about the circumstances that might necessitate an exception. If you are planning on travel later in the spring or summer, it may be possible for you to book travel on refundable fares. Please contact the Research Office to see if prior approval or documentation is required by the sponsor.

Last updated: March 23, 2020

You do not need a travel signature on your I-20/DS-2019 before exiting the country. You will need one to return to the US. Please complete the Replacement I-20/DS-2019 request form in IP Connect under ‘I-20/DS-2019 Updates’ in the menu and submit an Express Shipping request as well. Once your request has been approved, your document will be mailed to you in your home country.

Last updated: March 25, 2020

Please contact OSU Global Opportunities for more information. All non-essential OSU-related travel, including study abroad programs for spring, is suspended; summer is under consideration.

Last updated: March 19, 2020

Most federal agencies have published guidelines allowing canceled travel costs (COGR's Federal Agency Guidance Matrix (Updated), “Non Refundable Travel Charges Allowable?”) If a funding agency does not allow canceled travel costs,  the university will honor costs associated with canceled or postponed OSU-sponsored travel or conferences by employees or students. For expenses related to travel that has been canceled and that is funded on a grant index, we will consult with the funding agency to see if they will reimburse costs incurred.  If it is determined that the funding agency cannot provide reimbursement, the university will reimburse for those expenses. Please retain documentation of the determination and submit with your travel reimbursement request.  Be sure to request your travel provider to waive any postponement fees, or provide a refund and waive any cancellation fees, which many are doing at present.

Last updated: April 20, 2020

Yes, eligible employee or student reimbursements under the OSU travel policy for canceled or postponed OSU-sponsored travel or conferences will be honored by the university.  Please retain documentation of the cancelled airfare, conference registration and lodging and submit with your travel reimbursement request. We encourage you to check with your travel provider as many are waiving change or cancellation fees so that travelers can postpone their travel plans with little or no penalty.

Last updated: March 23, 2020

Updated April 21, 2020

An OSU traveler (employee, student, official volunteers, guests having a business purpose) personally purchased airfare for OSU travel with a reasonable expectation of OSU reimbursement. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic or the OSU travel suspension, the airline reservation was cancelled, and the OSU traveler received a credit voucher from an airline.  Can OSU reimburse them for all flight expenses incurred?  If so, how?

Yes, this can be accommodated as follows:

  1. The traveler should first determine whether they want to use the travel credit for personal use.  If the traveler elects to use the credit personally, it is not reversible, and, as a result, there will be no need to reimburse the cost of the ticket.  If change or other related fees are assessed by the airline because of the change or cancellation, they can be reimbursed by OSU. 
  2. If the traveler does not want to use the travel credit for personal use, they should  contact the airline to try to obtain a refund.  If change or other related fees are assessed by the airline because of the change or cancellation, they can be reimbursed by OSU.
  3. If the traveler doesn’t intend to use a travel credit, and the airline will not provide a refund, but the traveler knows that another OSU traveler can and wants to use the ticket for OSU travel, they should see if the airline can transfer the credit to the other OSU traveler. Typically in these cases, the airline will provide a PIN for the other OSU traveler to use the ticket.  Some airlines are reportedly willing to do this during the COVID-19 pandemic. The other traveler may then seek reimbursement from OSU, in accordance with OSU travel policies.
  4. If the airline will not provide a refund and will only give the credit to the original OSU traveler, then the traveler’s business center can work with them to provide a reimbursement from OSU. The reimbursement will be done on a non-taxable basis, and the OSU traveler will be required to use the travel credit for future OSU travel.  To facilitate administrative tracking of the credit, business center staff will create a travel advance record for each reimbursement.
  5.  If the OSU travel was grant funded and was scheduled to take place during the grant performance period, and there are documented steps showing that the OSU traveler followed the university travel policy to secure a refund or credit, the flight expenses will be allowed and reimbursable, unless specifically prohibited by the sponsor.  Travelers are advised to consult with OSRAA or their business center if they have questions regarding whether these charges are allowed under the terms of the grant.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on March 23, 2020, signed Executive Order 20-12 (PDF), directing individuals to minimize travel, other than essential travel to or from a home, residence, or workplace; for obtaining or providing food, shelter, essential consumer needs, education, health care, or emergency services; for essential business and government services; for the care of family members, household members, elderly persons, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons, pets or livestock; travel as directed by government officials, law enforcement, or courts; and other essential travel consistent with the directives of the governor’s executive orders and guidance from the Oregon Health Authority.

Please check the Oregon Health Authority and Office of the Governor for travel guidance and restrictions within Oregon.  

Here are considerations for domestic travelers from the CDC.

Until further notice, all non-essential OSU-sponsored travel is suspended. 

OSU is strongly discouraging all other travel, including personal travel.

Exceptions to OSU’s travel suspension may be granted by the relevant dean, vice provost or vice president. Exceptions should be rare, and requests should weigh the relative risks of travel against the potential serious disruption to research or university programs. The travel destination site must provide for maximum social distancing. Examples of essential travel may include:

  • Travel required to fulfill contractual agreements and that may not be cancelled or postponed under the terms of those agreements;
  • Field work-related travel with seasonal or other particular constraints;
  • Approved internships where the internship requires travel to or from a non-OSU site that remains open, and the internship has seasonal or other particular constraints;
  • OSU-sponsored travel to conduct a critical function;
  • Travel—generally by automobile—between university locations that is essential to maintain business continuity or to carry out critical research, teaching, engagement, operational or leadership activities. (In these cases, we ask travelers to take care to sanitize their vehicles, especially motor pool or other shared use vehicles; manage occupancy in order to maximize social distancing; avoid overnight stays; and limit use of hotels or other public spaces when possible.)

Domestic travel guidelines are changing relatively quickly. Some states have implemented stay home or lockdown orders, restricting domestic travel. If you must travel, we strongly encourage travelers to monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel in the U.S. We further encourage travelers to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation while away.

Last updated: April 24, 2020

Updated April 21, 2020

An OSU traveler (employee, student, official volunteers, guests having a business purpose) personally purchased airfare for OSU travel with a reasonable expectation of OSU reimbursement. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic or the OSU travel suspension, the airline reservation was cancelled, and the OSU traveler received a credit voucher from an airline.  Can OSU reimburse them for all flight expenses incurred?  If so, how?

Yes, this can be accommodated as follows:

  1. The traveler should first determine whether they want to use the travel credit for personal use.  If the traveler elects to use the credit personally, it is not reversible, and, as a result, there will be no need to reimburse the cost of the ticket.  If change or other related fees are assessed by the airline because of the change or cancellation, they can be reimbursed by OSU. 
  2. If the traveler does not want to use the travel credit for personal use, they should  contact the airline to try to obtain a refund.  If change or other related fees are assessed by the airline because of the change or cancellation, they can be reimbursed by OSU.
  3. If the traveler doesn’t intend to use a travel credit, and the airline will not provide a refund, but the traveler knows that another OSU traveler can and wants to use the ticket for OSU travel, they should see if the airline can transfer the credit to the other OSU traveler. Typically in these cases, the airline will provide a PIN for the other OSU traveler to use the ticket.  Some airlines are reportedly willing to do this during the COVID-19 pandemic. The other traveler may then seek reimbursement from OSU, in accordance with OSU travel policies.
  4. If the airline will not provide a refund and will only give the credit to the original OSU traveler, then the traveler’s business center can work with them to provide a reimbursement from OSU. The reimbursement will be done on a non-taxable basis, and the OSU traveler will be required to use the travel credit for future OSU travel.  To facilitate administrative tracking of the credit, business center staff will create a travel advance record for each reimbursement.
  5.  If the OSU travel was grant funded and was scheduled to take place during the grant performance period, and there are documented steps showing that the OSU traveler followed the university travel policy to secure a refund or credit, the flight expenses will be allowed and reimbursable, unless specifically prohibited by the sponsor.  Travelers are advised to consult with OSRAA or their business center if they have questions regarding whether these charges are allowed under the terms of the grant.

Until further notice, all non-essential domestic and international OSU-sponsored travel is suspended.

OSU is strongly discouraging all other travel, including personal travel.

On March 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of State raised the Global Travel Heath Advisory to Level to 4: Do Not Travel. The warning includes the following:

“In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.”

Be aware that countries are implementing both international and internal movement restrictions, enforcing curfews, and commercial air travel options are very limited in certain places. Your best resources for inquiries about flight availability are the individual air carriers serving each specific country.

As of March 27, 2020, all locations are under a worldwide CDC Level 3 Pandemic Warning.

Continue to stay informed about your travel destinations by checking the U.S. State Department and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) websites, registering for the STEP Program or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country of citizenship, monitoring local news, following the guidance of local authorities and consulting with the international insurance provider

Last updated: April 24, 2020

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on March 23, 2020, signed Executive Order 20-12, directing individuals to minimize travel, other than essential travel to or from a home, residence, or workplace; for obtaining or providing food, shelter, essential consumer needs, education, health care, or emergency services; for essential business and government services; for the care of family members, household members, elderly persons, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons, pets or livestock; travel as directed by government officials, law enforcement, or courts; and other essential travel consistent with the directives of the governor’s executive orders and guidance from the Oregon Health Authority.

Please check the Oregon Health Authority and Office of the Governor for travel guidance and restrictions within Oregon.  

Here are considerations for domestic travelers from the CDC.

International travelers should be aware that travel restrictions are changing very quickly.  On March 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of State raised the Global Travel Heath Advisory to Level to 4: Do Not Travel. The warning includes the following: 

“In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.”

Be aware that countries are implementing both international and internal movement restrictions, enforcing curfews, and commercial air travel options are becoming very limited in certain places. Your best resources for inquiries about flight availability are the individual air carriers serving each specific country.

As of March 27, 2020, all locations are under a worldwide CDC Level 3 Pandemic Warning.

If you must travel abroad, please stay informed about your travel destinations by checking the State Department and CDC websites; registering for the STEP Program or Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country of citizenship; monitoring local news; following the guidance of local authorities; and consulting with your international insurance provider.

Please follow these precautions and advice:

  • Stay informed.
  • Be prepared.
  • Check with airlines and minimize layovers and transfers when possible.

 

 

 

 

Last updated: May 26, 2020

Only if there is documentation of approval by a dean, vice provosts or vice presidents. Emails are sufficient.

Last updated: March 23, 2020

Yes. It is recommended that all OSU personnel postpone booking future OSU-sponsored travel until the non-essential travel suspension is lifted.

Last updated: March 23, 2020

Currently restrictions on entering the U.S. from international travel can be found in the March 19, 2020 COVID-19 update from the U.S. Department of State:

  • No entry to any non-U.S. citizen or non-U.S. permanent resident who has been in mainland China, Iran, Brazil and other specified European countries within the previous 14 days prior to their arrival to the U.S.

These specified European countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. As of March 16, 2020, the following countries are also included: United Kingdom, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe, and the Republic of Ireland.

This prohibition does not apply to U.S. citizens and permanent residents and other individuals who are identified in the presidential proclamation.

  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in China, Iran, Brazil or one of the European countries specified above within 14 days prior to their arrival to the U.S. will be directed by the U.S. government to one of 13 U.S. airports for enhanced entry screening.  If not symptomatic for COVID-19, these travelers will be permitted to reach their final destination but must self-quarantine for 14 days. If symptomatic for COVID-19, these travelers will be referred to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for medical evaluation.
  • For information about travel restrictions between Canada, Mexico and the USA, please reference the Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance for those returning to the U.S.:

  • The CDC asks any travelers arriving to the U.S. from a location abroad to take precautions and stay at home for 14 days.
  • As of March 27, 2020, all locations are under a worldwide CDC Level 3 Pandemic Warning.  Those arriving to the USA from all locations should:
    • Monitor your health and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
    • If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:
      • Seek medical advice. Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
      • Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
      • Avoid contact with others.
      • Do not travel while sick.
      • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
Last updated: May 26, 2020

Until further notice, all non-essential OSU-sponsored travel is suspended. At this time, OSU-sponsored spring 2020 and selected summer 2020 study abroad programs have been either postponed or cancelled. Please contact the OSU Office of Global Opportunities (OSUGO) for the most updated information.

Exceptions to OSU’s travel suspension are for essential OSU-sponsored travel.  Exceptions may be granted by the relevant dean, vice provost or vice president. Exceptions should be very rare, and requests should weigh the relative risks of travel against the potential serious disruption to research or university programs. Examples of essential travel may include:

  • Travel required to fulfill contractual agreements and that may not be cancelled or postponed under the terms of those agreements;
  • Field work-related travel with seasonal or other particular constraints;
  • Travel—generally by automobile—between university locations that is essential to maintain business continuity or to carry out critical research, teaching, engagement, operational or leadership activities. (In these cases, we ask travelers to take care to sanitize their vehicles, especially motor pool or other shared use vehicles; manage occupancy in order to maximize social distancing; avoid overnight stays; and limit use of hotels or other public spaces when possible.)

The international travel restrictions are changing very quickly. If you must travel abroad, we strongly encourage travelers to monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel restrictions, the U.S. Department of State warning levels for COVID-19 risk, and to check early with the Office of International Services to ensure that no additional restrictions have been put in place. We further encourage travelers to closely monitor restrictions while away.

Please follow these precautions and advice:

  • Stay informed about your travel destinations by checking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. State Department websites above.
  • Check with airlines and minimize layovers and transfers when possible.
Last updated: March 23, 2020

Students planning to study abroad in spring should contact the OSU Office of Global Opportunities (OSUGO). At this time, OSU-sponsored spring 2020 and selected summer 2020 study abroad programs have been either postponed or cancelled.

For the most current information, please contact OSU GO directly. OSU GO staff advise students of their options for a particular situation to ensure that academic progress is not negatively impacted as a result of program postponement or cancellation.  

Last updated: March 23, 2020

Please remember that airfare should be booked only when it is determined to be essential travel by deans, vice provosts or vice presidents and such approval is documented in writing.  When booking essential travel, it is recommended that the traveler purchase refundable tickets. 

Last updated: March 23, 2020

Exceptions to OSU’s travel suspension may be granted by the relevant dean, vice provost or vice president.

Last updated: March 23, 2020

OSU trusts our employees to determine whether they are able to work due to personal or wellness circumstances.

As a reminder, we ask supervisors to apply a relaxed application of existing university and unit paid leave guidelines.

Last updated: March 24, 2020

Per current fiscal policy 03-140-408, expenses incurred because the employee is accompanied by a family member are not reimbursable. We encourage you to check with your travel provider as many are waiving change or cancellation fees.

Last updated: March 23, 2020

Please consult with the Office of Sponsored Research and Award Administration to help you determine if the funding source will cover these expenses.  If it is determined the funding source will not reimburse for the expenses, the university will reimburse you.  Please retain documentation of the determination and submit with your travel reimbursement request. We encourage you to check with your travel provider as many are waiving change or cancellation fees so that travelers can postpone their travel plans with little or no penalty.

Last updated: March 23, 2020