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Office of Risk Management

Countries Considered "Dangerous"


Effective July 1, 2017

We are always concerned with the safety of all members of the University Community while traveling as part of any University-affiliated travel; certain travel restrictions apply to undergraduate students (see Undergraduate Policy R-7) and graduate students (see Graduate Student Policy On International Travel). The University does not by Policy prohibit its faculty or staff from traveling to any country in the world. However, we face U. S. Government (Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC)) travel restrictions, as well as serious travel and safety concerns from our workers’ compensation insurance, for travel to the countries listed below. The University has a statutory obligation under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law to pay, on an unlimited basis, for wages, rehabilitation and medical services arising from work-related injuries that occur anywhere in the world. The workers’ compensation insurance provides a financial “backstop” for the unlimited workers’ compensation benefit obligations.

Travel to the following countries must be reviewed and evaluated on a case-by-case basis, given the OFAC restrictions and serious concerns regarding personal safety (new countries as of July 1, 2019 are noted in red - none):  Afghanistan, Algeria, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, West Bank and Gaza, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. 

Because of the University’s statutory Workers’ Compensation obligation, and the possibility of not having the financial protection of insurance, travel and security plans must be reviewed by the Risk Management Office and the traveler’s sponsoring College, Campus or administrative unit in order to engage resources to understand the specific risks, develop a safety plan to mitigate the likelihood of injury, and determine the best path forward to ensure workers’ compensation coverage. Travel to any of the countries identified above cannot take place until an agreement is reached with the Dean, Chancellor or Budget Executive concerning the workers’ compensation risks.

As part of the enrollment of all international travel in the Travel Safety Network (TSN), employees will be asked a few questions about their plans to visit these countries through the travel petition process. It is important that enrollment of travel in the TSN be completed with enough advance notice so that travel to these countries can be appropriately reviewed. 

For more information on the restricted travel process, please consult the Global Programs website.