International Travel Posts

  1. In Case of Emergency….

Visa/Passport Services

For expedited processing, we have partnered with CIBT Visas, the largest travel visa and passport company in the world. University of Wisconsin students, faculty and administrators are entitled to significantly reduced CIBT processing fees. CIBT’s Customer Care Center is available toll free at 800-577-2428 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

The CIBT dedicated portal for the University of Wisconsin can be found at: cibtvisas.com/wisconsin

The account code is 29249, please reference this number if contacting CIBT via phone.

 

International Travel FAQ

Travelers should first check Concur for lodging arrangements. If no suitable options are available, travelers may book with a lodging establishment of their choosing so long as the rate is below the rate maximum for the location. Acceptable lodging includes: hotels, hostels and Airbnb. In-kind lodging is allowable, but no expenses may be submitted for reimbursement if this lodging method is chosen. 

Air travel must be booked with the designated agency. International flights in excess of 8 hours may book Premium Economy seats.

Exception: If the traveler is purchasing the airfare while in travel status, outside of the United States, to a destination other than the United States, the airfare may be purchased directly with the air carrier. Third party sites (such as Expedia) are still non-reimbursable. 

All international faculty/staff travelers are strongly encouraged to register for CISI insurance. Students are required to register for this insurance.  Contact your risk management or international education office for registration instructions. 

Other travel insurances are not required, recommended or reimbursable. 

Car Rental Insurance:

    1. UW Risk Management recommends purchasing insurance with all international rentals.

Special Considerations for International Travel can be found in the Miscellaneous Travel Expenses Policy. Receipts are required regardless of cost for the below items.

Reimbursable costs associated with Foreign/International travel:

  • Cost of testing required for travel (i.e. COVID testing)
  • Travel visas
  • required inoculations/vaccinations
  • foreign transaction fees incurred on corporate cards
  • business communications, including international calling plans when accompanied by business justification (individual phone calls are part of the M&IE per diem allowance)

U.S. Department of State RSS Feed

As a first step in planning any trip abroad, check the Travel Advisories for your intended destination.

  1. Botswana - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

    Updated to include information on crime.

    Exercise increased caution in Botswana due to crime.

    Country Summary: Crimes of opportunity, primarily the theft of money and personal property, are common in Botswana.  Potentially violent crimes, such as home invasions, break-ins, “smash and grabs” from vehicles stopped at intersections and from locked cars in shopping mall parking lots, cell phone thefts, and muggings are routinely reported to police.

    Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Botswana.

    If you decide to travel to Botswana:

    • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
    • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
    • Carry a copy of your passport and visa (if applicable) and leave originals in your hotel safe.
    • Do not display signs of wealth, such as expensive watches or jewelry.
    • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
    • Review the Country Security Report for Botswana.
    • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
    • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

  1. South Africa - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

    Updated to reflect safety consideration when using GPS navigation. 

    Exercise increased caution in South Africa due to crime and civil unrest

    Country Summary:  Violent crime, such as armed robbery, rape, carjacking, mugging, and "smash-and-grab" attacks on vehicles, is common. There is a higher risk of violent crime in the central business districts of major cities after dark.

    Using GPS navigation can lead to unsafe routes. GPS navigation may suggest shortcuts through townships as the quickest preferred route but can lead to increased risks of crime.

    There have been incidents in which tourists traveling in Cape Town while using GPS navigation apps have been routed through residential areas with high rates of violent crime. The safest approach to return a rental car to Cape Town International Airport is to take the N2 highway and follow signs to Airport Approach Rd (exit 16). Alternatively, request the rental car company to collect your vehicle and subsequently arrange an airport transfer from established taxi companies or established ridesharing services to reach the airport.

    Demonstrations, protests, and strikes occur frequently. These can develop quickly without prior notification, often interrupting traffic, transportation, and other services; such events have the potential to turn violent. 

    Please see our Alerts for up-to-date information. 

    Read the country information page for additional information on travel to South Africa. 

     If you decide to travel to South Africa: 

    • Research your route in advance, stay on major highways, avoid shortcuts through townships, and avoid reliance on GPS navigation apps.
    • Avoid walking alone, especially after dark. 
    • Avoid visiting informal settlement areas unless you are with someone familiar with the area. 
    • Do not display cash or valuables. 
    • Drive with doors locked and windows closed. 
    • Always carry a copy of your U.S. passport and visa (if applicable). Keep original documents in a secure location. 
    • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
    • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter
    • Review the Country Security Report for South Africa. 
    • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist
    • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel. 

  1. Ecuador - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

    Updated with information about the current state of emergency and crime information in the province of Guayas.

    Exercise increased caution in Ecuador due to civil unrest, crime, and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. U.S. embassy and consulate personnel are prohibited from traveling to some areas due to increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

    Reconsider travel to:

    • Guayaquil north of Portete de Tarquí Avenue due to crime.
    • El Oro province outside the cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas, due to crime.
    • Los Rios province outside the cities of Quevedo, Quinsaloma, and Pueblo Viejo, due to crime.
    • All areas south of Esmeraldas city in Esmeraldas province, due to crime.
    • The provinces of Sucumbíos, Manabí, Santa Elena, and Santo Domingo due to crime.

    Do not travel to:

    • Guayaquil, south of Portete de Tarquí Avenue, due to crime.
    • The cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas in the province of El Oro, due to crime.
    • The cities of Quevedo, Quinsaloma, and Pueblo Viejo in the province of Los Rios, due to crime.
    • The canton of Duran, in the province of Guayas, due to crime.
    • Esmeraldas city and all areas north of Esmeraldas city in Esmeraldas province, due to crime.

    Country Summary: Crime is a widespread problem in Ecuador. Violent crime, such as murder, assault, kidnapping, and armed robbery, is prevalent and widespread. The rate of violent crime is significantly higher in areas where transnational criminal organizations are concentrated.

    Demonstrations occur frequently throughout the country, usually motivated by political and/or economic factors.  Demonstrators routinely block local roads and major highways, often without prior notice. Past demonstrations have varied in duration, with some extending for several days or weeks. Blocked roads may significantly reduce access to public transportation, health services, and airports and may disrupt travel both within and between cities.

    Outside of Ecuador’s urban and semi-urban population centers, much of the country’s territory is sparsely populated and isolated. First responders’ and U.S. government officials’ access to rural and remote regions of the country is often extremely limited and can lead to significant delays in assistance to U.S. citizens in these areas.

    Ongoing State of Emergency:  On January 8, 2024, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa declared a nationwide state of emergency for a period of 60 days. U.S. citizens should be aware of several temporary rules applicable to residents and foreigners in Ecuador due to the state of emergency:

    • There is a nationwide curfew in effect for the duration of the state of emergency. Curfew restrictions vary based on location. For specific guidance, please refer to official curfew guidance issued by the Government of Ecuador. There is an exception for individuals traveling to and from the airports with a scheduled flight during curfew hours. U.S. citizens traveling to or from the airport during curfew hours should carry their flight itinerary and passport. 
    • All foreign citizens entering the country via land border crossings from Colombia or Peru are required to present an apostilled certificate showing a lack of criminal record. See Travel.State.Gov’s Office of Authentications webpage and Criminal Records Checks webpage for information on how to obtain a criminal record check and apostille from the United States. The U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Ecuador cannot assist citizens crossing a land border in obtaining the required documentation. 
    • For additional information and updates to the state of emergency, please track official communications from the Government of Ecuador.

    Read the country information page for additional information on traveling to Ecuador.

    If you decide to travel to Ecuador:

    Level 4: Do Not Travel

    Guayaquil, south of Portete de Tarquí Avenue, due to crime.

    The cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas in the Province of El Oro, due to crime.

    The cities of Quevedo, Quinsaloma, and Pueblo Viejo in the province of Los Rios, due to crime.

    The canton of Duran, in the province of Guayas, due to crime.

    Esmeraldas city and all areas north of Esmeraldas city in Esmeraldas province, due to crime.

    Transnational criminal groups and local gangs regularly engage in violent criminal acts in these areas, including indiscriminate attacks without warning in public spaces. Violent crimes have included murder, targeted assassinations, armed robberies, bombings, kidnappings, and assaults, among others. Violence in these areas has steadily increased in frequency and brutality in recent months, posing an increased security risk to U.S. citizens. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to these areas without prior authorization. As a result, the U.S. government is limited in its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these areas.

    Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Guayaquil north of Portete de Tarquí Avenue, due to crime.

    El Oro province outside the cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas, due to crime.

    Los Rios province outside the cities of Quevedo, Quinsaloma, and Pueblo Viejo, due to crime.

    All areas south of Esmeraldas city in Esmeraldas province, due to crime.

    The provinces of Sucumbíos, Manabí, Santa Elena, and Santo Domingo, due to crime.

    Transnational criminal groups and local gangs have sporadically engaged in violent criminal activity in these areas, with violence increasing in recent months. U.S. government personnel are directed to exercise extreme caution and maintain increased vigilance when traveling in and around these areas. 

    Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

CISI Insurance

  • All students must register for CISI insurance prior to any university-sponsored international travel.
  • UW Madison and UW Stout students and employees must register for CISI insurance prior to beginning an international trip.
  • It is recommended to contact your campus International Education Office or Risk Management Office to enroll in CISI insurance.