International travel is defined as travel to any destination that is outside the 48 contiguous United States, Alaska, Hawaii and the District of Columbia. 

When planning for an international trip within the next year, be sure to check your passport and other documents first for expiration dates and upcoming renewal deadlines. For information on passport processing, including expedited services, refer to the Department of State website and the CIBT links below.

Requesting pre-approval for international travel

You must request pre-approval for international travel through the Concur Travel & Expense System (Concur). Concur Request routes the proposed travel for approval to the traveler's HR Supervisor or SpeedType Approver and to the International Travel Approver/Officer for the traveler’s organizational unit. In addition, all international travel to a high-risk destination requires approval by the appropriate campus Chancellor/President or their delegate. This process is required whether the trip is funded by CU or by an outside entity. See Travel Pre-Approvals for more information. 

The pre-approval process ensures that:

  • The university can consistently and thoroughly assess the risks and benefits of international trips with regards to the safety of university travelers; and,
  • Important information about regulatory compliance and export controls is communicated to the traveler and the appropriate campus export control office.

Additional information on required approvals for international travel can be found on the Travel Pre-Approval page. For detailed instructions on how to request pre-approval, see Concur Request: Creating and Submitting Travel Pre-Approval Requests.

Booking international travel

Once the international travel request is fully approved in Concur,  an email notification will be sent to Christopherson Business Travel (CBT) and to the traveler. Only after this approval email is received is the traveler authorized to contact a CBT agent to book their trip, or to book their trip directly in Concur.  

Fly America Act (only applicable when flying on federal funds)

If the traveler's airfare will be paid with federal funds, they will need to be familiar with the Fly America Act. The Fly America Act is a federal regulation that requires the use of U.S. flag air carriers (airlines owned by an American company) for travel paid for or reimbursed by federal grants and contracts. Travelers flying on federal funds can also use foreign air carriers with code-sharing agreements with U.S. flag carriers. 

If not U.S. carrier is available to get a traveler to their destination, the individual must travel as far as possible on a U.S. carrier. In accordance with this Act, air transportation must be performed by a U.S. flag air carrier, or under a code-sharing agreement with a U.S. flag air carrier if service provided by such a carrier is available, regardless of cost, convenience, or destination. Tickets (or documentation for electronic tickets) must identify the U.S. flag air carrier’s designator code and flight number.

Exceptions to the Fly America Act

Travel that is to be reimbursed from federal grants and contracts must be booked through U.S. carriers except in the following circumstances:

  • When a U.S carrier is not available;
  • When the use of U.S. carrier service would extend travel time (including delay at origin) by 24 hours or more;
  • When the costs of transportation are reimbursed in full by a third party, such as a foreign government or an international agency;
  • When U.S. carriers do not offer nonstop or direct service between origin and destination and using a U.S. carrier would:
    • Increase the number of aircraft changes outside the United States by two or more,
    • Extend travel time by at least six hours or more, or,
    • Require a connecting time of four hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
  • When the flight time from origin to destination is less than three hours and using a U.S. flag carrier doubles the flight time.
  • When there is an applicable Open Skies Agreement in effect that meets the requirements of the Fly America Act.

Open Skies Agreement Exception

The greatest exception to the Fly America Act is the Open Skies Agreement. There are currently only four Open Skies Agreements in place with the U.S., the European Union (EU) (28 countries including Norway and Iceland), Japan, Switzerland, and Australia – that meet the requirements of the Fly America Act. This means travelers whose travel is being paid by federal funds may travel on European Union airlines as well as U.S. flag carrier as long as they will touch down in an EU country. Additionally, travelers using federal funds can fly on an Australian, Swiss or Japanese airline only if a point of origin is in the U.S. or Australia, Switzerland or Japan respectively. 

Please note that travelers using Department of Defense or Air Force, Army, or Navy funding are not permitted to take advantage of the Open Skies Agreements. These travelers must fly on a U.S. flag carrier unless there is a qualifying exemption otherwise available. 

Expedited International Entry Services

If you’re a frequent international traveler, you’ve probably heard of Global Entry, the federal program that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance through automatic kiosks at select airports (including DEN) upon arrival into the United States. Eligible U.S. Citizens can apply for Global Entry approval which is valid for 5 years and includes TSA PreCheck.

For infrequent international travelers, Mobile Passport Control offers another cost-effective option for expediting the processing times when re-entering the U.S.  This app streamlines the entry process for U.S. passport holders at most major U.S. airports (including DEN) and cruise ports. Through the app, travelers can use a mobile device to submit their passport and declaration information to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (With no paper forms to complete.) Travelers can then access designated Mobile Passport lanes in the federal inspection area.

Downloading the app does not require a background check, interview, or pre-approval. Once subscribed, your subscription will renew annually unless you decide to cancel it. 

For more information, visit the Mobile Passport Control website. 

CIBTvisas: Visa and Passport Services

CIBTvisas is the leading global provider of travel visas, passports, and non-negotiable travel documents. Through our customized CIBT website,, the partnership with CIBTvisas offers several benefits to CU travelers including:

  • Preferred discounted pricing (40% discount) utilizing the link below or by referencing the CU account number below
  • Global reach and local expertise, with over 70 offices worldwide
  • Compliance with FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
  • Secure, safe, and easy transactions
  • Live customer care Monday-Friday, with e-support Saturday-Sunday
  • Real-time order tracking 24/7

US CIBT Account Number for the University of Colorado: 106056

Travel Portal Website CIBT:

US Customer Care: 800.929.2428

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday; 5:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (EST)

24/7 Email Support: 

Insurance Coverage and International SOS

The University provides employees traveling abroad on university-sponsored trips with coverage through an international insurance policy. The policy provided by GeoBlue offers 24/7 travel assistance through International SOS (iSOS). The insurance offers international medical and evacuation coverage for medical emergencies, security emergencies, and/or natural disasters. 

This global medical and security assistance through iSOS is automatically coordinated with the university’s insurance policy through GeoBlue. In the event assistance is needed, travelers can dial iSOS directly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, all over the world. iSOS will contact the provider (GeoBlue) as appropriate to ensure travelers in need are provided with the medical, security and logistical expertise needed to safeguard them while abroad.  

When making travel arrangements through Concur and/or CBT, international trips will be automatically added to the employee’s International SOS account. Travelers should create an account in iSOS to fully leverage the resources and services available. Information on how to create an iSOS account is provided by University Risk Management here

The University of Colorado iSOS membership number is 11BCAS000006. The iSOS app can be downloaded here. The International SOS dedicated phone number is +1 215-942-8478. Assistance is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

For international trips that are purchased by a third party or booked outside of Concur or CBT, the traveler will need to import the trip information into iSOS manually. Please contact for assistance completing this import process.

Vaccinations and Medical Tests

Vaccinations and medical tests are an allowable business expense when needed to enter a foreign country or enter/re-enter the United States. COVID vaccination/testing is an allowable expense for travel and non-travel-related events, if required for event attendance. 

Recommended vaccinations and medical tests are not reimbursable. Attach documentation of the requirement for the vaccine/medication and/or medical test to the expense report. The charge for any associated doctor’s office visit is not allowable. You may use your Travel or Procurement card to cover required vaccination and medical test expenses.  If you are paying on behalf of another individual, you must use your Procurement Card, and the Procurement Card expense must be reconciled in Concur as soon as possible, regardless of when the travel will occur.