Overseas travel

Frequently Asked Questions 

Which forms do I have to fill in?

  • FIN1 form for staff, FIN30 for students
  • Travel Overseas Form for staff/PG students, Permission to Travel Form for UG students
  • Register on our insurers travel advice website Drum Cussac and obtain a country report for the places being visited
  • A Risk Assessment Form may be required, depending on the country/city being visited (see below)

What do I do if my trip is last minute?

What is the travellers' register for?

The register confirms staff have been authorised to travel and covers when and where they are going.  The register is also used to determine whether any staff are currently in a country where an emergency situation has arisen. The information held on the database may also be used for business information purposes.

Why does the University need to know I am travelling overseas?

It is a University requirement that you provide your department with your itinerary, contact phone number and name/address of your accommodation.  Failure to do so may invalidate your insurance.

Do I need to complete a full risk assessment every time I travel?

To check whether a risk assessment is required, register on our insurers travel advice website Drum Cussac, find your country using 'Map' and look at the Risk Indicators in the top right hand corner.  If any of the categories are classified 'Moderate 3.00' or above, you must complete an assessment

There may be instances where a country that is not classified high risk will require an assessment. For example, you would not usually be required to complete a full risk assessment for a trip to Paris, but if there are elections at the time of your visit or recent civil unrest has occurred in Paris, we would then request one. In these circumstances, the University Insurance Officer will email you.

If you have previously completed a Risk Assessment for a country you are revisiting, you will still need to complete a new assessment, taking into account the up-to-date advice available on Drum CussacA Risk Assessment only covers you for one trip.  If multiple staff/students are travelling on a trip together, one assessment can be completed to cover all those attending. 

If in any doubt, please contact the University Insurance Officer.

Why does the Head of Department need to sign the Risk Assessment form?

Heads of Department have a role in exercising the University's duty of care. 

What do I need to take with me?

Do I have to do anything when I get back?

As Head of Department, what do I have to consider when staff ask to travel overseas?

  • Is the trip necessary?
  • Is the trip well-planned and organised?
  • Have I adequately assessed the risks of the region to be visited?
  • Have I got their full contact details?
  • Can I commit this to my budget?
  • Do I have any concerns about their fitness to travel?

If you have concerns regarding a member of staff's fitness to travel, please contact Occupational Health (ext. 3187).

What documents do I need when applying for a visa?

The documents required vary, depending on your nationality and which country you are visiting. As well as your passport, you will need some of the following:

  • Passport photographs: must have a white background and no smiling (the size and number of photographs required varies)
  • Completed visa application form for the country to be visited
  • Letter of invitation from the country to be visited (from an institution, company or British Council)
  • UK company letter (contact the University International Office for a template)
  • Copy of your itinerary
  • Yellow Fever Certificate
  • If you do not hold a British passport, you will need to provide proof of residency (which may be household bills, Leave to Remain stamp, BRP card and/or a letter from your department)

You must ensure that you have at least 6 months remaining before the expiry date on your passport (some countries will request one year). Several countries are visa on arrival and many others are moving over to the simple American-style online registration visa (Turkey, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Canada). 

For further advice on applying for visas, please contact the University International Office.

I want to stay on for a few days leave at the end of my business trip (or arrive a few days earlier) - am I insured?

Yes, the University insurance does provide cover for "incidental travel" to cover a few days leave tagged onto a business trip providing it is in the same country you are visiting on University business. See guidance below:

Less than 5 days business trip - 0 days leave covered
5-12 days business trip - 2 days leave covered
13-21 days business trip - 5 days leave covered
22-35 days business trip - 8 days leave covered
36-50 days business trip - 12 days leave covered
51-65 days business trip - 16 days leave covered
66-80 days business trip - 20 days leave covered
81-100 days business trip - 23 days leave covered
101-365 days business trip - 25 days leave covered
over 365 days business trip - 28 days leave covered

If I need travel advice about the country I am visiting, who should I contact?

  • Register on our insurers travel advice website Drum Cussac and obtain a country report for the places being visited
  • Visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website
  • International Office staff can provide hotel recommendations and country information, advise you on recruitment activities in the region you are visiting and put you in touch with local contacts

Staff - Can I take my partner/children with me on the trip?

This is at the discretion of your Head of Department.  Please note: the University will not cover the costs of your guest. They will not be covered by the University insurance and should take out alternative travel insurance.

Staff - Does the University insurance cover my personal trips and family holidays overseas?


Staff - Am I covered by the University insurance policy when I travel overseas as an external examiner?

Yes - you will be covered under the University's travel insurance provided you follow University travel procedures.

Am I covered by the University insurance if my trip is externally funded?

Yes - you will be covered under the University's travel insurance provided you follow University travel procedures.

I have a pre-existing medical condition... am I still covered by the University insurance policy?

The University policy does not exclude pre-existing medical conditions but does exclude travelling against the advice of your medical practitioner. If in doubt, contact your GP to check that you are fine to travel. It is important that you take any medical conditions into account when completing your risk assessment. Contact the University Insurance Officer for further advice.

Is there a maximum duration for a trip?

Yes - 12 months.  If you are going on a trip lasting up to 12 months, you will be covered by the University insurance provided you have completed the Travel Overseas Form (and Risk Assessment if one is required for your destination).

Am I insured to hire a car overseas?

The University motor insurance will not cover loss of damage to hire vehicles where the journey does not start in the UK.  
You will need to arrange hire through a reputable company and ensure you purchase their motor insurance.  Be careful of the policy excess as these can be high and you may wish to consider buying damage waiver cover.
It is a requirement that you are on the list of approved University drivers which is maintained by the Transport Section in Estates. Please take your drivers license (both parts - paper and your card) to the Estates Helpdesk in St Andrew's Court, where you will complete a form to be added to the list.