International Travel with Technology

When traveling internationally, you should follow the guidance for Traveling with Technology and also take into account the advice below. This guidance includes some rules and restrictions regarding taking U-M data and devices outside the U.S. that will help you comply with U.S. and international laws as well as university policy.

Don't take personal or U-M data or devices you won't need while traveling.

Register Your Travel

University faculty, staff, and students traveling for university-related purposes are required to register their international travel plans on the U-M Travel Registry. It is recommended for domestic travel. Global Michigan provides very helpful additional information at Travel Resources.

Be Prepared for Border Security

When Entering and Traveling in Other Countries:

  • Your devices may be searched or seized when you enter or travel in other countries. Many nations have laws that give border agents the authority to search or seize your devices.
  • In addition, police and other authorities in some countries may have legal authority to search or seize your devices while you are in the country. Local laws may or may not provide privacy protections for your electronic devices and data.

When Entering or Reentering the U.S.

  • Your tech devices may be searched or seized when you enter or re-enter the U.S. United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have the authority to search or seize the devices of both U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries entering the U.S. When you re-enter the country after a trip abroad, you may be asked to provide access to your electronic devices.
  • You can refuse access, but you may have your devices seized or be denied entry.

Take These Steps to Protect You and U-M While Traveling

In addition to the general guidance for Traveling with Technology, consider taking these measures for protecting your devices and data when traveling abroad:

  • Do not save sensitive personal information such as credit card numbers, passport information, or Social Security numbers on your device.
  • Clear your web browsing history and similar stored information if traveling to a high-risk location.
  • If you need to work while traveling, ask your IT department for a loaner laptop or other device for international travel. Loaner devices provide basic computing capabilities, such as the Microsoft Office suite, web browsers, and the U-M VPN while making it easy to limit the personal or U-M data you will take.
  • If you are traveling to a high-risk location, consider getting a mobile phone for temporary use on your trip.
  • While traveling in a high-risk location, do not leave devices unattended. Do not leave them in a hotel room or safe because they can be accessed by hotel staff.
  • Avoid public WiFi and plan for a more secure connection. Cellular networks are more secure than public wifi, and can be used instead of less secure WiFi. Check with your phone carrier about international roaming and data plans. See Use a Secure Internet Connection for more guidance on securing your network connections. 
  • Set up an email forwarding address. You may wish to set up temporary email forwarding in MCommunity to have email sent to your address delivered to one or more personal email addresses of your choice (Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.). For detailed instructions, refer to Forwarding or Redirecting Your U-M Email Using the MCommunity Directory.
  • Be discreet. For example, if possible, do not use an obvious laptop storage bag, as these may make you a more conspicuous target.
  • Report an IT Security Incident if your device is lost, stolen, or you suspect you have been hacked or compromised.

Consider International Access to U-M Resources

Cloud-based U-M resources may not be available in certain international locations. In some cases, you may be able to access a particular U-M resource using Virtual Sites; in other cases, access may be blocked completely. Check the information on country restrictions provided by each service provider before you travel.


Due to government regulations, Instructure prohibits the unauthorized use of its products and services in specific countries and regions. Refer to Which countries are restricted from using Canvas?


In order to comply with U.S. regulations, Duo blocks authentications from users whose IP address originates in a country or region subject to economic and trade sanctions enforced by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control. Refer to additional detail from Duo.


Google restricts access to some of its business services in certain countries or regions. See Countries or regions where Google Workspace is available. The Google product traffic report shows information about recent and ongoing disruptions of traffic to Google products.

Google Search may be blocked or redirected in some countries. Google search ( may redirect you based on your device's IP address. For example, if you are in Germany and using a German network address, Google will automatically direct you to German search results. Refer to See results for a different country to change those settings. If you turn on the U-M VPN, your device will use a U-M IP address and therefore return search results as if you were at U-M.

Microsoft Online Services

All Microsoft Online Services are unavailable in Cuba, Iran, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Sudan, and Syria. Each service has different country and language availability, as outlined in International Availability for Microsoft Online Services.


Users in some countries or regions are unable to access Zoom for regulatory reasons. See list of Restricted countries or regions.

Determine if Export Control regulations apply to your travel

  • A number of federal laws are intended to prevent the transfer of sensitive items and technology to foreign nations, organizations and individuals. For more information, see Export Control Compliance for University of Michigan Researchers.
  • Consult the Export Control Office [email protected] as early as possible in your travel planning if you conduct export controlled research or if you may fall under an export control requirement.