Uncertainties across the world related to the ongoing pandemic have led Penn State to suspend University-affiliated international travel and to discourage personal travel abroad by Penn State students, faculty, and staff. While we understand that many postdoctoral scholars and fellows (domestic or international) may wish to travel abroad due to family or other circumstances, anyone wishing to travel abroad at this time should consider the risks associated with doing so and consider postponing travel if at all possible.
Permitting scholars to work remotely for an extended period of time while living in another country presents complex legal challenges for both the University and for scholars. Among them are tax and regulatory requirements to which Penn State must adhere, and these vary by country. Postdoctoral scholars and fellows who leave the country during the current remote period or during the holiday break must ensure that they can return by the beginning of the spring semester, January 18, 2021. Those who travel abroad during this period may encounter delays in returning either due to immigration issues or to pandemic-related lockdowns/border restrictions. Those who are unable to return will be placed on unpaid leave, which may jeopardize an international scholar’s visa/immigration status and result in the appointment being terminated.
If you absolutely must travel abroad, please review the requirements of both your airline and your destination country with regard to COVID testing and quarantining. If you have questions about your immigration status, please contact Global Programs. If you have questions about how your employment and immigration status might be affected if you are unable to return by the beginning of the spring semester, please contact the Human Resources Strategic Partner (HRSP) in your college.
If you are a postdoctoral or J-1 scholar who has already traveled outside of the U.S. and is working from another country, please contact your HRSP (for those who are domestic/non-visa holders) and Global Programs staff (for those who are on a visa) to discuss your situation.