The university pays directly or reimburses individuals for expenses that are necessary and appropriate to conduct university business. Expenditures must be consistent with the university’s purchasing policies and guidelines as well as the guiding principles and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations with regard to business and travel expense policies.
It is highly encouraged that Stanford travelers use Stanford Travel booking channels when booking flights, hotels, and rental cars for university-sponsored travel. Stanford Travel booking channels automatically register itineraries and any booking updates to the Travel Registry, streamline the reimbursement process, and offer discounts, benefits, and perks to travelers. In addition, the Stanford Travel team can provide specialized assistance as needed to travelers who book through Stanford Travel.
The Stanford Travel Card (TCard) is the recommended payment option for any travel costs that will not be reimbursed through the per diem method. Alternatively, personal funds may be used and a request for reimbursement can be submitted after the trip. The same policies and guidelines must be followed regardless of payment or reimbursement method. For more information on reimbursement methods, see the Topic Overview: Business and Travel Expense Policies page.
Note: When planning travel, always check the Travel Health Alerts page for the most current health guidance.
Before Foreign Travel
Before foreign travel, Stanford business travelers should:
- Acquire required travel documents (visit the Office of International Affairs website for guidance, including a travel checklist).
- Review the Forms + Checklists in the International Affairs site.
- Review the Book and Register Your Travel in the International Affairs site.
- Review and complete applicable Travel Registry requirements.
- If travel is funded with government monies (grants or contracts), ensure compliance with Fly America Act.
- If travel includes a stay in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria or the Crimea region of Ukraine, travel plans must be reviewed by the University Export Control Officer. Refer to Policy: Export Control/Trade Sanctions Compliance Requirements.
- Review the individual policy pages as they apply to the trip: air travel, ground transportation, lodging and meals.
Permissible Foreign Business Travel Expenses
In addition to air travel, ground transportation, lodging and meals for foreign business travel, Stanford will pay these other business and travel expenses: actual costs of acquiring passports, visas, tourist cards, necessary photographs, birth certificates, required inoculations, immunizations, health cards and fees for the conversion of funds to foreign currencies.
Reporting Expenses for Foreign Travel
Expense reports with relevant supporting documents attached must be completed for all travel expenses paid by the university. Refer to How to: Create Foreign Expense Report for an SU Payee.
Note: If a trip either originates or terminates in a foreign country, the entire cost of the trip is coded to a foreign travel expenditure type. This includes any costs for transportation, meals and lodging in the United States that are necessitated by the foreign business travel (e.g., ground transportation to and from a U.S. airport at the start or end of foreign travel).
Supporting documentation required for expenditures associated with foreign travel are the same as for domestic travel. The university does not require receipts for expenditures less than $75; however, schools and departments may require receipts for such expenditures.