Short-term Activities

Short-term research, services, or academic activities outside the U.S. are routine, but can raise issues and require some advance planning. Short-term projects (generally less than 6 months) can:

Involve collaborating with third parties, often requiring an agreement regarding intellectual property, allocation of costs, and other program details;

Require at least minimal infrastructure support in the host country, such as arrangements for paying consultants and service providers;

Trigger individual tax and labor regulatory requirements depending on local laws;

→ Require a brief due diligence review to confirm that the project does not involve engagement or collaboration with individuals and organizations that are subject to U.S. government sanctions; and

Involve issues regarding local approvals, work permits, IRB approvals (both in the host country and at home), export and trade regulations, and cross-border privacy laws.


The Global Travel website provides information for the Columbia community (faculty, researchers, employees, and students) who are traveling to an international destination for a very short term (such as to attend a conference or meeting). Overseas travel of this type typically requires little or no assistance from departmental and central university resources.

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