Identifying High-Risk Destinations

International Safety and Security uses the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory level to determine which countries require review and approval for University-related travel. For more information on using the lists below, visit the High-Risk Destinations page.

The U.S. Department of State categorizes countries and/or regions on scale of 1 to 4, Exercise Normal Caution to Do Not Travel. The levels are assigned based on the prevalence of specific categories of risk in the destination country. The country and regional levels, as well as the risks, are explained below. For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Frequently Asked Questions.

The U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory system has four levels, each with a corresponding color. Every country is assigned an advisory level. Additionally, regions in a country may also be assigned an advisory level.

  • Level 1 - Exercise Normal Precautions (Blue): This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk. There is some risk in any international travel. Conditions in other countries may differ from those in the United States and may change at any time.
  • Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution (Yellow): Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security. The U.S. Departments of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.
  • Level 3 - Reconsider Travel (Orange): Avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security. The U.S. Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.
  • Level 4 – Do Not Travel (Red): This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to assist travelers. The U.S. Department of State advises that U.S. citizens not travel to the country or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so. They also provide additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.

The U.S. Department of State issues an overall Travel Advisory level for a country, but levels of advice may vary for specific locations or areas within a country. For instance, it may advise U.S. citizens to “Exercise increased caution” (Level 2) in a country, but to “Reconsider travel” (Level 3) to a particular area within the country. There are two ways to determine if countries have regional variations.

  • Read the travel advisory. This is the preferred method as travelers need to understand the affected area, the associated risk, and potential mitigation tips. Travel Advisories with regional differences will clearly state “Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire advisory.” The advisory will then list the variations present.
  • Review World at a Glance Map. The World at A Glance Map depicts every country and its associated country level by color. (Countries with no color are Level 1, Exercise Normal Caution.) Countries with a diagonal cross-hatch annotation (similar to //////) have a region with elevated risk higher than the country designation. Travelers to these countries must read the Travel Advisory to understand the variations.

Travel Advisories at Levels 2-4 contain clear reasons for the level assigned, using established risk indicators and specific advice to U.S. citizens who choose to travel there. These are:

C – Crime: Widespread violent or organized crime is present in areas of the country. Local law enforcement may have limited ability to respond to serious crimes.

T – Terrorism: Terrorist attacks have occurred and/or specific threats against civilians, groups, or other targets may exist.

U – Civil Unrest: Political, economic, religious, and/or ethnic instability exists and may cause violence, major disruptions, and/or safety risks.

H – Health: Health risks, including current disease outbreaks or a crisis that disrupts a country’s medical infrastructure, are present. The issuance of a Centers for Disease Control Travel Notice may also be a factor.

N – Natural Disaster: A natural disaster, or its aftermath, poses danger.

E – Time-limited Event: Short-term event, such as elections, sporting events, or other incidents that may pose safety risks.

O – Other: There are potential risks not covered by previous risk indicators. Read each country’s Travel Advisory for details.

The travel advisory for each country may be found on the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory webpage.

The table was last reviewed on December 13, 2018.

Previous Travel Warnings Level 3 Level 4 Countries with High-Risk Regions
  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Bangladesh
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Colombia
  • Cuba
  • Congo (DRC)
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mexico
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Chad
  • Cuba
  • Congo (DRC)
  • El Salvador
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Lebanon
  • Mauritania
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Sudan
  • Turkey
  • Venezuela
  • Afghanistan
  • Central African Republic
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • North Korea
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Yemen
  • Algeria
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Burma
  • Cameroon
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • French West Indies
  • Georgia
  • Guatemala
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Mexico
  • Mozambique
  • Oman
  • Panama
  • Papa New Guinea
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Ukraine