Sanctioned and Embargoed Countries

Guidance on engaging with countries subject to federal restrictions.


Engaging with Sanctioned and Embargoed Countries

The Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), broadly regulates and restricts transactions with sanctioned and embargoed countries, including academic exchanges and research collaborations. With the exception of Cuba, U.S. citizens are free to travel to all countries without obtaining a license from OFAC; however, certain activities within, or with citizens of, various countries may require a license.

OFAC regulations apply to U.S. persons, which are defined as any U.S. citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States, or any person in the United States. The regulations apply to U.S. citizens and permanent residents wherever located, and to foreign nationals located inside the United States. Individuals with dual U.S. citizenship are considered “U.S. persons.”

Currently, some of the most comprehensive controls apply to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria (see below for specific guidance related to Cuba and Iran).

Note: Travel to North Korea is highly restricted and requires special validation from the U.S. State Department. No exemptions for academic activities currently exist.

Anyone traveling on behalf of Penn, regardless of nationality or passport used, is subject to the OFAC regulations and may require a license from the U.S. government before engaging in certain activities in, or with, comprehensively sanctioned countries. Always consult the Office of Export Compliance before traveling to an embargoed or sanctioned country.

Travel Restrictions and Countries of Concern

Cuba Sanctions and Travel

Important information for Penn-related Cuba activities and travel

Iran Sanctions and Travel

Important information for Penn-related Iran activities and travel