Why U.S. citizens should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) before international travel

PT 2 M minute read
273
Share:

U.S. citizens are facing many challenges when attempting to travel internationally in the age of COVID. Achieving a successful mission requires using every tool in the arsenal, maximizing resources to reduce risk and increase operational flexibility.

Enrolling in the U.S. State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) when traveling abroad is an excellent tool and should be considered a best practice in helping minimize risk by registering American travelers directly with consulate resources along their itinerary.

STEP provides access to U.S. resources overseas

STEP improves American travelers access to more than 300 U.S. Embassy and Consulate locations and more than 50,000 foreign U.S. Services personnel stationed worldwide.

How STEP can help you when traveling abroad

Travelers enrolled in STEP are able to make easier connections to emergency services during natural disasters, civil unrest or even during a family crisis. In addition, participants receive timely, accurate and relevant Travel Advisories from local sources.

STEP connects American travelers to embassy services and resources during emergency and non-emergency such as:

  • State Dept. – Travel Advisories
  • Natural disasters
  • Safety conditions of your destination
  • Legal advice like finding local attorneys
  • Issuing new passports
  • Evacuation in emergency situations
  • Registering a birth or death, notarization of important documents when abroad
  • Providing support and shelter during civil unrest
  • Helping family and friends get in touch with you

Without STEP Enrollment, you could see significant delays in obtaining consular support in an emergency situation, and some services may be unavailable.

Who is eligible to enroll in STEP?

All U.S. citizens traveling abroad are eligible for STEP registration.

Do I have to register with STEP for each trip?

Yes, each registration is active for one trip itinerary only, per traveler. Universal’s Global Regulatory Services team can help you customize a plan to make STEP enrollment a standard part of your mission protocol by leveraging your provided schedule and manifest information when U.S. travelers are on board, or you can request the service on a per trip basis.

Conclusion

Enrolling in the U.S. State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a best practice for all U.S. citizens traveling abroad. STEP connects American travelers to embassy services and resources during emergency and non-emergency situations overseas. Enrolling in STEP is free but must be done on a per trip basis. Universal’s Global Regulatory Services team can support making STEP enrollment standard operating procedure for all international missions.


Got a question for Adam about this article?

Share: