University of Illinois System
Policies & Procedures
Last item for navigation

8.2.1 Request Reimbursement for Domestic or International Employee Travel and Business Meals

Policy Statement 

Travel expenditures by employees, including student employees, must serve the University of Illinois System's best interest, have a legitimate system business purpose, and be related to the employee's job duties. The system may deny reimbursement or request repayment or payroll deduction if the travel does not comply with these policies:

  • The unit head or delegate must verify the unit has travel funds available and must approve all travel and business meals.
  • All travel must be by the most direct route, using the most economical mode of transportation available considering travel time, costs, and work requirements. If travelers interrupt business travel or deviate from the direct route for personal convenience or personal leave, they will be reimbursed only for uninterrupted travel by the most direct route.
  • The unit head or delegate must approve employee use of private passenger vehicles—if it is the most economical and convenient transportation available. However, travelers who use private passenger vehicles will not be reimbursed for more than the cost of commercial coach round-trip airfare plus transportation to and from the airport.
  • Per diem allowance must always be reduced for any meals provided.
  • Expenses must be substantiated by receipts and received by University Payables (UPAY) within 60 days or the entire reimbursement amount may be reported to you processed as taxable income. This 60-day limit is in accordance with IRS guidelines regulations.
  • Lodging charges for official conferences/meetings higher than normally allowed under the lodging allowance are reimbursable if the unit head approves.

University Payables reports all lodging expenses that exceed the maximum to the Higher Education Travel Control Board (HETCB), except for conferences/official meetings. If HETCB does not allow the exception, the traveler must refund the disallowed amount to the system account charged for lodging.


To request reimbursement for domestic or international employee travel and business meals:

  1. Be prepared to provide the following:
    • Itemized receipts for non-per diem expenses for $10 or more
    • Translated receipts for international travel
    • For business meals, business purpose of the meeting and business affiliations of the participants
  2. Log in to Chrome River. In the Expenses Ribbon, select Create. 
  3. In the Document Header screen, enter a report name, business purpose, select TCard and Employee Reimbursements and select the trip type.
  4. Proceed through the screens. For international travel, Chrome River automatically converts foreign currency into U.S. dollars.
  5. UPAY will review the request and process for payment. Payees will be notified at their university email address when the payment is deposited to their payroll bank account.

Travel within Headquarters
Employees may incur travel-related expenses within their headquarters while performing their duties, even though they are not in travel status. Common examples include mileage and parking for attending a meeting across campus or to deliver documents. You may accumulate these expenses and request reimbursement on a monthly basis by following the steps above.

Employees with Approved Accommodations
Travel using a premium type of transportation may be allowed as part of an approved accommodation. Obtain written authorization from your university equal employment opportunity (EEO) office or System Human Resource Services for system office employees documenting an approved accommodation prior to purchasing premium transportation. The written authorization must be submitted with the related expense report. Written authorization should specify the duration of the accommodation.

University of Illinois at Chicago
Office for Access and Equity
Phone: (312) 996-8670
UIC Employee Request for Reasonable Accommodation Based on Medical Condition

University of Illinois at Springfield
Human Resources Office
Phone: (217) 206-7237

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Office for Access and Equity
Phone: (217) 333-0885
Online Employee Accommodation Request

University of Illinois System (System Office Employees)
System Human Resource Services
Phone: (217) 333-2600
Reasonable Accommodation Medical Condition Form

Travel by Employees on Sabbatical Leave
Expenses related to sabbatical research travel are reimbursable under the IRS accountable plan rules if the research is required by the system and must be performed at the location where the expenses are incurred. The anticipated expenses must be included on the approved application form for requesting sabbatical leave.

Travel by Private Plane
The maximum reimbursement for private plane transportation is limited to lowest available commercial discounted round-trip air fare, including the cost of transportation to and from the airport. Reimbursable miscellaneous items not covered by the mileage allowance include airplane parking, hangar rental, landing, and tie down fees unless the unit restricts such allowance. If two or more employees are traveling in the same private plane, only one employee may claim air mileage reimbursement.

Related Policies and Procedures

15.1.3 Make Travel Arrangements
15.1.4 Determine Allowability of Travel Expenses
8 Payments and Reimbursements - Documentation Required to Support Payment
15.1 Travel - Headquarters and Travel Status
19 Contracts

Additional Resources

Chrome River Resource Page
Job aid for System Navigation
Job aid for Create an Expense Report (ER)
University Payables Training Materials
Reimbursement Rates for Travel Expenses (including mileage for personal passenger vehicles)
Guidelines for Sabbatical Leaves of Absence
Clery Act Reporting Requirements
   University of Illinois at Chicago: Clery Compliance
   University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Clery Act (Policy Number : FO-21)
   University of Illinois at Springfield: UIS Police - Jeanne Clery Act


Last Updated: February 14, 2022 | Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance | Effective: September 2012