International Travelers

The SMDM Annual Meeting brings together medical professionals from all over the world to learn about the latest in medical research to advance medical decision making and SMDM warmly welcomes all international attendees to the Annual Meeting. Please reference the following information to help with your travel planning.


SMDM will provide a letter stating your intent to attend the SMDM Annual Meeting, which may assist you in obtaining your travel visa. Attendees may request a visa letter by writing Please note that visa letters take 3 - 5 business days to process. 

Citizens from countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program may be unable to enter the United States without Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval from the U.S. government. For more information about how to apply for ESTA authorization, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

Due to recent policy changes, U.S. Consulates may request additional documentation from applicants for visas to enter the United States. This may include information concerning travel and work history as well as other details. Travelers should familiarize themselves with these procedures and factor in additional time for visa processing.

For more information and current procedures regarding obtaining a visa, please visit the U.S. State Department Travel website. The U.S. State department recommends visa applicants apply as soon as possible to allow for time to process visas in time for the meeting. 

Recently, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has suspended issuance of immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to applicants from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, Venezuela, Myanmar (Burma), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria. Green card lotteries will be restricted from Sudan and Tanzania. Please note the policy may apply to individuals who have become citizens of unaffected countries or who have traveled to the affected countries. SMDM is committed to international academic participation. SMDM will register the 2020 Annual Meeting with the U.S. State Department, and this should assist with visa processing for international attendees. 

Please carefully review U.S. Customs and Border Protection rules to determine your eligibility to obtain a visa. An application to waive visa restrictions should be submitted well in advance of the meeting.  Unfortunately, granting of waivers by U.S. Customs and Border Protection is rare. We will do our best to accommodate those whose abstract is accepted, but who are unable to travel to the annual meeting due to US visa restrictions. Please contact the SMDM office immediately by writing Trevor Scholl at to let us know if you anticipate problems getting a visa. Alerting us well in advance will help us to understand how many are affected so that we can investigate how to accommodate presenters.


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