International Attendees

DDW Administration’s goal is to make international attendees’ entire experience as hassle-free and rewarding as possible. All sessions will be conducted in English. Bilingual personnel (Spanish/English) will be on-site at the information booths.

If you are attending DDW from a country requiring a visa, please be sure to apply early and complete all required fields. Applications may be denied if necessary information is not included when submitted. 

International Map

Travel Requirements

Starting in November 2021, most international visitors traveling to the U.S. will be required to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of departure. In March 2020, most noncitizens were restricted from traveling to the U.S. to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Please review the CDC website to stay up to date with the latest information regarding travel requirements and restrictions.

Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Information

The U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens and nationals from 38 countries to travel to and enter the U.S. for business or visitor purposes for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. Please review the U.S. Department of State website to stay up to date with important government announcements.

VWP Requirements

  • As of April 1, 2016, you must have an e-passport to use the VWP. An e-Passport is an enhanced secure passport with an embedded electronic chip. You can readily identify an e-Passport, because it has a unique international symbol on the cover.
  • All eligible travelers who wish to travel under the VWP must apply for authorization using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) website.

ESTA is an automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the U.S. under the VWP. It collects the same information as the paper I-94W form that VWP travelers currently fill out en route to the U.S. ESTA applications may be completed online and submitted at any time prior to travel, though it is recommended that travelers apply when they begin preparing travel plans.

An ESTA authorization generally will be valid for up to two years. Authorizations will be valid for multiple entries into the U.S. DHS recommends that ESTA applications be submitted as soon as an applicant begins making travel plans.

Visa Information

Some participants from outside the U.S. will need to apply for a visa at the American Embassy, Consulate or other visa-issuing office in their country of origin. To obtain a visa you will need a letter of invitation, a valid passport, a photo ID and a completed Form DS 156 (nonimmigrant visa application form).

A visa is not required for visitors from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program. Currently, 34 countries are enrolled. For more information about visa requirements, how to apply for a visa or the Visa Waiver Program, visit the “Visas for Foreign Citizens” section of the U.S. Department of State website. Use the Visa Wizard as a guide to help foreign citizens understand which visa category might be appropriate for their travel to the U.S.

Italian Attendees

DDW has designated Marben Srl (in collaboration with DDW International Group Housing) to act as delegate by proxy to collect all applications from the Italian Pharmaceutical companies and file them with the local Ministry of Health. Marben Srl will act as the intermediate institution between the Italian companies and the Italian Ministry of Health. For information, please contact Nicole Napolitano at info@ddw-igh.com.

Visa Application Tips

  • If you are planning to come to DDW, apply for your visa as early as possible.
  • Attaching evidence of your previous visits to DDW may help the application processing time. To request a receipt from a previous DDW, please contact registration@ddw.org.
  • Attaching evidence of your intended return trip to your home country can shorten the application processing time.

Sessions Conducted in Other Languages

Featured sessions at DDW 2021 will be presented in non-English languages:

  • AGA’s Lo Mejor de DDW (Spanish)
    • Sunday, May 23, 3:30-5 p.m. EST
  • AGA’s O Melhor da DDW (Portuguese)
    • Sunday, May 23 from 5:30-7 p.m. EST
  • AGA-CSG: Best of DDW in Chinese
    • Friday, May 21, 5:30-7 p.m.
  • ASGE & Inter-American Society of Digestive Endoscopy (SIED) International Symposium: The Best Practices of Endoscopy en Español (Spanish)
    • Sunday, May 23, 10-11:30 a.m. EST
  • ASGE & Association Mexicana de Endoscopia Gastrointestinal (AMEG) International Symposium: Frontiers of Endoscopy (Spanish)

Partnerships Around the World

DDW’s sponsoring societies partner with international GI societies to provide the latest updates on the field at DDW.
  • AGA-APAGE Joint Symposium
  • ASGE & Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) International Symposium: Controversies and New Guidelines in Managing Patients with Upper GI Bleeding
    • Saturday, May 22, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • ASGE & Chinese Society of Digestive Endoscopy (CSDE) International Symposium — Advancements in Esophageal Endoscopy: Perspectives from China and the US (Presented in English)
    • Saturday, May 22, 5:30-7 p.m.
  • ASGE & European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE): Top 5 Takeaways from Recent Clinical Practice Guidelines
    • Sunday, May 23, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • ASGE & Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) International Symposium on Colonoscopy: Best Practices for the Next Decade
    • Friday, May 21, 5:30-7 p.m.
  • ASGE & Japan Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society (JGES) International Symposium: Advances in Diagnostic Endoscopy (Presented in English)
    • Friday, May 21, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • ASGE & Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy of India (SGEI) International Symposium: Endoscopic Solutions to Surgical Issues (Presented in English)
    • Sunday, May 23, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • SSAT and International Society for Digestive Surgery (ISDS) Symposium — Global Surgery: The Best of Both Worlds 
    • Sunday, May 23, 1-2:30 p.m.

More Travel Details

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Request Invitation Letter

Learn how to request an invitation letter for your visa application.

International Group Housing

DDW IGH will offer all-inclusive housing packages for international groups of five or more sleeping rooms.

Getting to San Diego

San Diego offers many transportation options for traveling to and around the city.