Traveling to Houston from another country for cancer treatment takes quite a bit of preparation. MD Anderson’s International Center can assist you in gathering the correct documents and letting you know what to expect for your first appointment.
The following information is required for your first appointment. Failure to provide these records may delay your treatment. In some cases, you may be asked to mail these materials to MD Anderson before your arrival.
Medical reports: Bring a hard copy of all medical reports that you have provided to your international patient assistant and any new reports that you have gathered since then.
Pathology materials: Pathology samples, including glass slides and/or paraffin blocks, are required for your first appointment. We will provide a letter addressed to U.S. Customs to avoid problems with bringing pathology materials into the United States.
Diagnostic imaging results: Bring the films and/or CD ROMs (DICOM compatible) of any diagnostic testing relevant to your cancer diagnosis (CT scan, MRI, PET scan, ultrasound, mammogram, X-ray, etc.).
If you have international insurance, call your insurance company before arriving to the United States to begin the financial clearance process so they can send your benefits to a local network.
If you are self-paying for your cancer care, be prepared to pay a deposit or have your wire receipt when registering for your first appointment. Read more about financial information.
When your appointment is confirmed, you will receive a packet of information that includes a visa letter. This important document verifies your appointment at MD Anderson and estimates the time needed for your initial evaluation and treatment.
This letter must be taken to a U.S. embassy or consulate when you apply for a visa. Only a U.S. embassy or consulate can grant visas. Online visa applications are available on the U.S. Department of State website.
We strongly recommend that you obtain a B1 (business) or B2 (pleasure) visa, in case you need to extend your stay. The initial trip to MD Anderson may only require a short stay, but it is important to have the flexibility to stay longer once a treatment plan is recommended. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) obtains I-94 arrival and departure information for air and sea travelers from electronic travel records. CBP will still issue a paper form I-94 at land border entry points.
For more information about visas, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
Travel & Lodging
MD Anderson’s Patient Travel Services provides travel assistance for our international patients, families and caregivers. Ask about special airline, lodging and ground transportation discounts and rates for MD Anderson patients. We also can offer unrestricted, non-penalty airfares and change fee waivers on restricted fares from almost anywhere in the world for travel to Houston.
- Call: 001-713-745-2300
- Email: email@example.com
In collaboration with Joe’s House, MD Anderson offers a list of hotels, apartments, RV parks and other lodging options in the Houston and Texas Medical Center area.
Dress for Comfort
Houston is warm and humid for much of the year, with average highs of more than 90° F (32°C) in the summer. Average winter temperatures are about 60° F (15°C). However, air-conditioned buildings can be chilly any time of year, so bring a sweater or dress in light layers for comfort.
Appointments: International patients should visit our appointments
site. The International Center will contact you after your appointment is
Toll-free from Mexico & Canada: 800-811-6167
8 a.m-5 p.m., Central U.S. Time zone
The International Center is located in the Mays Clinic, Floor 2, near The Tree Sculpture, room ACB2.2251.