Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Division of International Services
pattern bar above navigation
pattern bar above navigation
DIS Title Divider About Us Title Divider COVID-19 Information
About Us
DIS COVID-19 Information

Due to COVID-19, the physical DIS office is closed to visitors. However, DIS staff are working remotely to serve you. We are committed to providing resources and guidance to the NIH community during this challenging and unprecedented time.

Please refer to this webpage, particularly the DIS Alerts & Newsletters and FAQs, for important information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the NIH Visiting Program. These resources will be updated as new developments arise.

Stay well,

Candelario Zapata, Director, DIS

DIS Services


Document Pick-Up & Travel Signatures

Scientists who need to come to the DIS office to pick up updated documents or obtain a J-1 travel signature must have an approved appointment from the DIS Calendar. Same-day appointments will not be accepted. Click here for instructions to schedule your appointment.

You must have a scheduled appointment before you come to the DIS office.


Zoom “Walk-in” hours will begin 7/27/2020, Monday-Thursday from 1:30 - 3:30 pm EST. In-person advising with DIS is suspended until further notice. For case-specific questions or questions that may take more than 15 minutes to address, NIH scientists and staff may email to request a phone or video advising appointment via Skype or Microsoft Teams.

Onboarding of New Trainees & Employees

DIS is still onboarding certain trainees and employees:

  • New trainee: In-person non-FTE check-in sessions are suspended until further notice. Administrators should follow the instructions outlined in our DIS newsletters (see below) and submit the Remote Check-In Form to DIS. Remote onboarding is not possible for new trainees who are currently overseas.
  • New employee/FTE: Onboarding will be handled on a case-by-case basis by the assigned Immigration Specialist in consultation with the Institute/Center.

International Travel

DIS discourages international travel for all foreign national trainees and employees at this time. The phased resumption of U.S. visa services and unpredictable additions to travel restrictions may significantly delay scientists' re-entry to the United States. Contact DIS if you plan to travel internationally.

If you are stuck abroad and your NIH research is related to the containment or mitigation of COVID-19 research, please contact DIS immediately at NIH scientists are government public health professionals and may be eligible for a National Interest Exception to current U.S. travel restrictions. Consult our COVID FAQs for more information.

Scientists who will travel to the U.S. from a CDC-designated Level 2 or 3 country should review the CDC Coronavirus Guidance and consult their NIH lab to determine if a self-quarantine is required before re-entering campus.

Case Processing

DIS is still processing cases (extensions, transfers, etc.):

Badge Validation

DIS is still validating badge requests in NED. If a foreign national scientist requires DIS badge validation in NED, consult our NIH ID Badges  document requirements. Submit any required documentation via SEFT for DIS review.

DIS Newsletters


DIS sends alerts and newsletters via our NIH scientist, administrator, and sponsor listservs. Recent DIS alerts and newsletter topics related to COVID-19 are listed below.

A compilation of our alerts since mid-February can be accessed here (NIH only):

Governmental Updates


Refer to these webpages for COVID-19 updates from various U.S. federal agencies and departments impacting NIH visiting scientists:

Revised 10/20/2020

DIS Info 
Service Hours:
8:30am - 4:30pm
Monday – Thursday
By 11:30am EST
Zoom Advising:
Monday – Thursday
1:30pm – 3:30pm EST
Badge Validation: