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DIS Title Divider Administrative Staff Title Divider DIS Processing Time Chart
Administrative Staff
DIS Processing Times Chart

Using This Chart

To use this chart, locate the type of case or request that you filed in the leftmost column under the heading “Case/Visa Type.” The second column, “DIS Processing Time,” shows the average time it takes DIS to process that type of case. In addition, the chart indicates if other agencies or organizations are involved in the process.

DIS processing times begin when a complete request is received in our office. However, in some instances, a complete request may take longer than the printed times due to the uniqueness of the case. Please note that unless otherwise indicated, all days listed in the chart are “business” days.

To find the day that DIS received your case, your Institute/Center's (IC) Key Contact (KC) can access the DIS online case status and reports system. See About DIS Processing Times for more information on choosing a realistic start date, checking the status of a case, and other questions.

Processing Times of Other Agencies

All requests that require approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): Check the USCIS website for their current processing times estimate. Scroll down to "Instructions on Using the Table" and select the appropriate Service center.

All requests that require approval from the U.S. Department of State (DOS): Check the DOS website for information on visa appointment & processing wait times by U.S. Embassy or Consul.


J-1 Exchange Visitor Requests
Case/Visa Type
DIS Processing Time
Requires USCIS approval?
Requires DOS approval?
Requires other approval?
New J-1: Abroad
20 days
No
Yes
No
New J-1: Transfer-In
(within the U.S.)
20 days
SEVIS transfers may take longer.
No
No
Yes - requires SEVIS release by current J-1 sponsor
New J-1: Change of Status (within the U.S.)
20 days
Yes – usually Vermont Service Center
No
No
Renewal J-1: Extension up to 5 years
20 days
No
No
No
Renewal J-1: Extension beyond 5 years
Submit at least 180 calendar days before J-1 expiration date
No
Yes - requires advance DOS approval
Yes – requires NIH G-7 Peer Review before DOS review. Click to learn more.
Current J-1: Transfer OUT of NIH within the U.S.)
10 days – Requires DIS to transfer in SEVIS for release to another J-1 sponsor
No
No
No
New or Renewal J-1 sponsored by ECFMG (in an NIH clinical training program
30 days
No – However, some requests require USCIS approval for a Change of Status. Determined by DIS on a case-by-case basis.
No – If Exchange Visitor is in the U.S.

Yes – If the Exchange Visitor is Abroad
Yes – requires approval by ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates)
H-1B Temporary Worker Requests
Case/Visa Type
DIS Processing Time
Requires USCIS approval?
Requires DOS approval?
Requires other approval?
New H-1B Abroad
45 days
Yes - usually California Service Center
Yes – requires visa from U.S. Consulate (Citizens of Canada are visa exempt)
Yes - requires Prevailing Wage determination and Department of Labor certification on Labor Condition Application (LCA)

Note: Processing times will be significantly impacted if the scientist needs to apply for a waiver of the 212(e) Home Residence Requirement.
New H-1B: Portability (transfer within U.S.; switching employers)
45 days
No
New H-1B: Change of Status (within the U.S.)
45 days
No
Renewal H-1B: Extension45 daysNo
O-1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability Requests
Case/Visa Type
DIS Processing Time
Requires USCIS approval?
Requires DOS approval?
Requires other approval?
New O-1: Abroad45 Days – Contingent upon submission of all evidence for O-1 petition. The DIS processing times may be adjusted for any necessary revisionsYes – usually Vermont Service Center Yes – requires visa from U.S. Consulate (Citizens of Canada are visa exempt) No
New O-1: Transfer (within U.S.; switching employers)NoNo
New O-1: Change of Status (within U.S.)NoNo
Renewal O-1: ExtensionNoNo
TN Trade NAFTA Requests
Case/Visa Type
DIS Processing Time
Requires USCIS approval?
Requires DOS approval?
Requires other approval?
New TN: Abroad30 daysNo Yes – requires visa from U.S. Consulate for citizens of Mexico (Citizens of Canada are visa exempt)No
New TN: Transfer (switching employers)30 days Yes – usually Vermont Service CenterYes – if transfer, change, or extension occurs by travel (i.e. by exit and re-entry to the U.S.); requires visa from U.S. Consulate for citizens of Mexico (Citizens of Canada are visa exempt).No
New TN: Change of Status30 days No
Renewal TN: Extension30 days No
B-1/WB Temporary Visitor Requests
Case/Visa Type
DIS Processing Time
Requires USCIS approval?
Requires DOS approval?
Requires other approval?
New B-1: Abroad20 days No Yes – requires visa from U.S. Consulate (Citizens of Canada are visa exempt) No
Renewal B-1: Extension20 days Yes – usually Vermont Service Center NoNo
New WB: Abroad20 days No - Click to learn.NoNo
Renewal WB: ExtensionRenewals or Extensions of WB status are not allowed.
All Other Requests
Case/Visa Type
DIS Processing Time
Requires USCIS approval?
Requires DOS approval?
Requires other approval?
F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)20 days – after submitting valid OPT approval & EADYes – usually Vermont Service CenterNoYes – requires recommendation from the school's Designated School Official (DSO)
F-1 Other20 days – after submitting evidence of work authorization NoNoYes – requires approval from the school's DSO
All EAD holders20 days – after submitting valid EAD Yes – usually Vermont Service CenterNoNo
Request for Outside Activity
30 daysNoNoMay require approval by the NIH Office of Intramural Research. See form for specific instructions.
Request for Extended Absence Abroad
10 days – DIS must enter extended absence abroad in SEVISfor NIH-sponsored J-1 EVsNoNoMay require approval by the NIH Office of Intramural Research. See form for specific instructions.
NOTES
Abroad: The foreign scientist is overseas and not currently in the U.S.
Change of Status: The foreign scientist is switching from one immigration classification (e.g. J-1) to another (e.g. H-1B) while remaining inside the U.S.
Extension: The foreign scientist is already at NIH and continuing his/her stay. This is also known as a 'renewal'.
Portability: The foreign scientist is currently in the U.S. in H-1B status with another employer and changing to NIH as the new employer. Under portability, the H-1B foreign scientist may be able to begin employment with NIH shortly after the DIS/ORS files an H-1B petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for new employment at NIH. If the foreign scientist qualifies for portability (check with DIS to determine eligibility), NIH does not have to wait for USCIS to approve the new employment, and thus the foreign scientist can transfer or "port" his/her current H-1B to NIH.
SEVIS: SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) is the Department of Homeland Security's internet-based database that allows for electronic transmission of information and events about J-1 Exchange Visitors. It enables NIH to issue the Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 Status.
Transfer: The foreign scientist is switching from one U.S. employer or sponsor to NIH.

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