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DIS Title Divider Visiting Scientists Title Divider Coming to NIH
Visiting Scientists
Coming to NIH

Initial Arrival and DIS Check-in

All NIH-sponsored visiting scientists (foreign national researchers) must check-in with the Division of International Services (DIS) when they first arrive at NIH. DIS verifies that visiting scientists were lawfully admitted to the United States in the correct immigration status and have the proper work authorization to undertake activities at NIH.

You will need to check-in with our office before you can begin your program at NIH. When you check-in with DIS, we will look over your immigration documents and complete the processing of any necessary forms. You will be given important information you need as you begin your stay at NIH and we will also schedule you to attend any applicable orientations or seminars.

When to Check-in with DIS:

Non-Employee Categories:
Including Visiting Fellows (Pre and Post-Doctoral), Special Volunteers, & Guest Researchers. DIS check-in sessions are held every Monday morning (except in cases of U.S. Government closure), beginning promptly at 9:00 a.m. For information on check-in session locations, please visit our Upcoming Events page.

Employee Categories:
Including Research Fellows, Clinical Fellows, Staff Scientists, Staff Clinicians, & Investigators. If you are in an NIH employee category, please contact the immigration specialist processing your case to set up an individual check-in appointment.

Remote Locations:
Including Phoenix, AZ; Frederick, MD; Baltimore, MD; Hamilton, MT; & Durham, NC. If your site of activity is not in close proximity to the main NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, please contact your Institute/Center (IC) Key Contact or Administrative Officer to schedule an appointment to process your check-in remotely.

What Documents to Bring:

  1. Your and any family members’ original immigration documents. This includes your passport, print-out of your electronic Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, and applicable immigration document, such as the Form DS-2019 for J-1 Exchange Visitors. Copies are not acceptable for check-in. Please let us know when you check- in if your family members will be joining you in the United States at a later date.

  2. EARLY ARRIVALS: If you are requesting an earlier start date, bring the: Early Start Date Confirmation form completed and signed by your Institute/Center (IC) Key Contact or Administrative Officer, your lab/branch Sponsor, or other IC designated official.

We are excited to welcome you to the United States’ medical research agency! We look forward to meeting you soon and supporting you in immigration matters throughout your time at the NIH.

DIS Info 
Service Hours:
8:30am - 4:30pm
Check-In Hours:
Walk-in Hours:
Call or Email DIS
Badge Validation:
Submit via SEFT