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DIS Title Divider Visiting Scientists Title Divider Initial Check-in with DIS
Visiting Scientists
Initial Check-in with DIS

Effective 03/23/2020, all in-person non-FTE check-in sessions with DIS have been suspended until further notice. New trainees who have entered the U.S. or who are already present in the U.S. may still check-in remotely. Administrators should follow the instructions outlined on the Remote Check-In Form to DIS as necessary. DIS will only accept remote check-in documents received via SEFT to


Scientists who recently traveled internationally to a CDC designated Level 2 or 3 country should review the CDC Coronavirus Guidance and email OMS to determine whether they should come to NIH campus.

DIS Check-in Sessions

All non-FTE Visiting Program participants must check-in with the Division of International Services (DIS) when they first arrive at NIH before beginning their research program. DIS verifies that scientists have the proper work authorization to undertake activities at NIH and activates their NIH program. DIS also validates the arrival of J-1 Exchange Visitors with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State.

At the check-in session, DIS will review your immigration documents, complete the processing of any necessary forms, and give you important information you need to begin your stay at NIH. We will also schedule you to attend any applicable orientations or seminars.

A schedule of the check-in is available in our poster gallery. Congratulations on your upcoming stay at NIH!

When to Check-in with DIS:

Your official NIH start date is listed on the invitation letter issued by DIS. This is the day you must attend a DIS check-in session. You will receive an email the week before your scheduled check-in session with additional instructions.

DIS check-in sessions are held every Monday morning (except for government holidays and closures), beginning promptly at 9:00 a.m. For more information on check-in session locations, please visit our Upcoming Events page.

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.

**Volunteer Clinical Rotators in the Clinical Electives Program will receive separate instructions about check-in at 8:00 a.m.

What Documents to Bring:

Bring your and any family members' original immigration documents. Copies are not acceptable for check-in.

This includes your passport, a print-out of your most recent Form I-94, and applicable immigration documents, such as the Form DS-2019 for J-1 Exchange Visitors, Form I-20 for F-1 Students, or Employment Authorization Document (EAD card).

Let us know at the check-in session if your family members will join you in the U.S. at a later date.

Changing Your Check-In Session Date

Delayed Arrival: If you cannot make your scheduled NIH start date, email and your Institute/Center (IC) with the new anticipated start date. Notify DIS if your delayed arrival is due to visa administrative processing

Early Start Date: If you are requesting an earlier start date, bring a completed Early Start Date Confirmation form to the DIS check-in session.

Early Check-in: If you want to check-in with us before your scheduled NIH start date, email and include the date you want to check-in with us so we can send you the most updated check-in session information.

Additional Resources

DIS recommends reviewing the following materials from the U.S. Department of State:

  1. Rights and Protections for Temporary Workers
  2. The Exchange Visitor Program Welcome Brochure

DIS provides the following arrival information:

  1. Arrival from Outside the U.S.
  2. Arrival from Inside the U.S.
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DIS Info 
Service Hours:
8:30am - 4:30pm
Check-In Hours:
Walk-in Hours:
Available via Zoom
Monday – Thursday
1:30pm – 3:30pm
Badge Validation:
Submit via SEFT