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

DIS Check-in Sessions

All NIH-sponsored J-1 Exchange Visitors 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, confirms that they have the proper work authorization to undertake activities at NIH, and activates their program at NIH. DIS also validates the arrival of J-1 Exchange Visitors with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State.

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.

A schedule of the check-in is available in the poster gallery. Congratulations on your upcoming vist to NIH!

When to Check-in with DIS:

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.

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 your Form DS-2019. 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 and supporting you in immigration matters throughout your time at NIH.

Additional Resources

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

  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 
Office Hours:
8:30am - 5:00pm
Check-In Hours:
9:00am Mondays
Walk-in Hours:
1:30pm - 3:30pm Mon-Thurs
Badge Clearance:
9:00am - 11:00am
Tuesday & Thursday