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Division of International Services

DIS

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DIS Title Divider About Us Title Divider DIS Services
​​​About Us
DIS Services

In support of the DIS mission, our staff provides U.S. immigration-related services to the NIH community. DIS provides guidance regarding foreign national scientists’ initial entry into the United States, international travel and re-entry into the country, transfers and extensions of stay, changes of immigration status, and more. Some of our most common services are below.

Case Processing

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DIS processes requests from Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICOs) to initiate or extend a scientist’s time in the NIH Visiting Program. These requests are known as cases or packages. Administrators should refer to our Case Preparation guidance before submitting cases to DIS.

Refer to our How to Submit Cases and Documents page. You will receive an email confirmation of receipt from DIS after your submission.

To check the status of your case, visit DIS Case Status and Reports.

Check-In/EOD

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All new NIH Visiting Program participants must check in with DIS (“Enter-on-Duty” or “EOD”) no later than their first day of work at NIH to activate their award, appointment, or assignment. The DIS check-in process is fully remote at this time:

  • Employees [Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) positions e.g., Research Fellow] Onboarding is processed on a case-by-case basis by the assigned DIS Immigration Specialist in consultation with the Institute/Center.


  • Trainees/Assignees [Non-FTE e.g., Visiting Fellow, Special Volunteer) Refer to our Check-In with DIS page.

Advising

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DIS provides guidance regarding immigration-related issues to NIH Visiting Program participants, administrators, and laboratory sponsors. Contractors at NIH must contact their contracting company for immigration-related guidance.

DIS advising is remote until further notice. We offer two advising options:


  • Appointments

    For case-specific questions or questions that may take more than 15 minutes to address, NIH scientists and staff should email DIS@mail.nih.gov to schedule a phone or video advising appointment with a DIS Immigration Specialist. When you log in, you will enter the Zoom waiting room. This service is first-come, first-served. The Immigration Specialist will meet with you once s/he finishes advising other scientists.


  • Walk-In Hours

    A DIS Immigration Specialist is available during our Zoom “Walk-in” advising hours on Monday-Thursday, 1:30 - 3:30 pm EST. Use this link to join the Zoom session during walk-in hours.

This service is first-come, first-served. When you join, you will enter the Zoom waiting room. The Immigration Specialist will meet with you once s/he finishes advising other scientists.

NIH Badge Validation

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DIS must verify that all foreign nationals are conducting activities at NIH that are appropriate for their immigration status. Accordingly, DIS validation is often required in the NIH Enterprise Directory (NED) before an individual’s NIH identification badge can be issued. DIS does not validate badges for U.S. citizens or U.S. lawful permanent residents (green card holders).

DIS validation processes are different for Visiting Program participants and NIH Contractors. Consult our NIH Badges page for additional information. Contractors should consult our Contractor Badges guidance.

Travel Signatures

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Scientists sponsored by NIH in J-1 or J-2 status who plan to travel internationally must have a valid travel signature from DIS on their Form DS-2019 to re-enter the United States. Scientists should review our Travel Guidance and schedule an appointment to obtain a travel signature from DIS.

Newsletters

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DIS shares important immigration updates, procedural changes, and event invitations via our listservs for NIH administrative staff, laboratory sponsors, and foreign national scientists. If you are a member of one of these communities, contact us to subscribe to the relevant listserv.

Trainings and Events

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DIS offers a variety of trainings for administrative staff. We also host orientations and training sessions for scientists on immigration-related topics. Refer to the DIS Calendar for upcoming events.

Revised 07/2021

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