If you submit a case to DIS with an unattainable start date, an Immigration Specialist will determine a reasonable start date and inform you of the new date. DIS encourages Monday start dates. We cannot accommodate start dates on the weekend or on U.S. federal holidays.
Check-In with DIS webpage for additional information on the DIS check-in process.
Modifying the Start Date after Case Processing is Complete
Starting Earlier than Planned
DIS requires IC approval in order to activate NIH-sponsored visiting scientists requesting an earlier start date than the date previously authorized by DIS or the start date listed on the final DIS invitation letter.
The Remote Check-in form should be completed by an IC Designated Official (IC Key Contact, Administrative Officer, or Lab/Branch Sponsor) and sent to DIS. The scientist must still check-in with DIS before they begin their research at NIH. For more information, please refer to our Check-In with DIS webpage.
Delaying the Proposed Start Date
Please notify DIS if a foreign national will not be able to check in with DIS on the start date listed on the official DIS invitation letter. DIS needs to know when their new NIH start date is confirmed so that we can send the scientist updated check-in session information. For more information, please refer to our
Check-In with DIS webpage.
For individuals experiencing visa delays due to administrative processing, please see Step 4 on our
Arriving from Outside the United States webpage.
Note for J-1 Exchange Visitors: DIS will issue an updated Form DS-2019 to all J-1 Exchange Visitors sponsored by the NIH who change their start date at the DIS check-in session. We will not send the updated Form DS-2019 to the individual abroad unless it is explicitly requested by the Department of State.
NBS/FPS and NIH Fellowship Start Dates
As a reminder, administrative staff can create an award in NIH Business System (NBS) Fellowship Payment System (FPS) and leave in “submit” status until they are more confident of the foreign national’s start date and/or the funding amount. Once the start date and funding are confirmed, the AO can move the status from “submitted” to “approved” in NBS/FPS. Waiting to approve the award until the start date is finalized eliminates the need for DIS to reject multiple FPS awards for the same individual.
DIS can only approve new fellowship awards after the foreign national attends the DIS check-in session.