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NIH Visiting Program Scientists

Visiting Program Scientists


Coming to NIH while you are already in the United States in J-1 status takes careful coordination and planning between your current J-1 Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor and the NIH Division of International Services (DIS). The steps below provide an overview of this process to assist you in this transition.

Steps to Follow:

number 1 Confirm Start Date with DIS Immigration Specialist

If you are currently inside the U.S., please work very closely with your DIS Immigration Specialist to ensure a smooth transition to NIH. A DIS Immigration Specialist will contact you to discuss these procedures once we receive a request from your future NIH laboratory/branch. Please do not quit or leave your current position before discussing your case with this Specialist.   

NOTE: If your arrival date to the NIH has changed or is delayed, please coordinate a new arrival date with your NIH Institute/Center lab sponsor and administrative Key Contact, as well as inform DIS of these changes.   

number 2 Make Travel Arrangements

Do not make any travel arrangements until after you confirm your start date with your DIS Immigration Specialist. If you need to purchase tickets before then, consider tickets that can be changed easily.  

Our Welcome to the DC Area webpage is designed to help connect you with local resources.

number 3 Report to DIS

Beginning Your NIH Position – You must check in with DIS before beginning your position at NIH. See the Check-In with DIS webpage for more information. 

Dependents – If you have a dependent who will no longer be in J-2 status, please inform DIS. If you want to add more J-2 dependents, instructions are available on our J-2 Dependents webpage. 

Revised 11/2020

DIS Info  

​​​Service Hours:
9:00AM - 4:00PM ET

Non-FTE Check-In/EOD:
Monday By 11:30am (​in local time zone of lab)
Submit Remotely
Advising Services:
Drop-Ins and Appointments​
Document Pickup:
By Appointment
J-1/J-2 Travel Signature Requests:​
Submit Remotely
Badge Validation:
Submit Remotely