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

All non-FTE Visiting Program participants must check in with DIS before starting their NIH award or assignment. During the check-in process, DIS verifies that scientists have the appropriate immigration documentation to conduct research at NIH.

The DIS check-in process is remote. Scientists must be present in the United States to check in with DIS. DIS only accepts remote check-in submissions by NIH administrators via the DIS Case Submission SharePoint.

Effective March 2020, the DIS check-in process is completely remote. However, scientists must still be present in the United States to check in with DIS.

Scientists should contact their NIH Institute/Center/Office (ICO) administrators report their arrival to the United States and initiate the DIS check-in process. ICO administrators send DIS the required remote check-in documentation and provide further guidance to the scientist, including when the scientist can report to NIH campus.

Check-In Timelines

The scientist’s official NIH start date is listed on the invitation letter issued by DIS. On or before the start date, their administrator must submit the remote check-in documentation to DIS. Refer to “Required Documents” below. J-1 Exchange Visitors must be checked in with DIS within 30 days of their arrival in the United States.

If a scientist cannot enter the U.S. or begin their position at NIH by the official NIH start date, email DIS@mail.nih.gov and provide a new anticipated start date. Notify DIS if the delayed arrival is due to visa administrative processing or travel restrictions.

DIS accepts remote check-in submissions from Monday – Thursday.

DIS processes submissions received by 11:30 a.m. on the start date by the end of that day. Submissions received after 11:30 a.m. are processed the following day. Submissions received after 11:30 a.m. on Thursday are processed the following Monday.

DIS accepts remote check-in submissions up to 30 days in advance of the start date. Scientists cannot start their awards/assignments before the date of check-in submission. For example, for a Visiting Fellow to start on 10/01/2020, DIS must receive the check-in submission sometime between 09/01/2020-10/01/2020, but no later than 11:30 a.m. on 10/01/2020.

Required Documents

See our sample check-in submission here.

Administrators should combine the following documents into one PDF (titled in the following format “Remote Check-In – LAST NAME, First Name”) and submit to the DIS Case Submission SharePoint:


Check-in Processing by DIS

After check-in submission by the NIH administrator via the DIS Case Submission SharePoint, DIS reviews the documentation, processes any necessary forms, and schedules the scientist to attend any applicable orientations or seminars. For J-1 Exchange Visitors, DIS validates their arrival with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State.

DIS also validates the scientist’s work authorization in NED and, if applicable, approves their fellowship payment system (FPS) award.

Once the check-in processing is complete, DIS notifies the ICO via email with an electronic Notice of Action (eNOA). If applicable, the eNOA will contain instructions for the scientist to obtain any updated documents (e.g., Form DS-2019).

The Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC) office is ultimately responsible for issuing the NIH badge. After DIS validates the scientist’s work status in NED, scientists should contact DPSAC to complete the badge process. Many scientists must obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) before NIH badge issuance; refer to our SSN guidance as needed.

Additional Resources


Rev. 08/2021

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