DS-160 Form: What Is and How to Complete It

DS-160 Form: What Is and How to Complete It

The DS-160 is an online nonimmigrant visa application form that is required for temporary travel to the United States. It is also a requirement for American K fiancé(e) visas.

Before enrolling in EVUS (Electronic Visa Update System, eligible citizens must have a valid nonimmigrant visa, such as a US tourist visa. The first step to obtaining a nonimmigrant visa for the USA is to fill out the DS-160 form.

Form DS-160 can be filled out online then must be submitted electronically to the Department of State website.

Then, the applicant is required to have a personal interview at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy.

Subsequently, U.S. Consular Officers will use the data entered on the DS-160 in combination with the interview answers to process an applicant’s visa request and determine whether an applicant is eligible for a nonimmigrant visa.

How to Complete the DS-160 Form

You can find the DS-160 form online on the Consular Electronic Application Center website. Make sure to accurately and completely answer all questions on the DS-160 in order to avoid any delays.

Should you have any errors on your form, you will have to correct your application which will entail rescheduling your visa interview appointment.

The electronic submission of your DS-160 online is the first step in the visa application process. After electronically submitting your DS-160 online application, you will need to contact the embassy or consulate closest to you in order to confirm whether you need to be interviewed by a consular officer and, if so, schedule an interview.

If the embassy or consulate notifies you that you require a visa interview, the visa application process cannot be completed until you attend the interview with a consular officer.

What Documents Do I Need to Fill out the DS-160 Form?

Make sure to have the following documents at hand while you complete your DS-160:

  • Valid passport
  • Travel itinerary, if you have already made reservations for your trip
  • Dates of your last 5 visits to the U.S., if you have been to the country within this timeframe (you may also be asked for your international travel history for the past 5 years)
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae - You may be asked to disclose information about your current and previous education and work history

Please note that you may be asked to provide additional information when completing the DS-160 form, depending on the purpose of your trip:

  • Students and Exchange Visitors (F, J, and M) will be asked to provide their SEVIS ID, as well as the address of the school/program at which they intend to study which are both printed on their I-20 or DS-2019
  • Petition-based Temporary Workers (H-1B, H-2, H-3, CW1, L, O, P, R, E2C) should have a copy of their I-129 available when completing their DS-160 form
  • Other Temporary Workers will be asked for information about their employer, including the employer’s address while completing their DS-160

Can I Answer Form DS-160 in My Native Language?

If English is not your first language, you may be wondering whether you may answer the questions on your DS-160 form in a language you are fluent in.

Unfortunately, this is not possible, as all answers must be submitted in English. Furthermore, it is necessary to utilize English characters only, except when you are asked to provide your full name in your native alphabet.

Applications filled out in any language other than English will be rejected, and you may be obliged to present a new DS-160 application.

Nevertheless, there are translations to assist you in completing the form in English. While you must fill out the entire form in English, you will find translations of the questions available in many languages from the drop-down menu in the upper right corner of the application form.

Do I Have to Answer All the Questions on the Ds-160 Form?

Most questions on the DS-160 are mandatory and have to be answered in the spaces provided.

Nevertheless, some questions are marked “optional” so you may leave the spaces designated to answer them blank. Nevertheless, please keep in mind that all other questions must be answered.

Should you encounter any questions that do not apply to you, you may answer them with “Does Not Apply”. The system will not accept your DS-160 application if you leave questions that apply to your circumstances and/or travel purpose unanswered.

Furthermore, should you leave a mandatory question blank, the DS-160 application system will display an error message requiring you to answer the question before you are allowed to continue with the application. The system will prevent you from submitting an application in which you have left any mandatory questions unanswered.

How Do I Sign the DS-160 Form?

The DS-160 form must be electronically signed by clicking the “Sign Application” button at the end of the form. Failure to sign the DS-160 form may result in the termination of your application.

Your electronic signature confirms that you have read and understood the questions in the application. Additionally, signing the form electronically certifies that your answers are true and correct to the best of your knowledge and belief.

Submitting an application that contains any false or misleading information may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or in the denial of entry into the United States. All declarations made in the application are considered unsworn declarations made under penalty of perjury.

Can Someone Else Complete the DS-160 Form on My Behalf?

Applicants who are illiterate or unable to complete the DS-1610 application by themselves must be assisted by a third party. The third party must be identified on the application’s “Sign and Submit” page.

Can I Complete the DS-160 Form on My Children’s Behalf?

Minor applicants under the age of 16 or those physically incapable of completing an application can have their parent or guardian complete and click the “Sign Application” button on their behalf.

Applicants with no parents or legal guardians can have their DS-160 application form completed by their legal custodian or someone who has a legitimate interest in the applicant.

Can I Save My DS-160 Form To Finish Submitting It Later?

Yes, you can save your DS-160 and return to a partially completed DS-160 by saving the unique application identification (ID) number you will be issued when you begin your form, after selecting and answering a security question.

Your application ID number will enable you to exit the DS-160 application and return to it later.

Every time you hit the “next” button when completing a page on the DS-160 application form, your information is saved. You may return to a partially completed application for up to 30 days. If you wish to access your application after 30 days, you must save it to your computer hard drive or a disk.

To save your DS-160 application on your computer hard drive or a disk, click on the “Save Application to File” button. Then, click the “Save” button on the File Download window. Choose a place on your computer to save the form, navigate to that location, and click the “Save” button on the “Save As” window.

Do I Have to Fill Out Other Forms Aside From the DS-160?

Once you have completed the DS-160 form you will not be required to fill out any additional forms. This is due to the fact that the online DS-160 application has replaced the former DS-156, DS-157, DS-158, and DS-3032 so they are no longer necessary.

However, if you are applying for a Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor visa, you will need to complete an additional form as well as DS-160.

Do I Have to Fill Out a New DS-160 Form if I Make an Appointment At A Different Embassy?

If you select a U.S. embassy or consulate on your DS-160 but end up making an interview appointment at another embassy or consulate, you will not need to fill out a new form.

If this is your case, make sure to bring the barcode on your DS-160 confirmation page, so that the embassy or consulate at which you attend your interview appointment is able to access your form.

Can I reuse the DS-160 form if I apply for US visas often?

Yes, you can reuse information from a previously submitted DS-160 to complete some fields on a new form.

This can be done in any of the following ways:

  • If you plan to apply for another US nonimmigrant visa in the future, make sure to save your DS-160 to your hard drive or a disk. When you apply for your new visa, you will need to select “Option B - Upload a Previously Saved Application” on the Getting Started page
  • Alternately, if your previous visa application was submitted after November 1, 2010, you should be able to select “Option C - Retrieve Application,” enter your previous visa application ID and then click on “Create a New Application” for your personal information to populate the form

Regardless of the method you choose to populate your form with previously entered information, make sure to check that all the information is current and accurate.

How to Upload a Photo on My DS-160 Form

Your photos or digital images must comply with the Photo Requirements for B1/B2 Visa for the U.S. in order to be correctly uploaded on the DS-160 form.

If your photo upload fails, you should submit one printed photograph meeting the requirements linked to above, along with the online DS-160 confirmation page, to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at which you plan to apply for your visa.

You can contact the embassy or consulate where you are applying for specific instructions on how to do this.

What to Do After Completing the DS-160 Form?

Once you have completed the DS-160, follow the step-by-step process outlined below:

  1. Print and keep the DS-160 barcode page (you do not need to print the full application)
  2. Schedule a visa interview appointment
  3. Visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will be interviewed for country-specific instructions and make sure to bring your confirmation page with your DS-160 application ID number on it
  4. Pay the visa application processing fee. Review country-specific instructions on the U.S. embassy or consulate website

If you have lost your confirmation page and barcode after having submitted your online DS-160 application, you can print a new one by going into the Consular Electronic Application Center website and selecting the embassy or consulate at which you are applying.

Next, click the “Option C - Retrieve Application” on the Getting Started page and enter your application ID number. From there you will be able to access and reprint your DS-160 confirmation page.

Once you have completed your DS-160 application form and visited an embassy or consulate for your interview, U.S. Consular Officers will make a decision as to whether you will be granted a United States nonimmigrant visa.

After you receive your B1/B2 US visa, you will have to enroll in EVUS before visiting the United States. Fortunately, this is a much simpler and hassle-free application.

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