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DS-160: US Online Non-immigrant Visa Application Form

DS-160: Online Non-immigrant Visa Application Form

What is DS-160?

The DS-160 form, or Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form, is used by individuals applying for a United state visa to provide the U.S. government with the information necessary for visa processing. Procedures and forms may change over time, so it is important to check the official website of the US State Department or the website of the US Embassy or Consulate in your country for the most up-to-date information.

How to Fill and Download DS-160

The DS-160, also known as the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form, is designed for individuals seeking temporary travel to the United States or applying for K (fiance(e)) visas. This electronic form is submitted through the Department of State’s website via the Internet. Consular Officers rely on the data provided in the DS-160 to evaluate visa applications, alongside a personal interview, to assess an applicant’s eligibility for a nonimmigrant visa. 

DS 160: US Online Non-immigrant Visa Application Form

You will need to complete and submit the DS-160 form online through the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website. 

ou may wish to preview a sample DS-160 (10.1MB) before beginning.

Here are the steps to Fill DS160:

Step 1. Access the CEAC website: Visit the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website at https://ceac.state.gov.

Step 2. Create or log in to your account: If you already have a CEAC account, you can log in using your existing credentials. If you do not have an account, you will need to create one. Make sure to save your login information for future reference.

Step 3. Start a new application: Once you’re logged in, you can start a new DS-160 application by clicking on the “DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application” option.

Step 4. Complete the form: The DS-160 form is a detailed application that asks for personal information, travel history, employment history, and other relevant details. Be prepared to provide accurate and complete information.

Step 5. Upload a passport-sized photo: You will be required to upload a passport-sized photo of yourself during the application process. Ensure that the photo meets the specified requirements.

Step 6. Review and submit: After completing all the sections of the DS-160 form, carefully review the information for accuracy. Once you are satisfied that everything is correct, click the “Sign and Submit Application” button.

Step 7. Pay the application fee: Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, you will need to pay a non-refundable visa application fee. The fee can be paid online using various payment methods, such as credit card or electronic funds transfer.

Step 8. Print the DS-160 confirmation page: After successfully submitting your DS-160 form and paying the fee, you will be able to print the DS-160 confirmation page. This page contains a barcode and confirmation number, which you will need for your visa interview.

Step 9. Schedule a visa interview: Visit the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you plan to apply for a visa to schedule your visa interview. You will be required to provide your DS-160 confirmation number during the interview scheduling process.

Important Notice to Visa Applicants: After you have completed the DS-160, you must take the next steps below:

1. Save the DS-160 barcode page for your records. (No need to print the entire application.)

2. You are responsible for scheduling your visa interview appointment. (The U.S. Embassy or Consulate does not arrange appointments on your behalf.) Please visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for location-specific guidelines.

3. Make the required visa application processing fee payment. Refer to country-specific instructions available on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for details.

Remember to keep a copy of your DS-160 confirmation page and the confirmation number for your records and for use during the visa application process. Be prepared to bring the confirmation page to your visa interview and any other supporting documentation requested by the U.S. embassy or consulate.

You should have the following documents available while you complete your DS-160:

  • Passport
  • Travel itinerary, if you have already made travel arrangements.
  • Dates of your last five visits or trips to the United States, if you have previously travelled to the United States. You may also be asked for your international travel history for the past five years.
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae – You may be required to provide information about your current and previous education and work history.
  • Other Information – Some applicants, depending on the intended purpose of travel, will be asked to provide additional information when completing the DS-160.

Some applicants will need to have additional information and documents handy while completing the DS-160:

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

Most questions on the application form are compulsory and must be filled out in the designated fields. You can skip questions that are marked as ‘optional.’ When a question is irrelevant to your situation, you may respond with ‘Does Not Apply.’ However, it’s essential to provide answers to all other questions. 

The system will not permit you to submit your application if any mandatory questions remain unanswered. If you omit a required question, the system will show an error message, prompting you to complete it before proceeding with the application. Failure to answer questions relevant to your circumstances and travel purpose will result in the system rejecting your application.

The U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply for your visa can access your DS-160 form by scanning the barcode found on your DS-160 confirmation page, which you must bring to your visa interview. For instance, suppose a business traveler initially selects City X as the location for submitting his DS-160 application when planning to apply at the U.S. Embassy in City X.

 However, due to a sudden business need, he must travel to City Y. In this case, he can schedule a visa interview at the U.S. Consulate in City Y and use the barcode from his completed DS-160 application for appointment scheduling. The U.S. Consulate in City Y can accept his DS-160, even though it originally indicated the U.S. Embassy in City X as the intended submission location.

Correcting a US DS-160 after submission

Identifying and Correcting Errors on Your DS-160 Application

There are two types of errors that may occur on your DS-160 application: material and immaterial errors.

Material Errors: These errors could have significant consequences for your visa issuance. They include mistakes in biographical information (e.g., name or birth date) and information that affects your eligibility (e.g., the number of dependents in the U.S. or security-related information). It’s crucial to correct material errors promptly.

Immaterial Errors: These errors are less critical and might not substantially impact your visa application. Examples include minor mistakes like misspelling a past employer’s address or slightly inaccurate travel dates. While it’s advisable to correct immaterial errors, they might not be deal-breakers if left uncorrected.

Correcting DS-160 Errors

The process for correcting DS-160 errors depends on when you notice the mistake:

Correcting DS-160 Within 30 Days of Submission:

1. Go to the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website.

2. Click on “Retrieve an Application” and enter your DS-160 application ID, found at the top right of your submitted application.

3. Follow the prompts and select “Create an Application” to access your submitted form.

4. Correct the errors and thoroughly review the application for accuracy.

5. Electronically re-sign and submit the corrected application.

6. You will receive a new confirmation page with a barcode. Print this and bring it to your U.S. Embassy/Consulate interview.

Correcting DS-160 More Than 30 Days After Submission (Original Application Saved):

1. Visit the CEAC website.

2. Select “DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application.”

3. Choose the relevant embassy or consulate from the drop-down menu.

4. Click “Upload an Application.”

5. Locate and upload the saved copy of your original application.

6. Make all necessary corrections, save, and submit the updated application.

7. Print the new confirmation page with the updated barcode and bring it to your interview.

Correcting DS-160 More Than 30 Days After Submission (Original Application Not Saved):

1. Visit the CEAC website.

2. Complete a new DS-160 application with the corrected information.

3. Print the confirmation page from the new application and retain a copy for your records.

Visa Interview Considerations:

– If you scheduled your interview or paid the visa application fee before making corrections, bring confirmation pages from both the original and corrected applications.

– If you haven’t scheduled your interview or paid the fee, you may only need the confirmation page from the corrected version, but it’s wise to carry both.

– If you discover an error during your Embassy/Consulate visit, inform a staff member. They can assess the seriousness of the mistake and advise you accordingly.

– In some cases, the consulate may make corrections in their database without altering your application. In other instances, you may be guided to create a new application.

Consular policies may vary, so always be prepared for different scenarios during your visa application process.

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