The Form DS-160 is the electronic application form for the US nonimmigrant visa. It is a fully online form, which must be completed by every applicant wishing to get a nonimmigrant visa for the US. The form contains questions on your personal information, contact details, passport and travel information, previous trips to the United States (if any), family information as well as questions about your education and work experience.
In addition, the US visa application DS 160 form also asks security-related questions on your background and asks you to upload your face image.
DS-160 Form Filling Instructions
Completing a DS 160 online application form is not a hard task. You should follow a few simple steps and pay attention to your answers so you fill the DS 160 form online correctly, without making any mistakes.
Where to Fill Form DS 160?
First, you should know where to fill form DS 160. You can access it at the Consular Electronic Application Center website.
However, you could use the services of a third-party company such as TravelAssist to assist you with filing this form.
Documents You Need to Complete DS 160 Electronic Form
Secondly, collect a few documents, and keep them close to you while you complete the application form. Since there are many questions about the information that you may not know by heart, you will have to look at these documents when filling in the form.
- Your valid passport.
- Travel itinerary.
- Dates of every international trip you have made in your last five years, including to the US.
- Information on your current and previous education and work history.
Additionally, when applying for some particular US nonimmigrant visas, you may need to keep close to you some additional documents. These are:
- Students and Exchange Visitors (F, J, and M) – you will need your SEVIS ID and the address of the school/program at which you intend to study. This information should 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 will need a copy of your I-129 form.
- Other Temporary Workers – you will need to have ready information on your future employer, including their address.
Next, log in and start completing the form. Make sure you have a strong internet connection and enough time, before you start. Do not complete the DS 160 electronic form in a hurry, as you may miss stuff. You will have several questions to answer, so take your time.
First, you must select the location where you will apply for your visa. Then, click on “Start an Application” button if this is your first application.
Complete the security question
You need to complete this part to get a unique application ID and for online security reasons. Choose a security question and remember the answer that you provide. You may need it for your next log in.
Start answering the questions
After completing the first two pages of the application form, you will then start to answer questions regarding your application. The questions are grouped into four categories:
- Personal questions.
- Family information.
- Work/education/training information.
- Security-related questions.
Following, find all of the DS 160 application form questions:
- Name & surname.
- Full name in native alphabet.
- Marital Status.
- Date and place of birth.
- Country of origin.
- Do you have any other nationality other than the one indicated?
- Are you a permanent resident in any other country aside from your country of origin?
- Home Address.
- Phone number – work and personal.
- Email address.
- Passport information: Number, date of place of issuance, date of expiration.
- Purpose of the trip to the US (you may have to specify that).
- Do you have specific travel plans? If yes you will need to give the intended date of arrival, length and address where you will stay, and whether you will be accompanied by someone.
- Information on previous trips to the US: If you have ever been to the US, ever held a US visa, or were rejected from getting a visa or refused entry to the US.
- US point of information, if applicable – their relationship to you and home address.
- Parents’ given full names.
- Do you have any relatives in the US?
- Your spouse’s name, date and place of birth.
- Primary occupation, address, start date, monthly salary in local currency, and briefly describe your duties
- Were you previously employed?
- Have you attended any education institutions at a secondary level or above?
- Which languages do you speak?
- Have you traveled within the last five years?
- Have you belonged to, contributed to or worked for any professional, social or charitable organization?
- Do you have any specialized skills or training, such as firearms, explosives, nuclear, biological or chemical experience?
- Have you ever served in the military
- Have you ever served in, been a member of or been involved with a paramilitary unit, vigilante unit, rebel group, guerrilla group or insurgent organization?
- Do you have a communicable disease of public health significance? Communicable diseases of public significance include: chancroid, gonorrhea, granuloma inguinale, infectious leprosy, lymphogranuloma venereum, infectious stage syphilis, active tuberculosis, and others diseases as determined by the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Do you have a mental or physical disorder that poses or is likely to pose a threat to the safety or welfare of yourself or others?
- Are you or have you ever been a drug abuser or addict?
- Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, even though you are subject to a pardon, amnesty, or other similar action? This includes all arrests or detentions, including those at the border and by Customs and Border Patrol.
- Have you ever violated, or engaged in a conspiracy to violate, any law relating to controlled substances?
- Are you coming to the United States to engage in prostitution or unlawful commercialized vice, or have you been engaged in prostitution or procuring prostitutes within the past 10 years?
- Have you ever been involved in, or do you seek to engage in, money laundering?
- Have you ever committed or conspired to commit a human trafficking offense in the United States or outside the United States?
- Have you ever knowingly aided, abetted, assisted, or colluded with an individual who has committed or conspired to commit a severe human trafficking offense in the United States or outside the United States?
- Are you the spouse, son, or daughter of an individual who has committed or conspired to commit a human trafficking offense in the United States or outside the United States, and have you, within the last five years, knowingly benefited from the trafficking activities?
- Are you the spouse, son, or daughter of an individual who has been identified by the President of the United States as person who plays a significant role in a severe form of trafficking in persons, and have you, within the last five years, knowingly benefited from the trafficking activities?
- Are you the spouse, son, or daughter of an individual who has violated any controlled substance trafficking law, and have knowingly benefited from the trafficking activities in the past five years?
- Do you seek to engage in espionage, sabotage, export control violations, or any other illegal activity while in the United States?
- Do you seek to engage in terrorist activities while in the United States, or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities?
- Have you ever, or do you intend, to provide financial assistance or other support to terrorists or terrorist organizations?
- Are you a member or representative of a terrorist organization?
- Have you ever ordered, incited, committed, assisted, or otherwise participated in genocide?
- Have you ever committed, ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in torture?
- Have you committed, ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in extrajudicial killings, political killings, or other acts of violence?
- Have you ever engaged in the recruitment or the use of child soldiers?
- Have you, while serving as a government official, been responsible for or directly carried out, at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom?
- Have you ever been directly involved in the establishment or enforcement of population controls: forcing a woman to undergo an abortion against her free choice or a man or a woman to undergo sterilization against his or her free will?
- Have you ever been directly involved in the coercive transplantation of human organs or bodily tissue?
- Have you ever sought to obtain or assist others to obtain a visa, entry into the United States, or any other United States immigration benefit by fraud, willful misrepresentation, or other unlawful means?
- Have you ever withheld custody of a U.S. citizen child outside the United States from a person granted legal custody by a U.S. court?
- Have you voted in the United States in violation of any law or regulation?
- Have you ever renounced United States citizenship for the purpose of avoiding taxation?
Upload DS-160 Form Photo
At the very end of the DS-160 form, you will need to upload a digital photo of your face. The photo should be taken within the last 6 months, and meet the other US Visa photo requirements and specifications.
Note that to be able to upload the photo, it must be 240kb or less. After you upload it, if the photo meets the guidelines, you will see a green tick and the confirmation “Photo passed quality standards”.
Submit the Form
After you successfully upload the photo, you will receive the location where you should submit your application for a US nonimmigrant visa. Memorize the location, or even better write it somewhere.
You will then need to electronically sign the application. You can do so by clicking on the “Sign and Submit Application”.
Thus, you will successfully complete the first step of your application for a US nonimmigrant visa.
Print DS-160 Barcode Page
Once you are done, you will be presented with a confirmation page, which you need to print, and bring with you on the day of your US visa interview. Without DS-160 form confirmation you will be unable to attend your interview.
DS 160 Form Validity
The DS 160 form is valid for 30 days from the day you start completing it. Therefore, if you start applying on January 1, the DS 160 form expiration date will by January 31. Make sure you complete the form on time, or else you will need to start it from the begging.
DS 160 Form Visa Fee
There is no DS 160 form fee payment. However, you will need to pay the fee for the US visa you are applying for. Fees for most US nonimmigrant visas are $160, though there are also higher ones. You can check here all US visa fees.
Frequently asked Questions
What is DS 160 confirmation number?
The DS 160 confirmation number is the number you receive once you complete the form, sign and submit it. The number serves as a confirmation that you have completed this step.
Can DS 160 form be edited after submission?
DS 160 form correction after submission is not possible once you have signed and submitted it. Yet, you can make a DS 160 form edit in two ways.
- If you submitted the form within the last 30 days you can just retrieve your application at the Consular Electronic Application Center system and edit it.
- The other way is two fill in a completely new application. You must bring confirmation pages from both the original and revised Form DS-160 on the day of your appointment.
How to retrieve DS 160 form after submission?
You will be able to retrieve your DS 160 form visa application within 30 days since the day you signed and submitted your application. Follow the steps below:
- Log into the Consular Electronic Application Center system.
- Enter the application identification number.
- Select “Retrieve an Application”.
- Create a new application, which will cause the entire prior application to appear.
- Edit the information as needed.
- Re-submit the application.
Should I print the whole application?
No, you do not need to print the whole application form. You only need to print the DS 160 Form confirmation page, without which, you would be unable to submit your application file or attend the visa interview.