The US Visa policies require that anyone who applies for a Nonimmigrant visa has to fill a DS-160 form online. This form has to be filled online only. No printouts or other hard copies will be accepted by the Visa officials. All the applicants including children should have their own DS-160 form. At the beginning of the form you will be asked to apply to an Embassy/Consulate close to their state of residence. The Consulate/Embassy the applicants select at the beginning of the application must be the same post where they plan to schedule the interview.
Exceptions: If the request is for a K- visa (K-1, K-2, K-3, K-4) the applicant is required to fill DS-156 and DS-156 K forms. The types of K-visas are:
K-1- Fiance of a US citizen
K-2 Child of K-1
K-3 spouse of a US citizen
K-4 Child of K-3
E-Visa: A Treaty Investor (E-2) applicant will need to complete only DS-160. If the application is a Treaty Trader (E-1) or Executive/ Manager/ Essential Employee then the applicant must complete the DS-160 and the applicant or the employer must fill the DS-156E form.
Filling the DS-160 form is the first step in applying for the US Nonimmigrant Visa. The ten-digit barcode on the confirmation page of the DS-160 form is required to take the interview appointment.
The DS-160 form can be found on here.
Information required before you start filling the DS-160 form:
- The Consulate/Embassy you want to apply to for US visa
- Passport details (First name and Last name on the passport, date of birth, date and place of issue, passport number, expiration date etc)
- A digital photograph of the applicant
- Address of the residence in US
- Name and address of relatives in USA (if any)
- Information about the family of the applicant
- Date of the last trip to US
Technical requirements before filling the DS-160 form:
- The minimum version of Internet Explorer (Windows) must be version 5.0 service pack 2 or higher
- The minimum version of Netscape must be version 6.2 or higher
- It is recommended to have a laser printer connected to system so you can take a printout of the confirmation page. You can also take a screenshot (Shift + Prt Sc button) and paste it in a Word file to print later
You must answer all the questions completely and truthfully. All the questions are mandatory unless marked optional. The system will not allow you to submit the form until all the mandatory questions are answered.
You have to answer all the questions in English unless you are specifically asked to submit your name in your native language. Otherwise only English characters should be used to answer the questions. To have a better understanding of the questions, translations of those questions will be available in the drop down menu on the right side of the form.
Documents required to fill the DS-160 Form
You will require your passport, dates of the last 5 trips made to US, travel itinerary (if decided), and resume.
3rd person filling the DS-160 US Visa Application Form
The applications of applicants under the age of 16 can be submitted by their parents or guardians. In case the applicant has no parent or guardian then whoever is legally responsible for the applicant can submit the form.
If the applicant is illiterate or physically unable to complete the application then a third party can fill the form. The third party has to acknowledge it on the “Sign and Submit” page of the application. But the information filled in the DS-160 form is the applicant’s responsibility when he or she signs the “Sign Application” button.
Importance of the Application ID
If the application page is idle for more than 20 minutes the session will expire. You can save your application to the local hard drive in your computer or on a disc. But saving your application ID is also very important. It is displayed on the top right-hand corner of the page. Application ID is useful in certain contingencies like:
- Submitting a partially filled form: If you have partially filled the DS-160 form, you can fill it later by saving your application ID. You must fill the form within 30 days. To access it after 30 days you must save it on your hard drive or a disk.
- Power outage: In case the power goes out or something goes wrong with your computer, or your application times out, you can retrieve all the information you already filled through your application ID. Once your application has been retrieved, it will return to the last page you filled. If required, you will be able to edit the previous pages.
- Lost confirmation page: In case you have lost your confirmation page you can retrieve it using your application ID.