10 Important Facts About Form DS-160 (Nonimmigrant US Visas)

For a US visa application to be successful, the DS-160 form must be filled out accurately. The form is not, however, viewed by most applicants as being a crucial step in the visa application process. The information might not convey specifics, such as the experience or other details, to the visa officer, frequently resulting in rejection.

On this page, we are going to talk about the 10 important points of DS-160 (and more), so read on.

1. What is DS-160 for US visas?

For temporary entry into the US, an online visa application form called DS-160, or more precisely Form DS-160, must be completed.

2. Which US visas require Form DS-160?

All nonimmigrant US visa categories, including K visas, require the completion and submission of a DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. Nonimmigrant visas allow for brief stays. Immigrant visas are for long-term residence in the nation.

Certain US Visas that require DS-160
Standard visas BB-1: Athlete, amateur or professional (competing for prize money only)
B-1: Business visitor
B-2: Medical treatment, visitor for
B-2: Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitor
CTransiting the United States
DCrewmember
FStudent (academic)
GAn employee of a designated international organization
IMedia, journalist
JProfessor, scholar, teacher (exchange visitor)
MStudent (vocational)
QInternational cultural exchange visitor
Diplomat or foreign government official
Treaty trader/treaty investor
H-1B Specialty occupations and fashion models 
K-1Fiancé(e)
LIntracompany transferee
OIndividuals with extraordinary ability or achievement 
PInternationally recognized athletes, artists or entertainers
Non- Principal Applicants Spouse/child of individuals selecting certain visa types.

3. What are the top 5 common errors when filling up the DS-160 form?

As per the official data, common errors in filling up DS-160 are –

  1. Selecting the wrong visa type,
  2. Not giving the current home address correctly,
  3. Withholding or not disclosing complete information on prior travel to the US,
  4. Misinforming about other foreign travel within the past five years, and
  5. Making an error in giving the name of the person or organization (if applicable) that has prepared the DS-160 application as your representative.

4. How long does a DS 160 take to process?

Your Form DS-160 online submission will take approximately 90 minutes.

5. Where do I get my DS-160 form?

The US Department of State Consular Electronic Application Centre’s website is where you can fill out Form DS-160.

Is there a limit on the number of days DS-160 must be completed?

It will be your responsibility to finish the DS-160 application within 30 days of starting it.

7. What if I can’t complete my DS-160 within 30 days?

If you don’t intend to finish your application within the next 30 days for any reason, you must download it to your computer by clicking the SAVE button near the bottom of the page you just finished. Pay attention to the directions. If you are prepared to finish your application, click UPLOAD AN APPLICATION.

8. Do I have to take a printout of my complete Form DS-160 to my US visa interview?

It will be necessary to bring the confirmation page with the Application ID number (for instance, AA00911JX9) to the visa interview. At every stage of the application for a US visa, the DS-160 confirmation page is necessary. The confirmation page is necessary for processing your visa application.

9. What documents are required for DS-160?

You must have specific documents with you when completing your DS-160 form online.

Documents Required for DS-160
General documentsPassportTravel itinerary (if travel arrangements have already been made)Dates of prior trips to the US, if traveling to the US in the pastInternational travel history for the previous five yearsCurriculum vitae or resume, information about education and work history may have to be providedOther information may be required depending on the intended purpose of travel.
Additional Specific documentsFor students and exchange visitors – F, M, JForm I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, will be printed with this information. SEVIS IDAddress of the school/program of intended study abroad in the US.
For petition-based US visas, such as – H-1B, L, O, etc.Copy of your completed Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
Other temporary workersInformation about your US employer, including address.

10. How to fill up Form DS-160?

To understand the requirements and what to anticipate from the online application process, it is advised to read the US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs – Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application DS-160 Exemplar.

The basic stepwise process for submitting your DS-160 form is given below.

DS-160 form – How to fill up?
Sign upStarting point: Decide where you will be applying. If a digital photo is required, you will be prompted to upload one.
Upload a previous application / Retrieve an applicationIn case you already have an application installed on the system, provide the file path to the file that was previously saved as your application. A different option is to retrieve an application from the ID given.
Application informationYou will be asked a security question. Please be aware that you must type the response exactly as you did at this time if you want it to be saved for later use. Please enter your contact information as prompted.
Travel informationYou will be questioned about your specific plans and the person/entity who is funding your trip to the US.
Travel companions informationYou will be asked whether you will be travelling -With another person, orAs part of a group or organization.
Previous US travel informationQuestions asked include -Have you ever been to the US?Have you ever been issued a US visa?
Address and phone informationIncluded is a list of social media platforms. If you have a social media presence, you must mention it and list the networks you use, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
Passport informationGive the details as needed.
US Point of Contact InformationMention your contact person or organization in the US.
Family InformationAlong with information about your immediate family, you will also be asked if you have any other immediate relatives living in the US besides your parents. You will be asked for information about your -RelativesSpousePartnerFiancé / fiancéeFormer spouse (if applicable)Deceased spouse (if applicable)Children.
Present Work / Education / Training InformationYou’ll be questioned about things like your primary occupation, current employer, or school, as well as your salary in local currency if you have a job.
Security and BackgroundPart 1 to Part 5 to be filled up.
An additional point of contactFor all F, M, and J visa applicants.
SEVIS informationFor all F, M, and J visa applicants.
Temporary work visa informationIf applicable.
Photo uploadTo be as .jpg (JPEG file format), not more than 240 Kb in size.
Application ReviewThe paperwork for your nonimmigrant visa has been submitted. Before submitting your application, you can now review the data. You will be taken to the Sign and Submit page after reading through every section.
Sign and SubmitElectronically signing the application is mandatory.Do keep in mind that additional information might be asked for after a review of your application.

In conclusion

The initial stage of obtaining a visa to enter the US for a brief visit is called DS-160. Your DS-160 form will need to be submitted online in about 90 minutes. You can only schedule your visa interview once your DS-160 has been successfully submitted.

Other FAQs

Why do I have to submit DS-160?

Consular representatives process applicants’ requests for temporary US visas using the data they provide on Form DS-160. The DS-160 and the in-person US visa interview are what determine whether an applicant is qualified for a nonimmigrant visa to the US.

What are K visas for the US?

The foreign-born fiance(e) of a US citizen may enter the country on a K-1 visa, a nonimmigrant visa, and get married to them within 90 days of arriving. It will be necessary to change your status to “Lawful Permanent Resident” (LPR). Children of K-1 visa holders who qualify may apply for K-2 visas.

Can I apply as a group for DS-160?

If you are traveling to the US as a family or in a group, you can submit a family/group application. You have the choice of making a family or group application. Please be aware that each family member or member of the group will need to submit a separate application.

What are the digital photo requirements for DS-160?

For the DS-160 form, your digital photo must be –

  •  In colour
  •  Taken within the previous six months
  •  Showing your full face, directly facing the camera
  •  With both your eyes open, no eyeglasses are allowed
  •  Exactly 2 x 2 inches (51 mm x 51 mm) in size
  •  With your head 50% to 69% of the total height of the image
  •  Taken before a plain background that is either white or off-white
  •  With a neutral expression
  •  Taken in clothing, you would typically wear daily

Can I submit multiple DS-160?

Although it is possible to submit more than one DS-160 form, it is not recommended. It is not advisable to submit multiple applications at once. Multiple filings can lead to numerous issues. You can clarify the need for a subsequent update in the DS-160 form at the time of the visa interview before the visa officer asks you to do so.

Are all DS-160 questions compulsory?

Most of the inquiries must be properly answered and are mandatory. If a field is marked as OPTIONAL, blank spaces may be left. When a question does not apply to you, you can similarly respond with a DOES NOT APPLY.

How long is a DS-160 valid for?

A confirmation page with a barcode will be shown after you have correctly entered all the necessary information. As long as the information provided is accurate, the barcode, which may be used only once, will be valid. The generation of a new barcode results from updating your DS-160 form.

How do I submit my DS-160 form?

Form DS-160 is to be submitted online (via the internet) to the US Department of State website.

What is the difference between DS-160 and DS-260?

As the first step in the process of applying for a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa for the United States, DS-160 is an online nonimmigrant visa application that must be completed. A form for online immigrant visa application and registration is the DS-260, on the other hand. For all immigrant visa applications, Form DS-260 took the place of the Form DS-230 on paper.

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