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Your Detailed Guide to Form DS-160
Blurred image of U.S. Department of State homepage on a computer monitor.

In this blog, you will find the following details:

  • What is DS-160?
  • How to fill DS 160 online?
  • Documents and Guidelines for DS-160 Form

DS 160 Form: an Overview

Form DS-160 is an electronic version of the application form that must be filled out by every foreigner wishing to obtain a non-immigrant visa to work in the United States. The DS-160 has a set of questions concerning the following details about the applicant, such as:

  • Personal information
  • Passport details
  • Travel details
  • Contact details
  • Prior trips to the USA
  • Family, work experience, and education
  • Background

Before the personal interview appointment, the DS-160 form must be filled out, and a digital passport photo must be attached and submitted to the US Consulate in your area. The US Department of State (DOS) Form DS-160 is a replacement for non-immigrant forms such as:

  • DS-156, 157 & 158.
  • DS- 156 E, K, and V.

Most first-timers want to know where to file Form DS-160 or know about the DS 160 status. Since the DS-160 is available only in electronic form, it can only be found on the United States Department of State's official website.

Procedure to Fill DS 160 Form

Filling Form DS-160 is a simple task, which, however, requires ample care and attention to ensure the Form is filled without mistakes.

To fill DS 160, you must:

  • Visit the Consular Application Center's official website.
  • Create an account and login.
  • Answer the security query.
  • Answer the rest of the queries.
  • Upload your photo for DS-160 Form.
  • Submit the DS I 160 Form.
  • Take a printout of your DS-160 Barcode Page.

Important Pointers to Fill DS 160 Form Online

  • Ensure you have a reliable, strong, and uninterrupted internet connection to completely fill out the DS 160 non immigrant visa application.
  • The Form has numerous questions, and the application is divided into several sections to collect various kinds of information. Therefore, we recommend you read it fully.
  • The DS-160 questionnaire is extensive, comprising about 15 to 20 pages. Additional sections may appear depending on the kind of information you provide.

Also Read: Must-Know List of United States Immigration Forms

Steps to fill DS 160 non-immigrant visa application

Step 1: Select the section to apply for the visa you require. If this is your first application, please click on the Start an Application button.

Step 2: For online security reasons, answer the security query to get an individual application ID. Keep the answer to your security question answer in mind. You'll need it next time you log in.

Step 3: After you have completed the first two pages of the form, you must answer questions related to your application. There are four categories of questions:

1. Personal questions comprising details such as:

  • Full name and surname in the native alphabet.
  • Married Status.
  • Date of birth.
  • Place of birth.
  • Country of origin.
  • Other nationalities apart from that mentioned.
  • Home address
  • Personal and office phone numbers
  • Email address
  • Information about passport such as passport number, place and date of issuance, and expiration date.
  • Reasons for the US trip
  • Apart from your country of origin, do you have permanent residence in any other country?
  • Date, duration, and address of your stay and if you will be escorted by anyone if you have any special travel plans.
  • Have you previously visited the US, owned a US visa, been denied getting a US visa, or barred from entering the country?
  • If applicable, your point-of-information in the US, how you are related to them, and their residential address.

2. Family information-related questions

  • Parent's full names.
  • Spouse's name, place, and date of birth.
  • Names of relatives living in the US.

3. Employment, training information and education-related questions

  • Primary occupation, job responsibilities, address, job start date, and monthly remuneration in native currency.
  • Have you been previously employed?
  • Name of educational institutions attended at a secondary level or higher than that.
  • What are the languages you can speak?
  • Have you worked for or belonged/contributed to any organization that is professional, charitable?
  • Are you specialized with skills or the training to deal with explosives, firearms or any nuclear, chemical biological, or chemical experience?
  • Do you have any travel experience within the past five years?
  • Do you have experience serving in the military?
  • Have you ever been a member of, served, or been involved with a rebel/ guerilla group, paramilitary/ vigilante units or any in any rebel organizations?

4. Security-related queries

  • Miscellaneous information
  • Medical and Health Information
  • Immigration Law Violation Information

Important points to note:

  • It is mandatory to answer all questions on Form DS-160.
  • Kindly consult an immigration expert or attorney if you are unsure about answering "Yes" to any question.

Step 4: Upload your recent photo. Please ensure that it meets the given guidelines and that the picture doesn't exceed 240kb. If your photo fulfills the criteria, you will receive a green color tick with the notification, "Photo passed quality standards."

Step 5: Submit your Form. You will be notified about the location to submit your US non-immigrant visa petition.

Step 6: Click on the "Sign and Submit Application" button and sign the application. This is your first step to getting closer to acquiring your US non-immigrant visa.

Step 7: Print the DS-160 barcode and confirmation page. You must bring them both when you attend your visa interview. You will not be allowed to attend the interview without the DS-160 confirmation page.

Documents required for DS 160 Electronic Form

To complete DS 160 Form filling, you should have the following list of documents:

  • Travel itinerary
  • A valid passport
  • Dates of all international trips made in the previous five years, including your trips to the USA.
  • Form I-129 for Petition-based H1B temporary employees.
  • Previous and present educational certificates
  • Work history

Crucial Guidelines for Completing the DS 160 Form

The DS 160 instructions are hard and fast. Any mistakes and discrepancies may jeopardize your chances of obtaining your visa. Hence, please keep the following guidelines in mind while filling out the form.

  1. The interview post you select at the beginning of the DS-160 form must match the appointment site in your consular district.
  2. Provide accurate information and ensure your answers are only in English.
  3. Use "Does Not Apply" for fields that are not applicable.
  4. Avoid using special characters like A$, B1/4 because the system will not recognize them.
  5. Save your application to a permanent file on your computer if you have to be away from the application for more than twenty minutes. ( Your session will expire, and the data will be lost if your account is not active for more than twenty minutes.)
  6. Follow all the detailed guidelines on the US Department of State website for taking and submitting a quality photograph.
  7. Recheck all the information you've entered for accuracy.
  8. Bring the DS-160 alpha-numeric barcode confirmation page to the interview at your US Consulate or Embassy.

Conclusive Points

  • Each applicant, including children, requires a separate DS-160 visa application.
  • All fields are mandatory. Applications with blank or incomplete fields will not be accepted by the system.
  • Misrepresentation of facts could lead to you being barred from entering the US. Therefore, kindly double-check the Form before submitting it.

Want to know more about H1B and other US non-immigrant visas? Kindly follow our TechFetch H1B website.

**Disclaimer : All policies and procedures regarding US visas are subject to change. Kindly refer to the USCIS website for further information.**

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