DS-160

Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments and blog on immigration.com.

Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments and blog on immigration.com.

Visa Categories Not Using the DS-160

Detailed question:

Are there any visa categories for which I should not fill out the DS-160?

Answer:

Yes. If you are applying for a visa in any of the categories below, you should complete the DS-156, not the DS-160. You must also complete the DS-156K if you are applying for a K-1 visa.  If required, you should also complete the DS-157 and DS-158.


Visa Symbol                          Category


K-1                                  Fiancé(e) of a U.S. Citizen


K-2                                  Child of a K-1


K-3                                  Spouse of a U.S. Citizen


K-4                                  Child of a K-3


 

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Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor, E Visa Applicants

Detailed question:

I am applying for a Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor, E Visa. Do I need to fill out the DS-160 and the DS-156E?

Answer:

It depends. If you are a Treaty Investor (E-2) applicant, you need only complete the DS-160. If you are a Treaty Trader (E-1) or an Executive/Manager/Essential Employee (E-1 or E-2), you must complete the DS-160, and you or your employer must complete the paper DS-156E form.

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Alter Family or Group Applications

Detailed question:

If I use the option on the "Thank You" page to create a family or group application, can I modify the data automatically populated by the system?

Answer:

Yes. If one of the dependents has a different surname or nationality, for example, you can alter that data before submitting the application.

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Family or Group Applications

Detailed question:

I am traveling with my family or as part of a group. Can I create a family or group application?

Answer:

Yes. On the “Thank You” page you will see an option to create a family or group application. When you select this option, certain information from your application, such as destination, will automatically be imported to and displayed on a new application. Please note that if you use this option you must create an individual application for each family member or for each individual within the group.

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Reprint the confirmation page

Detailed question:

I submitted my online DS-160 application, but lost my confirmation page. Can I print a new one?

Answer:

Yes, you can reprint the confirmation page of an application that has already been submitted. In order to do so, go into the Consular Electronic Application Center website and select the Embassy or Consulate at which you are applying. Hit “Option C-Retrieve Application” on the Getting Started page and enter your application ID number. From there you will be able to view and print your confirmation page.

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DS-160 Confirmation Page

Detailed question:

Should I bring my entire application or just the confirmation page with me to the interview?

Answer:

You are not required to bring your entire application. For your interview, you are required to bring your confirmation page with your application ID number on it so we can retrieve your DS-160. You must bring the confirmation page with you during all phases of the application process. Without the confirmation page, we may not be able to process your visa case.

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Scheduling a new appointment after completing DS-160

Detailed question:

After I have corrected or completed my DS-160 application, do I need to schedule a new appointment or return to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

Answer:

Contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you applied for specific instructions.

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Correcting Answers on a Submitted DS-160

Detailed question:

The U.S. Embassy or Consulate where I went for my visa interview denied my application because my DS-160 contained errors or was incomplete. What does this mean and what do I need to do next?

Answer:

DS-160 applications submitted before April 1, 2010 cannot be reopened, and therefore, you must complete and submit a new DS-160.The Embassy or Consulate should reopen your DS-160 submitted after April 1, 2010 if your application is denied for this reason and ask you to correct it, as explained below:
DS-160 applications submitted on or after November 1, 2010: Enter your application ID number and answer additional questions as prompted to access and correct your application. 
DS-160 applications submitted on or after April 1, 2010, but before November 1, 2010: Enter your barcode or confirmation number into the Application ID field and answer additional questions as prompted to access and correct your application.

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DS-160 confirmation page and uploading photo

Detailed question:

The confirmation page has an "X" in the box where the photo should be. What does that mean?

Answer:

That means that the photo upload failed. Therefore, you should submit one printed photograph meeting our requirements, along with the online DS-160 confirmation page, to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at which you plan to apply for your visa. Please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you are applying for specific instructions on how to do this. See the print photo format found in the Nonimmigrant Photograph Requirements for more information. If the confirmation page includes a photo image, then the photo upload function was successful and no separate print photograph is required.

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Uploading a Photo to your DS-160

Detailed question:

I understand that I can upload a photo with my application. How do I get a digital photo that will successfully upload to my application?

Answer:

Please refer to the Guidelines for Photographs - for Online Visa Applications for detailed guidance.

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Reusing the DS-160 on your computer

Detailed question:

I apply for U.S. visas often. Can I reuse the DS-160?

Answer:

Yes. To do so, you must save your DS-160 to your computer’s hard drive or a disk. You can then access it to update and resubmit your application.

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Data changes on DS-160

Detailed question:

Why did the edits I made from the review page "edit" link not save?

Answer:

In order for data changes made from the review page links to save, you must use the buttons at the bottom of each page to navigate, instead of the browser's back/forward buttons or the buttons along the side of the screen.

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Application “times out,” or error received while saving DS-160

Detailed question:

What if I lose my internet connection, the application “times out,” or I receive an error? Will my application be lost?

Answer:

All information is automatically saved when each page is completed, so your application will not be lost. You will need to enter the application ID number, and answer other questions as prompted, to retrieve your application. Once your application has been retrieved, it will begin at the last page you completed. You will be able to edit previous pages, if needed.

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Saving DS-160 application on a computer

Detailed question:

How do I save my DS-160 application to my computer hard drive or a disk?

Answer:

Saving to a hard drive or disk will allow you to be able to access your application after 30 days. To permanently save your application to your computer hard drive or a disk, select the “Save Application to File” button. Then, click the “Save” button on the File Download window. Identify a place on your computer to save the application file, browse to that location, and click the “Save” button on the “Save As” window. The system will download your application to the specified location. Once the download is complete, you can click “Close” to return to the application. You can then use the “Import Application Date” option on the “Getting Started” page to upload the data that you have already entered.

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Accessing partially completed DS-160 application

Detailed question:

Can I access a partially completed DS-160 application I started before November 1, 2010, but did not submit?

Answer:

Yes, but only for 30 days. You must enter your barcode or confirmation number into the Application ID field, and provide other information as prompted. To access your application after 30 days, you must save it to your computer hard drive or a disk.


Applications started before April 1, 2010, but not submitted, cannot be accessed.

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Saving your DS-160 application

Detailed question:

How can I save my application? Can I stop in the middle of the application and return to it later?

Answer:

As of November 1, 2010, you can save your application, or return to a partially completed application. When you begin a new DS-160, you will be issued a unique application identification (ID) number, after selecting and answering a security question. Once you have your application ID number and have selected and answered a security question, you may exit the DS-160 application and return to it later. You must have your application ID to return to your application. To save your DS-160 to the Consular Electronic Application Center website, click the “Next” button at the bottom of each page you complete. You have 30 days to return to a partially completed application.

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DS-160 and third party signature

Detailed question:

Can a third party complete the form on my behalf? Who is exempt from signing the form?

Answer:

If an applicant is illiterate or unable to complete the application, the applicant must be assisted by a third party. The third party must be identified on the “Sign and Submit” page of the application. While the third party can assist the applicant in completing the application, he or she must instruct the applicant on how to endorse the application on his or her own behalf by clicking the “Sign Application” button.


If the applicant is under the age of 16 or physically incapable of completing an application, the applicant’s parents or guardian may complete and click the “Sign Application” button on his or her behalf. If the applicant has no parent or legal guardian, then the application may be completed by any person having legal custody of, or a legitimate interest in, the applicant.

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DS-160 form Signature

Detailed question:

How do I sign the DS-160 form?

Answer:

You electronically sign your DS-160 by clicking the “Sign Application” button at the end of the form. Failure to sign may result in termination of the application. Your electronic signature certifies that you have read and understood the questions in the application and that your answers are true and correct to the best of your knowledge and belief. The submission of an application containing any false or misleading statements may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the United States. All declarations made in the application are unsworn declarations made under penalty of perjury.


Unless you are exempted from appearing in person, your fingerprints will be electronically scanned on the day of your interview. By providing your fingerprints, you will again certify that that you have answered all questions on the DS-160 truthfully and to the best of your knowledge, and that you will tell the truth during your visa interview. You will be directed to read the following statement prior to having your fingerprints scanned:


“By submitting my fingerprint, I am certifying under penalty of perjury that I have read and understood the questions in my visa application and that all statements that appear in my visa application have been made by me and are true and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief.


Furthermore, I certify under penalty of perjury that I will tell the truth during my interview and that all statements made by me during my interview will be complete to the best of my ability.”

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Principal applicant while completing DS-160

Detailed question:

The form asks if I am the principal applicant. What is a principal applicant?

Answer:

If you, or your family, are applying for B-1, B-2, or B1/B2 visas, you are all considered principal applicants, and each of you should select that box.


Applicants in the E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, or R visa categories may have a principal applicant as well as what is called derivative applicants. Derivative applicants are the spouse and/or children under the age of 21 of a person applying for an employment type (E, H, I, L, O, P, R), exchange (J), or student (F, M) visa, as listed above. These spouse and child (derivative) applicants should answer “no” to this question and provide the requested information for the principal applicant (the spouse or parent).

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Providing the name of a contact or organization while completing DS-160

Detailed question:

The form asks that I provide the name of a contact or organization and a phone number, but I am not visiting anyone in the United States.

Answer:

If you do not know anyone personally in the United States, but you are traveling here to visit a particular store, company, or organization, you may provide the name of the store, company, or organization you intend to visit. Otherwise, you may select “Does not apply.”

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Passport Book Number while completing DS-160

Detailed question:

The form asks for my Passport Book Number, but I am not sure if I have one.

Answer:

While all passports contain passport numbers, not all passports contain book numbers, so this question will only apply to citizens from some countries. If your country of citizenship or nationality does not issue passports with book numbers, you should select “Does not apply.” You may check with your country’s passport issuing office to verify whether or not your passport has a book number, separate from the passport number.

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Home phone number while completing DS-160

Detailed question:

The form asks for my home phone number, but I do not have one.

Answer:

You should provide at least one contact phone number, so that the U.S. Embassy or Consulate can contact you by phone, if necessary. If you have provided a mobile or cell phone number, you may enter “Does not apply” for home phone number.

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Social Security number or a taxpayer identification number while completing DS-160

Detailed question:

What do I enter for U.S. Social Security Number and/or U.S. Taxpayer ID Number?

Answer:

Applicants, who have worked in the United States, as well as others, will have Social Security numbers or taxpayer identification numbers. If you do not have a Social Security number or a taxpayer identification number, select “Does not apply”.

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National Identification Number and DS-160

Detailed question:

I do not have a National Identification Number. How should I answer this question?

Answer:

If you are a citizen of a country that does not issue national identification numbers, select “Does not apply.”

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Selecting U.S. Embassy or Consulate while completing DS-160

Detailed question:

What happens to my DS-160 if I select a U.S. Embassy or Consulate where I will be applying for my visa, but end up making an interview appointment instead at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

Answer:

The Embassy or Consulate at which you actually apply should be able to access your form using the barcode on your DS-160 confirmation page, which you must bring to the visa interview. For example, a business traveler intends to apply for his visa at the U.S. Embassy in City X, so he selects City X as the location where he will submit his application when he completes his DS-160. He then has an urgent reason to travel to City Y on business. Because there is a U.S. Consulate in City Y, he schedules an appointment for a visa interview there, using the barcode from his completed DS-160 application for appointment scheduling. The U.S. Consulate in City Y is able to accept his DS-160 even though it lists the U.S. Embassy in City X as the location where he originally intended to submit his application.

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DS-160 and additional forms

Detailed question:

When I apply for a nonimmigrant visa using the online DS-160, are additional forms required?

Answer:

No. The online DS-160 application replaced the DS-156, DS-157, DS-158, and DS-3032, which are no longer necessary. NOTE: In addition to the DS-160, Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor visa applicants also must complete an additional form (see the Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor, E Visa Applicants section below for more information). Only applicants for K, N, S, T, or U visas should use the DS-156 application form (see the Visa Categories Not Using the DS-160 section below for more information).

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Mandatory questions on the DS-160

Detailed question:

Are all questions on the DS-160 mandatory?

Answer:

Most questions are mandatory and must be answered in the spaces provided. You may leave spaces blank when the questions are marked “optional.” You may answer a question with “Does Not Apply,” when that question does not apply to you; however, all other questions must be answered. The system will not allow you to submit an application with any mandatory questions left unanswered. When a mandatory question has not been completed, an error message will be displayed and you will be required to answer the question before continuing with the application. If you do not answer questions that apply to your circumstances and/or purpose of travel, your form may be rejected.

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Completing the DS-160

Detailed question:

Can my answers be in my native language?

Answer:

No. All answers must be in English, using English characters only, except when you are asked to provide your full name in your native alphabet. Applications submitted in any language other than English will be denied, and you may be required to submit a new application. While you must answer all questions in English, translations of questions are available in many languages from the drop-down menu in the right upper corner of the application. These translations should assist you in completing the form in English.

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Accessing the DS-160

Detailed question:

Where can I find the DS-160?

Answer:

Access the DS-160, by clicking: Consular Electronic Application Center website. We recommend that you use Internet Explorer or Firefox browsers to access the DS-160.

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