Form DS-160

Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160)

The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form, is for temporary travel to the United States, and for K (fiancé(e)) visas. Form DS-160 is submitted electronically to the Department of State (DOS) website. Access the online DS-160 by clicking: Consular Electronic Application Center website.

According to the DOS  it takes approximately 90 minutes to complete the application, which is the first step towards obtaining a nonimmigrant visa. Once you have electronically submitted your DS-160 online application, you must contact the embassy or consulate at which you wish to apply to confirm whether you need to be interviewed by a consular officer, and to schedule an interview.

Sample DS-160
Preview a sample DS-160 (10.1MB) before beginning.

General Information and FAQs

The DOS publishes general instructions for completing the form, including definitions of terms that applicants may not be readily familiar with. See Frequently Asked Questions.

Completing DS-160

Browser Requirements: When completing your application use only Internet Explorer 11 or higher, Firefox, or Google Chrome. Browsers such as Safari and Microsoft Edge are not supported as of October 2022.


What Information Does the DS-160 Require? 

You should have the following documents available while you complete your DS-160:

  • Passport
  • Travel itinerary, if you have already made travel arrangements.
  • Dates of your last five visits or trips to the United States, if you have previously travelled to the United States. You may also be asked for your international travel history for the past five years. 
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae - You may be required to provide information about your current and previous education and work history. 
  • Other Information - Some applicants, depending on the intended purpose of travel, will be asked to provide additional information when completing the DS-160.

Some applicants will need to have additional information and documents handy while completing the DS-160:

  • Students and Exchange Visitors (F, J, and M): You will be asked to provide your SEVIS ID, which is printed on your I-20 or DS-2019, so you should have this form available when completing your DS-160. You also will be asked to provide the address of the school/program at which you intend to study. This information should also 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 should have a copy of your I-129 available when completing your DS-160. 
  • Other Temporary Workers: You will be asked for information about your employer, including the employer’s address, while completing your DS-160.

Note that all questions must be answered in English. using English characters only, except when you are asked to provide your full name in your native alphabet, however, translations for questions are available in many languages from the drop-down menu in the right upper corner of the application.

The form must be completely filled out with the following exceptions.. You may leave spaces blank when the questions are marked “optional,” and you may answer a question with “Does Not Apply,” when that question does not apply to you; however, all other questions must be answered. 

At the end of the form, after reviewing your answers, you electronically sign your DS-160 by clicking the “Sign Application” button at the end of the form. 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.

Third parties can assist applicants in filling out the form if the applicant is illiterate or unable to complete the application,  but must be identified on the “Sign and Submit” page of the application.  In addition 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.

Saving Your DS-160 and Returning to a Partially Completed DS-160

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. Your application ID is required to return to your application. To save partially completed forms for up to 30 days, you must click the “Next” button at the bottom of each page you complete. To access your application after 30 days, you must save it to your computer hard drive or a disk. 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. The system will download your application to the specified location. 

Steps After Completing DS-160

After you have completed the DS-160, you must take these next steps below:

  • Print and keep the DS-160 barcode page. (You will not need to print the full application.) -  For your interview, you are required to bring your confirmation page with your application ID number on it so the center can retrieve your DS-160. You must bring the confirmation page with you during all phases of the application process. If you have lost your confirmation page then you can reprint it by going Consular Electronic Application Center website and selecting 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. 
  • You must schedule a visa interview appointment. (The U.S. Embassy or Consulate does not schedule an appointment for you.) Visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will be interviewed for country-specific instructions.;
  • Pay the visa application processing fee. Review country-specific instructions on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.


Changing the DS-160 after Submission

Applicants cannot reopen submitted DS-160 applications, but if the form requires changes or updates then there are two efficient ways to reuse information from a previously submitted application to create and submit a new/updated DS-160:

1. Log into the CEAC system and select “Retrieve an Application” using the previous application ID number. Next, you will be asked whether you want to go to the confirmation page or create a new application. Select “Create a New Application,” and much of the form will auto-populate. Then, you will need to edit and update the information, and once accurate, submit the new application, which will generate a new confirmation page.

2. Alternatively, if you saved the DAT file from the original application to a hard drive or disk, you can access and amend the previous application at any time. You can select “Upload a Previously Saved Application” on the Getting Started page. Once the changes have been made, save and submit the new application, which will generate a new confirmation page. (Note: permanently saving your application to a hard drive/disk will allow you to access your application after 30 days).

For either option, if the original DS-160 was used to book the visa appointment and/or pay the MRV fee, the applicant is required to present the confirmation pages from the new AND original DS-160 at the interview. This is because each submission creates a different barcode, and a consular officer uses the application ID/barcode to retrieve the application.

 It is advisable to have the applicant print out and carry all pages of the new DS-160 application in the event the officer cannot retrieve/access the new application, and be able to explain any updates and/or material changes.

For additional information on DS-160 please see the following link:

Immigration Law

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