How to fill the DS 160 Form Online: The Definitive Guide

What is the DS 160 Form?

The DS-160 Form is a form filled online for the non-immigrant visa application to the USA. The DS 160 form is a compulsory requirement that is required by most US Consulates worldwide. By worldwide we mean it includes India.

The DS-160 Form very lengthy and time-consuming to fill. So it is probably going to take a few days for you to complete it. Make sure you fill it well. you can always save your progress and continue later. So it is advisable to start your US Visa Application process early.

Why is the DS-160 Form very important When applying for a US Visa?

Many times people carry along many documents while going for a US visa interview. Most of the times they get rejected without any documents being asked. This is because you probably gave answers that did not match with what you filled in the DS-Form you filled online.

The results of your US Visa interview depends on what you filled in your DS 160 form online and what you say during the interview.

Some times even if the consular officer asks for any of the documents you carried along, it is just to verify if they match with what you said in your DS-160.

This is to say that your DS-160 Form is very important and you should fill it with care, accurate, honest and relevant information.

Step-By-Step guide on how to fill the DS-160 Form Online.

This guide gives you thorough instructions on how to fill the Form DS-160.

Remember that the success of your visa interview is highly based on the information you provide in your DS-160 Form. So that is why we advise you to pay high attention when filling the DS 160. Also, be as honest and accurate as possible so that whatever you say at the visa interview will match with your DS 160 form. I am going to capitalize, DO NOT LIE IN YOUR DS-160 FORM as this may lead to a visa denial, you getting a visa ban or be added to a permanent blacklist

1. Getting Started

In order to start filling your DS-160 Form online, you need to visit the official US Department of State’s Nonimmigrant Visa Application(DS 160) Page.

form ds 160 page
form ds 160 page

When you browse to the DS-160 front page, it will exactly as the picture above.

At the top of this page, you will see ‘Apply For a Nonimmigrant Visa’.

Here are the details you have to fill on this page:

  • Select a location where you will be applying for this visa: This field requires you to fill the country which you intend to attend your US Visa interview. You select the country from the drop-down list.
  • Enter the code as shown: This field requires you to fill it with the provided Captcha code. This field is to ensure that you are human an not a robot.
  • This visa application will ask you to upload a digital photo of yourself: This section will require you to upload a digital photo of your self. once you upload the photo you have to click on ‘Test Photo’ to check if the uploaded photo meets the specifications. Also, if you don’t have a photo and would want to know the specifications, you can click on the ‘Photo Standard Guide’.

Note If you can’t find the section that asks for the digital photo, don’t be afraid as this is not available for every country. So if your country is not required to upload a photo, this section will not be shown.

After filling the above three (or two) information, you are going to see three more buttons.

  • Start an Application: If it is the first time you want to fill or submit a DS 160 Form, this is the button you should click.
  • Upload an Application: You use this button if you are going to be uploading a locally saved application form.
  • Retrieve an Application: If you are going to be retrieving a previously saved application, then this is the button you should click.

In most cases, we are going to be using only the ‘Start an Application’ and ‘Retrieve an Application’ when filling our Form DS-160. Let’s dive deep into these options in details.

Start an Application

When you want to start a new DS-160 Form application this is the button you should click. Once you click on this, it generates a unique Application ID, which you have to take note of or better still print it out in order not to forget. This Application ID will be needed in the future in case you want to retrieve the DS-160 Form you saved.

Retrieve an Application

Usually, when you leave the form open for too long, your DS-160 session times out. In this case, you can go back to your previously saved application (Saved till the last section) using this option.

In cases where you need more time to get information that is needed to fill DS-160 form, you can save your progress and come back to continue at a later time using this option. That is why it is important to save and have your DS-160 Application ID when needed to retrieve your saved application.

After you enter the first three data, that is the Country, Captcha code and upload photo, you now have to click on the “Start an Application” button. A new page will be shown to you. This page is the application information page.

 

application information form ds 160
application information form ds 160

At the top right of the Application Page, you will find your Application ID and a link opting you to print it. YOU SHOULD DO IT.

On this page two pieces of information will be demanded of you, which are:

Security Questions: Here you should choose from a drop-down list a question which you know you can honestly and accurately answer.

Answer: Here you provide the accurate answer to the security question you choose on the drop-down form above.

DON’T FORGET

Keep your “Application ID”, “Security Question” and “Answer” safe. This information alongside your “Surname” and “Birth Year” will be needed to retrieve you saved D6-160 Visa Application. Forgetting any of this will mean you have started filling the form all over again. Imagine all the stress involved just because you thought you’d remember…HMMM, Genius huh?

2. Personal information 1ds

fill ds 160 form online for US visa personal information 1
fill ds 160 form online for US visa personal information 1

fill ds 160 form online for US visa personal information 1

Below are the informations going to be needed from you when feeling the “Personal Information 1” page and what are you going to fill.

  • Surnames: You should enter your surname exactly as o your passport.
  • Given Names: You should also enter your given names exactly as written on your travel passport.
  • Full Name in Native Alphabet: There is no need for you fill this part. Just go ahead and check the “Does Not Apply/ Technology Not Available”
  • Have you ever used other names (i.e Maiden, Religious, Professional, Alias, etc)?: Select “Yes” if you have or had any other names, else select “No”.
  • Do you have a telecode that represents your name? For this question just select “No”.
  • Sex: Here you either select either male or female depending on your gender.
  • Marital Status: Here you provide your marital status from the options provided. The following relationship status is found on the options.
    • MARRIED
    • COMMON LAW MARRIAGE
    • CIVIL UNION/DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP
    • SINGLE
    • WIDOWED
    • DIVORCED
    • LEGALLY SEPARATED
    • OTHER
  • Date and Place of Birth
    • Date: You should fill in the exact date you were born. Should match with all your documents.
    • City: Yu should fill in the city you were born in
    • State: You should enter the province or state in which you were born.
    • Country/Region: Here you enter the country which you were born in.

fill DS 160 form online for US visa personal personal 2

 

Here is the information required from you by the Personal Information 2 page and the answers you should provide:

  • Country/Region of Origin (Nationality)/; Here you should fill in your nationality and country of origin.
  • Do you hold or have you held any nationality other than the one indicated above on nationality?: You should select “No” else you select “Yes” if you have acquired a nationality other than the country in which you were born.
  • Are you a permanent resident of a country/region other than your country/region of origin (nationality) indicated above?: You should select “No” else Select “Yes” if you have been or are still a permanent residence in a country other the country in which you were born
  • National Identification Number: Here You should check “Does Not Apply” or enter your National Identification Number if your country provides them.
  • U.S. Social Security Number: Here you should Check “Does Not Apply” or if you have lived in the US before you can enter your US SSN.
  • U.S.Taxpayer ID Number: Also Check “Does Not Apply” or you can go ahead and enter your US TIN Number if you had/have one.

3. Address and Phone

fill ds 160 form online address and phone
fill ds 160 form online address and phone

fill ds 160 form online address and phone

 

  • Home Address:
    • Street Address (Line 1): here you should enter your home street address
    • Street Address (Line 2) * Optional: This field is optional but you can enter any additional street address
    • City: This is the city you live in
    • State/Province: You should enter your state/province that you live in
    • Postal Zone/Zip Code: Enter your postal or zip code
    • Country/Region: Select your country
  • Mailing Address:
    • Is your Mailing Address the same as your Home Address?: If they are the same select “Yes” if your home and mailing addresses are same. Else, select “No” and enter your mailing address
  • Phone
    • Primary Phone Number: Provide your cell phone number so that the consulate can be able to reach you if needed.
    • Secondary Phone Number: Enter an alternate phone number where the consulate can reach you if your main phone number is not reachable. But this is not compulsory. If you don’t have one, just check “Does Not Apply”.
    • Work Phone Number: Provide your work phone number in order for the consulate to be able to reach you if your cell/home phones are not reachable. Also not compulsory. If you don’t have one, just check “Does Not Apply”.
  • Email Address: Fill in your email address where the consular office can be able to email you if they need you.

4. Passport Information

fill ds 160 form passport information

fill ds 160 form passport information

Below is the information that will be required from you in the “Passport Information” Page.

  • Passport/Travel Document Type: Go ahead and select “REGULAR” from the options provided but if you are a Diplomat or an Official you can choose from the remaining options.
    • REGULAR
    • OFFICIAL
    • DIPLOMATIC
    • OTHER
  • Passport/Travel Document Number: Carefully enter your passport number
  • Passport Book Number: Here you can just check “Does Not Apply” and continue
  • Country/Authority that Issued Passport/Travel Document: input your country of passport.
  • Where was the Passport/Travel Document Issued?
    • City: Input the place of issue from your passport but if you are unable to find the place of issue on your passport, then you can just go ahead and input the city where your passport was issued
    • State/Province *If shown on passport: If shown on your passport, go ahead and enter the state/province of issue from your passport but if the state/province of issue is not on your passport, you can leave this field empty.
    • Country/Region: This section requires you to put in the country where your passport was issued
  • Issuance Date: Enter the date when your passport was issued to you.
  • Expiration Date: Enter your passport’s expiration date.
  • Have you ever lost a passport or had one stolen?: If you previously had a passport and got a new one Select “Yes” but if you have never lost or had your passport stolen you should Select “No”.

5. Travel information

fill DS 160 form online for US visa travel 1
fill DS 160 form online for US visa travel
fill DS 160 form online for US visa travel
fill DS 160 form online for US visa travel

You will be required for the following travel information in the “Travel Information” page.

  • Purpose of Trip to the U.S: You just go ahead and select any of the options that will be in the dropdown. For example, if you are applying for a Student Visa, you select “ACADEMIC OR LANGUAGE STUDENT (F)” if not you can select any of the other visa types listed below.
    • FOREIGN GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL (A)
    • TEMP. BUSINESS PLEASURE VISITOR (B)
    • ALIEN IN TRANSIT (C)
    • CNMI WORKER OR INVESTOR (CW/E2C)
    • CREWMEMBER (D)
    • TREATY TRADER OR INVESTOR (E)
    • ACADEMIC OR LANGUAGE STUDENT (F)
    • INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION REP./EMP. (G)
    • TEMPORARY WORKER (H)
    • FOREIGN MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE (I)
    • EXCHANGE VISITOR (J)
    • FIANCÉ(E) OR SPOUSE OF U.S. CITIZEN (K)
    • INTRACOMPANY TRANSFEREE (L)
    • VOCATIONAL/NON-ACADEMIC STUDENT (M)
    • OTHER (N)
    • NATO STAFF (NATO)
    • ALIEN WITH EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY (O)
    • INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ALIEN (P)
    • CULTURAL EXCHANGE VISITOR (Q)
    • RELIGIOUS WORKER (R)
    • INFORMANT OR WITNESS (S)
    • VICTIM OF TRAFFICKING (T)
    • NAFTA PROFESSIONAL (TD/TN)
    • VICTIM OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY (U)
    • PAROLE BENEFICIARY (PARCIS)
  • Specify: Here you select BUSINESS & TOURISM(TEMPORARY VISITOR)(B1/B2) but if you have selected a different visa class then you select the option.
  • Have you made specific travel plans: You should choose “NO” else you choose Yes if you have booked or paid for your flight and hotel.
    • Intended Date of Arrival: here you select the estimated date on which you intend to arrive in the United States.
    • Intended Length Of Stay In The US: You should select and specify the number of days you intend to stay during your trip in the United States.
    • Address Where You Will Stay in the US: Here you enter the address of the of where you are going to be living(it can be a hotel, at a friend’s place or at a relative’s)
      • Street Address (Line 1)
      • Street Address (Line 2) *Optional
      • City
      • State
      • Zip Code (if known)
    • Person/Entity Paying for Your Trip: If you are the one paying for your trip, select “SELF” else if someone else is taking care of your trip, select the appropriate option.
    • SELF
    • OTHER PERSON
    • OTHER COMPANY/ORGANIZATION

For “TEMP. BUSINESS PLEASURE VISITOR(B)”, you are going to be provided with 3 options to choose from, i.e B1(Business), B2(Tourism), B1/B2(Tourism and Tourism). It is advised for you to choose “B1/B2” even if your purpose of the visit is just business or just tourism. You can be issued a 10 years visa and you never know when you would want to visit the US and why. It can either be for business or tourism. So selecting “B1/B2” will work for both purposes and it will spare you inconveniences at the port of entry.

But it is important to know that even if you selected only B1 or only B2, you would most likely be issued a B1/B2 visa. it is only in rare cases that they issue only a B1 or only a B2.

6. Travel Companions

fill DS 160 form online for US visa travel campanions
fill DS 160 form online for US visa travel companions

You should enter the following information in the “Travel Companions” page.

  • Person’s traveling with you
    • Are there other persons traveling with you? If you will be traveling by yourself and with no one else, you select “No” else if you are going to be traveling with family you select “Yes”.
      • Are you traveling as part of a group or organization? Select “No” or if you will be traveling with a group or organization, you select “Yes”.
      • Surnames of Person Traveling With You: Go ahead and fill the surname of the person you are going to be traveling with.
      • Given Names of Person Travelling With You: Enter the given names of the family member or relative, you are going to be traveling with.
      • Relationship with Person: You should say your relationship with the person, for example, wife, son, etc.
      • Add Another: Use this field to add extra family members that you will be traveling with. For example, if you mentioned travelling with your wife in the previous field, you can and son or daughter in this field as well as their surnames and given names.

7. Previous U.S Travel

fill-DS-160-form-online-for-US-visa-07-previous-us-travel-1
fill-DS-160-form-online-for-US-visa-07-previous-us-travel-1

fill-DS-160-form-online-for-US-visa-07-previous-us-travel-1

 

the “Previous US Travel” page will require you to fill the fields as below. The Page above is exactly what it should look like.

  • Have you ever been in the US: If you have never been to the US select “No” else select “Yes. Also, if you had previously been to the US, you will further have more questions which are listed below:
    • Date Arrived: Enter the date of the last time you entered the US.
    • Length of Stay: Enter the length of time you previously stayed in the US. It can either be days or Months.
    • Add Another: Use this option if you had been in the US more than once. You are going to enter the other dates and length of stay.
    • Do you or Did you ever a U.S Driver’s Licence? Select “No” if you have never lived in the US before else Select “Yes” and had a driver’s license. If your answer was yes, you are going to be required to fill the following fields.
      • Driver’s Licence Number: you are going to provide the driver’s license number you used.
      • State of Driver’s Licence: from a dropdown list you will find, you will select the state that issued your driver’s license.
      • Add Another: If you had more than one driver’s license, you use this field to add it the number and state that issued it to you.
  • Have you ever been issued a US Visa? Select “No” if you have never been issued a US Visa before or “Yes” if you have been issued a Visa before and enter the old Visa details below(if you had been issued a visa).
    • Date the last Visa Was Issued: You have to enter the date of issue of the visa.
    • Visa Number: You have to enter the Visa number of the previous Visa which is printed in RED on your Visa sticker.
    • Are you applying for the same type of visa? Select “No” if the visa you are applying for is different from the previous one you applied for or “Yes” if you are applying for the same type of Visa.
    • Are you applying in the same country or location where the visa above was issued and is this country or location your place of the principal of residence?: Select “Yes” if applying from the same location you did the last time else “No”
    • Have you been Ten Printed?: Select “Yes” if all ten of your fingerprints were captured during your previous US Visa interview else “No”.
    • Has your US Visa ever been Lost or Stolen?: Choose “Yes” if you have ever lost your passport or had it stolen. Otherwise, choose “NO”.
    • Has your US Visa ever been canceled or Revoked? Choose “NO”, but if Yes choose “Yes”. Be sure you are as honest as possible.
  • Have you ever been refused a U.S. Visa, or been refused admission to the United States, or withdrawn your application for admission at the port of entry? Choose “No” else choose “Yes” only if you had previously been denied a US visa or refused entry into the US at the port of entry
    • Explain: Provide the reasons of your visa refusal or denial of entry.
  • Has anyone ever filed an immigrant petition on your behalf with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services: Choose “No”, if otherwise “Yes” only if you had/have an approved I-140 (immigrant petition) and also explain the reasons below.
    • Explain: Provide all the possible details of your old or existing I-140 such as the priority date and receipt number.

8. US Point of Contact Information

ds 160 form contact point of entry
ds 160 form contact point of entry

ds 160 form contact point of entry

 

The following information will be required from you in “U.S. Contact”

  • Contact Person or Organization in the United States
    • Contact Person: Put in the name of the person you will be visiting in the USA but if you don’t know anyone, just check “Do Not Know”.
      • Surnames: Enter the Surnames of the person you will be visiting in the US
      • Given Names: Provide the given names of the person you are going to be visiting in the United States
    • Organization Name: Here you provide the name of the organization you will be visiting in the US but if you are not visiting any organization you can put in the name of the hotel you will be checking in or you can simply check “Do Not Know”.
  • Relationship to You: You have to provide the state your relationship with your US contact which can be any of the following
    • RELATIVE
    • SPOUSE
    • FRIEND
    • BUSINESS ASSOCIATE
    • EMPLOYER
    • SCHOOL OFFICIAL
    • OTHER
  • Address and Phone Number of Point of Contact: This section will require you to enter the address and phone details of your contact in the US.
    • U.S. Street Address (Line 1)
    • U.S. Street Address (Line 2) *Optional
    • City
    • State
    • Zip Code (if known)
    • Phone Number
    • Email Address

9. Family Information: Relatives

The “Relatives” page will require you to enter the following information:

  • Father’s Full Name and Date of Birth
    • Surnames: This field requires you to enter your father’s surname but If you don’t know, check “Do Not Know”.
    • Given Names: In this field, enter your father’s given name else If you don’t know, check “Do Not Know”
    • Date of Birth: put in your father’s date of birth or check “Do Not Know” If you don’t know
    • Is your father in the U.S.?: Select “No” or Select “Yes” if your father is currently in the US and enter the details below.
  • Mother’s Full Name and Date of Birth
    • Surnames: Here you are going to enter your mother’s surname and If you don’t know, check “Do Not Know”
    • Given Names: Here, Enter your mother’s Given Name or If you don’t know, check “Do Not Know”
    • Date of Birth: This field requires your mother’s date of birth but If you don’t know, check “Do Not Know”
    • Is your mother in the U.S.?: here you have to select “No” but Select “Yes” if your mother is currently in the US and enter the details.
  • Do you have any immediate relatives, not including parents, in the United States?: Select “No” but select “Yes” if you have direct relatives such as spouse, children or siblings in the US and enter their details.
  • Do you have any other relatives in the United States?: Select “No” else if you have any relatives such as grandparents, in-laws, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. in the US, select “Yes” and enter their details.

Quick Tip: For the “Other Relatives”, field select “Yes” only if you have relatives in the US that you regularly keep in touch with and they should know that you are visiting the USA soon.

The “Spouse” section will require you to fill the following

  • Spouse’s Full Name and Date of Birth (include Maiden Name)
    • Spouse’s Surnames: Provide your spouse’s surname
    • Spouse’s Given Names: Provide your spouse’s Given Name
    • Spouse’s Date of Birth: Provide your spouse’s date of birth
    • Spouse’s Country/Region of Origin (Nationality): Provide your spouse’s country of nationality
    • Spouse’s Place of Birth
      • City: City where your spouse was born
      • Country/Region: Provide your spouse’s country of birth
    • Spouse’s Address: Select your spouse’s address from the options or enter a new one
      • SAME AS HOME ADDRESS
      • SAME AS MAILING ADDRESS
      • SAME AS U.S. CONTACT ADDRESS
      • DO NOT KNOW
      • OTHER (SPECIFY ADDRESS)

REMINDER: The “Spouse” section is available only if you selected “MARRIED” as your “Marital Status” in the “2. Personal Information” above.

10. Present Work/ Education/ Training Information

ds 160 form online

ds 160 form online

 

11. Previous Work/ Education/ Training Information

ds 160 form online

ds 160 form online

ds 160 form online

 

 

12. Additional Work/Education/Training Inform

ds 160 form

ds-160 form online

 

13. Security and Background

You have to provide the following information in “Part 1”

d6 160 form security questions

 

In part 2 section of the security background fill in the following information

ds 160 security questions

ds 160

DS-160 security Questions Part 3

ds 160 security background part 3

ds 160 form security part 3

 

Security and Background Part 4

ds 160 form

 

Security and Background Part 5

ds-160 form online

 

14. Upload Photo

This section of the DS-160 Form Online may not be available in some countries. If it is not available in your country, you photos alongside your fingerprints will be captured at the visa application center or at the consulate on the day of your visa interview.

how to upload ds 160 form photo

On the “Confirm Photo” Page, you are going to see a preview of your uploaded photo. If you are happy with your photo, click on the “Next: REVIEW” button. if you are not satisfied with the photo you uploaded, click on the “Choose a Different Photo” button and upload a different photo.

15. Review your Form for corrections

This section gives you the chance to review all the information you entered. If you find any mistakes, be sure to correct them before you sign and submit

16. Sign And Submit

DS-160 sign and submit page

DS-160 sign and submit page

DS-160 Sample Form Filled

ds 160 cfilled form

Sample DS-160 Confirmation Page

DS 160 confirmation page

To fill your DS-160 form visit The Site here

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