How To Complete DS-160 Form Online Application
If you are planning you applying for a nonimmigrant visa to the United States, you will likely be required to complete DS-160 form online. This form asks for basic background information, family history, and travel history for the beneficiary.
When completing the form online, you must answer every single question. If you miss any of them it can cause a delay in processing or a denial of the visa. You also don’t need to complete DS-160 form in one sitting. You can definitely save what you have done so far and finish it later too.
Once DS-160 form is completed, it will be reviewed by the National Visa Center and the information sent to the U.S. consulate or embassy abroad. It’s important to make sure the information you submit on this form is accurate because you only have once chance to submit it correctly. Making changes later can be difficult.
Don’t let a simple mistake on DS-160 form cause a serious delays later on. If you did make a mistake, try to get it correctly as quickly as possible by contacting the consulate. Take your time when completing the form to be sure that you understand the questions being asked and how to answer them.
Casey is applying for the K1 fiance visa from Australia. He knows that he has to fill out DS-160 form online but is confused about the entire process. His initial I-129F petition was approved 3 weeks ago and NVC had sent him information about the next steps.
He is now required to fill out DS-160 form and pay the nonimmigrant visa fee. He gathers all the documents he will need as well as his passport. It takes Casey several days to complete the form and he finally submits it after reviewing it thoroughly. He prints out the confirmation page to bring to his K1 visa interview.
It’s best to complete DS-160 form online as quickly as possible because an interview will not be scheduled until this form is submitted correctly.
Be sure to review all of your answers before submitting the form. The last thing you want is to make a serious mistake that will delay your visa or worse, be denied by the U.S. consulate.
Where To Find DS-160 Form Online
NVC will mail you instructions on how to complete DS-160 form online. But, for those of you who haven’t gotten to this point yet and are curious what the steps are, keep reading…
Visit the CEAC website at https://ceac.state.gov/ceac/
The CEAC website allows you to complete a number of online NVC forms but you’ll want to click on “DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application.”
Once you click this link, it will take you to a new page that asks you to select your country. Then you click on the red button that says “start an application.”
After you click on “start an application” the website will take you to a new page where you get an application ID and instructions on completing DS-160 form online.
Once you get to the application information page, you should write down the application ID that’s shown on the top right hand side.
Next, you need to choose your security question at the bottom of the page. This is used when you need to pull up your application again or you forget your password.
What Information Is Need For DS-160 Form
Before trying to fill out DS-160 form online, you should have already gathered all the information that you will need. This way, you aren’t wasting time trying to find this while in the middle of completing the form.
You should also save the form as often as you can so that the website doesn’t time out if you’ve been inactive too long.
Gather the following information before filling out DS-260 form:
- Passport and travel itinerary
- Basic information (address, employment, school)
- Family history/background (names, dates)
- Travel history (locations, dates, visas)
- Criminal background (inadmissibility)
- Previous stays in the U.S. (inadmissibility)
- Financial information (public charge risk)
If there is a question on the online form that you don’t understand, don’t guess! Do some research to find out what the question is asking for so that you respond correctly. If you need help filling out DS-160 form online consider signing up for premium case support and I would be happy to go over it with you.
DS-160 Photograph Requirements
- Photo must be less than 6 months old
- Size should be 2 inches by 2 inches (5cm by 5cm)
- Should use plain white background
- Your entire face must be visible (face camera directly)
Sample DS-160 Questions That Are Asked
Questions about your basic information:
- All addresses that you’ve lived in for the last 5 years.
- Your work and personal phone number.
- Your email addresses.
- Passport number
- Where was your passport issued?
- Are you the principal applicant?
Questions about your travel to US:
- What is your arrival date? How long do you plan to stay in US?
- Person or entity paying for your trip?
- Are there other persons traveling with you?
- Have you ever been to the US?
- Have you ever been issued a US visa?
Have you ever been refused a US visa?
Questions about your family members:
- Fathers name
- Father’s date of birth
- Father city of birth
- Is your father still living?
- Mothers name
- Mother’s date of birth
- Mother’s city of birth
- Is your mother sill living?
Question about work, education and training background:
- What is your primary occupation?
- Present employer or school address
- Were you previously employed?
- Have you attended any educational institutions other than elementary school?
- Do you belong to a clan or tribe?
- Have you traveled to any countries within the last 5 years?
- Have you belonged to, or worked for any professional, social, or charitable organization?
- Do you have any specialized skills or training, such as firearms, explosives, nuclear, biological, or chemical experience?
- Have you ever served in the military?
- Have you ever served in, been a member of, or been involved with a paramilitary unit, vigilante unit, rebel group, guerilla group or insurgent organization?
Security and background information:
- Do you have a communicable disease of public health significance such as TB?
- Do you have a mental or physical disorder that poses or is likely to pose a threat to the safety or welfare of yourself or others?
- Are you or have you ever been a drug abuser or addict?
- Have you ever been arrested or convicted of any offense or crime even through subject of pardon, amnesty or other similar action?
- Have you ever violated, or engaged in a conspiracy to violate any law relating to controlled substances?
- Are you coming to the US to engage in prostitution or unlawful commercialized vice or have you been engaged in prostitution or procuring prostitutes within the past 10 years?
- Have you ever been involved in, or do you seek to engage in money laundering?
*Additional questions not shown.
Questions for students and exchange visitors:
- Full name, address and contact info
- What is your SEVIS ID number?
- Do you intend to study in the US?
Uploading a photo of yourself to DS-160
Finally, it’s time to upload a recent photo of yourself to the application. If you are not sure what type of photo qualifies, go back up to the top of this page and read “DS-160 photo requirements” sections for more details.
- Click “upload your photo” button to access the DS-160 photo submission system.
- Click “browse” to find the photo on your computer.
- After selecting the photo from your computer, click “upload selected photo”.
- The system will confirm if the photo you uploaded in acceptable.
- Then click “confirm photo” to continue the application process.
What happens if your photo doesn’t meet the requirements?
If the photo you upload doesn’t meet USCIS requirements, you will see an error message. Click “continue without a photo” to continue the application.
You also have the option to choose another photo if you already have one the meets the DS-160 requirements.
Review, Sign and Submit Your DS-160 Online Application
Once you have answered all the questions, you should go back and review everything to be sure it’s correct and complete. Then you’ll need to read the e-sign statement and add the date you are completing the form.
You will then be asked to electronically sign DS-160 online form by clicking “sign and submit application”. By clicking this button, you certify that all information on your DS-160 is complete and true.
Print your confirmation page! When printing the confirmation page, be sure that the barcode is clear and readable. Bring this confirmation page with you to the interview along with your passport and other requirement documents.
Note: you should print a copy of the entire DS-160 application for your own records.
Finally, you must bring a photo of yourself even if you uploaded one to the system. This photo must also meet the DS-160 photo requirement to be accepted. The U.S. Consulate or Embassy can’t accept electronic photos on the day of your interview.
Visa Interview After DS-160 Is Complete
Below are some tips on the visa interview after you’ve completed form DS-160 online.
- DS-160 is not a visa. You must appear at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy for your visa interview.
- Arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled interview.
- If you arrive more than 30 minutes early, you will be asked to wait outside the Consulate or Embassy.
- If you arrive more than 15 minutes late, you will not be allowed to enter the Consulate or Embassy and will have to make a new appointment.
Learn more about the K1 visa interview questions.
Final Thoughts on DS-160 Online Form
DS-160 online form is an online application that all nonimmigrant visa applicants must complete. It asks for basic information on your personal, employment and security background. It’s very important to answer all the questions truthfully and completely.
Mistakes on this form can cost you your visa! Always review the online application before submitting it because it will not allow you to go back to edit it after submission.
I personally completed my own DS-160 (a long long time ago), and the questions were generally the same. I was super excited to finally get to the interview stage after waiting so many months for my application to be processed. I know the waiting game isn’t fun but do take your time when completing important documents such as this.
Need help with form DS-160 or have questions on how to fill it out based on your personal background? Signup for Premium Case Support and get 1-on-1 help from me.
Ayan is the founder of the Migrant Academy community, the My Path To Citizenship Blog and Podcast.
After successfully navigating the hurdles of US immigration. She now dedicates her time to helping other couples achieve their goals of starting their new life together in the US.