The U.S. Department of State uses the so-called DS-5535 during the consular process to request missing information from the visa applicant. The purpose of this questionnaire is to assist consular officers in deciding whether an applicant poses a potential security threat.
The DS-5535 "Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants" can basically apply to both nonimmigrant and immigrant visa applicants. In contrast to the DS-160 or DS-260 form, the DS-5535 questionnaire does not have to be submitted automatically and mandatory by all applicants.
The DS-5535 is an internal form or questionnaire that asks for additional information. Thus, the DS-5535 is not available for download from the U.S. Department of State's website. The DS-5535 form will be either
The DS-5535 is used whenever the U.S. consulate wants to conduct additional checks on the visa application – beyond the information provided in the standard application form. The U.S. visa is then initially rejected in accordance with section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and subject to administrative processing. In the course of this further security check, the applicant must provide any missing or additional information using the DS-5535 form. Based on the information provided, the U.S. consulate then makes a final decision on the visa application.
The U.S. consular officer usually decides on the day of the visa interview which applicants must complete the DS-5535 and provide additional information on the visa application. Often, missing information on the application is obtained during the interview appointment through inquiries by the U.S. consular officer or the applicant is asked to provide additional information.
The Department of State (DOS) estimates that only 0.5 percent of applicants worldwide are affected, corresponding to approximately 65,000 individuals annually. The estimated time required to complete DS-5535 is approximately 60 minutes, according to U.S. authorities.
The DS-5535 questionnaire consists of several questions.
|Section||What is being questioned?|
|Personal information||Name, date of birth and type of visa applied for|
|Passport and travel history||Details of all current and invalid passports and a list of all trips in the last 15 years, including details of destinations, trip duration, source of funds|
|Relatives (siblings, children, spouse)||if applicable, names and dates of birth of all siblings, children and spouses or life partners|
|Address and contact information||Address and contact information for the last 15 years|
|Phone||Telephone numbers at which you have been reachable in the last five years (including primary, secondary, work, home and mobile numbers)|
|E-mail addresses where you have been reachable in the last five years|
|Social media||Data on the use of social media channels within the last five years|
|Employment history||Professional career within the last 15 years|
If the applicant considers that certain questions on the form are not related to the visa application, they may be marked N/A (not applicable). However, it is advisable to give reasons for this.
Based on the information provided by the applicant, the U.S. consulate may request additional documentation (e.g., work certificate, airline ticket, etc.).
Usually, the information or the completed DS-5535 form can be sent to the U.S. consulate by e-mail.
Unfortunately, the processing can take several weeks, sometimes even months, and can lead to considerable delays. Applicants can check the status of their application on the U.S. State Department's website.
If the visa application is approved, applicants are requested to submit their passport to the U.S. consulate for visa issuance. Unfortunately, visa applicants are not always actively notified of a rejection.
The DS-5535 form is the result of
A direct relation to President Trump's suspended Executive Order of January 27, 2017 can be seen. As with the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, the focus is on (dual) nationals of the following countries:
But other nationalities such as Russia or China are also more stronlgy affected. Moreover, previous trips to countries that are problematic for the United States may also lead to additional security checks.
The DS-5535 was intended to be introduced for an initial period of six months and to be used exclusively in the consular application process. The use of DS-5535 has been extended for another three years and will thus be used until at least 2020 in cases where additional information is requested from the applicant.
Under the new U.S. President Joe Biden, the responsible U.S. authorities are to review, among other things, the DS-5535 form for reasonableness or efficiency during a transitional phase of 120 days, so changes could occur here in the future.
In order to avoid any refusal or delay of the visa application, it is advisable to provide the supplemental information. If you need assistance with your visa application, you can always contact our visa experts.
Updated on 21.1.2021