If you wish to apply for a U.S. nonimmigrant visa, you have to apply online using the DS-160 form, regardless of the type of visa that you are applying for. Below you will find everything you need to know about the DS-160 form.
The U.S. authorities have tightened the rules and regulations on the application procedure of U.S. visas. As it had been planned for a while, the U.S Department of State (DOS) now collects even more data from nonimmigrant visa applicants in the already very extensive online form DS-160. Recently new questions have been integrated into the DS-160 application form.
The following new questions will have to be anwered throughout the application process:
Particularly disputed are the queries pertaining to the applicants social media activities. Until now, only applicants who had traveled to countries controlled by terrorist organizations had to provide information on social media and e-mail accounts.
In addition, as mentioned above, additional queries have been integrated into E visa applications, which consequently affect companies wishing to use Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor work visas for their employees. The difficulty for companies is in particular obtaining the requested information, as it is contained in application files that have not been needed for five years or longer.
Finally, further queries regarding possible medical examinations and FBI database information throughout the preparation of the DS-160 application form are being contemplated.
An estimated 15 million people are affected by this change, including both applicants for non-immigrant visas (DS-160) as well as immigrant visas (DS-260).
It is to be expected that the added workload will delay the application procedure, as for example checking social media accounts will take up a varying amount of extra time. As a result, longer waiting times for consular interview appointments as well as extended visa issuance processing times might apply.
According to U.S. authorities, the added questions are supposed to protect U.S. citizens, improve application verification processes and support legitimate travels to the United States.
The new queries had been open for public comments since March 2018, which is still available in the Federal Register ("60-day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Application for Nonimmigrant Visa").
The DS-160 form consists of numerous questions, with the application being divided into several sections, in which very different data is being collected.
The questionnaire in the DS-160 form is extensive, comprising about 15 to 20 pages. It is not a rigid form. Depending on the information provided, new sections with further questions might appear. Thusly the questions vary depending on
Please note: It is important to answer all questions correctly and truthfully, as misrepresentations can lead to delays in your application process, or worse – to the rejection of your visa application. Should you not remember exact dates, for example your last U.S. travels, provide the most accurate estimates possible. If any questions do not apply to you, click on "Does not apply".
The questions in the DS-160 form are divided into several sections:
Adress and Phone
|Visa and travels||Travel
Previous U.S. Travel
|Stay in the U.S.||U.S. Contact|
|Job and Education||Work / Education / Training|
|Security questions||Security and Background|
As previously stated, depending on the individual application, further questions might arise throughout the preparation of your online application form DS-160.
Read more Information about the DS-160 and its questions:
The first DS-160 questions are personal and request general information about the applicant as well as contact information and passport details, specifically the following:
In this section, the DS-160 requests essential information about the U.S. visa applied for and the applicant's travel plans:
In this section of the DS-160 you will find queries regarding a contact person in the United States, your relationship to this person and their address.
For example, if you are applying for a work visa, you would typically enter U.S. employer and a business contact in the U.S. For private travel, you would enter your hotel address and if you are planning to study in the U.S., you would enter the University you wish to attend.
Here you will be asked quite personal details regarding your family:
This section includes queries regarding current and former employment and attended educational institutions:
Only certain applicants must provide the following details:
Finally, a comprehensive "Yes/No" security questionnaire must be answered. It focuses on details of possible immigration violations, criminal records, serious (contagious) diseases and other security related issues like memberships in terrorist organisations.
In case the answer to one of these questions is "Yes", an explanation is prompted ("Explain"). Generally the affirmation of a security question leads at least to intensive inquiries at the consulate up to the refusal of your visa application even.
A template of the DS-160 application form is available for review and download on the website of the U.S. State Department.
Starting March 1, 2010, all applicants for a U.S. nonimmigrant visa, including toddlers and babies, must fill out this online application without exception. The DS-160 form must be submitted online along with a digital passport photo to the respective U.S. consulate before the personal interview appointment at the U.S. consulate.
The DS-160 form can only be found and completed on the official website of the U.S. Department of State (DOS).
To begin with, ensure you have your passport and your address in the U.S. at hand. On average, applicants spend about 30 to 60 minutes per online application.
As a first step, before filling out the form you will be required to select the U.S. consulate, in which you would like to apply for your visa. In the German-speaking countries the options are:
|Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich||Vienna||Bern|
Got questions about the DS-160 form or need help completing the form? We would be happy to support you on your way to obtaining your U.S. visa!
At the end of the questionnaire, a digital, biometric passport picture the size of 5 x 5 cm must be uploaded online. The file, for example in jpg format, may not exceed 240 KB. Please note that wearing eye glasses in this photo is not permitted.
If your picture meets the requirements, a green check mark will appear. Otherwise you will need to make adjustments to your photo or choose another picture and retry. On the DS-160 application website, the U.S. Department of State also provides a "Photo Cropping Tool" for the preparation or adjustment of your photo and informs furthermore about the current visa image requirements.
Upon successful online submission of your DS-160 application form, you will receive your DS-160 confirmation page at the e-mail address you used in the application. In addition to your photo and a few personal details, this confirmation page also contains the respective visa category and the U.S. consulate, at which you will need to proceed with your visa application. Furthermore, you can find your DS-160 confirmation number (or Application ID) right underneath the barcode. You will need this number throughout the further application process.
It is absolutely necessary to print this confirmation page. You must bring it to your consular interview, among other documents. You will not be admitted into the consular building without the DS-160 barcode confirmation page.
Please review the page to confirm all your information is correct, especially whether the U.S. consulate you chose in your DS-160 application matches the consulate, at which you will attend your interview and which will further process your application.
Should you wish to attend your interview at a different U.S. consulate than elected in the already submitted DS-160, for example, you will need to fill out a new DS-160 application and print out the new confirmation page as well.
Be sure to read our helpful notes before completing the DS-160 form.
Due to frequent technical issues like page crashes or malfunctioning photo upload among others, we strongly advise you to save the DS-160 form regularly.
Be sure to write down your DS-160 confirmation number (also: Barcode Number or Application ID) right away. It always begins with "AA00…". Using this code, you can log in again at a later time and complete or make changes to your DS-160.
You can make changes to the information you provided in your existing DS-160 application form by logging in using your DS-160 confirmation number.
However, once you have submitted the form, no changes can be made. Should you wish to change any information, you would have to fill out a new DS-160 application and to print a new confirmation page.
When experiencing technical issues while filling out your DS-160 application form, try using a different internet browser or simply try again at a later time. The U.S. authorities mostly solve technical issues promptly.
The technical problems can be very different in nature. In the past, it was not possible to upload digital passport photos at the end of data entry. This means that DS-160 cannot be transmitted to the consulate then. In some cases, the applicant is logged out of the system in the middle of the filling process, without this being desired.
Applicants who have technical problems filling out the DS-160 form will unfortunately have to be patient and try again at regular intervals to log into the DS-160 online application and continue.
Applicants should also note that technical problems may delay the appointment, as an appointment at the US Consulate is only possible after the DS-160 has been submitted online to the consulate.
We would be glad to assist you in applying for your U.S. visa and take care of the DS-160 form for you. Get in touch with us today for more information!