What is DS-160 Form?

Form DS-160 is the online nonimmigration visa application form that must be completed for people wishing to visit the United States on a temporary basis. There are many different reasons that someone would be required to complete a form DS-160, for example, those that will be studying in the US, seeking employment in the US or any other reasons that they would require a nonimmigration visa.

Applying for Form DS-160

The DS-160 form is available online and can take around an hour to complete all of the required information. In addition to filling in the form, the visa applicant must also make arrangements to attend an interview at the US embassy or consulate in their home country. There is a barcode on the application that you need to take note of to provide when you arrange the interview.

Prepare the following when applying for Form DS-160

  • Your passport number

You should also make sure the passport is valid for at least the length of your intended stay in the US. Your passport must have an IC chip.

  • A photo that meets the requirements (in digital file format).
  • Additional documents required for the type of visa you are applying for.

Information to enter on Form DS-160

It is very important that there are no errors on the application as this could result in the application being refused. Take time to provide the answers and check through the information you have provided several times before you submit it. It is also a good idea to take a note of the reference and regularly save the form, so that you do not lose the information if there is an issue with your internet connection.

When you start the application, you are required to select the language and location that you are applying from.

The Form DS-160 requires you to provide:

  • Full name
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Nationality
  • Type of visa
  • Details of your five most recent visits to the US

You must also provide travel information regarding your visit to the US, contact information, personal information, passport information and security and background details.

Information required during embassy interview:

  • Full name (written in your native language)
  • All academic history
  • Address for your visa to be mailed to
  • Parents’ details (names and DOBs)
  • Monthly income (for specific visas)
  • Visa numbers and dates of any previous visas
  • Name of agent (if an agent is applying on your behalf)

Once you have completed all of the required information, you will need to pay the application fee, which is currently $160 and submit your form.

Can I apply for ESTA instead?

If you are a citizen of a country that is in the Visa Waiver Program and your purpose for travelling to the US is for short term tourism or business purposes, you are eligible to apply for an ESTA and therefore would not need to complete the DS-160 form. The ESTA costs less and is processed much quicker that the nonimmigration visa application process.












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