DS-160: Frequently Asked Questions Accessing the DS-160

Where can I find the DS-160?
Access the DS-160 here, by clicking: Consular Electronic Application Center website.
I am having problems accessing the DS-160.
We recommend that you use Internet Explorer or Firefox browsers to access the DS-160.

Completing the DS-160

Important Notice: Take care to answer all questions on the DS-160 accurately and completely; otherwise, you may have to correct your application and reschedule your visa interview appointment.
Electronically submitting your DS-160 online application is only the first step in the visa application process. Once you have electronically submitted your DS-160 online application, you must contact the embassy or consulate at which you wish to apply to confirm whether you need to be interviewed by a consular officer, and to schedule an interview. You can find a list of U.S. embassies and consulates here, with links to their websites where you can find information about scheduling a visa interview appointment.  If the embassy or consulate at which you apply informs that you must have a visa interview, the visa application process cannot be completed until you appear for an interview with a consular officer.

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What documents do I need to have with me while I complete the DS-160?
You should have the following documents available while you complete your DS-160:

  • Passport
  • Travel itinerary, if you have already made travel arrangements.
  • Dates of your last five visits or trips to the United States, if you have previously travelled to the United States. You may also be asked for your international travel history for the past five years.
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae – You may be required to provide information about your current and previous education and work history.
  • Other Information – Some applicants, depending on the intended purpose of travel, will be asked to provide additional information when completing the DS-160.

Some applicants will need to have additional information and documents handy while completing the DS-160:

  • Students and Exchange Visitors (F, J, and M): You will be asked to provide your SEVIS ID, which is printed on your I-20 or DS-2019, so you should have this form available when completing your DS-160. You also will be asked to provide the address of the school/program at which you intend to study. This information should also be on your I-20 or DS-2019 form.
  • Petition-based Temporary Workers (H-1B, H-2, H-3, CW1, L, O, P, R, E2C): You should have a copy of your I-129 available when completing your DS-160.
  • Other Temporary Workers: You will be asked for information about your employer, including the employer’s address, while completing your DS-160.
Can my answers be in my native language?
No. All answers must be in English, using English characters only, except when you are asked to provide your full name in your native alphabet. Applications submitted in any language other than English will be denied, and you may be required to submit a new application.
While you must answer all questions in English, translations of questions are available in many languages from the drop-down menu in the right upper corner of the application. These translations should assist you in completing the form in English.
Are all questions on the DS-160 mandatory?
Most questions are mandatory and must be answered in the spaces provided. You may leave spaces blank when the questions are marked “optional.” You may answer a question with “Does Not Apply,” when that question does not apply to you; however, all other questions must be answered. The system will not allow you to submit an application with any mandatory questions left unanswered. If you do not complete a mandatory question, the system will display an error message and require you to answer the question before continuing with the application. If you do not answer questions that apply to your circumstances and/or purpose of travel, the system will not accept your application.
Are additional forms required?
No. The online DS-160 application replaced the DS-156, DS-157, DS-158, and DS-3032, which are no longer necessary. NOTE: In addition to the DS-160, Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor visa applicants also must complete an additional form (see the Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor, E Visa Applicants section below for more information).
What happens to my DS-160 if I select a U.S. Embassy or Consulate where I will be applying for my visa, but end up making an interview appointment instead at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate?
The Embassy or Consulate at which you actually apply should be able to access your form using the barcode on your DS-160 confirmation page, which you must bring to the visa interview. For example, a business traveler intends to apply for his visa at the U.S. Embassy in City X, so he selects City X as the location where he will submit his application when he completes his DS-160. He then has an urgent reason to travel to City Y on business. Because there is a U.S. Consulate in City Y, he schedules an appointment for a visa interview there, using the barcode from his completed DS-160 application for appointment scheduling. The U.S. Consulate in City Y is able to accept his DS-160 even though it lists the U.S. Embassy in City X as the location where he originally intended to submit his application.

Completing Specific DS-160 Questions

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How do I sign the DS-160 form?
Can a third party complete the form on my behalf? Who is exempt from signing the form?
The DS-160 contains terms that I am not familiar with. Are these terms explained?

Saving Your DS-160 and Returning to a Partially Completed DS-160

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How can I save my application? Can I stop in the middle of the application and return to it later?
How do I save my DS-160 application to my computer hard drive or a disk?
I apply for U.S. visas often. Can I reuse the DS-160?
What if I lose my internet connection, the application “times out,” or I receive an error? Will my application be lost?
Why did the edits I made from the review page “edit” link not save?

Uploading a Photo to Your DS-160

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I understand that I can upload a photo with my application. How do I get a digital photo that will successfully upload to my application?
The confirmation page has an “X” in the box where the photo should be. What does that mean?

Correcting Answers on a Submitted DS-160

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The U.S. Embassy or Consulate where I went for my visa interview denied my application because my DS-160 contained errors or was incomplete. What does this mean and what do I need to do next?
After I have corrected or completed my DS-160 application, do I need to schedule a new appointment or return to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

DS-160 Confirmation Page

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Should I bring my entire application or just the confirmation page with me to the interview?
I submitted my online DS-160 application, but lost my confirmation page. Can I print a new one?

Family/Group Applications

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I am traveling with my family or as part of a group. Can I create a family or group application?
If I use the option on the “Thank You” page to create a family or group application, can I modify the data automatically populated by the system?

Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor, E Visa Applicants

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I am applying for a Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor, E Visa. Do I need to fill out the DS-160 and the DS-156E?

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