DS-160 Form: How To Fill

Filling out form DS-160 is an essential step to obtaining a nonimmigrant visa to the United States. The applicant will not be accepted for an interview without a completed questionnaire.

USA visa DS-160 form

To fill out the US visa application correctly, you need to know a lot of nuances: from your passport number to the phone numbers of your former employer.

Table of contents

Here are the instructions on how to complete the DS-160 yourself!

Step 1: pay the USA visa fee

This can usually be done at the post office. Some countries accept payment through a bank. U.S. visa cost at the moment is USD $160. You can find a receipt form on the official website of the Embassy in the "Payment of Consular Fee" section.

After paying the American visa fee, be sure to keep the receipt. With the help of this document, you will be able to confirm your payment when you make an appointment for an interview. Pay attention to the date indicated on the receipt and the transfer number: connecting these 12 digits will make a unique code. By entering it on the Embassy website you will make an appointment for your U.S. visa interview. In addition, you will need to bring this receipt with you to your interview with the visa officer.

Step 2: Preparing the necessary data

When filling out the DS-160 form, you will need to have the following documents on hand:

To instantly take a photo for the DS-160 form, upload any of your portraits, taken in full-face, here. Visafoto will instantly edit the background, format and image quality. It is advisable to read the US visa photo requirements before uploading your photo.

Here is a DS-160 photo example:

USA visa photo

Step 3: Get an Application ID

You can submit Form DS-160 online at Ceac.state.gov/genniv/. Select the city where you plan to be interviewed, enter the verification code and click Start the application.

You will receive a number, which will be converted to the Confirmation Number after you fill out the form. Also, answer any security questions. This number should be saved or printed by clicking on Print Application ID, and the answer to the security question should be written down. If you do not complete the DS-160 in time or accidentally close the page, you can always pick up where you left off, thanks to your Application ID.

Step 4: Go on to filling out personal information

The U.S. visa application form is to be filled out in English letters only, with correct transcription. For your convenience, the language of the form itself can be adjusted in the upper right corner of the page.

Answer the questions honestly, don't try to hide any information! Optional boxes are not mandatory.

DS-160 guidelines and tips

Don’t delay in completing the form. The form must be completed 75 minutes after receiving the ID. If no action is taken on the page within 20 minutes, the session is terminated and unsaved data is deleted.

So pay attention to:

  1. Decide on the type of visa in advance. For tourist and business trips, choose a visitor visa B1/B2, described in detail in this article.
  2. Passport type: сhoose the regular one. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months after crossing the border.
  3. Surnames are written as they appear in the passport.
  4. How to write your address correctly on Form DS-160? Before you fill out this page of the DS-160 form, you should see an example of how to write an American-style address. First enter the house, then the street, and at the very end the apartment number.
  5. Under no circumstances should you ignore the "Social Media" box! You must list all of your social media accounts that you have used and are using in the last 5 years to communicate, work, share, etc. Organization or work accounts that others also use are omitted. The consulate will have no trouble discovering the truth if you falsely state that you don't have Facebook or Instagram. If you cheat, you will be denied a visa.
  6. The purpose of travel and the visa requested must match. Do not leave blank the intended date of travel and the address where you will be staying in the United States.
  7. It is very important to accurately and correctly indicate the number of your last visa to the United States and the date of your visa issuance. If you have already been denied a U.S. visa, you should note this and explain the reason for the denial.
  8. If you are traveling as a guest, under "U.S. Contact," indicate who you are visiting in the United States. For business travel, enter the name of the company that is inviting you. If you are traveling for tourism and you do not have any contacts in the U.S., enter the address of your intended hotel.
  9. Your parents' information should be recorded, even if they are no longer alive. If spouses, children, siblings, fiancé or fiancée, i.e., your immediate family members, live in the United States, note this.
  10. All previous names of the spouse must be recorded on DS-160.
  11. Places of study are indicated even if you have not completed them.
  12. Check your photo before submitting it!

If you want to save the application and return to it later, the secret question and Application id will help. You have 30 days to complete the application.

Be sure that your photo is correct. Take it by yourself:

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
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Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at visafoto.com


Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

The last one step: «Sign and Submit»

After completing all the sections, attach your digital photo electronically to the form, and then conduct a "Review." In this step, review all the data in your DS-160, and it is still possible to make changes.

Enter your passport number and the code from the picture. Sign the form with the electronic signature, and it is sent for consideration. After this step the DS-160 form is no longer editable.

The Confirmation page will appear on the screen. Print it out and take it with you to your visa interview.

Good luck!

Last update: December 2022

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