If you’re reading this, chances are you’re about to apply for a nonimmigrant visa for the United States, which includes a tourist visa, work visa, crew visa, or student visa, among other options. In this post I explain what the DS-160 form is, what it is for and everything related to it.
Technically, no one should help you fill out this document, i.e., no one can or should tell you what information to add, as it is confidential and for personal use. However, this guide will help you understand what it’s all about if it’s your first time applying for a U.S. nonimmigrant visa.
What is Form DS-160?
Form DS-160 is an official form issued by the U.S. Department of State that must be filled out strictly online as the first step to apply for a nonimmigrant visa, whether it is a work visa, study visa, or tourist visa, among others. In this form you must inform about your personal data such as name, address, date of birth.
You must add your family’s information and let them know if they are in the United States. You must indicate the type of visa you are applying for and according to that you will be asked for more information, for example, if you apply for an employment visa you must indicate who your employer is, their address, email, telephone and if the employer pays for your trip.
What type of visa is the DS 160 form needed for?
Form DS-160 is required to process nonimmigrant visas. The nonimmigrant visa is for permanent residents of other countries outside the United States who wish to remain in the United States temporarily. Below I specify which are the nonimmigrant visas with which the DS-160 form must be filled:
- B Visitor: tourism, business, medical treatment
- C Transit (if you have a flight connection in the United States)
- F/M Student
- J Exchange Visitor
- D A member of a crew working on an aircraft or ship
- I Media & Journalists
- E1/E2 A trader or investor from countries with which the United States has a trade or navigation treaty
- E3 Professional Specialty (for Australians)
- H, L, O, P, Q, R Temporary Employment or Interns
- NAFTA Professional TD/TN
- T Victim of Human Trafficking
- U Victim of criminal activity
Where can I find the DS-160 form to fill out?
It is issued by the United States Department of State and can be found on its official website in the following link:I already have my form and code…
Make your visa appointment now
If you have already filled out the ds 160 form, it means that it has your code and with it you can make your appointment at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country:
Guide to filling out Form ds-160 in pdf at
Here’s a PDF sample of what it’s like to fill out the 160 certificate.
How to fill out the new Form DS-160?
Select the location where you are applying, country, and state or province. Enter the verification code and click Start an application. Read the statement presented to you and click I agree. Below will appear your number of applicants or Application ID, you must save this code to enter your application when you need it.
Now, choose a security question from the options given to you and type in the answer that only you should know. From now on you must fill out the form with your information, there should be no loss. But I'll give you some clues. In the National Identification Number section you will put your CURP if you are Mexican, DNI if you are Spanish or the one that applies according to your country. In the Passport Book Number section I have always selected "Not applicable".
Keep filling out the information you have, including the visits you've made to the United States, your student information, contact information (for example, your employer if that's the case or someone you know) and finally they ask you questions about your criminal history. At the end of filling out the form, make sure that everything is correct and send the application, once this is done the system will give you a two-page receipt in which the first sheet indicates your basic information, a barcode and your application number.
This proof is important to keep because you are going to present it at your appointment at the consulate and at the CAS Applicant Service Center. Remember that you must answer the form truthfully and completely. Anyway, the system doesn't let you continue if you don't complete everything, but if for some reason something is missing, this can delay your process. In case the applicant does not answer the questions that apply to him, his application may be rejected.
Do I need to fill out form DS-160 to renew a visa?
Yes, you must fill out the same form if you are going to renew a nonimmigrant visa and have the same requirements as the previous time.
Can I fill out the form in Spanish?
The form is in English and must be filled out in English as well.
Should I bring the entire application to the visa interview or just the confirmation sheet?
You only need to bring the confirmation sheet that contains the barcode, the application number and the most relevant information about the applicant. Keep in mind that you must keep this confirmation sheet for the entire duration of the visa process and you must present it on the day of the interview before the CAS and the consulate. Without this confirmation they will not be able to access the request and the consular agent will not process the case.
Is it necessary to have a visa to transit through the United States?
We know that sometimes it is cheaper to stopover in the United States if we are going to another destination that is further away. Remember that you must have an American visa if you are going to stopover in the United States or are in transit. The visas that can be used for this purpose are the transit visa or the tourist visa.
What documents do I need to complete my Form DS-160 application?
It is essential that you have your valid passport on hand, since you need to provide your passport number. Other documents that will help you are: tickets for past flights to the United States to know visit dates, past visas if applicable, CURP or the national identification code that applies, and a job letter if applicable. I hope it has been useful to you from Consular Appointments in the USA, we hope you enjoy your trip!