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VISA SERVICES

Frequently Asked Questions about CEAC DS-160 Form

 

Accessing the DS- 160

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 

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-20A, I-20B, I-20MN, 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 application questions, except as specially provided, must be in English, using English characters only. Applications that are submitted in any language other than English may be denied, and you may be required to submit a new application.

Are all fields on the DS-160 mandatory? 

Most fields on the DS-160 are mandatory, as indicated on the form. You may leave fields marked “Optional” blank. Some fields may also give you the option to select “Does Not Apply”. If that field does not apply to you, you may mark the box next to “Does Not Apply.” All other fields must be completed: the application will not allow you to submit a form with any mandatory fields left blank. In this instance, an error message will be displayed and you will be required to complete the field before continuing with the application. If you do not answer questions that apply, your form may also be rejected.

When I apply for a nonimmigrant visa using the online DS-160, 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 companies also must complete an additional form for company registries (see the E Visa question below for more information).

I am applying for an E-Visa. Do I need to fill out the DS-160 and the DS-156E?

For the first-time companies seeking E visas, the company must be registered with the U.S. Embassy Tokyo or Consulate in Osaka. When you register the company, DS160, paper DS156E and other required documents for E company registration must be submitted. If the company is registered, and Form DS-156E part I , Part II, Financial Statements/Tax Returns have been submitted annually, paper DS-156E is not required. DS-156E part III is also not required since it has been included in the DS -160.

Completing Specific DS-160 Questions 

Personal Information:

Which address should be entered when a travel agent applies on behalf of an applicant? 

Please enter the applicant's mailing address in the “Mailing Address” box.

I do not have a National Identificfation Number. How should I answer this question? 

If you are a citizen of a country that does not issue national identification numbers, select “Does not apply.”

What do I enter for U.S. Social Security Number and/or U.S. Taxpayer ID Number? 

Applicants, who have worked in the United States, as well as others, will have Social Security numbers or taxpayer identification numbers. If you do not have a Social Security number or a taxpayer identification number, select “Does not apply”.

What is "Telecode"? How should I answer? 

Telecodes are four-digit code numbers that represent characters in some non-Roman alphabet names. Japanese names do not have telecodes. For Japanese nationals, please answer "No" for the question "Do you have a telecode that represents your name?" .

Passport Information:

What is the Passport Book Number?  

For Japanese passports: if the passport is an e-passport, there is no Passport Book Number, so please click "Does not apply." If the passport is not an e-passport, then the Passport Book Number (10-digit number with two letters) is at the top right of page next to the photo (bio-data) page.

Travel Information:

Where can I find my visa number to answer the question “Have you ever been issued a U.S. visa”? 

The visa number is printed in red ink on the lower right portion of your visa.

My previous visa number has only 6 digits. The system requires that I enter 8 digits. What should I do? 

You may prefix two zeros (00) to the 6- digit visa number.

I selected “Representative of Foreign Media” to apply for an “I” visa, but the “Temporary Work Visa” section appeared. Is this correct? 

Yes. If the applicant selects one of the following visa categories, the system will display the “Temporary Work Visa” section following the Security and Background section. This applies to the following visa categories: Diplomat (A1), Foreign Government Official (A2), Personal Employee of A or G (A3, G5), Treaty Trader/Investor (E1, E2), NATO, or International Organization Employee (G), Temporary Employee (H1, H2) Trainee (H3), Foreign Media Representative (I), Intra- company Transfer (L), Person of Extraordinary Ability (O), Athlete or Entertainment Group (P1), Exchange/Culturally Unique Artist (P2/P3)  

For applicants planning a short-term U.S. stay who will receive no income from a U.S. source, may answer as follows: 

  1. Name of employer: Name of your Employer in Japan
  2. U.S. Street/City Address: Not applicable
  3. State: Name of the state where your hotel is located (You may not leave this section blank).
  4. Monthly Salary: Enter “Zero”
  5. Do you have an application receipt/petition number: Enter “No”

Previous U.S. Travel Information:

I have traveled to the U.S. more than 10 times. Should I enter all the information? 

No. You are only required to enter the five most recent trips to the U.S.

I previously traveled to Guam/Saipan. Should I answer “Yes” to the question “Have you ever been in the U.S.?”  

Yes. Previous U.S. travel also includes travel to Guam, Saipan and the other CNMI islands.

What if I only transited the U.S. and stayed for a couple of hours in the airport? Should I answer “Yes” to the question “Have you ever been in the U.S.?” 

Yes, trips involving transit via the U.S must also be included.

I cannot remember the date on which my last visa was issued and the system will not allow me to leave this section blank.  

You must enter a date to the best of your knowledge.

U.S. Point of Contact Information:

I am traveling to the U.S. for sightseeing. I don’t have any contact information in the U.S. What should I do? 

You may enter the hotel information where you will stay in the U.S.

I am applying for a C-1 visa. Whose name should I enter? 

You can enter the city or airport which you are transiting.

Present Work/Education/Training Information:

Which salary should I enter - Japan or the U.S.? 

Please enter monthly income in local currency based on your current employment. If you are working in Japan, enter in Japanese yen. If you are currently working in the U.S., enter in US dollars. If you apply for a temporary work visa, you are required to enter monthly salary in the U.S. under the “Temporary Work Visa information” field. There, you should enter the fee in US dollars which will be paid by the US employer.

Can I enter only the final education I attended? 

No, you need to provide the information on all educational institutions you have attended, not including elementary schools.

E Visa Information:

What is the E-visa company registration number? 

Currently, there is no E-visa company registration number, so you can check “Does not apply.”

I cannot enter a negative number for income in the “Finance and Trade Information” section. Can I enter zero?  

Yes, you may enter zero as the system does not allow negative numbers to be entered.

I am an employee applying for an E-visa. Do I need to fill out all the company’s financial information?  

If you select “EXECUTIVE/MGR/ESSENTIAL EMP (E2)” for the “E-Visa you are applying for” question, you are not required to enter the company’s financial information.

Sign and Submit:

How do I sign the DS-160 form? 

You electronically sign your DS-160 by clicking the “Sign Application” button at the end of the form. Failure to sign may result in termination of the application. Your electronic signature certifies that you have read and understood the questions in the application and that your answers are true and correct to the best of your knowledge and belief. The submission of an application containing any false or misleading statements may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the United States. All declarations made in the application are unsworn declarations made under penalty of perjury.

Unless you are exempted from appearing in person, your fingerprints will be electronically scanned on the day of your interview. By providing your fingerprints, you will again certify that that you have answered all questions on the DS-160 truthfully and to the best of your knowledge, and that you will tell the truth during your visa interview. You will be directed to read the following statement prior to having your fingerprints scanned:

“By submitting my fingerprint, I am certifying under penalty of perjury that I have read and understood the questions in my visa application and that all statements that appear in my visa application have been made by me and are true and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief.

Furthermore, I certify under penalty of perjury that I will tell the truth during my interview and that all statements made by me during my interview will be complete to the best of my ability.”

 

Can I sign for my children?

If the applicant is under the age of 16 or physically incapable of completing an application, the applicant’s parents or guardian may complete and click the “Sign Application” button on his or her behalf. If the applicant has no parent or legal guardian, then the application may be completed by any person having legal custody of, or a legitimate interest in, the applicant.

Every time I try to submit the application form, different codes appear. Does that mean that the application number changes each time?  

The system asks you to enter different codes every time for system security reasons. It has nothing to do with your application number.

Confirmation Page:

I could not print the confirmation page due to computer problems. How can I reprint it?

If you started to fill out DS-160 on or after October 31, 2010, you will be able to retrieve or recover your partially completed DS-160 from the database by entering the application ID and providing three pieces of information: 1) the first five letters of surname, 2) year of birth, and 3) the answer to the security question you selected when the application was first created. Then you can go back to the last page of your the DS-160 that was completed. You may proceed to your confirmation page and print it.

If you started to fill out DS-160 before October 31, 2010, you will be prompted to provide only the first five letters of surname and year of birth. If this data is entered correctly, you will then be required to select and answer a security question, which will be asked the next time you attempt to retrieve that DS-160 application. Then you can go back to the last page of your the DS-160 that was completed. You may proceed to your confirmation page and print it.

What if the confirmation page was not printed completely?

You will be able to reprint your confirmation page by clicking on the "Retrieve An Application" button on the "Getting Started" page. When the "Retrieve An Application" button is clicked, you are asked to provide identification information. One of the identifying pieces of information you must provide is the answer to the security question that was selected when your DS-160 was first created. If the DS-160 application was created in a previous version and no security question was ever selected, the system only prompts the applicant for two identifying pieces of information. If answered correctly, the system displays the confirmation page.
You may bring the partially printed confirmation page to your interview as long as the barcode is displayed.  

Should the confirmation page be printed in color? 

No. Both color and black and white print are acceptable. 

 

Uploading a Photo to your DS-160

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?  

Please refer to the photo quality standards guide for detailed guidance for using a digital camera, and requirements for scanned images.

The confirmation page has an "X" in the box where the photo should be. What does that mean? 

That means that the photo upload failed. If the confirmation page includes a photo image, then the photo upload function has succeeded. Please note that US Embassy and consulates in Japan requires all the non-immigrant visa applicant to submit one separate print photograph along with the online DS-160 confirmation page regardless whether the photo has been successfully uploaded or not. See the print photo format found in the Nonimmigrant Photograph Requirements. Please attach the print photo to your confirmation page using a clip. Do NOT staple the photo to the confirmation page.

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

How can I save my application? Can i stop in the middle of the application and return to it later?

You can save your application or return to a partially completed application. When you begin a new DS-160, you will be issued an unique application identification (ID) number after selecting and answering a security question. Once you have your application ID number and have selected and answered a security question, you may exit the DS-160 application and return to it later. You must have your application ID to return to your application. To save your DS-160 to the Consular Electronic Application Center website, click the “Next” button at the bottom of each page you complete. You have 30 days to return to a partially completed application. To access your application after 30 days, you must save it to your computer hard drive or a disk, as explained in the FAQ below.  

How do I save my Ds-160 application to my computer hard drive or a disk? 

Saving to a hard drive or disk will allow you to access your application after 30 days. To permanently save your application to your computer hard drive or a disk, select the “Save Application to File” button. Then, click the “Save” button on the File Download window. Identify a place on your computer to save the application, browse to that location, and click the “Save” button on the “Save As” window. The system will download your application to the specified location. Once the download is complete, you can click “Close” to return to the live application on our website. Note: Applications saved to the hard drive of a public or shared computer or memory device could likely be accessed by anyone else who uses the computer or device after you.

I apply for U.S. visas often. Can I reuse the DS-160?  

Yes, you can use information from a previously submitted DS-160 to populate some fields on a new form. There are two ways that you can do this. First, if you plan to apply for a visa in the future, save your DS-160 to your hard drive or a disk using the instructions in the FAQ above. When you go to apply for your new visa you can then select “Upload an Application” on the Getting Started page. Alternately, if your previous visa application was submitted after November 1, 2010, you can select “ Retrieve Application,” enter your previous visa application ID, and then hit “Create a New Application.” Your personal information will then populate the form. Be careful to check that all previously submitted information is current and accurate.  

What if I lose my internet connection, the application “times out,” or I receive an error? Will my application be lost?

All information is automatically saved when each page is completed, so your application will not be lost. You will need to enter the application ID number, and answer other questions as prompted, to retrieve your application. Once your application has been retrieved, it will begin at the last page you completed. You will be able to edit previous pages, if needed.

Why did the edits I made from the review page "edit" link not save? 

In order for data changes made from the review page links to save, you must use the buttons at the bottom of each page to navigate, instead of the browser's back/forward buttons or the buttons along the side of the screen.

Correcting Answers on a Submitted DS-160  

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? 

DS-160 applications submitted before April 1, 2010 cannot be reopened, and therefore, you must complete and submit a new DS-160.  

The Embassy or Consulate should reopen your DS-160 submitted after April1, 2010 if your application is denied for this reason and ask you to correct it, as explained below:

  • DS-160 applications submitted on or after November 1, 2010: Enter your application ID number and answer additional questions as prompted to access and correct your application.


  • DS-160 applications submitted on or after April 1, 2010, but before November 1, 2010: Enter your barcode or confirmation number into the Application ID field and answer additional questions as prompted to access and correct your application.

For more information, please see Retrieve/Recover DS-160 Application Form page.

DS-160 and visa interview 

How far in advance of my interview do I need to submit a DS-160 form online? 

Applications may be submitted at any time prior to the visa interview. However, please note that you will need a barcode number, which is shown on the DS-160 confirmation page(PDF 390KB) to make a visa interview appointment and pay the visa application fee. 

After I made an interview appointment, I found an error on my DS-160 form. I corrected the error by resubmitting the DS-160 application, should I make a new appointment? 

No, you are not required to make a new appointment even if the barcode number on your DS160 confirmation page is different from the one registered on your appointment. 

Do I bring my entire application with me to the interview, or do I just bring the confirmation page?

You should not bring your entire application. Your confirmation page is all that is needed to retrieve your application data. You must bring the confirmation page with you during all phases of the application process. Without the confirmation page, it may not be possible to access your application and process your visa case. 

I submitted my online DS-160 application, but lost my confirmation page. Can I print a new one?

Yes. Go into the Consular Electronic Application Center website, and click the “Start Application” button at the bottom of the page. From the “Getting Started” page, select the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you submitted your application, and click the “Retrieve An Application” button. On the next page, “Retrieve a DS-160 Application,” provide your application ID number, and other information as requested. From here, your confirmation page will be displayed, and you will be able to print or email it

 

 DS-160 and group application

 I am traveling with my family or as part of a group. Can I create a family or group application?

Yes. On the “Thank You” page you will see an option to create a family or group application. When you select this option, certain information from your application, such as destination, will automatically be imported to and displayed on a new application. Please note that if you use this option you will need to create an individual application for each of your family members traveling with you or for each individual within the group.

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?

Yes. If one of the dependents has a different surname or nationality, for example, the applicant can alter that data on the application before submitting.  

Can a third party complete the form on the applicant’s behalf?  

If an applicant is illiterate or unable to complete the application, the applicant must be assisted by a third party. The third party must be identified on the “Sign and Submit” page of the application. While the third party can assist the applicant in completing the application, he or she must instruct the applicant on how to endorse the application on his or her own behalf by clicking the “Sign Application” button.

If the applicant is under the age of 16 or physically incapable of completing an application, the applicant’s parents or guardian may complete and click the “Sign Application” button on his or her behalf. If the applicant has no parent or legal guardian, then the application may be completed by any person having legal custody of, or a legitimate interest in, the applicant.

How can I save my application? Can i stop in the middle of the application and return to it later?

You can save your application or return to a partially completed application. When you begin a new DS-160, you will be issued an unique application identification (ID) number after selecting and answering a security question. Once you have your application ID number and have selected and answered a security question, you may exit the DS-160 application and return to it later. You must have your application ID to return to your application. To save your DS-160 to the Consular Electronic Application Center website, click the “Next” button at the bottom of each page you complete. You have 30 days to return to a partially completed application. To access your application after 30 days, you must save it to your computer hard drive or a disk, as explained in the FAQ below.  

How do I save my Ds-160 application to my computer hard drive or a disk? 

Saving to a hard drive or disk will allow you to access your application after 30 days. To permanently save your application to your computer hard drive or a disk, select the “Save Application to File” button. Then, click the “Save” button on the File Download window. Identify a place on your computer to save the application, browse to that location, and click the “Save” button on the “Save As” window. The system will download your application to the specified location. Once the download is complete, you can click “Close” to return to the live application on our website. Note: Applications saved to the hard drive of a public or shared computer or memory device could likely be accessed by anyone else who uses the computer or device after you.

I apply for U.S. visas often. Can I reuse the DS-160?  

Yes, you can use information from a previously submitted DS-160 to populate some fields on a new form. There are two ways that you can do this. First, if you plan to apply for a visa in the future, save your DS-160 to your hard drive or a disk using the instructions in the FAQ above. When you go to apply for your new visa you can then select “Upload an Application” on the Getting Started page. Alternately, if your previous visa application was submitted after November 1, 2010, you can select “ Retrieve Application,” enter your previous visa application ID, and then hit “Create a New Application.” Your personal information will then populate the form. Be careful to check that all previously submitted information is current and accurate.  

What if I lose my internet connection, the application “times out,” or I receive an error? Will my application be lost?

All information is automatically saved when each page is completed, so your application will not be lost. You will need to enter the application ID number, and answer other questions as prompted, to retrieve your application. Once your application has been retrieved, it will begin at the last page you completed. You will be able to edit previous pages, if needed.

Why did the edits I made from the review page "edit" link not save? 

In order for data changes made from the review page links to save, you must use the buttons at the bottom of each page to navigate, instead of the browser's back/forward buttons or the buttons along the side of the screen.

Correcting Answers on a Submitted DS-160  

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? 

DS-160 applications submitted before April 1, 2010 cannot be reopened, and therefore, you must complete and submit a new DS-160.  

The Embassy or Consulate should reopen your DS-160 submitted after April1, 2010 if your application is denied for this reason and ask you to correct it, as explained below:

  • DS-160 applications submitted on or after November 1, 2010: Enter your application ID number and answer additional questions as prompted to access and correct your application.


  • DS-160 applications submitted on or after April 1, 2010, but before November 1, 2010: Enter your barcode or confirmation number into the Application ID field and answer additional questions as prompted to access and correct your application.

For more information, please see Retrieve/Recover DS-160 Application Form page.

DS-160 and visa interview 

How far in advance of my interview do I need to submit a DS-160 form online? 

Applications may be submitted at any time prior to the visa interview. However, please note that you will need a barcode number, which is shown on the DS-160 confirmation page(PDF 390KB) to make a visa interview appointment and pay the visa application fee. 

After I made an interview appointment, I found an error on my DS-160 form. I corrected the error by resubmitting the DS-160 application, should I make a new appointment? 

No, you are not required to make a new appointment even if the barcode number on your DS160 confirmation page is different from the one registered on your appointment. 

Do I bring my entire application with me to the interview, or do I just bring the confirmation page?

You should not bring your entire application. Your confirmation page is all that is needed to retrieve your application data. You must bring the confirmation page with you during all phases of the application process. Without the confirmation page, it may not be possible to access your application and process your visa case. 

I submitted my online DS-160 application, but lost my confirmation page. Can I print a new one?

Yes. Go into the Consular Electronic Application Center website, and click the “Start Application” button at the bottom of the page. From the “Getting Started” page, select the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you submitted your application, and click the “Retrieve An Application” button. On the next page, “Retrieve a DS-160 Application,” provide your application ID number, and other information as requested. From here, your confirmation page will be displayed, and you will be able to print or email it

 

 DS-160 and group application

 I am traveling with my family or as part of a group. Can I create a family or group application?

Yes. On the “Thank You” page you will see an option to create a family or group application. When you select this option, certain information from your application, such as destination, will automatically be imported to and displayed on a new application. Please note that if you use this option you will need to create an individual application for each of your family members traveling with you or for each individual within the group.

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?

Yes. If one of the dependents has a different surname or nationality, for example, the applicant can alter that data on the application before submitting.  

Can a third party complete the form on the applicant’s behalf?  

If an applicant is illiterate or unable to complete the application, the applicant must be assisted by a third party. The third party must be identified on the “Sign and Submit” page of the application. While the third party can assist the applicant in completing the application, he or she must instruct the applicant on how to endorse the application on his or her own behalf by clicking the “Sign Application” button.

If the applicant is under the age of 16 or physically incapable of completing an application, the applicant’s parents or guardian may complete and click the “Sign Application” button on his or her behalf. If the applicant has no parent or legal guardian, then the application may be completed by any person having legal custody of, or a legitimate interest in, the applicant.