DS-160: All You Need To Know


This Article was Reviewed by The Chief Editor, Godfrey

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DS-160: All You Need To Know

If you are considering traveling for a short while and you need guidance and information on visa applications and how to go about it, I bet you’ll find this article very enlightening.

What Is DS-160

DS-160 is a new NON-IMMIGRANT visa electronic application form.

It is an online application, that is used to fill out necessary information by individuals who are traveling to the United States on temporary basis and are seeking a non immigrant visa and for K (fiance/fiancee) visa.

It is submitted to the Department of state website, and the information is used by the Consular officer to process the Visa.


Who Needs To Fill A DS-160 form?

Everyone who wants to visit the US temporarily and is traveling with a temporary visa.

Everyone coming to the US to get married or coming with a K-1 visa.

It is important to note that anyone younger than 16 or unable to fill the form themselves can be helped by a third party. If a family is traveling together, everyone must fill out an individual form.


To fill the DS-160 form. you’ll need

  • A computer with a browser that meets the following criteria

   1. 128-bit encryption support

   2. JavaScript must be enabled

   3. Transport Layer Security (TLS) must be enabled.

   4. This website is best supported by Internet Explorer 11 or higher and Google Chrome 58 or higher. Safari is not supported.

  • A colour photograph/digital image of your photo.

    This should have the following features

  1.     A white background
  2.     No glasses
  3.     Taken within six months
  4.   Absence of shadows or dark corners.
  5. A valid passport and passports issued within the last 10 years.
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How To Fill Out The DS-160 Form

1. To start head to the US department of states Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160) page.

2.  Fill the indicated fields correctly.

3. . Click on START AN APPLICATION if you are starting a new DS-160 application.

    This will generate an application ID that you should note. It would help you retrieve your application.

Filling The Form

 There are various subsections in the DS-160 form. They include;

1. Personal information.

The following information should be volunteered in this section.

  • Surname (it should match surname in passport)
  • Other names (as stated in passport)
  • Have you used other names? ( this covers for maiden names, aliases, professional titles, religious titles etc)
  • Sex (indicate for male or female)
  • Marital status (Select from the array of options- Single, married. Divorced, legally separated, widowed, domestic union, common law marriage, other etc.
  • Date and place of birth.

Enter for

  •    Date (date of birth)
  •    City (city you were born)
  • State (state you were born)
  • Country/region. ( Country you were born)
  • Country of origin (Nationality)
  • Do you hold or have you held any nationality other than the one indicated above on nationality? (Indicate as appropriate)
  • Are you a permanent resident of a country/region other than your country/region of origin (nationality) indicated above? (Indicate if you have a permanent residence permit of another country)
  • National identification number (if your country has)

2. Address And Phone Number

  • Home address
  •  Street Address(Enter your home street address)
  • Street Address ( any additional street address)
  • City (Enter your city)
  • State/Province (Key in your state/province)
  • Postal Zone/Zip Code
  • Country/Region (Select your country)
  • Mailing Address
  •  Phone
  •   Primary Phone Number.
  •   Secondary Phone Number.
  •   Work Phone Number..
  • Email Address (Enter Email where consulate can reach you)

3. Passport.

  •    Passport/Travel Document Type.
  •    Passport/Travel Document Number.
  • Country/Authority that Issued Passport/Travel Document..
  • Where was the Passport/Travel Document Issued?
  •         City
  •         State/Province
  •         Country/Region
  • Issuance Date
  • Expiration Date

4. Travel

  • Purpose of Trip to the U.S.
  • Have you made specific travel plans.
  • Intended Date of Arrival.
  • Intended Length of Stay in the U.S.
  • Address Where You Will Stay in the U.S. (Enter the address where you intend to stay in the US (hotel, friend, relative, etc)]
  •      Street Address
  •      City
  •      State
  •      Zip Code (if known)
  • Person/Entity Paying for Your Trip.
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5. Travel Companions

  • Persons traveling with you
  • Data of persons traveling with you.

6. Previous U.S Travel

  • Have you ever been to the US?

  Fill in for length of stay, date arrived, if ever held a US license)

  • Have you ever been issued a US visa?
  • Have you ever been refused a US visa?

7. U.S Contact

  • Contact person or organization in the U.S (fill in required data)
  • Relationship to you. (Relative, spouse etc)
  • Address and phone number of point of contact.

8. Family

  • Father’s full name and date of birth.
  • Mother’s full name and date of birth.
  • Do you have any relatives in the US.
  • Spouse

9. Work Education And Training

  • Primary Occupation
  • Present employer/school name
  • Present employer/school address
  • Start date
  • Monthly income in local currency
  • Briefly describe your duties.
  • Previous work

   10.  Security/Background

  • This has to do with health and security information.
  • Questions like “Do you have any disease?
  • Have you been imprisoned before?
  • Do you use hard drugs?

11. Photo

  • Here you can upload your passport sized digital photograph.

12. Review

  • In this section, you can review all the data entered in all the subsections and make corrections where necessary.

    13.   Sign And Submit

  • Enter the necessary details
  • Sign and submit.

14.    Confirmation

  • You can print and email the application to yourself.


The DS-160 form is valid as long as data entered remains valid.


Filling out the form is free. Cost is only accrued when collecting the Visa.

How Long Does It Take To Fill Out The Form

Between 25-40 minutes if you are well versed on the procedure.

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Some Frequently Asked Questions

  • What happens when the DS-160 session times out?
  • You can reload the page and retrieve your information.
  • Can you change the information on the DS-160 after submission?
  •    No. You can’t change the information. Its therefore important to fill the form with extreme carefulness.
  • Are all fields necessary?
  • No not al fields are. Some fields are marked optional.
  • Can I use one form for my entire family traveling with me
  •   No you can’t. They will need to have individual forms.
  • Will I have to bring the entire application for the visa interview?
  • Its not necessary. The confirmation page will do.
  • How can I obtain a digital photo?
  • You can use a picture in your phone so long as it meets the standards of the digital photo.


The DS-160 form can be a little complicated especially if you’re not conversant with the process. Just exercise patience and it will move smoothly. For additional information visit here.

Note: Language to be filled in is English language.


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About the Chief Editor

Godfrey Ogbo, the Chief Editor and CEO of AtlanticRide, merges his environmental management expertise with extensive business experience, including in real estate. With a master's degree and a knack for engaging writing, he adeptly covers complex growth and business topics. His analytical approach and business insights enrich the blog, making it a go-to source for readers seeking thoughtful and informed content.

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