Expansion of DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Applications

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued updated plans to expand web-based nonimmigrant visa applications. The DS-160 is a fully web-based form that will replace the current DS-156, 157, and 158 forms. The DS-160 is scheduled for worldwide implementation by April 30, 2010. This will impact all nonimmigrant (temporary) visa applications at the U.S. consulates, with the exception of K visas (used for the fiancé / fiancée / spouse of a U.S. citizen).

Online DS-160 Successful at Twenty-Four Consulates

The DS-160 was introduced earlier in 2009, with an initial phase-in at twenty-four consulates. This change was reported to MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers in our August 7, 2009 article, New Nonimmigrant Visa Form DS-160. The DOS reports that implementation has been successful. The new system allows for review of the application prior to the consular interview.

Priority Consulates: India Included

The DOS explains some of the technical challenges encountered in making this change. Included is the need for translations, which delays implementation at locations where English is not the primary or common language. The DOS has identified priority posts for launching DS-160 no later than March 1, 2010. This list, which includes India, China, Pakistan, Singapore, UAE, and the UK, as well as other consular posts throughout the world, is available in the announcement.


These are among ongoing DOS efforts to upgrade and modernize technology. In light of these changes, MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers are reminded always to check the visa application instructions on the particular consular websites where they intend to apply for their nonimmigrant visas.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.