Technical Difficulties with New Visa Form DS-160

Many applicants for nonimmigrant visas are required to use a new U.S. Department of State (DOS) application form. The nonimmigrant visa electronic application (Form DS-160) is being phased in for use at consulates worldwide. It is currently required for visa applications at the consulates in India. Murthy Immigration Services, Pvt. Ltd., (MISPL), in Chennai, India, assists individuals and companies with visa applications at the consulates in India. The legal team there has provided preliminary feedback on some technical difficulties encountered with the new form, as well as some helpful suggestions for completing the new form.

The new online Form DS-160, must now be used for visa applications at the consulates in India. The implementation of this new form was reported in our December 11, 2009 article, Expansion of DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Applications. Like any new system, there are generally some difficulties to overcome in the initial stages. As of this writing, MISPL has advised that many applicants in India are facing some difficulties in completing the online form. The system times out very quickly, and the server is often busy. There is an advisory at the top of the Consular Electronic Application Center page for the DS-160 intake. Applicants are advised that the system has been experiencing problems with intermittent connectivity and that they should save their work frequently.

Solution – Keep all Data Handy for Online Form Completion

In an attempt to minimize difficulties due to the technical problems, MISPL suggests that applicants have all the necessary information required for the form in advance. It is easier – and takes less time – to complete the form by simply filling in all the information, rather than trying to locate the data while filling the form. This may be particularly important if one is assisting another individual in filling out the form.

Data Includes Biographic, Passport, and Trips to U.S.

The information required includes personal biographic data, such as date and place of birth, current address, as well as all names used by the individual, and the names and dates of birth of the applicant’s parents. The form asks for details regarding the applicant’s passport, as well as details of any prior U.S. travel and visas and the address for the intended stay in the United States.

Other Data Includes Visa Denials, Relatives, Criminal Violations

Individuals who previously have been denied visas or refused entry to the United States need the dates and details of those events. It is necessary to list relatives in the United States, as well as those who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Applicants must supply current employment information, as well as the history of employment in the past five years. In addition to the particulars of U.S. travel, it is necessary to provide the name/s and year of visit/s for all other foreign travel in the past five years. There are questions about past immigration and criminal violations, as well as other inadmissibility concerns. Thus, for many it takes time to gather all the required data in this expanded, detailed visa application form.


We thank our affiliate in Chennai for this practical information on the most efficient way to complete and submit the DS-160 online. The adjustment period for a new system is often accompanied by a bit of frustration. The technical problems, hopefully, will be addressed in the near future. Visa applicants should plan to devote more time to the visa application process than may have been needed in the past. Individuals who need guidance or assistance with matters related to their visa applications may wish to contact MISPL.

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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.