FAQs on Completing Form DS-160

A foreign national who requires a nonimmigrant visa to travel to the United States normally must fill out form DS-160, an online nonimmigrant visa application. Consular officers use the information entered in the DS-160 to process the visa application and determine an applicant’s eligibility for the nonimmigrant visa (NIV). The following provides answers to frequently asked questions related to the form DS-160.

Does a new DS-160 need to be created if the interview location has been changed?

If the NIV applicant wishes to change the interview location to a U.S. consular post in a different country from what was originally indicated, a new DS-160 normally would be required. If, however, the NIV appointment is being scheduled within the same country, a new form DS-160 is not necessary. In that situation, the U.S. consulate where the applicant appears for the interview can access the application form using the barcode on the DS-160 confirmation page, which the applicant must carry to the visa interview. Nevertheless, while a new DS-160 is not mandatory, it may be beneficial to complete a new one to avoid potential delays.

How much does it cost to file form DS-160?

There is no fee for filing form DS-160. However, the applicant normally have to pay a visa application fee. The fee for most non-petition-based nonimmigrant visas, such as a B-1/B-2 or F-1 visa, is $160. The fee for petition-based visas (e.g., H1B) is usually $190. These fees vary depending upon the type of visa and country of citizenship. The reason is due to the principle of reciprocity where the U.S. government charges fees similar to those charged to U.S. citizens by that country. A complete list of visa application fees and other visa related fees can be found on the Department of Sate website.

I started to fill out a DS-160 but have not yet completed the form. How long do I have to go back and complete the draft?

A visa application will remain valid for up to 30 days from the date it was last accessed. The visa applicant must have the DS-160 application ID to retrieve a previously saved application.

May a third party complete the form DS-160 on the visa applicant’s behalf?

Yes. If a visa applicant is unable to complete the form, or needs assistance in its completion, the applicant may request a third party, like an attorney or agent, to complete the form. The third party must be identified on the “Sign and Submit” page of the application. The third party who has assisted the NIV applicant in completing the application must instruct the visa applicant to endorse the application by clicking the “Sign Application” button.

Can the DS-160 be edited once it has been submitted?

Once the form has been submitted electronically, it can be retrieved if the application was submitted within the last 30 days. The original application that has been retrieved will include the previously filled in information, which can be edited. Once the edits have been made, the form must be re-submitted.

Can a family or group application be created if the visa applicant is traveling with family members or as part of a group?

Yes. Once the primary visa applicant’s DS-160 has been submitted, the applicant should select the option to “Email Confirmation” on the confirmation page. The primary visa applicant will be redirected to a “Thank You” page. This page will include an option to create a family or group application. Upon selecting this option, certain information from the primary visa applicant’s form, such as the home address or destination, will automatically be imported to and displayed on the new application. However, each family member or individual within the group who intends to travel to the U.S. must create a separate DS-160 application.

Does the entire application need to be brought to the interview, or just the confirmation page?

The entire application is not required for the visa interview. The visa applicant must bring the confirmation page with the application ID on it to the interview so that the DS-160 may be retrieved. The consulate will not be able to process the visa application without the confirmation page.


Given the importance of the DS-160, each visa applicant should carefully review every question and ensure all responses are accurate. Since the DS-160 is executed under penalty of perjury of law, any misleading information provided on it could lead to a permanent ineligibility from entering the United States.


Copyright © 2022, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

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.