The “Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160)” form must be completed by all applicants for a USA visa. This form is exclusively completed at State.gov. This article provides instructions on how to complete the DS-160 form and answers frequently asked questions. Completing the DS-160 form takes between 30 to 60 minutes, so expect that and, of course, provide honest answers.
On the home page, first select the location where you will apply for your visa from the drop-down list, for instance, “Czech Republic, Prague” and click the “Start an Application” button further down.
Next, select the security question of your choice and provide your answer. At this point, it’s quite straightforward. In the upper right corner, take note of the identification code of your form.
Personal Information 1
- Surnames – please enter all your surnames as they appear on your passport. Do not use commas or other diacritical marks.
- Given Names – write your first name(s), again without diacritical marks
- Full Name in Native Alphabet – type your full name, including diacritical marks
- Have You Ever Used Other Names? If you have ever used another name (e.g., before you got married), write it without accents
- Do You Have a Telecode That Represents Your Name?
- Marital Status
- Date and Place of Birth
Once completed, click Next.
Personal Information 2
- Country – Your country
- Do You Hold or Have You Held Any Nationality Other Than the One Indicated Above on Nationality? If you have ever held any nationality other than the one indicated in the box above, please select it.
- National Identification Number – birth number
- USA Social Security Number – USA Social Security number
- USA Taxpayer ID Number – USA Taxpayer Identification Number
If any of these do not apply to you, check Does Not Apply.
Address and Phone Information
Fill in your permanent address, you can check the Does Not Apply button next to the State/Province box. If your delivery address is different from your permanent address, fill it in.
Ensure you fill in your phone number and email address as well.
- Passport/Travel Document Type – for a regular passport, select Regular
- Passport/Travel Document Number
- Passport Book Number – select Does Not Apply
- Where Was the Passport/Travel Document Issued?
- Issuance Date
- Expiration Date
- Have You Ever Lost a Passport or Had One Stolen?
Your passport should remain valid for at least 6 months after the date you plan to leave the USA.
📄 Sample of the Completed Part of the Form
In this section of the form, fill in your travel information.
- Purpose of Trip to the USA
- Intended Date of Arrival
- Intended Length of Stay in USA
- Address Where You Will Stay in the USA
- Person/Entity Paying for Your Trip
For example, if you do not know your exact location at the time of filling out the form, provide the most accurate estimate possible.
Travel Companions Information
Here, you fill in information about the people who will be accompanying you on your trip.
- Are There Other Persons Travelling With You?
- Are You Travelling as Part of a Group or Organization?
If you are travelling with your family, an organized group (tour), a sports club or perhaps a music group, you should check Yes. If you are travelling with work colleagues, you can check No.
Previous USA Travel Information
- Have you ever visited the USA? If so, provide information about your last five visits.
- Have you ever been issued a USA Visa?
- Have you ever been refused a USA Visa, denied admission to the USA, or withdrawn your application for admission at the port of entry?
- Have you ever been denied travel authorization by the Department of Homeland Security through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)?
- Has anyone ever filed an immigrant petition on your behalf with the USA Citizenship and Immigration Services?
If you cannot recall precisely when you visited the USA, please provide as accurate an estimate as possible.
USA Point of Contact Information
In this step, you are required to provide information about your point of contact or organization in the USA.
Family Information: Relatives
In this section of the DS-160 form, provide information about your biological parents. If you are adopted, offer details about your adoptive parents.
- Is your father in the USA?
- Do you have any immediate relatives, excluding parents, in the USA?
- Do you have any other relatives in the USA?
Immediate relatives are defined as your fiancé/fiancée, spouse, son/daughter, or brother/sister.
Present Work, Education, and Training Information
Provide information regarding your current employment, school, or training.
- Primary Occupation = your main occupation
- Present Employer or School Name = provide information and contact details for your current employer or school
- Monthly Income in Local Currency = your net monthly income in crowns
- Briefly Describe Your Duties = provide a short description of your job duties
If you are currently unemployed, please state “Unemployed.”
Security and Background: Part 1
- Do you have a communicable disease of public health significance?
- Do you have a mental or physical disorder that poses or is likely to pose a threat to your safety or welfare or to others?
- Are you, or have you ever been, a drug abuser or addict?
Checking “Yes” to a question does not necessarily mean that your visa application will be denied.
Security and Background: Part 2
- Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, even though subject of a pardon, amnesty, or other similar action?
- Have you ever violated, or engaged in a conspiracy to violate, any law relating to controlled substances?
- Are you coming to the USA to engage in prostitution or unlawful commercialized vice or have you been involved in prostitution or procuring prostitutes within the past 10 years?
- Have you ever been involved in, or do you intend to engage in, money laundering?
- Have you ever committed or conspired to commit a human trafficking offense in the USA or outside the USA?
- Have you ever knowingly aided, abetted, assisted, or colluded with an individual who has committed, or conspired to commit, a severe human trafficking offense in the USA or outside the USA?
- Are you the spouse, son, or daughter of an individual who has committed or conspired to commit a human trafficking offense in the USA or outside the USA and have you knowingly benefited from the trafficking activities within the last five years?
Checking “Yes” to a question does not necessarily mean your visa application will be denied.
Security and Background: Part 3
- Do you intend to engage in espionage, sabotage, export control violations, or any other illegal activity while in the USA?
- Do you intend to engage in terrorist activities while in the USA or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities?
- Have you ever, or do you intend to, provide financial assistance or other support to terrorists or terrorist organizations?
- Are you a member or representative of a terrorist organization?
- Have you ever ordered, incited, committed, assisted, or otherwise participated in genocide?
- Have you ever committed, ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in torture?
- Have you committed, ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in extrajudicial killings, political killings, or other acts of violence?
- Have you ever engaged in the recruitment or the use of child soldiers?
- Have you, while serving as a government official, been responsible for or directly carried out, at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom?
- Have you ever been directly involved in the establishment or enforcement of population controls forcing a woman to undergo an abortion against her free choice or a man or a woman to undergo sterilization against their free will?
- Have you ever been directly involved in coercive transplantation of human organs or bodily tissue? Have you ever been involved in performing forced transplants of human organs or human tissue?
Checking “Yes” to a question does not necessarily mean that your visa application will be denied.
Security and Background: Part 4
- Have you ever been the subject of a removal or deportation hearing?
- Have you ever sought to obtain or assist others in obtaining a visa, entry into the USA, or any other USA immigration benefit by fraud, willful misrepresentation, or other unlawful means?
- Have you failed to attend a hearing on removability or inadmissibility within the last five years?
- Have you ever been unlawfully present, overstayed the amount of time granted by an immigration official or otherwise violated the terms of a USA visa?
If you check “Yes” to a question, it does not automatically mean that your visa application will be denied.
Security and Background: Part 5
- Have you ever withheld custody of a USA citizen child outside the USA from a person granted legal custody by a USA court?
- Have you voted in the USA in violation of any law or regulation?
- Have you ever renounced USA citizenship for the purposes of avoiding taxation?
- Have you attended a public elementary school on student (F) status or a public secondary school after November 30, 1996 without reimbursing the school?
If you check “Yes” to any of the questions, this does not automatically mean that your visa application will be rejected.
Upload Photo + Confirm Photo
In this section, you need to upload your photo. For the USA visa, special requirements are imposed; a standard passport photo will not suffice. You will need to take a new photo.
The photo should measure 5.10 cm × 5.10 cm, and you will need to bring the same photo in person to the embassy for a personal interview. As of November 1, 2016, photos with corrective glasses cannot be used.
Once uploaded, the system will quickly check the photo and notify you if it detects an error. If no errors are found, you can proceed to the next step.
Just before submitting the form, you must thoroughly review all the information. I recommend not delaying this process and reviewing each line on every page.
Once the form has been submitted, it is not possible to make changes. Incorrectly filled in details could lead to the rejection of the visa application in extreme cases.
Sign and Submit
In the final step, you need to affirm under oath that all the information entered is complete and correct.
- Did anyone assist you in filling out this application? – If anyone assisted you in filling out the form, check “Yes” and fill in the required information. Please do not consider these instructions as assistance in filling out the DS-160 form. :-)
- Enter your Passport/Travel Document Number – Re-enter your passport number for verification and checking.
- Enter the code as shown – Copy the displayed red number.
Finally, click on the “Sign and Submit Application” button. This will submit the completed form.
On the very last page, you will find the form confirmation. The confirmation must be brought to the embassy for a personal interview.
I recommend that you print all documents in PDF format, save them on your computer, and also email them as a backup.
💬 If you have a question, don’t understand any part of the instructions, or conversely have your own experience with the DS-160 form, be sure to post in the discussion below the article.