US Visa online – DS-160 Application

If you are looking to apply for an US Visa, then you should be doing it through DS-160 Online application with effect from January 19th, 2010. This is a new Visa form introduced by the US Department of State and it will be required for all non immigrant visa applications, going forward.

US visa applications should generally be submitted at the American Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over the place of permanent residence of the applicant. Thus, all applicants applying at the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai should be Indian citizens or hold legal Indian residency and be able to demonstrate strong economic, family, and/or social ties to India. Since Visa appointments are now available in all consular districts, applications should be made in only the respective consulate. Thus, for example, Mumbai will no longer accept non immigrant visa applicants from the Chennai consular district, except those applying for C1/D (crew) visas or renewing H or L visas (e.g. have an H or L visa that has expired less than 12 months ago).

If you are a non-Indian applicant, you should have residency permits that extend through your anticipated dates of travel. It should also be noted that minor children included in a parent’s passport require their own application and fee!

  • 1. Access the new online US visa form DS-160 here.
  • 2. Scan and upload your application photo. Ensure that it meets the US Visa Photo guidelines. You will need to submit one printed photograph meeting requirements, along with the online DS-160 confirmation page
  • 3. Complete your DS-160 application online. It is recommended to save often! Also ensure that you answer questions as thoroughly as possible before submitting as incomplete forms may not be accepted.
  • 4. Print bar code at the end of the application on a laser printer, as ink-jet or dot-matrix printers do not print with sufficient resolution for the bar code to work.
  • 5. Pay the US visa application fee at one of the designated branches of the HDFC Bank. Make sure that the payment is made at at the current exchange rate
  • 6. Make your appointment for in-person interview through VFS. Note that you need your bar code number and fee receipt to make an appointment.
  • Carry all relevant documents with you. Drop off the necessary documents at the VFS office three business days prior to your appointment date.
  • Report for Interview on the appointed date. Ensure that you carry the following with you.
    • Your passport (also old passports, if any)
    • VFS appointment letter
    • Other supporting documents per visa category

Remember the following while filling the DS-160 application online.

  • All application questions, except as specially provided, must be in English, using English characters only. Applications that are submitted in any language other than English may be denied, and you may be required to submit a new application.
  • Most fields on the DS-160 are mandatory. You may leave fields marked “Optional” blank. Some fields may also give you the option to select “Does Not Apply”. If that field does not apply to you, you may mark the box next to “Does Not Apply.” All other fields must be completed: the application will not allow you to submit a form with any mandatory fields left blank. In this instance, an error message will be displayed and you will be required to complete the field before continuing with the application. If you do not answer questions that apply, your form may also be rejected.
  • The DS-160 will “time out” approximately 20 minutes after the application has been idle. The “time out” is designed to protect your privacy. If the application times out, all the data that has been entered will be lost. In order to guard against possible “time out” issues you should save the application at regular intervals while you are completing the application. To save the application, click the “Save” button at the bottom center of the application. Clicking save will temporarily save your application. In order to permanently save your application, select the “Save Application to File” button. Then, click the “Save” button on the File Download window. Identify a place on your computer to save the application file, browse to that location, and click the “Save” button on the Save As window. The system will download your application to the specified location. Once the download is complete you can click “Close” to return to the application. You can then use the “Import Application Date” option on the “Getting Started” page to upload the data that you have already entered.
  • You should not bring your entire application. Your confirmation page is all that is needed to retrieve your application data. You must bring the confirmation page with you during all phases of the application process. Without the confirmation page, it may not be possible to access your application and process your visa case.
  • If you are traveling with your family or as part of a group, you can create a family or group application. On the “Thank You” page you will see an option to create a family or group application. When you select this option, certain information from your application, such as destination, will automatically be imported to and displayed on a new application. Please note that if you use this option you will need to create an individual application for each of your family members traveling with you or for each individual within the group.
  • When applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate that is using the new DS-160, Online Non immigrant Visa Application, you will use only one (1) form. For Embassies and Consulates that have converted to this new process, the DS-160 has replaced all of the following forms: DS-156, DS-157, DS-158, and DS-3032, which are no longer necessary.
  • All embassies in India have transitioned to DS-160 online application.

Read the above carefully and apply for your US Visa online (DS-160 online application).

You can also read on how apply for an India Visa and the list of Indian Embassy worldwide, where you can apply for an Indian Visa.

You can also download Indian Passport Application Forms or get to know the status of Indian Passport application online.

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