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We are one week into the use of Department of State’s new DS-160 online visa application form, which combines several old NIV application forms into one interactive online form. India is the ninth country in the world to begin using this new web-based visa application. So far, things are going well.
We have started using the DS-160 because it is easier for you and it makes gathering appropriate visa information quicker and easier for us.
You, the applicant, are submitting all your information online - which saves you from having to return to the Consulate General for successive interviews because your previous visa application form was incomplete or inaccurate.
It also helps us review your case in advance of the interview, which should reduce some processing delays.
Please visit our website: http://hyderabad.usconsulate.gov for information on how to apply for a non-immigrant visa and document requirements.
You can find additional information about non-immigrant visas on our State Department website http://travel.state.gov. You can visit www.vfs-usa.co.in for information on scheduling an appointment for a visa interview.
We have received a lot of questions, by phone and e-mail, about the new form. Following are the ones we see the most.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Online DS-160 for Non-Immigrant Visa Applicants
Where do I find the DS-160? The form is at:
Hyderabad Consulate General website (http://Hyderabad.
VFS website (https:// www.vfs-usa.co.in/Home.aspx); and
Consular Electronic Application Center website (https://ceac.state.gov/
If you put DS-160 into Internet search engines like Google, most will take you to the CEAC website.
Is everyone they ask for in the DS-160 mandatory?
Most fields on the DS-160 are mandatory. However, you may leave fields marked “Optional” blank. Some fields may also give you the option to select “Does Not Apply,” if appropriate.
All other fields must be completed. The application will not allow you to submit the form with any mandatory fields left blank -- an error message will display and you must complete the field before continuing with the application.
If you do not answer questions that apply to you, your form may also be rejected.
Should I save my application before I submit it?
Yes! Save the form while filling it out: It is wise to back up your data while filling out your application. Save, save, and save again
. You can save the form at any time to any drive that you choose on your computer. You cannot save the form online. You should also save your application after you have completed it.
Another good reason to save your application form frequently is that after 20 minutes without input, it will close itself and you will lose any information you have not saved.
Do I have to upload my photo with my application?
Yes. With this form you must upload your photograph prior to submission. Guidelines for photo requirements and instructions on how to upload the picture are on the DS-160 page.
The application gives you up to three chances to upload your photo.
Even if you make a mistake on the upload, you can still finish filling out and submitting your application.
You should bring a photo to the Consulate General with you when you come for your interview in case there is a problem.
What happens if I’ve submitted my application and made my VFS appointment but then I’ve changed my application and submitted another application with a new barcode?
The barcode on the VFS appointment letter must match the barcode on the printed confirmation page.
You can cancel an existing appointment up to two working days prior to your scheduled interview and schedule another appointment with your corrected application.
If you do not cancel your existing appointment, you will be listed as a ‘No Show’.
The applicant must wait two working days after the scheduled appointment, go to the VFS office and pay a service charge fee in order to reactivate the HDFC receipt.
Then one must make a new appointment using their corrected DS-160 form so that the two barcodes are the same.
Are there any special requirements for printing the confirmation letter?
Make sure you have saved the latest version of your application form.
Print your confirmation letter on a laser printer.
If the barcode is not readable when we pre-screen your application at the Consulate General, we will send you out to get a new, readable, barcode.
When my friend applied it asked for their work history, but when I applied it didn’t.
A variety of factors determine which questions you are asked. Just answer the questions on your application honestly and completely.
What do I bring to my visa interview?
Documents to be brought for visa interview are -- your passport (and your old passports), your application photo, the DS-160 barcode page (you will not need the full application), HDFC visa application fee receipts, VFS appointment letter, petition-based visa applicants should bring petition-related documents
Students and exchange visitors should bring their SEVIS receipts and I-120 (for ‘F’ or ‘M’ visas) and DS-2019 for ‘J’ visas as applicable.
NOTE: If you encounter problems or have questions, send us an email at HydNIV@state.gov.
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