In a recent announcement, the US Embassy in India has introduced a crucial change to the visa application process, emphasizing the importance of correctly completing DS-160 forms. This modification comes into effect on November 13, 2023, and failing to adhere to the new guidelines may result in the rescheduling of visa appointments.
“Attention applicants! When booking your visa appointment, you must ensure that you, or your representative, submit a properly completed DS-160 form (online visa application),” said the US Embassy in a social media post.
What is Form DS-160?
The DS-160 form is an online nonimmigrant visa application form required for most visa categories. The form collects personal and travel information about the applicant, including their name, date of birth, visa class, gender, passport number, and travel plans.
Updated Policy on DS-160 Submission
Under the newly updated policy for DS-160, applicants who submit improperly completed DS-160 forms will not be allowed to attend their Visa Application Center (VAC) or document drop-off appointment and will need to reschedule.
The US Embassy will not accept blank DS-160 forms, DS-160 forms with someone else’s biometric data or DS-160 forms with nonsense data.
- No Blank Forms: The embassy will not accept blank DS-160 forms. It is imperative that all sections of the form are appropriately filled out.
- No Use of Someone Else’s Biometric Data: Submission of DS-160 forms with another individual’s biometric data is strictly prohibited.
- No Nonsense Data: The use of nonsensical or fraudulent data, such as false names like “ZZZZZ” will result in the rejection of the application.
Reason Behind the Policy Implementation
The primary goal of this policy change is to streamline the visa application process and reduce wait times for all applicants. By implementing stricter guidelines on DS-160 forms, the embassy aims to prevent visa agents from exploiting the system.
Improperly completed forms create additional workload for Visa Application Centers (VACs), document drop-off locations, and consular teams.
What Changes Are Allowed to DS-160 Forms?
While submitting an updated DS-160 form may seem daunting, the embassy recognizes that certain life changes necessitate revisions. It is acceptable to update the form in the following situations:
- Renewing an expired passport
- Moving to a new residence
- Getting a new job
- Changing marital status
- Making minor changes to travel plans
- Getting a new phone number
Checklist for DS-160 Submission
To ensure a smooth application process, applicants must include the following essential information in their DS-160 forms:
- Your full name.
- Date of birth.
- Visa class you are applying for.
- Passport number.
Recommendations for Completing DS-160 Form
To avoid any issues at the VAC or document drop-off appointment, applicants are advised to carefully review the DS-160 form instructions and ensure that all fields are completed accurately and truthfully. If any questions arise, applicants should contact the embassy for assistance.
The embassy encourages applicants to submit their DS-160 forms as early as possible to avoid scheduling conflicts and ensure sufficient time for processing.
By adhering to these guidelines and providing accurate information in the DS-160 form, applicants can contribute to the efficiency of the visa application process and minimize the workload on embassy staff. It is crucial for all prospective visitors to familiarize themselves with these changes before scheduling their visa appointments.