Tips to fill a DS-160 form when going for a visa stamping

Tips to fill a DS-160 form when going for a visa stamping

Forms that give you a headache to fill out are the tedious ones that require your devout attention and much of your patience. The DS-160 is this kind of form and makes you want to throw your computer out the window in the process. However, if you are prepared for the struggle you are about to face and go in knowing what to expect, you might be able to keep a functioning intact computer. That is what we are here to do to in this DS-160 guide. We want to make sure you know exactly what is in store for you, as well as what you will need to successfully file this form.

The biggest frustration that people face when filing forms like these is the amount of archaic information you will have to dig through to put in this form. This is unavoidable and the information demanded is the information you must present, no matter how far back in the dinosaur age you need to go to retrieve it. Another major problem that people face is session timeouts and being forced to re-fill parts of the application that had already been done. Whether you are filling out information for your own H1B visa stamping, or you are filling out for your parents’ tourist visa stamping, you will probably get kicked out of the system and forced to re-enter information because of system errors and malfunctions.

Fear not, however, for we are here to prep you on all things you need to know when filing the DS-160 form, as well as the tips and tricks you will thank us for later to help you grace through the process. We will start with the documents and information you will need when filling this form out, including the information people overlook once they reach the end of the online form. We then will move on to our DS-160 life hacks so that you can save your time and stress while filling out the application!

Information and Documents You Need to Fill out the DS-160 Form

The estimated time to complete your DS-160 form is 75 minutes according to the website where you will fill this form out. That number is given without calculating the timeout sessions that plague those trying to get this done in what they thought would take only a couple of hours. The reason filling this form out is so frustrating can also be attributed to the exhaustive list of information they require to have it fully completed. The information seems innocent and normal in the beginning, but then you start getting into information you need from the time you were a teenager — we are not kidding. To start off nicely, the basic information you need for this form includes:

  1. Your Passport information, along with any US visas issued before
  2. Approval notice forms: I-797 form
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Side-note on inputting your passport book number and visa number: If you are an Indian citizen, you do not need a passport book number. If you do not find this number in your passport, check not applicable when indicated. As for visa numbers, you can find this number on the right-hand bottom of your visa stamping in the red text.

That was the easy part. Now we will get into the information people overlook when filing this form out. It can take people days or more to acquire all the information, and put it in will be just as much of a hassle.

As for the documents you need, take a look at the list below:

  • Address of location you will stay at in the United States, including the zip code.
  • Your travel itinerary information to the US, including flight ticket information, if you have it
  • For those who have been to the US before:
    • The dates of entry into the country as well as how long each trip was in the US for each visit
  • For those who have been to the US and have a US drivers license
    • The information on your license
    • The contact information of your designated “contact” person in the US. (Usually, this would be your supervisor) The information you need includes:
      • First name and last name
      • Phone number
      • Email address
      • Address
  • Your parent’s information as shown on their passports.
    • Mother’s full name and date of birth
    • Father’s full name and date of birth
  • Your current work-related information in the US:
    • The company name and address
    • The monthly salary for your job (Use numbers in your Labor Condition Application)
    • Description of your job duties (check these on the resume you have sent to the USCIS)
  • Your previous work related information
    • List of every company you have worked for, in the past 5 years.
    • The contact information of those companies including addresses and phone numbers
    • Employment start and end dates at those companies
    • Previous titles held at those companies
    • Previous supervisor’s’ name at those companies
    • Previous job responsibility descriptions
  • Education information including, names of institutes, addresses, and dates attended:
    • High School (10th grade)
    • Junior college name (11th and 12th grade)
    • University where you acquired a Bachelor’s degree
    • University where you acquired any other degree

This is not a curse put over the H1B visa applicants — you will find that for other work visa applications, similar information is required. Take your time and be proactive about getting this information together so that you are prepared for the DS-160 filing. Next, we will talk about the tips for using the system, and get through the process so we can save you the time and stress!

Follow These Tips when Filling out Your DS-160 Form For Your US Visa

  • The one good thing about the platform you will be using to fill out this form is that it will save your information as you put it in. So you can start the application today, and finish it tomorrow if need be. However, if you take anything from these tips, I hope it’s the word APPLICATION NUMBER. This is a very important word that you cannot forget. As mentioned, you may fill out information and come back later to the platform to finish the process, but in order for you to retrieve the information, you will need the application number. We recommend that you write down two pieces of information so that you don’t goof up in the process and lose all your work. Write down your application number as well as the answer to your security question when you see them. You will need these two things in order to submit your application. This information will show on the first screen so please DO NOT MISS IT!
  • The system you will be using is not the best at calculating how long you have been on the screen. It will time you out even if you have not left it along for a long time and cause you to lose the information you had so tirelessly inputted in the form. There are stories where it has kicked people out over 10 times, so be patient as you experience these time out sessions. We recommend you allocate at least half a day to filling this form out. With the information ready of course.
  • This next tip, we will elaborate on the tip of having your information ready and how important it is to save you time as you fill out the DS-160 application. Make sure you have all the information listed before on hand. Here’s a bonus tip: type out your information on a notepad on your computer for easy copying and pasting into the application form.
  • Internet connectivity problems will only delay the time it takes to finish this application form so make sure you have a proper uninterrupted connection for an extended amount of time.
  • Lastly, you will need a digital photo with a plain background. To test if your photo pasts the test, there is an option on the website to make sure it is an appropriate one. You may also crop the photo directly on the form so if you didn’t get your picture at the right angles, you can edit it instantly on there.

I hope these tips and tricks, as well as the list of the information you need for the form, have you 100% prepared for the DS-160 application nightmare! Hopefully, luck is on your side and you will get through it more easily than others. Stick with our tips and it should be a breeze for you!

If you have filled out a DS-160 form and had a different experience than what was outlined here, or think it is important to know something we did not mention, please let us know in the comments section below to help out those who are about to embark on their DS-160 adventure. Also, if you have any questions you want to throw at us about what is needed and how the process works, please feel free to contact us so we can give you the best information possible for your situation. We wish you luck as you fill out this application and get closer to your visa stamping to work in the US!


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