What is Form DS-157?

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • Form DS-157 is a mandatory electronic form for men aged 16 to 45 from any country (except Cuba, Syria, Sudan, and Iran, who must complete it regardless of age).
  • Part of the Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa application, it is required for certain visa types.
  • The form collects personal information, including names, birth details, contact information, travel history, employment history, and previous passport information.
  • Accurate completion of all questions is crucial, and the form is free, but visa application fees still apply.

Ever since the attack on twin towers, September 11, 2001, the United States has been vigilant about accepting immigrants. Whereas overall security and difficulty towards getting a visa increased highly, citizens from other countries now need to fill a special form DS-157 for visa application.

Accurately filling the form will save you a lot of trouble. In this post, we have described how to fill the form and the significance of it.

What is Form DS-157?

If you are a man between 16 and 45 years of age, this adds a new level of complexity. On top of this, if you are from Cuba, Syria, Sudan, and Iran, this form is mandatory for all citizens over 16 years of age.

The DS-160 form is a new version of the DS-157, which is completely electronic and can be completed online. The form acts as a way to collect information about the applicant who has filled the non-immigrant visa.

This form should be submitted to the Department of State, online. This would be followed by the visa application, personal interview, and a test if the applicant is eligible for the visa application at all.

In this post, we have only covered the DS-157 form, and how to complete this. If you have been asked to fill up this form, pay attention. Even a small mistake can get you disqualified from visiting.

Who Needs DS-157?

The DS-157 form is for Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa application. This is applicable for all men between 16 and 45 years of age from any country. A special exception is for 4 countries that have been designated as a state sponsor of terrorism. The countries are Sudan, Iran, Cuba, and Syria. Men from these countries need to fill this form for their visa application if they are over 16 years of age. There is no upper limit exemption.

If you are filling for the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa or the H-1B temporary visa, this is applicable for you too.

How to Complete DS-157

Pay attention to this part while filling up the form. If any of these fields are applicable for you, do not miss out on filling them. Every part of this form is scrutinized heavily. Any mistake of omission will be found out.

The applicant has to answer 20 questions in the form, followed by the signature and date of filing by the applicant.

The answer to these questions should be typed, or printed on the form. Do not try to hand fill it. If you make a mistake, it’s better to get another form. However, since you can fill this from your computer, just make sure your details are correct.

Write all the answers in the blank space below the question. Not beside the question.

Fields 1 – 3

The last name and first name should be listed out in the first two fields. If you have multiple spellings of your names in your identifications, you should list all the spellings of your name (example. Jon in driver’s license, John in voter registration).

Field 3 is reserved for your full name. Fill it up in your native alphabet.

Fields 4

The clan or tribe name is an optional field. You don’t need to fill this if it does not apply to you officially.

Field 5

 All other names/aliases are also optional. Only if you have any other official names or aliases, fill this field.

Field 6

The date of birth format is mm-dd-yyyy. Be careful when filling this, as America uses month first in the date format, which could be different from your native country, leading to confusion.

Field 7

Place of birth should be filed as described in the order city, State/province, and country.

Field 8

The passport number should be filed accordingly.

Field 9

National Identity Number or Tazkera: This is filled for citizens of Afghanistan. If you are a resident of the country, you should have the official identity card – tazkera. Fill up your tazkera number in the form.

Fields 10 – 14

These fields are self-explanatory. Ensure that you have filled them correctly. Your contact details are what will be used to contact you.

Field 15

List names and dates of birth for your children (currently under age 21) – if you have multiple children, write their names and date of birth as long as they are under 21 years of age.

Field 16

List all countries you have entered in the last ten years. (Give the year of each visit)

Your passport and visa details will be verified ever since they were issued. Every country you have visited should be listed with the year. You can get these details from your visa documents or passport stamps.

Field 17

List all countries that have ever issued you a passport. Any country in which you are not a resident falls under this category.

Field 18

Have you ever lost a passport or had one stolen?

Fill this up if it applies to you. If you have lost a passport previously, you might be asked to provide the police report or further documentation.

Field 19

List your last five employers, including your current employer.

This table asks for your complete employment history, including the past details of your supervisors. They might be used as a reference in case your background needs to be verified. Fill it up as accurately you can. Most of this data should already be in your resume.

Field 20

Have you ever applied for Chief of Mission Approval? If YES, please provide the case number(s) of the application(s).

A chief of mission is the main officer who is in charge of a diplomatic department of the United States as an ambassador. This includes any person who has been assigned to this post temporarily. A COM is considered a representative of the President of the country and carries a lot of weight. This could make your visa process much smoother. If this applies, correctly note down your case number from the application.

DS-157 Cost

The form DS-0157 itself is free. You don’t have to buy this form and can access this form online for free. However, you will be filling up this form as a part of the visa interview. So, the visa application fee will still be applicable when you are filling up this form.

The most common non-immigrant visa applications cost around $160 and above, so be prepared for this charge to be applicable on your visa.

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The DS-157 form can make things complicated for men, adding another level of complexity to the already complicated process of visa approval to the United States. Just remember, if you are a non-immigrant man filling up the visa application, and you are between 16 to 45 years of age, or in the 4 restricted countries above 16, you must fill up this form.

This form asks for quite a bit of personal data, including your employment history as part of the visa application process. The form is not applicable for women, even if you are traveling with a man that falls under this category. As long as you fill it up to the best of your knowledge, you should not face any trouble in immigration.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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