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How to Fill DS-160 Form: Simple Steps for US Student Visa

Updated on 08 November, 2023

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

In 2022, India topped the list of issuing student visas for the US. Per the US Mission in India, it issued as many as 82,000 student visas to Indian students. Studying in the US is a dream for millions, but the documentation process for a student visa can get complicated. Well, worry no more. The following article explores in-depth information on the DS-160 application, which is the first step in obtaining a US visa. It also covers a step-wise guide on how to fill out the DS-160 form for an F1 visa.

 

DS-160 Application: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Getting a visa is necessary if you are looking forward to studying or working abroad in the US. The DS-160 form is crucial for non-US citizens applying for US visas. Anyone planning to travel to the US and apply for a student/work/visitor/travel visa must complete this form. It contains important information about the applicant, such as academic qualifications, work details, and personal background. Your home country’s US ambassador’s office keeps a record of this information.

The form is available online and takes 15-20 minutes to complete. The visa application in India costs a total of USD 160 (which will increase to USD 185 from May 30, 2023, for the visitor and certain other non-immigrant visa categories).

The DS-160 application has the following mandatory fields:

Section No.Fields
1.Personal History and Information
2.Travel Itinerary
3.

Who Are You Traveling With?



 

4.Prior to Travel to the United States
5.Contact Information
6.

Passport Details

Contacts in the US

Family Members

Employment History and Education & Training



 

7.Security Questions
8.Photo Requirements
9.Signature

Documents Required for Filling DS-160 Form

Following are the documents required from the F1 visa applicants to complete their DS-160 forms:

  • Passport
  • Social Security ( if applicable)
  • National ID number
  • Travel History Documents
  • Employment History Documents
  • Information on who you are traveling with
  • Travel Itinerary
  • Recent Photograph
  • Copy of I-129 for employees
  • Copy of college address for students

Other essential points one must keep in mind for the DS-160 form are:

  • There is no physical copy of the form; the aspirants must submit it online.
  • The applicants get a maximum of 30 days to complete the form. 
  • The system will time out after 20 minutes of inactivity on the form.
  • The ‘Create a family’ option (which allows) will be available after submitting your first form.

Steps to Fill DS-160 Application for F1 Visa

Given below is the step-by-step process of how to fill out your DS-160 form:

  • Step 1: Head onto the official website of the US Department of State. Go to the Online Non-Immigrant Visa Applications. https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/
  • Step 2: Your Application ID will be displayed on the screen, along with a security question that you must answer. You must remember to enter an answer you will surely remember in the future too. You must carefully note the application ID for future reference.
  • Step 3: The following two pages are related to personal information. These include your name, marital status, nationality, date of birth, etc. Answer these questions correctly.
  • Step 4: The following two pages are related to your personal information. These include your name, nationality, etc. Answer these questions correctly.
  • Step 5: The following section contains the address and contact information. It will also include the ZIP code, mailing address, and primary & secondary contact numbers.
  • Step 6: The next step is to enter your passport details. You must mention your passport type, passport numbers, passport book number, etc.
  • Step 7: In the travel section, you must mention if you have booked your flight tickets or when you are planning to do so. Moreover, you must mention the purpose of your visit and the place of stay.
  • Step 8: In the Travel Companion section, you must mention if you are traveling alone or with someone.
  • Step 9: In the Previous US Travel Information section, you must fill out other information related to your previous US Visit.
  • Step 10: Next is the US Point of Contact Information section, wherein you must mention the contact of a person you know in the US or an organization in the US.
  • Step 11: Herein, you must fill in the information related to your family.
  • Step 12: In the Education/Work Details, you are required to fill in your educational qualification (UG or PG degree information). You must provide your employment details if you are employed.
  • Step 13: You will be asked various security questions that are supposed to be answered accurately.
  • Step 14: Fill in your student/exchange visa details. This contains SEVIS ID, university name and address, information related to the course and its duration, etc.

Finally, carefully review the entire DS-160 form and ensure all information is correctly entered. Once submitted, you cannot change the entered details. Therefore, double or triple-checking the form before the submission is crucial. Once you are satisfied with your answers, submit the form.

What to Expect After Submitting DS-160 Form? 

After submitting the DS-160 application, you will receive a confirmation. Following this, you are expected to contact the US Embassy and confirm the interview with a consular office, after which they will schedule your interview for the F1 Visa.

Conclusion

The article focused on providing in-depth information on how to fill DS160 Form for an F1 visa. One must remember filling out the DS-160 form is one of the crucial steps for a US visa, and providing incorrect information can also get your application rejected.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the DS-160 form cost in Indian Rupees?

A DS-160 form costs USD 160, which makes it approximately INR 13,190.

Where can I fill out the DS-160 form for an F1 visa?

Applicants can fill out the DS-160 form on the official website of the US Department of State- https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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