Some U.S. Consulates Replace DS-156 Form

The Department of State is slowly phasing out the DS-156 visa application form and replacing it with a new fully online DS-160 visa application form.

The new DS-160 form has started being phased in over the last week at many high-volume Consular posts and will continue to be phased in at other selected posts over the next couple months. Some of the Consular posts that have been selected for the initial limited run of the DS-160 application form include selected posts in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Mexico and Russia. For now, most of these consulates still require K-1/2 and E-1/2 applicants to use the DS-156 and related forms.

The DS-160 is entirely web-based and once completed, transmits the applicant’s data to the post where s/he will apply for the visa. As the data is collected electronically, it means that Consulates will be able to conduct various forms of pre-processing and pre-screening in advance of the visa interview which should reduce processing delays. It also means that applicants who apply for visas on a frequent basis can save their original application and simply submit the updated form.

As part of completing the DS-160 application form, applicants will need to upload a digital photograph. You are given only one attempt to successfully load a photograph. If that attempt fails, you may continue completing the DS-160. The confirmation sheet that you receive at the end will have an X in the box where the photograph should appear. This is fine. You should bring the confirmation sheet together with a photograph taken within the last 6 months.

For additional information on the New DS-160 Form and a list of the Embassies using the new online form, click here. However, applicants should be sure to verify directly with the Consulate which visa application form is required at the time of interview.

Categories: Immigration Blog