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Documents, Info Needed to Fill DS-160 Form: 5 Tips to Save Time

I have filled quite a few forms related to various kinds of visa stamping over the years, but every time I try to fill one, there is some sort of frustration due to factors like searching for old info and session timing out, forcing me to re-fill everything. Imagine you are filling in some info after searching a lot and you get kicked out at the end…what if the system does that for over 10 times, that’s really frustrating…isn’t it ?

I was in the same boat trying to fill out the DS-160 form for my H1B visa stamping. For instance, I had to dig up addresses and info about my 11th and 12th grade( junior college) address and zip code, which was quite a few years ago….anyways, Let me share my experience and give my suggestions on what you should have at hand before you start filling the DS-160 form…

List of Documents, and Info to complete DS-160 Form Online

In general, we take a few things for granted and start filling out the DS-160 form, but in reality, it does not work that way. It took me over a day to get it done due to a variety of reasons like missing info and session time-out issues. It took two days for me to fill out this form…

The below list is not comprehensive, but it has information or documents that we tend to overlook

Checklist of Documents, info needed to fill out DS-160 form:

  • Address of the location you plan to stay in the United States (with zip code)
  • If you have a flight ticket booked, the information about when your flight arrives in the US
  • If you have been to the US before:
    • List of dates you arrived in the US
    • How long was your trip in the US for each visit
  • If you have been in the US and have a Drivers license from the US, that information
  • Information about your contact person in the US (to verify your details), typically your supervisor
    • First name, Last name
    • Phone number
    • Email address
    • Address of the person
  • Information about your parents (Check their passports )
    • Mother’s Full Name, Date of Birth
    • Father’s Full Name, Date of Birth
  • Current work-related information in the US
    • Company Name, Address
    • Your Monthly Salary in the US ( check LCA for this info)
    • Description of your job duties ( check the resume you have sent to USCIS)
  • If you have not worked in the US yet and are applying for H1B, L1, or Other visas
    • Your current employment information in your home country
    • Employer name
    • Employer address
    • When you started working at your company
    • Your monthly income/ salary details your local currency.
  • If applying for H1B, L1 or other Petition based visas
  • Previous work-related information
    • List of previous companies’ names in last five years
    • Employment dates – Start and end date
    • Addresses of companies, Phone numbers
    • Your previous titles
    • Your previous supervisors’ names
    • Your previous  job duties descriptions
  • Previous Education details: Need everything from 10th grade onwards.
    • High School – 10th grade school details with full name and address, including dates attended
    • Junior college name( 11th and 12th class or grade), Full address with Pin/ Zip Code, Dates attended.
    • Bachelor’s degree college name, full address, dates attended, degree awarded.
    • If you have a master’s degree, you need the same info as above.

The above list should be sufficient for any work-related visa like H1B or L1 visa. For other kinds of visas, you will need most of the information except the petitioner and other information related to work.

Basic list of documents you should have :

  1. Passport (along with any US visas issued before)
  2. Approval notice forms  I-797 form (if applying for H1B, L1, or other petition based visas)

DS-160 Monthly Income in Local Currency

If you are applying for H1B, L1 or other work visa stamping and have never traveled to the US, you would be asked to fill out your current employment information and salary information.

You would come across a question that reads “monthly income in local currency (if employed)“. For this question, you will need to enter your current monthly salary paid by the company that you currently work for. It will be in your country’s local currency and not in USD. For instance, if you work in India, it will be in Indian Rupees (INR), if you work in Singapore, it will be Singapore Dollars(SGD).

For example, let’s say your salary is 120,000 INR per year, then your monthly salary would be 10,000 INR and you will need to enter 10,000 INR in the field.

You will need to have proof of the monthly income that you enter for this question in the form of offer letter, salary slips or tax filings. You cannot just randomly put something here. Make sure you carry this document as well for visa interview.

If you are not employed at the moment, then you would check the box “Does not apply” and leave it blank. This is to indicate that you are not working for any company in your home country.

Passport Book number, Visa number in DS-160 Form

You maybe asked for passport book number when you are completing the DS-160 form…if you are an Indian citizen, you do not need this. If , check your passport for this info…check NOT applicable, if you do not find it in your passport.

Also, if you have been to US before, you will be asked to enter the US visa number. If you look at the US visa stamped on your passport, it is the number on the right hand bottom in RED color. Check Sample US Visa, field info to know more

Course of Study in DS-160 for 10th, 12th, Bachelors

When you are completing the form DS-160, you will get a section on Education, where you need to fill in your education details. You must fill in all our education details starting from 10th Class, including 12th, until your highest degree.

When they ask in DS-160 about Secondary school, they technically mean 10th Class. Also, when they say High School in DS-160, they mean 11th and 12th Class ( intermediate in some countries). You must enter all your education institutions’ details starting from 10th Class, including 12th Class and Bachelors degree as applicable, up to your highest degree.

5 Tips to fill out the DS-160 form for US visa

  1. Write Application Number or Save it: Your information is saved by screen as you complete it. In order to retrieve your info, you need the Application Number. Make sure you write your Application number on a piece of paper, you WILL NEED this application number and the security check question answer. It will be shown at the first time you start filling out the application; if you miss it, you are in trouble and need to create a new one again…
  2. Session Timeouts: The system is not so good at calculating your session time…. It will just time out your session for no reason sometimes and drive you nuts.. just be prepared (It kicked me out over 10 times) Be patient, it can be frustrating due to session timeouts. Have half a day allocated with all your information with you to avoid delays.
  3. Save Text in Notepad or MS Word: Make sure you have all the information I have listed above at hand and have it typed up in a Notepad file, MS Word or on paper for easy form filling. It will save you time with session timeouts.
  4. Allocate two to three hours: They say that you will need 75 minutes, but in reality, you might need at least two hours or more…make sure you have a proper uninterrupted Internet connection for an extended period of time.
  5. Digital Photo: You will need a digital photo; make sure you take it with a white background. You may edit it by cropping. There is an option to test your photo before you start your application. Check this before you proceed with your application.

Have you ever filled out DS-160 form ? What are your thoughts ? Any tips to share from your experience ?

If you are applying for H1B Dropbox, you can read Step by Step guide to H1B Dropbox


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  1. Hi Saurabh,

    1. Has anyone ever filed an immigrant petition on your befalf with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services? this only apply for someone who file I-140 for me right?

    2. Do you have any immediate relatives, not including parents in the U.S?
    Immediate relatives refer to: Sons, daughters, Parents, Spouses only, right?

    Thanks so much

  2. Hello,

    I think I had made a mistake while filling DS -160 form. In my passport only the give name was there and no surname. So since in DS 160 since both are mandatory I had filled given name in first name and no name in surname sice it is mentioned there the details should be as same as passport. My interview is scheduled tomorrow. Mine in L1 individual petition. I have got a pre approval for the same. So will it create an issue while stamping. Pleases help me

    • Misha thomas,
      The recommended way to put the name is FNU in First Name and Given Name in Last Name. As it is too late now, you should let the VFS officer know about it (the person who reviews the documents at the 1st counter before the actual interview). They might be able to help you out w/ this. I don’t think it will cause any issues, but may require some information to flow back and forth b/w you and the officer.

    • Vanessa,
      Have you just finished the DS-160 form, or have you already used it to schedule an interview? As long as you have not scheduled the interview yet, you can reload the back-up DS-160 application (if you have taken one) and then submit it again.

      • I have the same case with hers… I just completed my ds 160 today and only find out that i have an error inputting my birthplace after i received the confirmation…..
        You mean that i need to apply for a new ds 160 application and will get a new id#? i haven’t schedule myself for an interview yet…
        Please advice… thanks a lot!

        • Mai-Mai,
          If you have taken a back-up of the old DS form, then you can upload that form and edit the incorrect field and then submit it again. If you have not take the back-up then you will have to fill the form again and submit it, which will generate a new ID.

          Always take a back-up of the form, as it may come in handy in future. I don’t remember exactly where it allows you to take back-up but it’s at the place where it asks you whether you want to retrieve the form after 30 days or not and that point saves the form as .DAT.

          • does it mean that if i will file a new application with a new id#, the old id# will not affect my new application? how about the record that the embassy is receiving? does my new application will replace the old one?

            other concern too about my daughter’s photo… i tied her hair (a jinky style) is it true that this is not allowed?

            thanks and more power

          • Mai-Mai,
            Yes a new Id will be generated. You haven’t scheduled any interview yet, so that id is just there in travel.state.gov site and not submitted to the consulate yet.

            I don’t know about the photo. Are there any specific photo requirements mentioned on the DS-160 site? Also, if the photo is not accepted, most consulate have an in-house photographer who can take the correct photo. You can call your concerned consulate and ask them if they have that service available.

          • Hi Saurabh,

            1. Has anyone ever filed an immigrant petition on your befalf with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services? this only apply for someone who file I-140 for me right?

            2. Do you have any immediate relatives, not including parents in the U.S?
            Immediate relatives refer to: Sons, daughters, Parents, Spouses only, right?

            Thanks so much

  3. Hi Surabh,
    Thanks for the previous reply brother.
    Your help is very much appreciated by all of us.

    Please let me know what documents we need to carry for dependants while going for VISA stamping.She is a Home Maker. Are their degree certificates and marks cards(BSC), 1oth and 12th markscard required and do they ask for that while asking questions to her in stamping.

    This is because in the BSC markscard the name is written as Meena Veerap Kumari and in the passport it is Meena Kumari is written. I have written Meena Kumari in DS-160 as it is there in the passport and my marriage certificate.

    Also in 10th markscard her father name is written in the opposite manner. e.g, if in her passport it Ron Veerap then in 10th markscard it is Veerap Ron.

    Does all these matter for dependant VISA stamping.

    If they ask for markscard while stamping interview how she should handle this.

    In DS-160 I have filled the form as per the passport and marriage certificates and the issue is with the father and mother name, not her name.

    We have been to UK before but this did not create a problem.

    Please guide us how to proceed with the stamping interview for dependants with the above scenario brother.
    I will be wit her during stamping process.
    Please let us know the key questions asked.



    • Kumar,
      Her marksheets and degree certificates are really not required, but you can carry them. I don’t think the name mismatch (father, mother or her) should be a big issue as she is going on dependent visa and not H-1.

      She may be asked what she plans to do in US, and what she is currently doing in India. Bulk of the questions will be directed towards you.

  4. Hi Saurabh,

    My L1 blanket was rejected when I went to Chennai.
    While filling D-160 please find my answers and let me know whether the answers are right.
    1. Haved you ever been refused a U.S. visa,been refused admission to the United States?
    I answered “No” as the L1 blanket petition is rejected, not my VISA.

    Has anyone filled an immigrant petition on your behalf with UCIS?
    I answerd “No” as this is the first time the company filed H1 for me.

    Also during the stamping process if they ask did any VISA is rejected in the past, then what should I answer?
    According to me they rejected my L1 blanket petition stating I do not possess specialized skills. that means they rejected my petition or work permit or any thing else or rejected my VISA stamping?what exactly is rejected when you file L1 blanket petition.
    Please advise.



    • Kumar,
      Those are the right answers. If asked about old rejection, you can mention the petition was denied b/c of the mentioned reasons. Visa rejection is when one goes to the consulate and receives a rejection after the interview.

    • The L1 blanket in the above case was filed in March, 2008.
      Also, please let me know what documents we need to carry for dependant. Are their degree, 1oth and 12th markscard required and do they ask toitte see that while asking questions to her. This is because in the markscard Meena Veerap Kumari is written and in the passport Meena Kumari is written. I have written Meena Kumari in DS-160 as it is there in the passport.

      Also in 10th markscard her father name is not fully only first name.

      Does all these matter for dependant VISA stamping.



      • Kumar,
        For the dependents (I assume you are referring to spouse here) they primarily ask for marriage certificate, wedding album/card and spouse’s name entered in the passport. Not all of these required, but having all of them is the best. At times, just the marriage certificate would be sufficient.

  5. Saurabh, is there any issue with 2 Confirmations for the same Applicant. I was filling DS-160 and first time after clicking “Sign and Submit” the system kind of hung and I wasn’t sure whether it went through, so I did it the second time. Now I see two confirmations! If I just fix the interview appointment with one and ignore the other will that be ok?

  6. Hi Saurabh,

    DS-160 asks for current work details, but I would be joining my job in May 2012, not now. So should I fill that information or give details of my current university. I graduated last December, 2011.


  7. Hi There:

    I am currently residing in the US and wish to visit India with my daughter. I am on H4 that was approved Dec 2010. I need to get my visa stamped and hence I am in the process of filling my DS 160 application. I now encounter sooo many questions regarding filling this form. I am not sure what I should write for:
    1. “Provide information on your last five us visits” as I am already in the US.
    2. Under “Previous US visas” Do I have to fill up my current receipt number for my H4 (OR) My previous visa number with which I left India in 2006?
    3. What is this ” Have you attended a public elementary school on student (F) status or a public secondary school after November 30, 1996 without reimbursing the school?”

    I appreciate any assistance in this regard.


    • 1. Your previous 5 visit. If your current visit is the only visit, then mention just that one.
      2. All US visas stamped in your passport.
      3. Answer is yes if you attended the school in US on F-1 visa status and then didn’t pay the entire fees to the school.

      • Saurabh:

        Thank you very much for your reply!
        I came to the US in 2006, visited India in 2008 for a month and got back to the US and never went back again. What should I write for the field of previous 5 visits? As I am currently in the US, what will be the duration of stay?

        • So it would be
          – 2006 until your travel date to India
          – Your return date from India to your upcoming departure date from US

          • Thanks Saurabh!

            Do I provide US address as my home and mailing address as I had been and I am living here only?

            Thanks again

          • I checked the DS form, and there is one entry for home address, which should be your India’s address. There is another field asking for address where you will be staying in US, and this needs to be your US address.

          • Thanks for your reply Saurabh!

            I got stuck at this question:

            “Are you applying in the same country where the visa above was issued and is this country your principal country of residence?”

            As I am in US now will US be my principal country of residence or India??

            Will that be a YES??

            Thanks again!

          • Satya,
            Where are you seeing this question? On VFS site?

            I would assume the answer to be No as your visa was issued in India, and your residence is now US.

          • This question came up in the travel section.

            If my residence is in US then my home address also should be. Please correct me if I am wrong.


          • I just checked my own DS form that I used for renewal stamping in Jan, and I had put in Yes to that question.

          • Hi Saurabh:

            What would be the ans for this question: Have you traveled to any countries within the last five years?

            I would guess it to be the United States. Please correct me if I am wrong.


  8. Hi ,

    I have clarification about applying South Africa work permit visa one of my friends went to South Africa through and he need to apply work permit. If the applicant is in South Africa through visitor visa and can apply work permit through agencies or Is it compulsory the applicant to be go to embassy in person to submit it?

    Could you please clarify this?

    Thanks in Advance!!


  9. i have taken visa appointment on 7th feb 2012 from mumbai office.
    i forgot security question’s answer so not able to download interview letter.
    i have drop a mail to infousmumbai@vfdhelpline.com
    but got no reply.i have to submit this form to vfs office before 2nd feb. please suggest me what should i do in this case. i am very panic.

    • I though they used mother’s name as the security question. Or is it something else?

      There is not much you can do except to wait for VFS’s response. Did you try calling them and asking them to respond quickly? In my experience, they have provided responses within the same day.

      • thnz saurabh for replying
        . yeah they used mother’s name in security question’s answer. but i forgot whether i put caps or in small letters .
        one more thing i want to ask my husband is working on h1b from june 2011.
        he does not have w2 tax documents. does it create problem to get h4 visa ??/

        • W2 should be received by every employee by Jan 31. So if your husband receives it by that time, then he can email the same to you for interview. Or do you think he will not receive it even by Jan 31?

      • my uncle submitted ds-160 yesterday. he realized that there is an error. how could he correct the error after it was submitted

        thanks so much

  10. Hello Saurabh…need your expert opinion once again….many thanks for all help you provide.
    Filling out DS 160 for me and wife. Had a question on my Wife’s DS 160 for “Previous Work Information” section…
    — My L1B petition for extension of stay got denied last year and we came back to India.
    — My wife was working Part time on a Valid EAD and L2 visa.
    — We applied for EAD renewal but EAD renewal got Denied as USCIS needed approved L1B extension before issuing EAD
    — She stopped working immediately AFTER getting EAD renewal denial notice from USCIS, but by that time she had worked a few months AFTER previous EAD expiry.
    — She had informed her Employer about the EAD situation and their HR said that it was OK to work even though her EAD had expired on the basis of the ead Renewal application(they took copy of EAD renewal Receipt as proof of our application ) – they and both of us too thought that EAD would be anyways get approved as we had no clue that L1B will be denied.
    — L1B got denied and so did EAD renewal

    I think its better to write truth in DS-160 in the “Employment From and To” dates, BUT how much do you think it will adversely impact us for her H4 and my H1 as USCIS may or will notice that she had worked AFTER EAD expiry.(probably her EAD details will pop up in the VO’s computer too I guess )

    Need your opinion please

    • IMO, you should remain truthful. When going for H-1/4 interview, the focus is primarily on the new H-1 employment and the officer would generally not go into details of when EAD expired and when she stopped working.

  11. Saurabh,
    VO raised concern about the address for my employer and client but it should be ideally unique, but my case both the address are same. here my question is, is it posisble have same address for both employer and client.

    • What’s the reason for having same employer and client address? It is pretty unusual to have the same address as they are different companies, or are they sharing office?

      • Saurabh,
        Thanks for your reply… actualy they are having separate divison for staff service(employer) and working company(client). For recruiting employee is taking care by one divison and working in another divison. Both are having diffrent name but same office only. But unfortunately i didn’t explain to VO about this. do you think it will make any impact on my Visa stamping. Finaly VO gave yellow colour letter in which mentioned that “wait for us to contact you” and returned the passport also.

        • You mean to say they both are under the same umbrella company? In other words, they are paying themselves for the services you are providing, and it looks more like an in-house project.

          I haven’t seen such an arrangement before and I don’t know how the officer will treat it as. Did they ask you to submit any documents? They might conduct some background check on the client and employer to understand the arrangement.

  12. Hi Saurabh
    I had filed H1 from my current employer and from another consultancy as well. The h1 petition from other consultancy got rejected and h1 from my current employer got approved. Now i m going for visa interview for current employer H1. Do i need to mention about another h1 petition which was rejected in DS-160 form? will it have any adverse effect on my visa approval?

    • I think you are referring to the question – has your visa ever been refused. IMO, that is related to visa stamping and not to petition denial. So the answer to that question should still be No. However, please check that w/ VFS or your attorney.

  13. Hi,
    I just observed that I made a mistake in my DOB (1 instead of 16 for date), but I’ve already submitted it. Do you think I should submit a new one? My visa appointment is tomorrow.


    • Are you referring to the DS form? As the interview is for tomorrow, you may not be able to reschedule another one for tomorrow w/ updated DS form. You can try to go w/ existing DS form and at the counter request the agent to update your DS form. When going for visa stamping, you are first taken to a counter where a person looks at the DS form to make sure everything is correct. At that point, you can request this correction.

  14. Hi,

    I am working form Wipro and I am in process of filling DS160 form for H1B visa. There is a question asking for person/entity paying for your trip and we have four options – *SELF

    Please let me know which option needs to be selected

    • Who is paying for your airfare etc? If you then put self, else put US Petitioner (assuming Wipro is the company filing your H-1 as well).

  15. My sister is filling up the form DS 160 for H1b through her employer in India. What should she mention in the question, “do u have a relative in usa”? If she says yes, what should she mention as my status as I lost my F1 visa but I am still enrolled as full time student in a school in USA and the F1 reinstatement application is still pending with USCIS. Will she face further questions on my visa details or terminated SEVIS during visa interview? Can it jeopardize her prospects of getting visa? please advise.

    • It is never advisable to lie on the DS form as the information is archived and can be used for verification in future.

      I don’t think she will be penalized for what’s going on w/ your status. She is not going as a dependent of yours and your cases should be handled independently. Besides, when going for H-1 interview, most of the focus is around job and employer and not towards immediate relatives (as H-1 is a dual intent visa). However, it also depends upon the VO.

  16. Hi, I just want to ask, if i can fill up a new ds 160 form and get another confirmation?Even i made one already?because the other have mistakes.

  17. Hi Saurabh,

    Really wanted to praise your dedication and help for all of questions, have read thru response, they were crisp and to the point, so hats off to you. good work!!!

    Now coming to my scenario

    1) I am currently in US and planning to go for H1B restamping, my original visa was expired on 30 sep 2009, and since then I am here on extension.
    do you forsee any issue or any work of suggestion?

    2) Provide your employment information for the last five years, if applicable.
    my MOST previous employment was from Apr-2005 to Feb-2009 and since then I am employed with my current employer and going to come back to work for the same, SO should I mention previous employments (prior to Apr-2005)?

    3) I-94 – I have one I-94 stick to passport which I obtained when arrived in US, and another which came in as part of Extension of stay letter, which one (or both?)should I hand over while leaving us for stamping?

    4) Has anyone ever filed an immigrant petition on your behalf with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services?
    – I have approved I-140, should I mentione details about that?

    5) Regarding the Educational details
    – Is the start and end dates of session needs to be exact, as I don’t remember exact start/end date of sessino/term, SO I put to best of my knowledge?
    – I did my MCA based on lateral entry, should I mention all the diplomas (which were basis of lateral entry to MCA)? or should I just mention degree?

    Appreciate your response.


    • one more question

      – I am currently employed by us employer, so what should I write in section “Monthly Income in Local Currency (if employed) “? should it be INR equivalent of US per month salary?


    • 1. It will depend upon your profile, employer’s credentials and proposed job offer. Unfortunately there is no one size fits all answer to this question.
      2. No, not required
      3. You need to return both of them while leaving US. Remember to keep photocopies of the same for future reference
      4. Yes
      5. You can put the dates as per best of your knowledge. I think you should mention only the degrees
      6. The salary should be mentioned in USD

  18. Hi! I have a question. I plan to go back to US with my Dad for vacation but I can’t access VisaPoint. This is my fist time to apply for a visa online and I don’t know what to do. Should my Dad and I fill-up the DS-160 Online individually, print it out, and then just call the call center of the Embassy to schedule our appointment? Please answer. Thank you!

    • You can fill one DS form and towards the end it will ask whether you need to add family members to the form or not. At that point, you can add the other family member. Once that is done, you can go to consulate website in your country and schedule the appointment from there using the DS form.

  19. I was filling the ds 160 form and I didn’t initially have a photo that met requirements so I couldn’t filling the form thinking I can add the photo later. Now I have the right photo, but there is no tab where I can upload the photo and the confirmation page says “Photo not provided”. Can I remedy this somehow or is it okay to just take the photos with me to the interview? I have my date on Jan 4th so would really appreciate your help on this.

    • There is an option to upload the photo even after you have completed the form. Reload your application and as you parse through the pages, you will see one to upload the photo. Usually it’s last or last but one (just before it shows you details of what you have entered). Your photo needs to be uploaded and you cannot use the form w/o the photo.

  20. Hi,

    I am filling DS-160 form, Just to know in previous work details in last 5 years. Do i need to add my current company exp?

    if Yes what would be end date, as i am current working with same company and going onsite to client location.

    • You don’t need to include current employer but only past employers. Current work employment is covered another point (present employer).

      • I have a doubt with “Provide your employment information for the last five years, if applicable.”?

        Hi Saurabh
        From Dec 2008 i’m working with current employer and going for stamping with current employer.So almost more than 3 years working with current employer.

        what to fill in the
        “Provide your employment information for the last five years, if applicable.”?

        • You need to mention about current employer in present work information section. If you have not worked for any other employer in the past then you can leave past work information blank.

          • Previously I worked for another employer before 2008 DEC.
            From Dec 2008 i’m working with current employer and going for stamping with current employer.So almost more than 3 years working with current employer.

            what to fill in the
            “Provide your employment information for the last five years, if applicable.”?

  21. Hi Saurabh,
    I think , i made a mistake while filling DS160 and i scheduled interview on Jan 4 , 2012 . I realized this mistake today . The mistake is –
    Under Temporary Visa Work Information :- “Where do you intend to work ?”
    Name of the employer : here it should be client address where i will be deployed by my employer . I got confused because it asked “The name of the employer” , i thought it should be the name of my employer . In one perception its right .

    Please suggest me what should i do ? Will it create any problem in Visa Interview . If it create problem , can i cancel the existing appointment , and fill the new DS-160 application and schedule the appointment .
    To schedule new appointment shall i again take a new receipt from HDFC bank after paying the fees again .

    Please help me ………………..

    Thanks in Advance

      • Saurabh, the following NOTE is there in that section :-

        Temporary Work Visa Information

        NOTE: You have indicated that the purpose of your trip to the U.S. is to work temporarily. Provide the following information concerning your employer.

        I feel that its saying in above NOTE “Provide the following information concerning your employer.” , so i feel whatever i given should be true because of this statement only i given my employer detail only , but one of my friend who is travelling with me given client info .

        • It is possible that the wordings have been framed keeping on-site employees in mind, and not considering contractors who are placed at client site. If you look from direct employees perspective then work site is same as employer location. But that’s not the case in consulting.

          Anyways, you can let the VO know if he asks about it. If the VO doesn’t say anything about it, then you can also try not to raise this question.

          • Thanks a lot Saurabh . Its really great help from you , also i would like to answer the question the experience i have to other candidates . You are really doing a great job . Kudos to you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Hi

    Can some one please let me know what should a fill for where do you intend to work? in DS – 160 form at Temporary work visa information page.

    I work at client A from employer B. My LCA and I129 states Client A address. do i need to write the client address or employer address?



  23. Hi Saurabh,
    I have few doubts while filing DS160 form :-

    1. I stays at Bangalore , Can i give any US visa consulate Address for Visa Interview Appointment . If Yes , which one would be best and having highest visa approval rate .

    2. “Monthly Salary in Local Currency ” , What should i fill here ? Is it the salary of my current employer in India or its the salary of the employer who offers me job in US . And what is Local Currency here … Its Dollar or Rupee ?

    Thanks ,

    • 1. I think you have to go to Chennai. But if you are not able to find suitable dates there, then you can call/email VFS and ask if you can go to any other consulate.
      2. I think this is in the section where it asks about current employer. So it would be current salary in INR

      • HI Saurabh,
        Few questions :-
        Currently i am working for company x and company y has given me offer. I have the offer letter from company y (US offer letter) , and company y has an office at India also . Is it mandatory to come to company y payroll before going to visa interview ?

        Is there is any us consulate / vfs helpline who can help me if i have some doubt while filling DS-160 ?

        “Address where you will stay in US ” My Employer office is at city x but Client office is at city y . Which city address shall i give ?

        “Monthly Salary in Local Currency” , Should the amount be my take home salary or annual-package/12 ?

        “Briefly Describe your Duties ” : Software Engineer – Is it ok or i need describe it in more detail ? Should i mention my project details also ?

        Thanks a Lot !!!!!


        • Is it mandatory to come to company y payroll before going to visa interview ?
          SA – No

          “Address where you will stay in US ”
          SA – Your LCA should have been filed for city Y and that should go in here. If employer has a guest house in Y, then you can give that information

          “Monthly Salary in Local Currency”
          SA – Annual salary/12

          “Briefly Describe your Duties ”
          SA – At least 3-4 specific job duties

          • Saurabh one more question :-

            Since i am working for company x and company y has given me offer . If i am in the payroll of company x during my visa interview time .

            Who will be my Present Employer ? I feel company x because i am working here (I may or may not be in notice period )

  24. Hi,

    I am filling up the DS-160 application. Regarding the following question

    “Has anyone ever filed an immigrant petition on your behalf with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services? ”

    Another employer had filed a I-129 H-1B petition a couple of years but it was rejected. Should I mention it here. Just wanted to get this clarified as I-129 H-1B petition is a non-immigrant petition.


    • I-129 is not an immigration petition. I-140 is an immigrant petition. So unless I-140 has been ever filed for you, the answer should be no.

  25. Im working in company A.. My prospective employer, B, has filed H1 on my behalf. When entering information on the DS160, what should I enter in the Present Work section. Do i enter details of the employer A (im currently working with in INDIA) or employer B (filing my H1 in US)

    • Will you be entering US after resigning from A? If yes, then present employer should be B and not A. You can check w/ others as well.

      • But then he will have to fill “Monthly Salary in Local Currency” for company A ? If he get the offer from US company he will not have Indian Salary in India Rupee unless he get offer letter from company A india branch .

        • If the person is still employed w/ A at the time of visa interview, then he should put in A’s information. If the person has already started working for B, then he should put B’s information. If he has resigned from A and hasn’t joined B yet, then he is currently unemployed and I am not sure what should be put in there then.

  26. Hi Saurabh,

    While filling DS-160 in “U.S. Point of Contact Information”, in “Relationship to you” field I confused between the options “U.S. petitioner” and “Employer”. Actually my prospective employer itself is sponsoring my h1b. It is a product company. In this case for me Employer and my petitioner both are same. Which option should I select for this? Please help me.

    Thanks in advance.

  27. Hi ,
    I am currently hired through a contractor in another state. The client company decided to hire me and file for my H1B. While filling the DS160 , in the section of current employer I will have to put down my contractors name, should I also put down the client or recruiter’s address? ( My I20 currently lists my recruiters name and my clients address).

  28. Saurabh ,

    Again thanks for all the time you take in answering our questions!
    I had another question I am applying for h-1b and on the ds-160 form asks for Person/ Entity Paying for my trip. I dont know if for US H-1B visa holders is required that company pays for this or can I put I will be paying for it. I will be “paying for it” because I dont have to take a plane or anything I just cross the border over to mexico which is 10 min from where I live get it stamped and come back so there is nothing to pay for but I dont know if it is required for them to see that company is paying for this. ?

    Thank you so much

  29. Saurabh,

    I have another question I am filling form ds-160 and got to the point qhere they ask you if you have made specific travel plans: I gues the answer is yes since I plan to come back to US. Then asks for arrival and departure date. My arrival date would as soon as the visa is stamped but what about departure date should I just put the date when my visa is intended to expire? thank you !!

    • Sorry additional question? if I am barely filling ds-160 how am I suppose to know when I plan to come back to the us If I dont even know when my appointment would be, then calculate a week after that day and put that date. But I dont know for when the appointment would be. Thanks…

      • Usually they need to be entered to the best of your knowledge, and can change later in future. You can put any reasonable date as the arrival date and 797 expiration date as the departure date.

  30. Hi Saurabh

    I have a question regading my I 94. While going back home at the airport do I have to submit the I 94 which I have got when I have applied for my H1B or my I 94 which I had got when I had come back to USA (I came back on 10th Janauy this year . That time I was on Opt). Please Reply


  31. Hi Saurab/Kumar,
    While filling the work experience information. Is it required to fill all the previous companies names or previous companies names of last 5 years.

    • All past employers. I haven’t seen the DS form recently. Does it specifically mention 5 years? If not, then all employers need to be mentioned

  32. Hi All,

    I booked my H1 interview date , I was able to download my appointment but when I try to print it out it doesn’t print as the print options in the security settings of PDF shows disabled. Did anyone of you guys face the same problem? One more quick question there was an option of mailing our interview letter so when I hit the go button it said ” error in the application process contact adminstrator ” do you think I need to worry about it .. does that mean I was wrong somewhere in the process?

  33. Hi,

    I have a question, I am planning to visit India and going for stamping for H1-B visa. I am working since 1 year now and all the pay stubs are run on a different location like X if I stay in state Y. Would that be a problem, though my LCA was client place?What would be the answer I should give when they ask me that question.
    Kindly let me know your thoughts.


    • If your LCA and I-129 mention your current work site as the location then it should be fine.

      On a side note, are you paying state taxes in X or Y. When it comes to tax filing, you may have to file 2 state tax returns – one out of state for X and another one for Y. A tax adviser would know more.

      • Thanks Saurabh.

        I have one more question, I got my H1B approval in September 2009 but I was on bench so my employer ran the pay stubs for Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan & Feb. I went to India for my marriage in Apr, and I returned in June. I don’t have the pay stubs for Mar, Apr & May while I was on H1B in India. Will that be a problem as I don’t have pay stubs for few months while I was in India?

        Thanks so much for your inputs.

        • That should be fine. One is expected to have payslips for the period one was in US. As you were not in US during those months, you should be ok. Nice to see that you got paid even when you while you were on bench.

  34. Hi,

    I’m applying for an H1B appointment in Chennai.
    I have a question – thought my I797 Petition was filed by our Company with client A and now i am moving to client B with same organization!

    Where do I specify all these details in DS160? IF it is the following section, where do I put in these details?:

    Section : Temporary Work Visa Information
    Name of Person/Company who Filed Petition : A or B?
    Employer : A or B ?

    • Petition has been filed by the employer which remains the same. It’s your company. Client name doesn’t go in either of those questions.

      BTW, what does your LCA and I-129 mention as client – A or B? There have been instances when visa was rejected because LCA and I-129 carried different client names.

      • Hi Saurabh,
        Thanks for your response.In My LCA and I-129 mention the client name as A.
        IF it is the following section, where do I put in these details?
        U.S. Point of Contact Information
        contact details : A or B
        Temporary Work Visa Information
        Where Do You Intend to Work? A or B

        • Contact details: A
          Where do you intend to work: There are 2 school of thoughts. One says that it should always be A (your employer). The other says it should be B as you will be working at the client site. I have seen equal number of responses online for both scenarios, and so don’t know what the right answer is.

          • Thanks Saurabh! While asking the client Name in stamping visa interview? We tell them the Client A details Is it correct?

          • Actually, I take my previous response back. Re-read it as following:
            Contact details: Contact details should be employer and not A or B (which are clients).
            Where do you intend to work: There are 2 school of thoughts. One says that it should always be your employer. The other says it should be the client as you will be working at the client site. I have seen equal number of responses online for both scenarios, and so don’t know what the right answer is.

            With regard to your subsequent question, if they ask the client name then it should be the client you are actually going to work for and carrying all documentation. As your LCA/I-129 has different client name, it would be better to update them to the new client name. Talk to your employer about it.

          • Hi Saurabh,
            Thanks for your response.My LCA and I 129 petition the H1B cap 2011 section mention that client name as A so can raise the new LCA for client B.

          • Yes, ask the employer to file new LCA for B. They can then evaluate whether they should file I-129 as well or not (IMO they should).

    • Same situation as mine.Going for different client. I have LCA for new client not amendedI 129. Please let me know your interview updates.


  35. I’m applying for an H1B appointment in Chennai.
    I have a question – thought my I797 Petition was filed by Company A, Its undergone a name change to Company B. Im consulting to a bank C!

    Where do I specify all these details in DS160? IF it is the following section, where do I put in these details?:

    Section : Temporary Work Visa Information
    Name of Person/Company who Filed Petition : A or B?
    Employer : A or B or C?

    • It should be B in both instances. Do you have any information to show that company has undergone name change? You should carry that to show that although it was filed by A, but they really are B now. This would also be the scenario when you work for A and it gets acquired by B.

      • Thanks – I’ll put B in the second field : Yes – I do have the document. The reason why I’m asking because of the wording on the DS-160 “Name of Person/Company who Filed Petition” Shouldn’t that reflect the actual entry in the I-797 ? Which is Company A even though it changed to B (which is captured in the second field)?

        Is this an incorrect interpretation?

        • When a name changes, it happens for all legal purposes. So I think you should use the new name for all purposes now. You can check w/ your company lawyer just to be sure.

          • Thanks saurabh – one last question – There is a section in the DS-160 that says “has anyone filed an immigration petition for you?” My current firm has filed the PERM for labor for my GC – but it hasn’t cleared. My HR says until I140 is cleared – you should mark this as NO!! But she’s a newbie – wanted to get a more experienced opinion on this!

            Dont want to mark it as a NO and Consul officer asks me about it!! What should I do?

          • If the I-140 has been filed then the answer should be Yes. The question is not whether immigrant petition has approved, it is whether it has been filed or not; and once I-140 has been filed the answer becomes Yes.

            As this is for H-1, which is a dual intent visa, you should be fine. This question is a filter for people applying for non-dual intent visas (like B-1/2 and F-1/2).

  36. Hi

    Can I fill the DS160 form before scheduling an appointment . I am planning to go to India (Mumbai) on Dec first Week. I have my tickets booked. But the interview dates for Dec first week are not available as of now.

    What is the ideal time to submit the DS160 form. Please advise


  37. Hi,

    While filling DS forms we need to fill in address which address will it be ? right now i am staying in US and will be going to India for stamping.

    One more question when they ask for previous employment information i exactly remember my joining dates of previous jobs but i don’t remember the exact the i had felt from there i just know the month and year i had left , is it okay to give any random day?

    • You need to mention the address in your home country.

      Although it is always recommended to put in the exact dates, but I think you can give a random day (1st day of the month or last day) if you don’t remember the exact date of employments.

  38. Hi,

    I have a question in DS 160 Form. There is a section called “where do you intend to work” . I work at the client place in XX state . And my employer is located in YY state. My LCA has client address.

    Do i have to mention my client address or my employer address . In this section.

    • There are mixed opinions on this one. I think it should be client location as that’s what there in your LCA and will be your actual place of work. Another school of thought is that it should always be employer’s location. It would be better to get opinion on someone who went through this and succeeded in getting the visa stamped.

  39. I am applying for visitor visa. I am retired state govt employee. in prev employer field what shall i write..can i write “Rajasthan State Govt”? What shall i write in address. I worked various places in rajasthan job was same. what shall i write in from and to date, my complete job tenure? Can i write my dept head quarters address???

    • You can either put in the dept head quarters. If they need to verify your employment, they would contact the HQ and then can confirm you as an ex-employee.

  40. Hi.

    With regards to the monthly salary, should I put my salary for the said company only? I have other jobs on the side and my monthly salary in my main work is not at all pleasing. Would it be best that I sum up all the salary I get from all of my side jobs and place it there?

    Thanks for this helpful tips.
    Best regard.

    • I assume you are going for your first H-1 stamping in your home country.

      I don’t have any first hand experience w/ this, but I assume you could put other salary as consulting or self-employed. Several people who apply for H-1 are self-employed (working as independent contractor) and can enter that income. Also, I don’t think there is a threshold for one’s current salary when applying for H-1 visa. It’s the proposed salary in US that matters.

  41. Hello

    In Work / Education Tab of form DS160 I am not getting option for entering my previous organisation details & also Education history.

    Currently In Work / Education Tab after entering Current organisation detail I am getting option for Security background.

  42. Hi Kumar,
    My case is quite different.. I completed BE this year, not received mark sheets yet.. Shud I mention the info of my college in present education info? if yes, what should I enter in previous education info?

  43. Hi, Would like to clarify on one thing. I have filled up the visa form however i m pretty much confused about filling up the education column. I have done +2 as an private candidate from Punjab school education board and dont have all the details which this form is asking about, please suggest me something as i have already paid the embassy fee and just waiting for this column to be filled up too so that i can submit it.

  44. Hi Kumar,
    While filling the DS-160 in education details I have not put my branch in engineering. I have just mentioned Bachelors in engineering . is it fine or mentioning engineering branch is mandatory? I have applied for H1 visa.


    • IMO, you should be fine. However, it’s best to get response from someone who has faced similar situation. You can also call the consulate and confirm. I have heard they allow minor corrections to be made at the time of interview.

  45. Hi,

    I have completed form DS160 and booked my H1B visa interview appointment

    In response to the question ‘Have you attended any educational institutions other than elementary schools?’ I have entered details for my Engineering degree only.

    I was not sure if SSC (10th) and HSC (12th) details are required as well.

    I have all the original academic certificates with me and have no issues in presenting this info under the same question.

    I have already submitted the form and scheduled the appointment. I do not want to submit the DS160 again and schedule a new appointment as it delays my travel plans.

    Q1. Can you confirm if Bachelor of Engineering details alone are sufficient
    Q2. If not, can you confirm if it is possible to update this info in the system.
    Q3. If not, can you confirm if its ok that I show the original academic certificates (10th, 12th and Bachelof of Engineering) to the interviewing officer and it will be accepted

    Thanks for your help.


    • 1. SSC and HSC information needs to be provided.

      2. There are two schools of thoughts. One says that you should submit another form, and use that to schedule appointments. The other says that you don’t need to do anything, just carry the documents and tell the officer during interview about the mistake, and they will update the information in the system.

      I have heard success stories of both options, so I can’t pick one and suggest it to you. Best would be to call VFS and ask them about it.

  46. Hi

    I had been US around 21 Months from Oct 2008 to June 2010 through L1 -B. My visa will be expired end of July 2011. Meanwhile filed H1B through consultant and petition status is in initial review.My question is i have been india for last 7 months, if i come to US what would be the maximum period for H1B?


    • As your stay outside of US has been less than a year, your total time on H-1 and L-1 taken together will be 6 years. You have already spent 21 months in US on L-1, so you can work on H-1 for 72-21=51 months. If you traveled out of US during your L-1/H-1 period, you can also claim that period.

      USCIS won’t issue H-1 for 51 months in the beginning, but it can be extended until the maximum period. Make sure to keep copies on I-94s and immigration stamps in your passport.

  47. Hi Kumar

    I am filling up my DS-160 online for H1B and its just asking me for my present employer.No previous employer/ education info. Am i doing something wrong? Just wanted to double check with you.
    Thanks in advance

    • Ashwini, If I remember correctly, the system would have asked you, “were you employed previously”, if you select Yes, it should automatically give you the boxes required. It should be asked under Work/Education/Training section. You can go to that section by clicking the section on the left navigation. Use IE Browser 7 or higher.

  48. Hi Kumar,
    Thanks for sharing this information. I had been spending more time on filling up this form. Session time out is the serious problem while filling up! . First time, when I started entering the information after clicking on “start new application”, before even I enter the first page information, it got timed out!! (it means it has not saved the first page information which has all my security answers). When I have tried to retrieve it, it could not recognize my security answers! 🙁 , I had to go for new application!, so be aware of entering the first page information as fast as possible.

    One more tip is that, keep pressing Next while entering on a page though u have not completed it. It will give errors and session will get re-initialized. (you can also try to put some dummy values just to save rest of the information).

    I have a doubt in entering the following fields, pls clarify
    Junior college name( 11th and 12th class or grade). Here in tamilnadu, we give importance and having certificates for sslc (10) and hsc (12). Should we give for 10th and 12th rather than 11th and 12th?

    Rgs, Anand/

    • Anand, Welcome !
      Coming to your question, I would just give the college details of HSC i.e. 12th grade. No need to give info of 10th.

      • HI Saurabh,

        i’m planning to visit india for stamping, i got my first h1 b(CMP A) in oct 2009 and was not paid untill march 2010, so 2009 W2 is missing(2010 W2 starts from 2009 DEC- 2010NOV) and have all pay stubs till now.

        Now am with company B 1 month old with 1 pay stub, will there be any issues?

        please help me sharing ur thoughts…kumar

        • It might be an issue if the VO asks for 2009 W2 and payslips from that period. You didn’t maintain legal status for close to 6 months, and that’s a big deal. If the VO doesn’t ask anything related to that period, then it would be fine. There is no definite yes or no answer and will depend upon the VO’s questions.


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