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Required Info to fill DS-160 Form for US Visa stamping – 5 Tips

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 of them, 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 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 DS-160 form for my H1B visa stamping. For instance, I had to dig up address 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 / Information needed for Filling out DS-160 Form

In general, we take 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 variety of reasons like missing info and session time out issues. In fact, it took two days for my friend to fill out this form…This below list is not a comprehensive list, but it has information or documents that we tend to overlook

Required list of info/documents that we typically overlook:

  • Address of location you plan to stay in United States (with zip code)
  • If you have flight ticket booked, Information about flight that arrives in US
  • If you have been to US before:
    • list of dates you have arrived in US
    • How long was your trip in US for each visit
  • If you have been in US and have Drivers license from US, its information
  • Information about your contact person in 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 US
    • Company Name, Address
    • Your Monthly Salary in US ( check LCA for this info)
    • Description of your job duties ( check the resume you have sent to USCIS)
  • Previous work related information
    • List of previous companies names in last 5 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
    • Bachelors degree college name, full address, dates attended, degree awarded
    • if you have masters degree, need same info as above

I guess, the above list should be necessary for any work related visa like H1B or L1 visa. For other kinds of visas, I would guess you need most of the information, except work related info.

Basic list of documents you should have :

  1. Passport (along with any US visas issued before)
  2. Approval notice forms  I-797 form

Clarifications : Passport Book number, Visa number :
You will be asked for passport book number…if you are an Indian citizen, you do not need this. If not, 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.

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

  1. 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 showed at the first time you start filling the application, if you miss it, you are screwed !
  2. The system is not so good on 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 at times due to session time outs. Have half a day allocated with all your information with you for avoiding delays.
  3. Make sure you have all the information I have listed above to be at hand and have it typed up in notepad file or on paper for easy form filling. It will save your time with session time outs.
  4. They say that you will need 75 minutes, but in reality you might need at least two hours or more…make sure you have proper uninterrupted Internet connection for extended period of time.
  5. You will need digital photo, make sure you take it with plain 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 application.

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

   

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568 Comments

  1. Hey,
    I’m currently trying to fill out the D160 form and am having some difficulty.
    Firstly, I don’t have an address organised yet. I was wanting to get approval for my visa before I set anything in stone. Would the address of a hotel be ok? I don’t have any relatives or friends that live over there.
    Also I live and have grown up in Australia, but also hold a british passport (Thanks Mum and Dad!). Should I be ticking 2 nationalities or just Australian?

    E

    Reply
    • Erica,
      Yes, you can enter Hotel address if you don’t know the exact address where you will be staying. You will have to enter both nationalities – Australian and British.

      Reply
  2. Hello,

    I filled my ds-160 application weeks ago for a student visa in a determinate major, but now I have changed my major. I have got a problem, when I try to correct my application, the system asks for my Security Question, but I forgot the answer! Do I have to fill a new ds-160, or is there a way of retrieving my Security Question?

    Reply
  3. Hi,

    I wanted to know whether the ‘address in us’ i fill out in the ds-160 actually needs to be the real/intended/actual address I am putting up in or it can be changed later?

    I am not being able to submit my form since my office has not yet confirmed which hotel I will be putting up in. Can I just put the hotel my firm usually makes employees stay in and then it could be the case that I end up staying in another hotel altogether? Or should i wait for my travel co-oridnator to confirm the hotel?

    Thanks
    Amrit

    Reply
    • Amrit,
      Yes, you can put the address to the best of your knowledge. It is ok to stay at an address different from what’s mentioned in the DS form.

      Reply
  4. i want to apply for us visa to participate in a conference. I have a niece living there. Is it a problem if i mention it? I have already visited thailand, india and germany. Please reply my via my email address.

    Reply
    • Rainy,
      I know DS-160 form asks about “close relatives” in US, but I don’t know if niece is one of them. You can see in the DS form if niece needs to be mentioned. I don’t think it will have an adverse effect on your stamping.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  5. Hello Saurabh,

    I submitted one DS-160, but I need to make some changes. Do I just fill out a new DS-160 form? What would happen with the old form?

    Reply
    • Also, in the form, there is a section asking for relative in US. Should I list my dad (son-in-law to my grandfather) as one of the relatives in US or should I just list my mom? Since my dad is a citizen, does that improve the chance of getting a visa for my grandfather?

      Reply
    • Rainie,
      You can complete another DS form and submit the new one. Then use the new one’s bar code to schedule the interview.

      Your grandfather is going on tourist visa, right? As such having close relatives in US as citizens is a deterrent. Usually they ask for sons and daughters and not son-in-law and daughter-in-law. You should mention about the mother as she is his daughter. He may be asked about your dad, and then he needs to truthfully answer to it. If asked why he didn’t mention about son-in-law in the form, he can say that he was under the impression that ***-in–laws don’t need to be mentioned. Its your discretion.

      Reply
      • But on the form, there is no place to list my mother is my grandfather’s daughter and my dad is his son-in-law.

        Reply
        • Rainie,
          I just read the DS form again, and the question is “Do you have any immediate relatives, not including parents in the U.S.?”

          So I think both daughter and son-in-law should be mentioned. The relationship can be mentioned as daughter and son-in-law along w/ their immigration statuses.

          Reply
          • But the relationship is listed as “child” only. There is no son-in-law relationship. Should I just put it as “child”?
            Also, usually, what kinds of evidences should my grandfather bring to the interview to establish his close ties in Vietnam? My aunts’ and uncles’ birth certificates?

          • Rainie,
            If it is a picklist w/ option as child, then only mother needs to be mentioned.

            He will have to show strong social and financial ties to his home country. This would involve information on other children he still has in Vietnam and assets he has in his name in that country. If he is getting pension or retirement benefits then the same needs to be mentioned as well.

  6. Hi Saurav,

    I will be going for visa stamping ( h1b ) in India .
    My Employer has filed PERM and got audit bcoz of wrong location and my employer is replying next week .

    I will complete 5 years of H1b in July 2012.
    Last week My employer had applied for H1b Extension /Amendment for the right location and asked for 12 more months of extension ( 6th year +1 year based on PERM in Process ) as they applied PERM 365 days in advance .
    Now my PERM is in audit – What do you think , will there be any delay in approval of H1b as based on that only i will be able to go to India .

    Also i have one question – If i get extension based on PERM – Any Questions from VO about asking did your employer applied for any GC process .

    Do i need to say yes in this case ?

    Thanks
    Raju

    Reply
    • Raju,
      AFAIK a person can apply for 7th year extension as long as PERM has been pending for 365 days – it shouldn’t matter if it it is in audit or just pending w/o audit. Usually the VO do not ask about GC process. They may just ask if the PERM has been approved (as you will be going for stamping beyond 6th year), but I don’t think they will do a deep dive into this.

      Reply
  7. Hi Saurabh ,

    I have filled DS160 as family application and submitted .
    Now i need to do some change so i need to fill DS160 again and in this case what you suggest.
    1) Fill as new application for each family member separately .
    2) Or Go for new one as a family application .

    Thanks for your suggestions as always you do .

    Raju

    Reply
    • Raju,
      If all DS forms need to be edited, then you can go the family application route again (saves time). If only one form needs to be updated, then you can create just one new application for that member.

      Reply
  8. Hi,
    Thanks for complete details regarding filling out the DS-160 form.

    Can you please clarify couple of questions:

    1. My Family is already in India (May). I’ll be travelling in June. I was wondering, should I fill out the forms separately for each family member or Is one form enough for all of us.
    2. I’m looking to book an appointment in July. Can I fill out the form and save it as a draft and once the appointment date is available, will I be able to open the saved form and update the date accordingly or Should I wait until the date is opened up for the month of July
    3. Does this form require a signature of spouse or children.

    Thanks for your help in advance

    Reply
    • Guru,
      1. Each applicant needs their own DS form. What you can do is complete the 1st form (yours) and then at the end of the application make it a family application (there is an option towards the end asking for it). Once you do that, it will clone the application, and you can modify the fields which are different (like name etc) and still use the ones which are same (like address). This will help in saving some time in completing the applications.
      2. You don’t need to mention the date in the DS form. So you can complete and submit the forms now, and schedule the date later
      3. No, it doesn’t need signature. However, the person should complete their form themselves and submit it. Submission of the form is considered as singing the form. You can complete the form, and then send the form details to your spouse to submit it. As for the kid, you can submit that yourself as the kid would be a minor.

      Reply
    • Thanks for your quick response. One more question.

      I’ve a daughter who is an US citizen.

      1. Should I also fill her details as well, in the column that says Person Travelling with you. If I give the details, will the system be expecting to create a new DS160 for my daughter as well.

      Appreciate your help.

      Thanks
      Guru

      Reply
  9. Hello!
    me and my husband are applying for an extension for our H1 B visas and already got the interview appointments set up ..it will be on 5/31 in Istanbul…
    the problem is that we never provided a barcode number when we scheduled our appointments.
    the consulate gave us the appointment date without this info..
    we were filling out the DS 160 today and after the form is submitted we realized that we made some mistakes ..
    do you think we can re submit the form since we never gave a barcode number when we got the appointment date?
    I was surprised when I learned the barcode number is a must to schedule appointments..is it different for H1 B extension applications?

    Reply
    • Broqoli,
      Usually barcode is a must to schedule appointment. You should call the consulate in your country, and then ask them for clarification.

      Reply
  10. Saurabh

    I have recieved a package from the company attorney (Fedex Package). The documents are inside the Fedex package.
    Attorney has advised me not to open the sealed Envelope. I was wondering if I can submit the documents to the VFS even without opening the Fedex package to be on the safer side

    Thanks
    Devesh

    Reply
    • Sujan,
      Yes, you can submit the unopened package to VFS. I don’t know if they accept sealed documents, or will open it at the counter to know what is being submitted.

      Reply
  11. Hello,

    I have a question about DS-160 form. I want to apply my grandparents from vietnam to visit me, but because they are too old, they cannot fill out and sign the application themselves. Can I (here in US) submit the application without their signatures? And as I heard I can do that and they can physically sign at the interview. Is that true?

    Reply
    • Rainie,
      Yes, you can complete the form on their behalf. There is a question in the DS form asking if anyone else has completed the form on their behalf. In that section, you can mention your name and details.

      Reply
        • Rainie,
          Usually the applicant needs to submit the form and that is considered as electronic signature. However, just in the case of children completing the form for their parents, can you submit the form as well on their behalf.

          As this is for grandparents, I am not sure if the form can be submitted by you or they need to submit it themselves. If they know how to use computer, then you can send the application number, password, DS form link etc after completing the form, and then can submit it themselves.

          Does that make sense?

          Reply
          • My grandfather doesn’t know a thing about computer. So yeah, I will just let my mom submit the application since he is her father. Hopefully it will works just fine.

  12. Hi Saurabh
    I was admitted to a prestigious Ph.D. In the US and I plan to go with my wife.
    I have filled the Ds-160 but I am unable to schedule an interview because usvisa info self service does not allow my wife to register and I can’t add her as family member.
    The problem is that the system says she cannot register because she is not a primary applicant. She applied last year before we got married with her mother as primary applicant . It seems like a bug in the system but I did not received any help from the call center.
    What can I do?
    Victor

    Reply
    • Pegasus,
      If your wife will be going on F-2 visa, then she should be able to complete her own DS-160 form on the site. Later when you schedule the interview, you should be able to add her as dependent by mentioning her DS application number. I don’t know which country you are applying from as consulates in different countries have different processes.

      Reply
  13. Hello!
    My family and I just signed and submitted a D-160 visa application the other night. We intended to apply as a family but we saw the link to “Create a Family Application” too late. 🙁 We have already scheduled our appointment. Do you think we should cancel and fill up the application again as a family? We indicated on the application form that we will be travelling together (there was a question about who you plan to travel with, and we all wrote each others’ names). Hope to hear from you soon.. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Honey A,
      Using that option only helps in easing out the process of creating multiple applications. Had you used that option, it would have created a clone of your previous application and then you would have changed some information for each member going for the stamping (like name, passport etc) but leaving the other information as is (like travel dates, address etc).

      You are fine even if each member created the application separately. As long as you have mentioned the name of all members in the section of travelling w/, you don’t need to worry about it.

      Reply
      • After careful review, we found out that we have made several errors (examples: we did not indicate all the schools we went to from age 11 and only put in the university that we graduated from + I misinterpreted one of the questions and put in my graduate school instead of my Employer) that seem important.. I’m really worried right now and I need advice as to whether its okay to RESUBMIT a new application or will that affect and confuse the one who’s going to interview us.. 🙁 I have read in some websites that its okay to resubmit a new application but I don’t know if that is a standard procedure.. Please tell me what you think I should do.. Thanks..

        Reply
        • Honey,
          One needs to enter educational institutions attended after secondary school. This means under-graduation, graduation, and post graduation. You don’t need to mention your 10th and 12th schools.

          If you have not scheduled interview date yet, then you can resubmit another petition. This will allow you to correct the mistake for employer vs school.

          Reply
  14. Hi Saurabh

    I have been issued 221g blue slip. My company has sent the documents directly to the VFS office. Is there any way I can find out whether the documents have reached the VFS office

    Thanks
    Sujan

    Reply
      • I had called VFS office. But they said for the blue slip they cant see whether the documents have been recieved or not. They dont have access to it.
        They can see that only for pink slip . Is this true

        Thanks
        Devesh

        Reply
  15. Hi Saurabh,

    For me an US employer has filed the petition on April 11th. They are a small company (not consulting agency) with 30-40 employees in total. Current status is still “Initial Review” after 1 month of filing. Does it take such long time to get into the next phase? please suggest.

    thanks.

    Reply
  16. good day to you…

    I am a H4 visa holder… I am in the US right now with my 2 kids and my husband is a H1 visa holder that will expire this Sept 2012…

    my question is that if the employer of my husband petition him for an immigrant visa, me and my kids are automatically carried with that petition? is there a possibility that he will only carry the kids name for that petition? pls help me understand…

    i just this question because i’ve known that my husband is having an affair with someone… and i have in mind that the reason why he petitioned me is just because he got a plan for our kids… thank u and Godbless!

    Reply
    • Micah,
      You are not included by default. As part of the immigrant visa (green card) process, he will have to file I-485 petition. At that point he will have to mention all dependents’ names which he want to include, and he can decide to skip your name.

      Also, your H-4 might be expiring along w/ his H-1. Even at that point, you would need his involvement for H-4 extension.

      Reply
      • Hi Saurabh,

        Thank you for the enlightenment….

        If he do skip my name is there any notification that will be given to me informing me that i am not included in the petition? What if his employer is the one who will petitioned him for immigrant status? Am i not immediately carried on?

        I am a dentist and a registered nurse in the Philippines by profession… I am preparing my NCLEX right now and will take the exam here in the US. What will i do, i wanted to stay but i can’t work because of my visa. Pls advice of what will be the possibilities that i can do for this….

        If his visa will expire by Sept then it will be extended by his employer, my H4 visa will also be extended along with his? or do i need to file for it…

        thank you. You are of great help!

        Reply
        • thank you in advance…

          is there a possibility that i can work here in the US even with my H4 visa? all i know is that i am not allowed to work because it is a dependent visa…. my friend advice me to find a work then ask the employer to petition me for a H1 visa?

          thanks in advance….

          Reply
        • Micah,
          No, you will not be informed that your name has been skipped. Dependents are not automatically carried. The employer/attorney will ask him if he wants to include dependents and then he will have to specify the dependents he wants to include.

          The only way to work in US is to get the work visa (H-1 in your case), but I am not aware of the nurse profession and can’t help you much there. Do not work until you get your H-1 approved. It is illegal to work on H-4.

          H-4 extension can be filed by you or by him or by the employer. When the employer files the extension, they usually filed along w/ H-1 extension as H-4 extension is dependent on H-1 extension. If you or the husband file it, then you need to provide proof of H-1 extension, his recent payslips, employment verification documents etc. That is why I said you will have to co-ordinate w/ him.

          Unfortunately, the immigration laws make the dependent really “dependent” on the H-1 visa holder.

          Reply
  17. Hi Saurabh,

    First of all wanted to thank you for all the work you are doing. Really appreciate it.

    I have a very basic question. I am filing visitor visa for my parents. so do I have to pay visa fees before submitting DS-160 form or do I have to submit DS-160 form and then pay visa fees at an approved HDFC bank.

    Your help will be really appreciated.

    Regards,
    Soni.

    Reply
  18. Hi,
    I and my wife are going to apply for J visa. I am J1, she is J2. I am going to study in US, she just follows me. The problem she has with DS-160 form is that she is scared of filling the form now and hence giving details of the present employmer, as she just started this exciting work and would like to continue till we departure to US (in 3 months time). However, we need to apply for visas now and cannot wait. So, does anybody now wheter they contact J-2 dependent’s employer before granting visa? Otherwise we need to wait with applications and get risky I guess…
    Thanks!

    Reply
  19. Hi Saurabh,

    I work for a consulting firm, the firms head quarter is in Virginia and has office in NYC.I Work for a client in Jersey city ,NJ and have the LCA for Jersy City NJ.What whould I fill in “Location intended to work” page.

    1.) Working for – Name of my consultant
    Location where Intend to work – head quarters address of consultant
    2.)Working for – Name of my consultant
    Location where Intend to work – Address in LCA
    3.)Working for – Client name
    Location where Intend to work – Address in LCA

    Reply
  20. ood morning my name is Sophia , i paid the money for the interview at Sogebank ,but i dont live in Haiti ,i am studing in Santiago now after that i come back to Santiago , when i fill out the form i receive the barkcode
    when i was trying to take the appointment i dont have access i dont see the part blue availlable
    i tried and tried a lot of time but nothing ,i am so worried about that ,i dont want to lose the money at the Sogebank
    do you think i will find the date and time ,i dont know what to do when the calendar appear
    please i need your help ,how many time ican get the Sogebank receipt

    Reply
  21. Hi Saurabh,

    I am filling DS-160 for my father’s B2 visa. He got retired from govt. service and is currently working as a lecturer in a private educational institution. He is receiving pension as well as salary for his current job. How can I show this in DS-160? What should I choose as the Primary Occupation? It doesn’t allow me to add any detail if I choose ‘RETIRED’. I can choose ‘EDUCATION’ as the present primary occupation, but then it wont indicate that he was retired.

    Hope you can help me out here. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Dmitri,
      It looks like he is retired from one profession and now moved on to another one. So the current occupation is his lecturer job and not retired. He should mention education as present occupation, and maybe in previous employment mention about that government job.

      Reply
  22. I have filled my DS160 for my interview in Haiti ) However i am not able to find any available dates for interview , so I am planning to submit another form
    do u think i can submit another form please

    Reply
    • Sophia,
      If I remember correctly, it states that the interview location selection while completing DS form is just an indicative selection. A person can appear for interview at a different location as well. Assuming this is true, you don’t need to complete another DS form.

      Reply
  23. i have got the british passport i want to go to USA but ma esta form was refused so i have to go to the london embessy to get a visa do i need to fill DS-160 form?

    Reply
  24. Hello Saurabh ,

    I am working for USA company and recently i have filled DS160 as i am visiting india in June and will apply for H1b visa stamping .

    Recently my employer had filed new LCA due to my work location for the same company , do you think i need to resubmit new DS160 or i can tell VO saying i have new amended H1b due to different work location .

    What do you sugesst ? Create New DS160 application ? or just go with the existing one and tell Vo about new amended H1b just for location .

    Reply
    • Raju,
      If you haven’t scheduled the interview yet, I would suggest going for another DS form. This is b/c your work location has changed. If you have already scheduled the interview, then you can go w/ same DS form and inform the officer about the change. Even then, try to carry updated DS form as much as possible.

      Reply
      • Thanks Saurabh for this suggestion .

        In my DS160 form i have included the address where i am working .
        Only thing will be now I797 approval number which needs to be updated as i will be getting new one .

        I haven’t scheduled the interview so i can make new DS160 updated with recent I797 approval number . The only thing is i may get that in June .

        Reply
  25. Hi Shaurabh,
    I have submitted DS 160 form and have taken a printout of the confirmation. Now, I came to know that I have made an error while filling out the form. I have written my second mother name in the form, while in the passport it’s my first mother name (who passed away after I was born). Now I have to correct that in DS 160 form, how can I do that? I haven’t saved the form on my laptop and just took the confirmation.
    Also I haven’t yet taken the appointment date for interview, so can I fill out new application form and submit it again? On doing that I will get new barcode number right, which i can use at time of taking visa interview appointment? Will be there be any issue filling out DS160 form again and what will happened to old DS 160 which i have already submitted.
    Please suggest. Please reply soon, will really appreciate your help.

    Thanks,
    Rachana

    Reply
  26. Hi Saurabh ,

    I work for a USA Based company where their Head quarter is in Cupertino and they have their Business team work from other state in USA and i am working on H1b with their Business team ( Other state ) .

    Q- I got visa transfer , extended with the address of their head quarters but i am working in their second location ( Where business team works from ) . Do you this we need amend H1b ( as i am not working in head quarter state )

    Thanks for all your help as you do always !!!

    Reply
    • Raju,
      Yes. The employer first needs to file new LCA for the location you are working at and then go for H-1 amendment.

      Reply
  27. I have filled my DS-160 form and after submitting I realised my departure which is suppose to be 23/7/2012 was stated as 03/7/2012. Want to knw if it will be a problem during my interview.

    Reply
    • Kelvin,
      If you have not scheduled the appointment and have taken a back-up, then upload that back-up, edit the dates and submit the new form. Else, you can proceed w/ the old form and let the officer know in the consulate about the mistake.

      Reply
  28. Hi Surabh,

    I filled my DS 160 application , saved it but not submitted it . Now when I am trying to retrieve it with application ID , It is giving application error.I have also saved the application in file at my system . Should I upload that file and will I get a new application number or same number and does it have any impact .Plz help

    Reply
  29. I want to fill out form the DS-160 for my in-laws, they live in Mexico, I live in the US. If I fill out form here, in the U.S. will there be a problem? Specifically, the electronic signature.

    Reply
    • Kathy,
      There is a section in the DS form which asks if someone else has filled the application form on their behalf. In that section, you can enter your information.

      Reply
  30. Hi Saurabh,
    I’m filling DS-160 online, and was wondering how to give exact dates for my indian education (BSc and Intermediate). I see exact dates on the day of completion on my certificates, but not when I started. You think I can approximate my date of start?
    Also I was on student visa (F1) for my Ph.D, but now I’m on J1 with my postdoc. I’m visiting after 6 and half yrs (I know that’s long time!). Hope things go smooth…
    Please let me know my dates question wrt education details. Thanks in advance

    Reply
  31. Hi Saurabh ,

    I Heard recently saying there are more number of 221 slips for Admin processing for H1B stamping .

    I am visiting india after 4.5 years.
    ALso i was working in USA for a client of Indian company
    In Sep 2011 I have joined my client ( Visa extension and transfer to client till july 2013 ( My present employer ) and now i am planning for Visa stamping in India .

    Do you think of questioning me of why did u joined client ?
    Was there any contractual agreement between your client and Company ( Of india ?

    How best we can answer where i was in a company ( India ) which has not given any relieving letter saying reason of unclean exit of not giving 2 months of notice .

    Also my present employer has filed PERM In Jan 2012 and i am in the process of filling DS160 so thought of mentioning _ Yes my current employer has filed PERM for GC .
    Do you think i should do that or i should say NO .

    Thanks for your valuable suggestion as always you do .

    Thanks
    Raju

    Reply
    • Raju,
      I don’t think they will question why you joined the client or if there was contract b/w employer and client. If asked about the relieving letter, you can say it was not issued and show payslips as proof that you have been employed. There is a question in DS form related to immigrant petition. The answer to that should be no as I-140 has not been filed. However, if they ask about PERM then you need to remain truthful.

      Reply
  32. Hi Saurabh,

    I need help in filling DS 160 form for stamping in Canada.
    Currently I am working on L1 visa and planning to go for stamping in Canada – Ottawa.

    What would be the ‘Present Employer’?
    Is it my current employer for which I am working on L1 visa or Employer who filed my H1b and will be working with after COS to H1?

    Thanks,
    Vin

    Reply
    • Vin,
      So you want to travel to CA for H-1 stamping and then return and work on H-1, right?

      Present employer is the L-1 employer as you haven’t started working for H-1 employer yet. In the last section related to “Temporary Work Visa Information” you need to mention H-1 employer information.

      Reply
  33. Hi Saurabh,
    Currently i am on extension.i am planning to visit to india.where i will be attending for visa stamping.
    i went to USA through X company to work at client location.during that time my employer is paying me in USD let say Y in us account and am also getting basic salary in india let say Z amount in INRt.now what should i mentionfiled Monthly Income in Local Currency (if employed).
    is it Y+Z converted in to INR or just Z or just Y in INR.Point to note is i am getting different payslips forboth india and U salaries

    and when i need to carry last 6 months paystubs which paystubs i need to carry india or USA

    Reply
      • Thanks Saurabh,
        I am on H-1 visa.
        one more question
        suppose i am working for client X and vent to stamping with that client letter and in future if my assignment is changed to client Y.do i need to attend for visa stamping interview if i leave US and want to get back to US even though iam not on extension.

        Reply
  34. Hi Saurabh,
    I have finished my BS and then OPT in the US while I was waiting for admit into PhD program. I have come back to India to apply for a new visa for my PhD program. What should I mention in the ‘work experience section’? Unemployed? Student? If I mention unemployed, is that detrimental?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Reshmi,
      I think you should enter OPT period under work experience as you were really not studying but working. However, you should check w/ others who have been in similar situation.

      Reply
  35. Hi Saurabh,

    We are going to India for Visa stamping. What address we have to fill in “Home Address” and in “Mailing Address” in DS-160 form?

    Some people are saying to fill “Address in the passport” for both Home and Mailing Address. But I am not convinced with that reply since currently we are staying in US.

    Can you clarify?

    Reply
    • Amudha,
      You have to give your contact address in home country. It can be different from the address mentioned in the passport, but has to be from your home country. See when you are applying for a visa, you are asking for a permission to enter US and treated as someone who wants to go from home country to US. As such, they need to your address in home country and not in US. There is another field asking where you will stay in US – there you have to mention your US address.

      Reply
  36. I am in H1B (academic) and have filed I-140 (ONLY) in EB1A category in December 2011. The status is still pending.
    I am planning to visit India next month and need to appear for VISA stamping. Will there be a problem?
    I am confused as the I-140 (immigrant) is pending and H1B (non-immigrant) visa stamping are not very convincing simultaneously for USCIS.
    Any suggestions!
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Antimony,
      Actually H-1 is a dual intent visa which means a person can immigrate to US based on I-140 and I-485. So it should be ok to go for H-1 stamping w/ an approved I-140.

      Reply
        • Hi Saurabh and others,
          I have couple of question regarding H1B VISA interview. Now if the consulate officer ask me something like this –
          Why you have filed I-140?
          What is your future plan?

          What should be the way to answer the questions correctly? Any other suggestions or thoughts much appreciated.

          Thanks

          Reply
          • Antimony,
            Why you have filed I-140?
            >> I-140 is filed by the employer and not you. You can say that they filed I-140 for you, as they want to hire you on a permanent basis based on your profile. As that petition is reviewed and approved by DOL and USCIS, it means due diligence was done. So there should not be any reason to worry.

            What is your future plan?
            >> How about you want to continue working for the current employer on a long term basis (as your I-140 has been filed).

          • Thanks Saurabh,
            Actually, I have filed I-140 in EB1A category. It is a self petition. In that case do you think it will be tricky to give a satisfactory answer to the officer? What it should be?

  37. Hi Saurabh,

    I have an approved H1B petition for Chicago Location. But currently my client location is in Columbus and I need to travel to Columbus. Can I go ahead with stamping with the existing petition and then once the stamping is done can I apply for LCA for Columbus OR is it mandatory to get LCA for the new location first and then only proceed with the stamping.

    The process laid out in DS 160 help document reads “For H1 B if there is any change in the location, you need to get the LCA for that particular location where you are travelling before your visa interview without fail. Also the location should match with DS 160 form”. But my Visa team is asking me to go ahead with stamping with existing petition and then get a new LCA before travelling.

    Am confused. Request you to throw some light on this.

    Thanks in advance.

    Divya

    Reply
    • Divya,
      You should first get the new LCA certified and then go for H-1 amendment and finally appear for visa interview w/ new documents and client letter from Columbus client.

      If you go now, there is a possibility that they will issue 221g as your client letter is for a different location from LCA and I-129 document.

      Reply
  38. Hi Saurabh
    I have Visa interview on next week. While filling DS 160 Form, there was a column “Where to intend to work”? What would i put it? is it employer address? or Client’s address. I put my employer address. is it correct?

    Reply
  39. Hi Saurabh,

    I have filled my DS160 for my interview in Toronto (Canada) However i am not able to find any available dates for interview in Toronto, so I am planning to book an interview date in Ottawa (Canada). Do I need to fill another DS160? Or It will work with the same DS160 confirmation #?

    I read it somewhere that it may cause some delay in this situation though.

    Thanks for your help!
    Karan

    Reply
    • Karan,
      If you have taken a back-up of the DS form, you can use that backup to create another DS form and mention Ottawa as the center.

      Besides, I think the consulate in DS form is just indicative and doesn’t mean that you have to attend the interview at that selected consulate only.

      Reply
    • Hi Karan,

      I am also planning to have H1 stamping in Canada – Ottawa (Currently residing in US on L1 visa). If possible, could you please share your contact details, I would like to have some information about Canada visa stamping from you.

      Thanks,
      Vin

      Reply
  40. Hi Saurabh,

    I am applying for new H1B visa for 2013 and My new employer asked me to fill some of the information in form I 129.

    I am residing in UK and finished my Master and my visa expiration date is 8th Sept 2012.
    I am confused about the section Part 4 : Processing Information

    What to select the city of Consulate as I will be leaving the place by September 2012.

    Question 1 : If I provide the consulate office as LONDON and if my petition approves after September 2012, Can I attend the interview in my native place (Hyderabad) in India.

    Question 2: Beneficiary foreign address : should I give my UK address or India Address

    Thank you for your help.

    Reply
    • Kiran,
      You can give London information for now, and in case situation changes then you can attend the interview in India. It should be fine. You can also check w/ your attorney.

      Reply
  41. Hi All,

    My approved H1B notice is showing the consulate as city X as my native (Birth place and passport holding the same city), where as I am residing in city Y.

    Now can I attend the H1B visa interview is city Y which is convenient for me?

    Thanks in Advance.

    Reply
  42. Hi,

    I am in the process of filling up the DS-160 form for B1/B2 visa.
    I currently live in Singapore, studying. But I am from India, Indian citizen, in Singapore on a student pass. I hold an Indian Passport.
    I need a visa to go to the US, and I am applying online for the same. I have a few questions.

    1. Should the home address be my singapore home address or india home address?
    2. Where can I get the passport book number?

    Please help me with the above. Thank you.

    Rebekah 🙂

    Reply
  43. Hi,

    I am in the process of filling up the DS-160 form for B1/B2 visa.
    I currently live in Singapore, studying. But I am from India, Indian citizen, in Singapore on a student pass. I hold an Indian Passport.
    I need a visa to go to the US, and I am applying online for the same. I have a few questions.

    1. Should the home address be my singapore home address or india home address?
    2. Where can I get the passport book number?

    Please help me with the above. Thank you.

    Rebekah

    Reply
    • Rebekah,
      1. I don’t remember the form exactly, do they ask for 2 addresses (permanent vs current) or just 1? If just 1, then I think it should be Singapore address although you should check this w/ others as well.
      2. N/A for Indian passport holders

      Reply
  44. Hello,
    Hope you can help me with my question. My husband is working in USA on L1 visa. He has done his 1st visa extension stamping last year, back in India. His 2nd extension is coming in very soon. Must the 2nd visa extension stamping also be done in India? We will be going to Malaysia and it would be very convenient if it can be done there. Please inform. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Kavita,
      He can go to the consulate in Malaysia for 2nd H-1 visa stamping if he has to be present there for other reasons. However, he should also check w/ the US consulate in Malaysia about their policy on TCN (third country national). L-1 is subject to close scrutiny these days, and I don’t know if the consulate would agree to the idea or not.

      Reply
      • thank you for the reply…appreciate it!! anyways, i have another question regarding ” SPECIFIC TRAVEL PLAN” i have my ticket so I know my iterinary, however, If I put a date on Arrival to US ( aug 12,2012 since that the date we’ll comeback here in US after visa stamping ) and Departure from US (july 12, 2012) its error since it said that the arrival date should be ahead than departure date. So, what should I put as answer to it?
        thank you again.

        Reply
        • Nieva,
          Departure date refers to date you will leave US after entering US in Aug 2012. Usually it is entered as petition expiration date. They will not follow-up to know if you really leave US on that date or not, but its more of a placeholder.

          Reply
  45. Hi,
    1. ” Has anyone ever filed an immigrant petition on your behalf with USCIS?” what is the answer if my I-140 is on the process??
    2. “Do you have immediate relatives, not including parents in the US?” what is the answer if my husband & daughter lives with me in the US but they’ll be out of the country too for visa stamping?

    Reply
      • Hello again,, I’m confused about what address I will use in my DS 160. My family lives in an Apt in City Y and I have also an apartment in City X where my job located and stay there during my work days and go home to City Y every free day. So, which address i will use to fill-out in DS 160,, in City Y or City X?
        Thank you much!

        Reply
          • he saurabh,
            thank you so much for your time… i have more questions regarding DS 160.. some questions are really confusing.
            1) when i first came here in the US my visa was H4 and now i’m about to go for visa stamping for H1B.. so what should be the answer in question ” are you applying on the same visa type?”
            I suppose to answer No, but then it confused me because both are under the same visa class which is H.
            2. which one should be the answer to Organization Name in the US : EMPLOYERor PETITIONER ( if you applying for H1B stamping?)
            I have in mind, employer, but then I saw in my notice of action that the use word petitioner .
            thank you once again! more power

          • Nieva,
            1. Answer should be No. They refer to specific visa and so H-1 and H-4 are different.
            2. Are your employer and petitioner different? Technically it should be the petitioner who has filed the H-1 petition for you.

          • thank you for the reply!
            1. My employer is also petition my I-140.. so , will I choose petitioner instead of employer?
            2. My husband has an employer who petition his H1b only… should he choose employer instead of petitioner?
            sorry, i don’t know when to use employer and petitioner to answer that question on DS 160.. can you give me insight in regards to that? thanks

          • Nieva,
            1. Go w/ the name that is there on your 797 i.e. H-1 petitioner.
            2. Petitioner and employer are always the same. They are the company who have filed the H-1 for you, and will run your payroll. They cannot be different.

            As a rule of thumb, always use petitioner name.

  46. I have a fractured finger and my visa interview is scheduled for 01-March. Will this cause an issue during finger printing?

    The website says “Applicants who are required to be fingerprinted who have a cut or blister or other temporary skin injury on their index fingers may not be issued a visa until their finger heals before they can be fingerprinted”. There are no cuts or blisters on the injured area.

    Reply
    • Justin,
      Call the consulate and ask them about this. As long as the finger tips are visible and can be fingerprinted, you should be fine.

      Reply
  47. is it okay not to upload a picture at all?

    it really took my 3 hrs to fill-up and then now asking me to upload pic.. is this really necessary?

    Reply
    • Zen,
      I don’t think it will allow you to submit the form w/o uploading the picture. You can save the form, and later when you have the picture to upload you can continue and submit it.

      Reply
  48. 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

    Reply

    Reply
    • Vanessa,
      1. Yes, only I-140. It would also be yes if someone has filed family based immigrant petition for you
      2. Yes, only those relatives.

      Reply

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