Home » US Immigration - Visas » H1B Visa » Required Info to fill DS-160 Form for US Visa stamping – 5 Tips

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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  1. Hi Saurabh,

    I have following query on filling the DS160 form for B1 visa to visit one of my client place. If my employee doesn’t have any formal education, (as there is an option while filling the DS 160, secondary education and above yes or no), still they consider for visa if all other factors are met. if yes, what kind of other information we need to provide. if you can provide these details, it will be a great help.

  2. Saurabh

    I am currently working for Company A on H1B visa. I am a direct employee. My H1B visa i valid from Oct 2011 to Oct 2014.
    I am planning to apply for company B. In that case what will be the process if I get job before April 2014. How will my H1B Extension work out.
    Also can i apply for H1B extension before April 2014


  3. Dear Experts,

    I have a question while filling in the DS160. In a stage were it asks us to fill in the previous employment / work experience. Not sure if I should skip the irrelevant experience though its falling in the last 5 years of experience.

    I would like to know which of them I should fill in the DS160

    My work experience is as below

    29 Nov 2006 – 31 March 2008 (1 year, 5 months) – Relevant Experience
    1st April 2008 – 6th Sept 2010 (2 years, 5 months) – Relevant Experience
    6th February 2011 – 15 Sept 2011 (7 months, 9 days ) – Irrelevant Experience
    30 November 2011 – Till Today (1 year, 10 months) – Relevant Experience

    Your help is highly appreciated.

  4. i worked for 3 different employer in last 5 years, DS160 form is not allowing me to enter 3rd employer information, while it says that enter detail of last 5 years of employment, how to enter this information? “add another” tab is disabled after entering two employer

  5. Hello,

    I start my preparation for Ds-160. I have question do we need digit photo during submition online ds-160 form. my friend said they will capture photo at figure scan appoitment.

    please let me know do i have to upload online ?

    Thanks for help!!

  6. hi,
    I am in US since 5 years. I came on student visa. Now I got H1. I was filling DS 160 online and I was confused in one question of Have you made specific travel plan. Now I already have booked ticket of ongoing Oct 2013 to india and coming back in US in Nov of 2013. Now in form It is first asked to enter arrival date and then asked to enter departure date. If I do that then I get an error message saying you cannot depart before you arrive…
    So I have to answer ” NO” to my question of specific travel plan made???

  7. Please Help,

    Regarding DS -160

    Guys there is 1 column in DS -160 which ask about

    — > Have you made specific travel Plan — i put NO
    Then it is asking —- INTENDED LENGTH OF STAY IN US — Please tell me what to put in there ? — Is is the time for which my petition is approved or i can write anything — means even less — Please help me out urgently …

    In H1b PRD — there was 1 column like duration of project there i put randomly – 10 months even then my Petion is valid for 3 years so what shud i put there ?

  8. Hi Saurabh,

    I need some imp info on filling DS 160 for tourist visa.

    How can we add two current employment details in DS 160? Currently I am working towards my family business and also have my own proprietorship.
    Also, do we need to make any changes in passport on the column of name of father/legal guardian after he has expired?
    How much approx. money should be shown in bank account for tourist visit of 25days?

    Please advice on this.
    Your inputs will be appreciated.

    • Sakshi,
      You can enter the employment details one after the other as they cannot be entered in parallel. Passport changes are not required for B-1/2 visa.

      If you already have made lodging and travel reservations, then that covers bulk of the expenses. There is no set formula on how much money to have, but if I have to estimate, it may be around 5-6K USD.

      Also, you need to have social and financial ties to home country to show that you will not immigrate to US.

      • Hi saurabh,
        Please help in filling the ds160 form.
        What should I need to enter in the current employement and previous employement in Ds160 form.

        I have completed my previous employement in the month of may 2013.

        Please suggest what do I need to fill. Waiting for your reply.

        • Babu,
          If you are currently not working, then mention unemployed in current employer and previous employment will have other employment details.

  9. Hi Saurabh, thanks for these tips. Very helpful.

    However, I was hoping you would address some of my concerns as follows:

    It seems that the DS160 form is specially applicable to people currently working in India and applying for H1 from India.
    I am currently working in the US, on F1-OPT status, after completing my Masters here. The same employer applied for H1B for me, and it got approved. Now I am traveling home to get visa stamped.
    In my situation, I find that filling the DS160 form is a big pain.
    For example, they ask me my Home Address and then my Mailing Address. I know that I should enter my India address as my mailing address, but what about Home Address – should i be entering my US address?

    Also, they ask me my current employment details. I entered my US employment information. Then they ask for “Current monthly salary (in Local Currency)”. Should I be entering my current US salary in dollars or rupees? They dont even accept special characters $ in the box, so I only need to enter an amount.

    Another question I had was regarding the section about “Previous US travel”. They ask me to enter details of last 5 US visits. When I was doing my Masters in F1 status, I visited India and returned 2-3 times. Should I enter all the 3 times i returned here as separate US visits, or enter just one trip for my entire study duration?

    It would be great if you could add your suggestions as tips or as a reply to this post.

    Thanks again for the tips!

    • Gaurav,
      It’s your India address. There is a question asking where you will stay in US. Over there, mention your US address.

      Salary will be in USD as your current employer pays you in USD.

      Yes, mention all entries and exits from US during those trips.

  10. Hi,
    My parents and sister is applying for a visitor visa to come visit me in the US. My sister accidentally scheduled appointment with a partially filled DS 160. She also used only one DS 160 number while scheduling appointment for all the family members. We called the call center and they told us not to reschedule the appointment and complete the existing DS 160 and fill out new DS 160s (one each) for my parents and carry those for the OFC appointment. Has anybody gone through such an experience or heard anybody having any issues in such a scenario? Do you think we should cancel this existing appointment and schedule another one with the correct DS 160 forms?

    • PD,
      AFAIK, there should be one DS-160 form per member. In case of any errors, she can complete another DS-160 form and carry both DS forms to the consulate.

  11. HI ,


  12. Hi Saurabh

    Thanks for the composed info. I have few questions, please share your thoughts.

    I am currently working in L1B Extension visa and tarveling to india for personal reason, so i have to fill ds160 for stamping reason.

    When my l1b was extended i was working with different client and employer A now i am working with different client but with the same employer. So i am not sure what client name address to mention whether the old one or new one?

    Because when i applied extension it was associated with my old location and old client, now Ds160 is asking my current address and client address so i hesitate fill the new address and the new client name, but i am working with the same employer though.

    Please suggest me on what details to fill in Ds160 old address and old client details are new client address and new client details. Will there be any problem during stamping?

        • Vinoth,
          I don’t remember the form asking for client information. May be it is just a L-1 requirement. Suggest talking to your attorney. As a thumb of rule, you should not lie on the form and if it asks for client information then enter the correct information.

          • I was told by my company to submit new petition details with new client details and they will request for amendment with my l1b approval. So that I can travel with my new client, I’m in the process of doing it , hoping nothing will go wrong.what you think ?

  13. Hi Saurabh,

    I have a H1B approved and my joining date is October 1, 2013. My notice period in current company is 2 months. Some questions:
    1) When can I fill DS-160?
    2) Is there any idea on when VISA interviews will start?
    3) How do people normally manage notice period related information in DS-160. Assume that I resign today. If I file DS-160 with the current employer information, and at the time of interview, I am not working with my current employer, will it have an impact in the VISA interview?

    • Damu,
      1, 2. You can appear for stamping at most 90 days prior to H-1 start date. So you can complete DS form 1-2 weeks prior to your interview date. Actually you can complete the DS form anytime, and have it handy for whenever you schedule interview date. It’s just that if any information in DS form changes before the interview, then you have to amend it or complete a new one.

      3. Usually it doesn’t. That is why its better not to keep huge gap b/w the day of completing DS form and interview date.

      • Hi Saurabh,

        When I enquired with the US consulate India customer support. Following is the reply I got from them:

        “Thank you for writing to the U.S. Visa Service Desk.

        We understand that you would like to know whether you can fill Ds-160 application form and schedule the interview.

        With regards to your query, we would like to inform you that, applicants can fill the Ds-160 application form and schedule the appointment according to their convenience there is no specific time to fill in Ds-160 application form and schedule the interview.

        We would also like to inform you that, the Ds-160 application is valid for 1 year from the date of its completion and the availability of interview appointment date is at the sole discretion of U.S Embassy/Consulate.

        Question: Is it not possible to schedule appointment more than 90 days before planned date of travel? Is there any link which says this? Has any rule changed recently?

          • And here is someone who went for interview prior to 90 days limit and was issued 221g for the same

            So its best to schedule interview only when >90 days are left for H-1 start date.

  14. My father’s surname has been wrongly written as PATTMAIK in stead of PATTNAIK on the last page of my passport. If I mention the correct spelling PATTNAIK in my visa application DS 160 for F1 visa to USA as a student will it have any impact on my visa application? Can anyone please enlighten me?

  15. Am a student studying in foreign country but i wanna travel to USA but i came across this question:

    Are there other persons traveling with you?

    BUT I have a friend who is traveling to USA. my friend is married just got 2 years visa for 1st time. He wants me to go with him now he got his visa BUT he didn’t included he was going with a friend when he applied.

    Can I include him in my application? Is there not any problem about that?

    Please, need a response!!!


  16. Hi,

    I have a doubt in DS 160 application regarding the previous experience. It says, provide your employment information for last 5 years if applicable and you have to answer yes/no. Now I have been working for the same company for past 7 years. So should I answer no? I am confused. Kindly help me to answer this question.


    • Ram,
      If someone has not worked previously then they don’t need to enter anything in this section. If a person has worked previously (doesn’t matter more than 5 years or less), they have to enter those employment details here. So enter all the work experience information here w/ actual dates (even if they ask for 5 years only, you can mention the 7 year experience w/ the firm).

      • Sorry but this answer doesn’t cover the actual problem related to this question. If I am working at the same place for the last 11 years and I have already mentioned this in my current employment. what should be my answer in the next question about the previous employment during last 5 years.Of course it is same as my current job. I had a previous job 11 years back.

  17. The address I have in my passport is different from the address what my spouse and child have on their passport. However they both have the same address on their passport. Which address do I fill for my spouse and child in DS160? Do I fill the address mentioned on their passports or the address mentioned in my passport ? They are travelling with me on dependent visa.

    • Vrunda,
      Doesn’t matter what’s there in the passport. You need to provide the most recent and most correct address in the DS form.

  18. Hi,
    I have filled the ds 160 form for b1 visa. Specific stay plan I have entered “Yes” and provided 3 weeks by mistake ,but my actual stay in US is only 1 week. Will this affect my Visa approval.

    Please let me know regarding this.


    • Mini,
      No, this will not impact the outcome of the visa processing. Although you may be asked what you plan to do in US during your intended period of stay.

      If you haven’t scheduled an interview date, then its best to complete another DS form w/ updated information.

  19. Hi,

    I have filled the DS160 form for a B1 visa and mentioned 15th March as travel date, which was tentative at the time of filling. But I got my Visa appointment date of 19th March. Will this be an issue? Because by the time go for the interview the travel date w’d have already passed. Will I be questioned on this?


    • Abhinandan,
      These are tentative dates and it is ok for them to change. You can appear w/ same interview and if asked about this you can tell them that you completed the DS form long time ago when 15th was still in future. But as you didn’t get appropriate dates, that travel date has elapsed. You can then tell them your new tentative travel date.

    • Abhinandan,
      Or when you go for interview, at the first desk inside the consulate, you can request to change the date to another one.

      • Hi Abhimandan,
        I would like to know whether the first desk inside the consulate has changed the date because I am also in the same plate.


  20. Hi,

    The name of my father is SHRINGESHWAR PRASAD on all my marksheets and certificates.
    However his spelling is misspelt on my passport as SRINGESHWAR PRASAD

    I have to apply for VISA immediately and i really do not have the time to do anything else or any special formalities. I have to do it in a day.

    Is it safe for me to apply for VISA ?

  21. Hello,
    May I ask you a question please? When I filled DS-160 form, I chose the specific travel date and filled up arrival and return dates. But, now I would like to change my travel dates. So, if the travel travel dates I filled in the DS 160 form and the actual travel dates are different, are there any problems at the port of entry? Thanks much in advance.


  22. Hi!

    Can you please help me with this small query? I applied for the D-160 and have an appointment scheduled. I just realised that the address of my stay is Sunnyvale, CA however in the form while I wrote this address I selected the city as San Francisco.

    would this make a difference and issue during the interview? I have the interview in 2 days!

    Thanks for the help in advance.

  23. Hi
    I made mistake in Date of return. I mentioned it as 3 years. But my H1B is approved only valid from dec 5th 2012 to till 09/30/15. Do I need to make changes for this. If yes, how can I do that as I already submitted my DS-160.

    Please help..

    Thanks in advance..

    • HNR,
      Are you referring to the return date in the DS-160 form? If you haven’t scheduled interview date, then you can complete another DS form. If you have already scheduled the interview, then you can continue w/ same form. If VO questions, you can explain the mistake. It’s a trivial thing and should not impact the outcome of the stamping.

  24. Hi Saurabh

    I am planning to quit my job in february. I am currently on H1B. How long can I stay in USA before going to India.
    Also I am planning to apply for tourist visa as soon as I go to India. How much chance is there of it getting approved


    • XYZ,
      You need to leave US as soon as your employment ends. So if you serve 15 days notice period, you should leave after that. If you continue to stay for few more days, then that would fall into the gray area – USCIS can question it in future and may or may not be satisfied w/ your response (for e.g. stayed back to sell stuff etc).

      B-1 may be little tricky as you have had H-1 in the past. So it will be up to you to convince VO that you are not an immigrant, will return to home country and have valid reasons to visit US.

  25. Hi Saurabh,

    I am filling up DS160 for myself and for my family members, I have the following queries to fill up DS160 form for family members, which I need your assistance to fill it up:

    1) Purpose of Trip to the US: I have as “Temporary worker (H)” and in Specify ” Spouse of AN H (H4)” for my wife and “Child of AN H (H4) – Is it correct.

    2) Contact person name in the US: Actually I had mentioned in my DS160 form “Employer” and his address. Can I fill up the same to my “spouse and my child” ?

    Please assist.

    Thanks & Regards,

  26. Hi,

    I have a 65 years old friend and she had been to India once 2 years back, When she was gone back she wanted me to come and visit her however my visa was denied twice, Now almost after the gap of a year and 8 months, I want to apply for the tourist visa once again as her daughter would be getting married in the month of Feb 2013, I work for Dell computer and makes a good money, My whole trip expenses would be taken care by my friend. Any suggestions on it, like shall i get the sponsorship letter from her or not, Like any suggestions on it which would help me getting the visa. And yes i have a recent travel history too. I had been to Dubai once.

    Looking forward to hear some good suggestions soon.


  27. Hi Saurabh,

    Could You provide your suggestion on this.

    What to write in the section “Have you attended any Educational institutes other than Helementary schools” in DS 160 form

    As per my knowledge and search in this section we have to write Cources we have done Aftre the age of 11 ( means excluding 1 to 7 class education)

    I have done following educations as all normal indian studednt do,

    (1) 8th class (2) 9th class
    (3) 10th class (SSC) (4) 11th class (5) 12th Class (HSC)
    (6) Bachlor’s degree (7) Master’s degree

    My question is how to put all his in the Education section of DS 160 form,

    a) Shall I show each one as separate using “add another” for each one, if I showing in such a way what shall i put NAME OF INSTITUTION for each this section.

    b) In my school, 8th to 12th Class was considered as Higher secondary, so shall i show one section as HIGHER secondary, other Bachlor’s degree and third one Master’s degree.

    c) What to write in Date of attendance? year start date and end date? If i do not have that dates what to do?

    My basic question is how to segregate or club this education classes and how to give them attendance date?



    • Samrudh,
      a/b. If multiple classes were done in same school, then you can club them together. You can say middle/junior/high school as the category. This is what you have done in (b).
      c. Yes, dates best to your knowledge would be fine

      • Thank you very much saurabh for your suggestion,

        I am segregating in such a way ,

        (1) SECONDARY SCHOOL (8 to 10 class education, as after 10th we get SSC certificate, which is Secondary school certificate, hence it will be clubbed as Secondary school)
        (2) HIGHER SECONDARY SCHOOL (11 to 12 class education, as after 12th we get HSC certificate, which is Higher secondary certificate, hence it will be clubbed as higher secondary school)
        (3) Bachlor’s degree
        (4) Master’s degree



          • Hi Saurabh,

            Thank you very much for your previous suggestions and opinians.

            During the filling of the DS 160 form following quaries has been raise, Kindly provide your expert opinion, so i can complete that form.

            1) In ‘Passport section’ there is a questionregarding Type of Passport, the options were – Regular, official, diplomatic and other. I think for normal people REGULAR option is ok? My passport contain tpye P, what P stands for not mentioned in passport

            2) Travel Information

            2.1 ) Intended length of stay – it is H1B visa, in I 797, 3 years has been mentione, on I797 it is written that valid from 11/26/2012 to 09/30/2015, my visa intervies still pending ) So it would be 3 years?

            2.2) ADDRESS WHERE YOU WILL STAY: I contacted my company in US, they told me write the company name and address, as soon as you will arrive we will arrange for you, IS THIS OKAY? ( and I dont have any other addtess, in the interview can we say VO if they ask, that Accomodation will be arrange with consultation with the employer)

            2.3) PERSON/ENTITY PAYING FOR YOU? -There were four option Self, U.S. Petitioner, Other person, Other company/organization. US company has given me a direct employent, and filed the petition (in G28 document petitioner is written as US company name) So, should i write U.S. Petitioner or Other company/organization.

            3) Present Employer information, – My present employers address is long, which is not adjusted in the Space provided there ( Street name 1, Street name 2), Can I write basic important land mark only, would it be ok?
            4) Phone number- what is the standart way of writting it – i.e. my company phone no is 022abcdefgh, if I write +9122abcdefgh, there is not a enoigh space to accomodate it in the form. 9122abcdefgh is ok? OR 022abcdefgh is OK?
            5) Monthal y salary- should be write salary which is written on our monthally salary sleep, before dedection or after deduction OR we have to devide our total annual package by 12.
            6) EDUCATION Details –
            There is provision to provede Date initiated and Date completed…
            Generally we do not have the adject date of our high school or secondary school start and end date. I entered in the way of MMM/YYYY (while it was given DD/MMM/YYYY), when i submitted that page there was no error was apperaded on the scree, month/year would be ok? or we have to write tentative date for each academic cource, for degree and master.
            7)Language can speak
            I wrote English, hindi, gujarati, would it be ok?
            8) PHOTO UPLOAD: throught out the form, upload photo option was not can across, after the form in the review section it was writter ther PPHOTO WILL BE TAKEN AT THE ASC, what it mean?

            I would be very supportive, if you provide your opinion on above mentioed questions.

            Thanks and Regards,


          • “I would be very supportive, if you provide your opinion on above mentioed questions.”

            If you will be supportive then why are you asking for help ? LOL
            Are you trying to compensate the helpful people here who are kind souls and
            volunteer to help.

  28. Hi Saurabh,

    In my approved I797 form the Consulate is mentioned as Chennai, India.

    For Project assignment I came to Dubai in the month of May 2012. (Long term Employment UAE Visa). The project was supposed to get over by 31st Oct 2012, so I was thinking of attending VISA stamping at Chennai in the month of November 2012. But the project has got extended upto Feb 2013. Sometimes project might extend upto Mar 2013. So, I am thinking of attending the VISA Stamping at Dubai itself.

    My Query is, is it possible to attend the VISA Stamping at Dubai.

    Please assist.


    • Bala,
      You should check w/ the US consulate in Dubai about it as different consulates have different policies for TCNs (third country nationals).

  29. Hi Saurabh,

    I will be going for the H1 Visa stamping along with my spouse and kids. I don’t have marriage certificate and applied for it. It will be taking atleast a month. Though, I have nikahnama( Marriage certificate issued from Maulvi/Mosque) and its English translation and i have notrized it. Some of my friends think its okay to go ahead with it and take visa interview. what would you suggest? or should I wait for certificate from the regisrar?


    • Hadi Hasan,
      Yes, you can carry that along w/ wedding card and wedding album. If they ask about marriage certificate, you can mention that you have filed for it, and it will take few months to process.

  30. Hi,
    I was filling DS-160 form via online and I was saving each page after completion. However, when I tried to review the pages, I found that the space “Address where I would stay” is empty. I refilled & saved and moved to another page. Thereafter, if I want to review the same info “Address where I would stay”, it is again empty. My question is once I am saving it, is it actually in their system? How can I resolve the problem? It is not happening for other pages. I have not submitted the application. Please help me. Thanks.

  31. Hi,
    Im from the philippines. my ds160 almost finish except on the question ” monthly income in local currency (if employed)..when i put my monthly income which is 22,ooo.oo, the system did not accept it..it says “monthly income in local currency only accepts numbers 0-9. i tried everything..like Php22,000.00 or 22000php still it is not accepted.when i tried to input 5 (which is the digit of my salary) it was accepted. but its not 5. can i put in “does not apply’? even if im employed? pls help
    thank you

  32. Hi,

    I have 2 questions which is holding me from submitting the DS-160 form

    1) Primary Occupation : I have done my Masters in Information Systems and Bachelors in India in Information Technology and I am currently working as a Software Engineer
    So should I entire as Computer Science or Engineer or Other ?

    2) Previous Employment : Here is my case I have worked in India in TCS prior to MS and have done my Co-op(same as internship) at Goldman Sachs as a part of Masters program during Mid Summer and Fall 2011.I have also done 2 on campus jobs during Spring 2011 and Spring & Summer 2012.These on campus jobs have nothing related to Software Engineering or programming.
    The previous employment allows me to list on 2 jobs in the form.So what should I enter on the form.If I enter by latest I have to enter the 2 on campus jobs so I cannot enter my Co-op and TCS work exp in the form which I feel are my strengths. But if I enter these workexperiences then I cannot enter my latest jobs i.e on campus for which University is my employer Please try to reply ASAP as I have to go to India in December and have to fill out this is form at the earliest

    • Abhijeet,
      1. It should be software engineer as per your current occupation.
      2. You can skip the campus jobs and mention the co-op and TCS employment.

  33. Saurabh,

    My H1B petition for 2013 got approved (Normal filing). I am going for visa stamping in November 2nd or 3rd week and I have the following questions. I am planning to get Visa (H4) for wife and daughter also.
    Question No.1:
    In the “Purpose of Trip to the US”, I had selected “Temporary Worker” and “Specialty Occupation H1B” – Do I need to add my family members also ?
    Question No.2:
    In the “Intended Length of Stay” – What period I have to enter? Can I mention “3 years”?
    Question No.3:
    Person/Entity paying for your trip?
    Question No.4:
    Previous Employer – Do I have to mention all the employers or employers with whom I have worked only for last 5 years?
    Question No.5:
    Are there other persons travelling with you? (Actually I am planning to take visa for my family members also (wife & daughter) but initially I am planning to travel alone and later I will take my family.

    • Bala,
      1. This is the DS-160 form, correct? You have to complete separate DS forms for your dependents and they will have their own reasons. This reason is applicable to you only.
      2. You should mention the duration of the approved 797 petition
      3. You are paying for the airfare and trip unless employer is sponsoring the flight
      4. Only last 5 years and I think it takes only 2-3 employers
      5. You can respond yes. Later you can decide either to travel alone or w/ family members.

  34. Hi Vivek
    I have filled DS 160 for my father as (as my father last name is missing in his passport)
    First name – FNU
    Last name – Rajesh Kumar

    Now I am filling DS 160 for my mother. My question is what name I should fill as her spose name?
    Her Spose name name is her passport – Rajeesh Kumar Sharma (again spelling mistake)

    SHould I fill ?
    1) Rajeesh Kumar Sharma (as per mother spose name in her passport)
    2) FNU Rajesh Kumar (as per my father DS 160)
    Please help

  35. Hi,

    what should be entered in monthly salary in ds-160….? what if it is different from that of LCA or petition as the salary has been revised?
    How to answer this ?


    • Abbas,
      The salary needs to be equal or more than what is mentioned in the LCA. Your salary cannot be less than that mentioned in the LCA.

      • Hi Saurabh,

        I entered my salary 15k more than the one in my offer letter. Will it create any problems.What should i answer if they ask my salary.


        • Sandeep,
          Should not be a big deal. If asked, you should mention the offer letter salary (which I assume is not less than LCA salary) and add that you mistakingly noted incorrect salary in the form.

  36. Hi Saurabh,

    I do not have surname in my (Indian passport)

    My First name in passport is Name1 Name 2

    what should i enter in DS-160 form as my surname?

    Should I enter LNU in Surname field in DS form?

    Please advice me Thaks for all your help.

    • H1B2013,
      You should use FNU (first name unknown) and entire name in last name. The same would get posted on the visa stamp. I assume your approved petition also has same naming style.

      BTW, is the name entered in the passport incorrect? In other words, is your first name Name 1 and last name Name 2? If so, then you should use that in DS form so that it gets stamped accordingly on the passport. Later, you can get the passport corrected to break the name into two.

      • Hi saurabh,

        My passport have given name NAME1 NAME2 but no surname. But While apporved petition has last name: NAME2 and first name: NAME1.

        Now I am totally confused what should I fill in DS160. Someone told me, you should fill according to passport. i.e surname as LNU?

        Please someone suggest. Thanks for the help.


        • Nawab,
          There is nothing like LNU. What you can do is put entire name in Last Name and then put FNU in the first name. If your actual name needs to contain both first and last names, then it would be a good idea to get the passport corrected first and then appear for stamping.

  37. Saurabh

    I am planning to change by job . I am currently on H1B status . Got my Visa stamping done . Visa valid till 2014. The next company which I am planning to join is small.
    In that company during my H1B Transfer is there a chance that my visa gets approved only for one year. In that case do I have to get stamping again if I come to India


    • XYZ,
      IMO, you don’t need to go for stamping again as long as previous visa stamp is still valid. You can check w/ your attorney as well.

  38. I am filling up DS160 form for my petition which is approved in july 2012 (for 2013) quota.
    But i am presently working with indian company and my US company is totally different. I will be resigning only if my VISA got approved otherwise i will be with same indian company. So inDS160 form following section is there
    “Your current Employer?”
    Do i need to write my INDIAN employer OR H1B Sponsoring US Employer name?

    Please guide me ASAP as i need to take interview date very soon.

    • Hi Ram..

      I am in the Same boat Can you please let me know what u have filled…

      And please share ur exp in Visa Interview… U can share ur Exp to vamsi.pulivarthi at gmail dot com

    • RAmbasaniya,
      It should be your Indian employer. Towards the end, it asks for petitioning employer. Over there you need to mention US employer details.

  39. Saurabh

    I am currently looking for a new job .I am worried that my employer has come to know that I am looking for a new job as by mistake I applied to the same company as a consultant . Can the employer do anything if it comes to know about it


  40. Hello Saurabh ,

    Thanks for all your suggestions to me .
    I have attended my Interview in Hyderabad on july 03 -2013andVisa Officer has asked only 02 questions and approved my Visa till 7th year of H1b.
    1 About LCA
    2 And Joining Date .


  41. hi how are , i had a interview at the US embassy but not approved but they asked me why i need to go to US ,i had a friend a americain girl she sent me a letter
    i said i would like to visit my friend the said i dont calified for the visa
    i have thinking to go back in December 2012 , but the last time were in July 10 2012

    what do u think how u can help me please

    • Sophia,
      You need to show that you are not a potential immigrant, which means strong ties to your home country. You can re-appear for the view once you have enough proof to show strong ties. Also, you need to have a good reason to visit US.

  42. Hi,
    In my DS 160 form, under the temporary work visa information,
    in the “name of person/company who filed your petition”, I took it too literally and entered the attorney name who filed my petition on behalf of my employer.

    However, in my approved I-129 (I797) form, there is a “PETITIONER: ” field so I realized after advance document submission that it needs to be my employer name instead.

    I called up the hyderabad consulate and they asked me to fill up a new ds-160 form and bring it along with the new form. If we verbally intimate to the people there, they’ll consider the new one according to them without a need to reschedule for new appointment.

    My questions are the following:
    1) Will taking such multiple DS-160 to the consulate have any negative effect on my visa? can it be sufficient to reject my visa? I already submitted the documents and still feel helpless after getting the reply!

    2) Is it a serious mistake in the first place? The name of the attorney I entered is also visible in the printed I797 form.

    I have my interview in 7 days and need your help urgently! Do you suggest I cancel my interview and re-schedule a new one instead anyway?

    • Guest,
      1. Multiple DS-160 forms will not be an issue.
      2. It is something that needs to be corrected. I don’t know if VOs always look at this field, but if they do they would see the discrepancy. It may not cause denial, but could lead to additional questioning and clarifications. So its better to carry the other DS form as well.

  43. For the below question(s)..
    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)

    I’m working in India for X currently and my same company is in US Y and my L1B is filed, when filling the above column in DS-160, which details should I provide India company X details or US company Y details ?

  44. Hi Saurabh,

    I am currently working in India for Company A. I got my Visa approved in previous year’s quota. Now I need to fill the DS 160 form. There in a place it mentions:
    “Your current Employer?”
    So here, should I mention :
    1. Company A
    2. The consultancy who has filed my Visa.
    Please guide me.


    • Gia,
      It should be A as you are still employed w/ them. You will have to enter H-1 employer’s information in the last section where it asks about temporary work visa information.

  45. Hi,

    My H1B petition for 2013 got approved on May 18 2012(Normal filing). I am going for visa stamping in July 2nd week and I have the following questions.

    Question 1:

    My petition got approved for Project A for location NewJersey. Now my employer is asking me to change the Project to B for location NewYork during stamping. As per my understanding since the distance between two locations is less than 50miles no need to change the LCA. is it correct?

    Question 2:

    Since the project details mentioned in petition is different than what is been mentioned during stamping, will it cause any problems in VISA stamping or will it cause for rejection or 221G?

    Question 3:

    In DS-160 which project or location details shall I fill, Project A or Project B?



    • Sachin,

      Regard to your question 3 I would suggest u fill the details for Project A because your petition is based upon project A.

      Saurabh correct me if m wrong here.

    • Sachin,
      1. A new LCA and H-1 amendment is required. Even though the distance is less than 50 mi, they are in different cities (in this case different states).
      2. If you have new LCA and H-1 amendment, then it should be fine. Else they can issue 221g asking for new LCA and H-1 amendment
      3. You should enter the details of the project you will be working on and are carrying documents for. So if you are carrying documents for B, then enter B details.

  46. Hi Saurabh

    My visa has been approved after 6 months . I was given a blue slip. I wanted to know the documents needed at the immigration. Right now I am having original I 797 and I will be having the stamped passport too. I am having the offer letter and employment letter from the company. But the employment letter was given to me in december. Do I need another latest employment letter or is theone I am having enough
    Also I will be landing on Saturday and I am planning to start work from Wednesday as It will take some time for me to settle down. Is it that I have to start working the next day I reach there or I will be considered out of status . Kindly Advise


    • Suj,
      Congrats on your approval. Yes, get a more recently dated letter as this one is more than 6 months old. Also carry information about your employer , person you will report to, where you will stay etc. You may be asked some basic questions at PoE. If you are going to work for a client, it would be better to carry those documents and information as well.

      It would be ok to reach on Sat and join work on Wednesday. Will your employer start paying you from Monday or Wednesday?

      • Thanks Saurabh

        Do I also need to mention the date of arrival in the latest letter that I will be getting .
        I suppose I will be paid from the day I join. So I am thinking I will ask the company is it ok if I join from Wednesday or I will join from the following Monday after that.

        Normally after the Visa is approved what is the expected time in which the employer has to report for work


        • Suj,
          The new letter can state that the employer expects you to join office from xxx date. There is no expected date to join the employer. A person can delay as long as they want (within petition validity dates) but the employer should still be willing to extend the employment.

      • Hi Saurabh,
        Saw your comments regarding the H1B process.
        Actually I also got the H1B petition Approval documents and waiting for the July to go for VISA stamping process (As per Embassy we can apply only 3 months before validity date).
        Though I have almost filled the DS-160, I just have one confusion regarding the Travel plan details. Since I dont have any specific travel plan, I chose “NO” in the field but it still asks for tentative date of travel/duration of stay and address of stay. I am not sure what to fill in “Address where I would stay” as that would be decided only after I land in US, then only I would search for an accomodation.
        Could you please let me know if you have any suggestions about it ?

        Thanks in Advance.

        • Ravi,
          You can enter the dates to the best of your knowledge. You can discuss w/ your employer about tentative dates as well. The other option is to enter Oct 1 as entry date and petition expiration date as the departure date.

          • Hi Saurabh,
            Thanks a lot for the response.
            I have already filled the intended dates of travel and duration as 1st oct 2012 and 3 years respectively.
            My confusion is related to “Address where I would stay” as that would be decided only after I land in US, then only I would search for an accommodation. Not sure how important this question is but I need to fill something in this field.
            Could you share your opinion on this ?

            Best Regards

          • Ravindra Kumar,
            If the employer has a guest house, you can enter that address. Else you can search for a hotel which is near the office and enter its address. It is ok to then stay at another hotel/residence.

  47. hi Saurabh please i fill out the ds160 and after that , i submit form for the interview ,i want to if it submit there is no error ,i want to know if it goes directly to embassy because i take the time of the interview and the date do u think if it submit when i go to the interview they can say my name is not inregister in the system

    • Sophia,
      Once you submit the form, you will get a number. You will have to use that number when scheduling the interview time/date. This way you can be sure that your name is in the list.

      • ok thank you , but i want to know that if the interview form submit ,if it sure that i am in the list ,if did not accepted it ,it wont submit ,once time it submit that show me that i am in the list ,if in case i go with the interview form and they see i am not in the list ,what do u think they can do ,because i print the form ,how i can verify that i am in the list ,thank u so much

        • Sophia,
          Once you submit the form, get the confirmation number and use that confirmation number to schedule the interview, you should be in the list of interviewees for that day. If you still have doubts you can call consulate couple of days prior to your interview date to know if you are in the list.

          I don’t know which country you will be going for you visa interview, but I haven’t come across any instances where the applicant submitted the form correctly but wasn’t on the list for interviewees for that day.

  48. my interview for b1 visa was good and the officer said they would give me visa. He asked me i would have to wait a few days and gave me 221 g page saying i need to track regularly, see my status, then submit my passport again. I still have 110 days before my conferene. I am a bit confused now, specially after reading many posts on internet. Can anyone shed some light on my problem?

  49. Hi,

    When I fill DS-160 form there wasn’t enough space to type my full name.In the DS-160 confirmation page, my name appears as ” Warahena Liyanage Gayan Jeewapriya De Alwis G”. But in the passport my name appears as “Warahena Liyanage Gayan Jeewapriya De Alwis Gunathilake”. Anyway I got the visa approval. But on the visa stamp my name appears as same as in the DS160 confirmation page. It does not match with the name given in the passport. So will it be a problem when I enter to the USA?


    • Gayan,
      It might be ok. If the PoE officer asks, you can tell him the reason. Also carry that DS confirmation page w/ you.


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