When traveling to the US on a temporary visa, the DS-160 is the first step in the visa application. This form is filled out electronically, making it fairly easy to correct errors if necessary. If you’ve recently submitted a DS-160 only to realize you made a mistake, read on to learn what to do next.
What type of errors should be corrected?
There are two types of potential errors on the DS-160: material and immaterial.
Material errors on Form DS-160 are errors that could have serious consequences for the issuance of your visa. These include errors to biographical information that will appear on your visa (such as your name or birth date) as well as information that might have an influence on your qualifications for your visa (such as the number of dependents you have in the US or information on security issues). Material errors should be corrected as soon as possible.
Immaterial errors are ones that might not have serious consequences for the issuance of your visa. These include things such as misspelling the address of a company you worked for five years ago or the exact dates of previous travel to the US. These should probably be corrected, but might (emphasis on might) not be deal breakers if they aren’t
I made an error on my DS-160, what do I do now ?
Correcting Form DS-160 after submission can be done in one of two ways, depending on if you submit the correction more or less than 30 days after initially submitting the DS-160.
Correcting DS-160 within 30 days of submission
If you’ve noticed that there’s a mistake on your form and it’s less than 30 days after its submission, please follow these steps:
Step 1: Go back to the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website page for the DS-160.
Step 2: Click the “Retrieve an Application”. You will be asked to enter your application ID number from the DS-160 you submitted earlier. This number can be found on the top right of your application. Enter this number and click the “Retrieve Application” button.
Step 3: Follow the prompts and click “Create an Application” in the next dialog box. After that, you will have to answer the security questions to gain access to your submitted form. Once you are in, correct your mistakes and take one final look to ensure everything is entered correctly.
Step 4: Once you have corrected all errors, you will need to electronically re-sign and submit the application.
Step 5: You will then be given a new confirmation and bar code. Be sure to print these and bring them to your interview at the US Embassy/Consulate.
Correcting DS-160 more than 30 days after submission, when the original application has been saved
If it has been more than 30 days since your DS-160 application was submitted, you will need to can re-upload the submitted application in CEAC before correcting the errors. In order to do this, your original submission must have been downloaded and saved on your computer or any other device.
To re-upload the application, follow these steps:
Step 1: Go to the CEAC website
Step 2: Click on DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application
Step 3: Choose the embassy or consulate where you will be applying from the drop-down menu
Step 4: Click the “Upload an Application” tab
Step 5: Choose the location of your saved file on your computer or storage device
Step 6: Click the “Upload Data” button
Step 7: Make all necessary changes, save and submit the new application
Step 8: After these steps, you will be given a new confirmation and bar code. Be sure to print these and bring them to your interview at the US Embassy/Consulate.
Correcting DS-160 more than 30 days after its submission, when the original application has NOT been saved
If you never saved your original application, and it has been more than 30 days since you submitted the DS-160, you will need to start a new application.
Step 1: You can do this by going to the CEAC website.
Step 2: Once on the website, fill in a new DS-160 with the corrected information
Step 3: Once complete, print the confirmation page from this new application and bring it to the interview. Be sure to save a copy in case you need to repeat this process.
What to do during your visa interview?
- If you scheduled your interview appointment or paid the visa application fee before making corrections, be sure to bring the confirmation pages from both the original and corrected forms to your interview.
- If you have not yet scheduled your interview or paid the visa application fee, you should be able to get away with only bringing the confirmation page from the corrected version. However, it is best to bring both versions with you just in case.
- If you notice a mistake while at the Embassy/Consulate, it may still be possible to correct it. Let an employee at the consulate know that you have found an error on your application that you would like to correct. They should be able to determine the seriousness of the mistake, and give appropriate advice on what to do next.
- In some cases, the employee may be able to make corrections directly on the consular database without touching your application.
- In other cases, you may be given access to a computer at the Embassy to create a new application or allowed to leave and create a new application at a nearby location and come back for your interview later in the day. Policies vary from consulate to consulate.
In conclusion, it is important to thoroughly review your DS-160 application for accuracy before your interview appointment. If you notice a mistake, be sure to correct it as soon as possible. Do not ignore mistakes, hoping they won’t be noticed, as this may affect the issuance of your visa or cause problems while you are traveling.