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DS-160 Form for F-1 Visas (Fees & Application Process)


If you are planning to study in the USA from Nepal, here is some information that you need to know about. As you will already know, a student visa is one of the most important documents you need when you have to study abroad.

Have you heard about the DS-160 form? Do you know how to fill out the DS-160 form for the F-1 visa?

You can read the blog further to learn more about the DS-160 form, the documents required for the DS-160 form for an F-1 visa, and much more.

What Is A DS-160 Form?

The DS-160 form is a required document for your F-1 student visa application. The F-1 student visa is the most common type of student visa chosen by international students studying in the USA. The DS-160 form tells the US government that you have gained acceptance for admission to one of the US universities and have met the eligibility requirements to study in the country. It also includes details about your travel plans, relevant personal, professional and academic information, contact details, etc. You may also be asked security questions during your F-1 student visa interview.

Who Needs A DS-160 Form?

If your intention is to work, study, or engage in an extended period of travel within the United States, it is probable that you will require a visa for entry. The DS-160 form serves as a fundamental source of information for the US authorities, helping them comprehend the nature of your visit, ensuring its safety, and monitoring your intended activities during your stay. For anyone seeking a visa, completion of the DS-160 form is mandatory, as it is the exclusive application applicable to all visa categories.

DS-160 Form Requirements

The DS-160 form application is submitted online, eliminating the need for traditional paper forms or mailing to the consulate. Prior to initiating your US DS-160 application for the F-1 visa, you must gather specific documents to ensure seamless completion of the online application procedure.

However, you will be required to satisfy a few technical requirements as well. As per guidelines from the Department of State, your web browser should adhere to the subsequent prerequisites for the successful completion of your DS-160. You can employ Internet Explorer 11 or a more recent version, Firefox, or Google Chrome 58 for filling out your application. It is important to note that Safari and Microsoft Edge are not compatible. Before commencing your US DS-160 application process for the F-1 visa, ensure your computer is equipped with one of the supported browsers.

Documents Required for DS-160

One of the primary essential documents required for DS-160 for the F-1 visa is Form I-20, which serves as the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. This I-20 is issued by the Designated School Official (DSO) upon acceptance of an international student into a program. Once international students obtain the official Form I-20 from their SEVP-certified educational institution, they can initiate the DS-160 F-1 visa application procedure. You are also required to submit the following documents.

  1. A valid passport.
  2. Your travel itinerary.
  3. Updated CV/Resume.
  4. Your SEVIS ID.
  5. US travel history.
  6. Passport-size photographs.

Related Article: USA Student Visa

How Can I Get A DS-160 Form?

Once you've gathered all the required official documents and records essential for your DS-160 form, you can initiate the procedure via the Consular Electronic Application Center on the State.gov website. It is advisable to review the provided sample DS-160 form prior to commencing, ensuring your familiarity with the terminologies and inquiries.

Keep in mind that your responses on the DS-160 should be in English; nevertheless, there are dropdown menus offering translations to guide you through the process. Additionally, you have the option to save your progress for later or export it to an external storage device if you anticipate needing more than 30 days to finalise your submission.

DS-160 Form Fees and Application Process

The DS-160 fee amounts to USD 160, encompassing the expense associated with the submission of your F-1 visa application to the US government. It is important to note that this fee is different from the USD 350 SEVIS I-901 fee, which is payable to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. The positive aspect is that the visa interview cost, the subsequent phase following DS-160 submission, is included within the USD 160 paid as part of your F-1 visa DS-160 application fee.

F-1 Visa Application Form DS-160 Process

We can now get ready to learn about the DS-160 application process. To prevent potential technical complications, ensure you are utilising an up-to-date version of Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer, enabling a smooth submission of your F-1 visa DS-160 application. Allocating around 90 minutes is advisable for completing your DS-160 application; therefore, ensure you have sufficient time, or alternatively, you can save your progress and resume at a later time.

How to Fill Out A DS-160 Form?

You can follow the steps given below to fill out a DS-160 form.

  1. Click on "Start a New Application" to initiate the DS-160 F-1 visa application procedure.
  2. Note down the displayed Application ID located at the top right corner as you begin. This ID is crucial for resuming progress in case of computer issues or if you need to continue at a later time.
  3. Thoroughly respond to all questions on each page of the digital application, adhering closely to the provided instructions. Incomplete responses may lead to processing issues with your DS-160 application. Ensure all answers are in English.
  4. After completing all questions, carefully review your answers to avoid errors.
  5. Electronically sign your application by clicking the "Sign Application" button.
  6. Once you have confirmed your answers and signed the application, proceed to submit it. Upon submission, a confirmation page with a barcode will appear on your screen.

How Long Does A DS-160 Form Take to Process?

There is no processing date for the DS-160 form. Once you fill in the details online, you can take a printout. Upon submitting your application and reaching the confirmation page showcasing a distinctive barcode, you can complete your DS-160 application process. To ensure a smooth continuation, it is advisable to print the screen presenting your finalised DS-160 barcode. This printed barcode holds significance as you proceed to your scheduled visa application interview, serving as an essential document. However, it's important to recognise that while you have completed the DS-160 phase, a pivotal step remains ahead—concluding a face-to-face interview at your local embassy or consulate. Quick action is recommended in scheduling your F-1 visa interview to avoid potential delays, which could potentially extend over the span of several weeks. Good planning will enable you to navigate this process with greater ease and efficiency.

How Many Days Before Visa Interview Should the DS-160 be Submitted?

It is ideal to submit your DS-160 form at least 48 hours before your appointment. You should take care not to make any mistakes during your application process.

We hope that you will, by now, have gathered all the information related to obtaining the DS-160 form for the US student visa. If you have any further doubts or queries, you can contact AECC. Our counsellors will help you on every step of your study abroad journey, from university application to visa procedure.

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