The DS-160 Form and National Identification Number – India

DS-160: A Traveller’s Form

Does DS 160 form require a National Identification Number? What does this mean if you are traveling from India?

DS-160 form does have a field asking for a National Identification Number. However, it is applicable to individuals who are from countries that issue one.

If you are from India, this will not be applicable to you because India doesn’t have a National Identification Number. You need to click on “Does not apply” in the form.

Different documentation numbers needed to fill your DS 160 form when traveling from India:

Various documents and documentation numbers you will need to fill DS-160 form are:

  1. Passport number: Indian passport numbers are a set of 8 digit alphanumerical code. The first character is an alphabet followed by a series of numbers. Indian passports are issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. There is no passport book number in an Indian passport. 
  2. SSN number: You need to have your SSN number handy if you have previously stayed in the United States as a resident and was ever issued one by the Social Security Administration.
  3. Driver’s License Number: If you were issued a driver’s license or hold more than one driver’s license, you will need to have that information ready to fill in the DS 160.
  4. Visa Number: The non-immigrant application form needs you to provide the visa numbers from your previous travel to the US if applicable. The Visa number is the number that appears on your Visa. Another name for it is the ‘ Visa Foil Number’. This travel document number is a random set of numbers that appear in red color on the bottom right-hand corner of the visa. It can either be a set of 8 digits or one alphabet followed by 7 random digits.

Let us now understand the importance of the DS 160 form when applying for a visa (from the perspective of an Indian traveler)

About DS 160

DS 160 is the non-immigrant visa application form. This specific form needs to be filled by the applicant and submitted when/if the applicant wishes to request a visa for a temporary visit to the US.

It also needs to be filled by the individuals holding the K-1 or the Fiancé visa and who are planning to get married in the States.

The application fee for individuals applying for a tourist visa, student visa, business visa, or exchange visa is $160 USD while the application fee for a work visa may cost about $190 USD. 

One of the key aspects to consider while filling this form is it has a field that needs you to fill in your “Full Name in Native Alphabet”. What this means means is that you need to fill in your entire name in your native speech. Now, this is applicable only to those whose native language uses non-roman characters.

Do you have a Telecode that represents your name and what is its importance with respect to DS-160?

Telecode is a 4-digit code that is used to represent a character in the native tongue, however, this is applicable to Chinese Nationals. If you are an Indian who is also a Non-Immigrant, you can click on the option “Does not apply/ technology not available” as you do not have a telecode representing your name. 

If you want to know more about telecodes, there is a section in this article that can provide you some more information. 

Importance of DS-160 form and why is it crucial to provide all the information correctly?

The information provided in the DS 160 form is used by the Embassy or the Consulate to verify and validate the information provided by the applicant before a visa is approved.

Therefore, it is very important that the applicant must provide all the information that is genuine and true to its content. 

Confirm Page - DS-160

Various steps that you need to take when filing your DS 160 form correctly: 

Entering correct and genuine information when filling up your form is vital because this is the foundation based on which the authorities will decide whether you will be approved for a visa or be eligible to travel to the US.

Here are the Various steps and precautions that you need to take in order to fill up the DS 160 form correctly are as follows:

  • Make sure to keep all the documents handy before you start filling up your form.
    You will need your passport details (passport number, date of birth, issuance and expiry date, etc.), travel itinerary, social security number (if you have), driving license.
  • Previous travel details and documents like previously issued visa information(if applicable) etc. 
  • Keep your family information ready like the name and address of the parents, their contact information, income details, primary occupation, etc.
  • You must know the consulate details where you will be appearing for the visa interview. To know more details about the list of US Consulates in India you can click here
  • You will need the address of where you will stay in the US.
  • You will need the details of your US point of contact like the name, address, and contact details of your relatives in the United States ready (if applicable) or your employer details. 
  • Make sure that your internet speed and connection remains consistent throughout. This is so you do not get stuck or lose your data while filling the application form. 
  • Remember to keep saving your data while filing if. If you are taking a break for more than 20 minutes with no activity, the session will expire and you need to redo the application again.

Applying for DS 160 form: 

In case you are planning to apply for a US non-immigrant visa, click on this link to get the DS 160 application form

Ds-160 First Page
The first Page of the DS-160 form

Once you go on the above-mentioned link to access the application, you will be directed to its first page where you need to ‘select’ the location. This is where you will be applying for the visa, so enter the Captcha or code when prompted.

Now click on ‘Start the application’ mentioned in the red color tab.

Making corrections or amendments to DS 160:

Now, filling out the Application form needs utmost caution and attention. In case you have provided the wrong information and have submitted the form to the USCIS, you will have access to your DS 160 application and can make the necessary corrections to it. You should note that there is a timer attached to this.

If you have put in wrong information in the form click here to access the application form. Enter your details on the first page. Enter your barcode or number on the second page of the application form. Answer the security questions as clearly and concisely as possible. 

The DS 160 form is not like other forms when it comes to working out the kinks when after you might have mistakenly filed it. You will still be able to access the application and work out the corrections to the required fields. One thing that has to be kept in mind is that this has to be done within 30 days from the date of submission. Alternatively, if you have saved the file originally, then make changes to that file and resubmit it online. 

You need to take the amended form along with the previously submitted original form during your visa interview for reference.

Let’s now move on to understand a little bit about the DS 260 form and how it differs from DS 160.

About DS 260 and its relevance:

DS 260 is the application form to be filled by the individuals applying for a US immigrant visa. It is certainly different from DS 160 which is for non-immigrants. To fill in this immigrant visa application form you will need your National Visa Center (NVC) case number and your invoice ID number. To access the DS 260 form you can click here.

Social Media Identifiers

What are social media identifiers and what is their relevance to DS 160?

Social media identifiers are nothing but the social media handles or the name used by an individual on the social media. The most common ones being Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Youtube, LinkedIn, and more. The latest and the most recent version of the Non-immigrant form that you need to apply for a visa (DS 160) as well as the immigrant visa form (DS 260) form request for Social Media Identifier information.

This has come into effect on May 31, 2019, with the purpose of a better and extensive security screening process for individuals traveling to the United States.

The Authorities or the Consular use this information during visa interviews to screen incomers better. They also use it to confirm the identity of an individual. Using this to decide whether or not the applicant is eligible for visa approval and travel to the US. 

The social media identifier appears in a drop-down form under the ‘address and phone number’ page.

You will have to click on the drop-down icon. Select the site where you are present the most from the list of options given. You have to provide all your usernames, screen names, list of websites.

In case you do not have a social media account, click on “None”. It is located at the bottom of the list. 

So to conclude, the entire process of filling up the DS 160 to its submission and acceptance is not so complicated. That is, if you have provided all the information accurately with complete honesty and followed the methods judiciously. It takes about 3-5 weeks for the US visa application to successfully process. The delivery of the visa takes up to 2-4 days after the processing is completed. Hope you find this article helpful in your process of applying for a non-immigrant visa from India. 

Do Indian non-immigrants have a National Identification Number?

No, there is no National Identification Number when it comes to Indian non-immigrants, when filling the DS 160, you have to choose the option ‘does not apply’

Are telecodes applicable to Indians when filling the DS 160?

No, telecode is not applicable to you if you are of Indian origin. You can select the “does not apply/ technology not available option” in the form.

What do we do if we have furnished the wrong information in the DS 160 form?

There are few steps you can follow to make amendments to your form. For more information refer to this part of the article. 

Will it impact my DS 160 Application if I do not have a social media handle?

If you do not have a social media handle, just select “None” in the option given. This will not have an impact on your application if you are genuinely not present on any of the social media platforms. 

What does the “Point of Contact” field mean when filing in information in your DS-160 form?

“Point of Contact” is a field that needs to be filled during the Application process of your DS-160 form.

The “Point of Contact” is an individual who is also a US resident. This person has to be someone who has been in contact with you and can provide legitimacy to your application by verifying your Identity.

If you do not know any such person, you could fill in the name of the organization or company, or the name of the store you plan on visiting during your stay in the US.

What are some other websites that can provide some more information on the DS-160 Form and its attributes?

Listed below are some Websites and Forums you can use to check form more info, a few more tips and tricks while filling in the form,  User Experiences, Applicant or Form Issues, and tracking the status of your DS-160 Form.

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