Ask the Consul Series (U.S. Embassy) – The Importance of Accuracy on Your Visa Application

  • Why is it important that I answer all of the questions correctly in the DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application?

The DS-160 is a new electronic version of the old DS-156 paper application for nonimmigrant visas. Since the spring of 2010, Consular Sections around the world only accept the new DS-160. The new form represents an environmentally friendly substitute for the older paper form as well as an improved means to collect information for the visa interview.

{FILE IMAGE} More information is available as “Frequently Asked Questions” on the U.S. State Department’s web page: Additional information on the visa application process is available on U.S. Embassy Bridgetown’s website at

In contrast to the previous DS-156 form where all applicants answered the same questions regardless of differences in the biographical information of the applicant, the DS-160 electronic form adapts to each applicant. The biographical questions you answer (date of birth, gender, nationality, etc) at the beginning of the application will determine the subsequent questions you will receive. For this reason, it is critical that all biographical questions be answered carefully and honestly. If you fail to answer the biographical questions correctly, you will need to redo the entire form. While the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown’s Consular Section has a few workstations for applicants to use if errors have been made, there is often a long wait to use the computers.

In addition, please remember to read all of the instructions and answer all questions in the form completely and refrain from answering certain questions “not applicable” or “DO NOT KNOW.” Only use “NOT APPLICABLE” if the required information cannot be obtained; for example, your mother’s name should not be answered “not applicable” or “do not know.” Similarly, you should take care to answer the question about previous travel to the U.S. completely. If you have visited the U.S. multiple times, but list only your most recent trip – or state that you have never visited the U.S. – this can cause problems during your interview. Incomplete and inaccurate applications can result in your visa being denied. Paying attention to detail on your DS-160 and honest, accurate answers are key to visa interview success.

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