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Visa Application

Step-By-Step Instruction Guide: Using the DS-160

Important Note:

The Department of State deployed an updated version of the DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application on Saturday, June 25, with additional questions and improved translations in some languages. 

We understand some individuals are having difficulty retrieving applications started before the transition to the updated form and are working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. We encourage you to be sure to record your Application ID number, which is required to retrieve your application, to save your application frequently, and to review all sections of the form to make sure every question is answered.  Additional information that could be helpful in completing specific DS-160 sections is included below.

Purpose of Travel and Payer Relationship:  If you started your DS-160s before June 25 but did not submit it, you must re-complete the “purpose of travel” and “payer relationship” sections of the form. 

New Questions:  If you started but did not submit your DS-160s before June 25, you may be prompted to answer new, additional questions, even if your form showed as “complete” previously. 

Retrieving an Application without the Application ID (Barcode Number):  You must have your Application ID number to retrieve and continue your application.  

Retrieving an Application if Surname Contains Fewer than Five Characters:  You can retrieve your DS-160 submission by entering up to the first five letters of your surname, even if your surname is less than five letters.  You must have your Applicant IDs to do so.

Started an Application before June 25 and Cannot Retrieve It:  If you cannot retrieve your DS-160, please start a new application.  

Page Error Messages:  Some errors are the result of special characters and formatting related to your computer settings.  You should enter only numbers (no punctuation) in the salary and date fields before clicking “next” or “save.”

If there is no activity for 20 minutes or more in the process of completing your DS-160 online application form, your session will expire and all entered data will be lost.  Therefore, it is important to save your work often.  To avoid losing your work, we recommend you save at the bottom of each section of the application.

HOW TO SAVE YOUR APPLICATION:

At the bottom of each page of the application, there is a red button in the middle marked Save.

  1. Scroll down and click on Start Application,
  2. Under location it asks you to select one – select Windhoek/Namibia,
  3. Click Start a New Application,
  4. On the Application Information page you will see a Barcode number called your  Application ID,
  5. Immediately write down this Application ID number,
  6. Answer a security question of your choice,
  7. Write down your answer to that question,
  8. Press Continue,
  9. Click the red button marked SAVE at the bottom of the page and wait until the next screen appears.
  10. Click Continue Application
  11. Continue to complete the form by using the back and next red arrows on both sides of the save button,
  12. Save often!

HOW TO UPLOAD AN APPLICATION THAT YOU SAVED:

  1. Scroll down and click on Start Application,
  2. Under location select Windhoek/Namibia,
  3. Click on Retrieve Incomplete Application,
  4. Enter your Application ID,
  5. Click Retrieve Application,
  6. Enter the first 5 letters of your surname and the year of your birth and the answer to your chosen security question,
  7.  Click on Retrieve Application.

Before starting the application, be sure you have the following:

  1. All of your current biographical, contact and passport information;
  2. Travel plans, including U.S. contact information and who will pay for the trip;
  3. Dates (month and year) of prior U.S. visa applications and/or prior U.S. travel
  4. Biographic information about immediate relatives (such as parents, spouse and children);
  5. Current and previous work, education, or professional training information;
  6. Additional information as required for certain visa classes (for example, a SEVIS ID for Student and Cultural Exchange Visa applicants).   Read more about the Visa Categories.The titles which follow correspond to the various sections of the online DS-160 application.  We hope the information here will be helpful as you fill out the form.

Now you are ready to begin!…

The titles which follow correspond to the various sections of the online DS-160 application.  We hope the information here will be helpful as you fill out the form.

Getting Started

Step 1a)  Scroll to the bottom of the dropdown menu to select the location:

WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA

SPECIAL NOTE: Whenever making selections from a drop-down menu in this application, always click once on your selection, then click again on the blank space just to the right of the menu.  This will “lock” in your selection and prevent you from accidentally scrolling down to another selection by mistake.

Step 1b)  “Test Your Photo.”  This is not required and you may skip it. 

Step 2) Select from one of the following options:

Option A - Start a New Online Application (Click the button to begin the online application)
Option B - Upload a Previously Saved Application (Click the button to continue completing an existing application or to start a new one using previously saved data)

Personal Information 1
Enter your personal data  (notice the “Help” notes on the right side of the screen).  Data on this page must match the information as it is written in your passport. 

Personal Information 2
Your nationality should be the same as the country which issued your passport.  Country of birth and country of nationality are usually the same, but can be different (for example:  if you were born in South Africa, but later immigrated to Namibia and now you carry a Namibian passport).  Choose your nationality from the drop down menu.

If you do not have a National Identification Number, U.S. Social Security Number, or U.S. Taxpayer ID Number, then check 'Does Not Apply'

 **Save your work, then Continue Application**

Address and Phone Information
Fill in your address details and choose your country from the drop down menu.

Passport Information
Enter the information on the travel document you will be using when traveling to the U.S. The Passport Book Number is also commonly called the “inventory control number.” You may or may not have a Passport Book Number on your passport.
Your passport must have at least six months of validity beyond your proposed date of arrival in the United States.  If your passport has insufficient validity, we recommend that you obtain a new passport prior to traveling; otherwise, you may have your allowed length of stay in the United States restricted at the port of entry.

**Save your work, then Continue Application**

Travel Information
Principal Applicant?: All visitors for business or pleasure are principal applicants, even if you are traveling with your family. If you are coming to the United States in a category of visa that permits you to work, study, or get married, you are the principal applicant. You are not the principal applicant if you are accompanying your spouse or parent who is coming to the United States in a category of visa that permits them to work, study, or get married.

Purpose of Your Trip: If you are a principal applicant, you will be asked to select a visa category which corresponds to your purpose of travel.  If you are not traveling for business or tourism, or as a student or exchange visitor (the most common categories) you will be more likely to find your appropriate category by selecting “OTHER.”  Another drop-down menu will appear with additional categories for purposes such as: Government Official Travel, Transit/Crew member travel, or International Organization Employees.  For more information on the most commonly used Visa Categories:  

Arrival Plans: If you are unsure of your travel plans, please provide an estimate.

Travel Companions Information
Traveling with Others?:  You should answer yes to this question if you are traveling with family, or as part of a performing group or athletic team.  You do not need to list business associates or employees of the same employer who are also traveling for the same purpose.

 **Save your work, then Continue Application**

Previous U.S. Travel Information
Answer yes or no to all the questions. Provide complete and accurate information to all follow-up questions that require an explanation.  PLEASE NOTE:  Providing false information on a visa application may lead to refusal of the visa or a bar from receiving future visas.  It is important to answer all questions as completely as possible.

U.S. Point of Contact Information                                                       Your U.S. Point of Contact can be any individual in the U.S. who knows you and can verify, if necessary, your identity. If you do not personally know anyone in the U.S., you may enter the name of the store, company, or organization you plan to visit during your trip and list “OTHER” as the relationship.

 **Save your work, then Continue Application**

Family Information: Relatives
Enter information and answer questions for your family.  NOTE:  Immediate Relatives means fiancé/fiancée, spouse (husband/wife), child (son/daughter), or sibling (brother/sister)

Work/Education/Training Information                                                Provide the information concerning your current employment or education.

Security and Background                                                                 Answer yes or no to all the questions for the following categories.  Provide complete and accurate information to all follow-up questions that require an explanation.  PLEASE NOTE:  Providing false information on a visa application may lead to refusal of the visa or a bar from receiving future visas.  It is important to answer all questions as completely and accurately as possible.

  • Medical and Health Information
  • Criminal Information
  • Security Information
  • Immigration Law Violation Information
  • Miscellaneous Information


     **Save your work, then Continue Application**

REVIEW

Review all the information you have entered.  You may edit this information if you made any mistakes or wish to make changes.


SIGN AND SUBMIT

Read the information carefully and answer any final questions.  Enter your passport number and the code appearing on the right hand side (in skewed characters), in order to electronically sign and submit the application.

DON'T FORGET TO PRINT YOUR CONFIRMATION PAGE!

To schedule your visa interview, return to the Online Application and Appointment System and click on the button at the bottom which says, “Schedule Appointment.” Once the appointment is scheduled, print the page which shows your appointment date and time and bring it to the Embassy along with your application confirmation page, one photo and passport. Your visa application cannot be processed without a photo. Consult the visa photograph requirement page for the exact photo specifications.