The DS-160 form is required when a foreign national seeks to apply for a temporary visa to travel to the United States, with limited exceptions. This visa application is filed electronically through the Department of State’s Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). While the online application has created efficiencies on processing visas at U.S. embassies and consulates overseas, applicants must be aware that the application cannot be modified once it has been submitted. It is therefore important to thoroughly review the application prior to submission to ensure that all questions are answered correctly and accurately.
However, even when care is taken to submit an accurate visa application, sometimes it may be necessary to update the DS-160 prior to attending a visa interview appointment. If there is a material change requiring information to be updated, there are two efficient ways to reuse information from a previously submitted application to create and submit a new/updated DS-160:
The first option is to log into the CEAC system and select “Retrieve an Application” then select “Create a New Application.” Much of the new form will auto-populate. You can then edit and update the information, and once accurate, submit the new application, which will generate a new confirmation page.
Alternatively, if you saved the DAT file from the original application to a hard drive or disk, you can access and amend the previous application at any time. Log into the CEAC system and select “Upload a Previously Saved Application” on the Getting Started page. Once the changes have been made, save and submit the new application, which will generate a new confirmation page. (Note: permanently saving your application to a hard drive/disk will allow you to access your application after 30 days.)
For either option, if the original DS-160 was used to book the visa appointment and/or pay the MRV fee, the applicant is required to present the confirmation pages from the new AND original DS-160 at the interview. This is because each submission creates a different barcode, and a consular officer uses the application ID/barcode to retrieve the application. While not required, it is best practice to also print out and carry all pages of the new DS-160 application in the event the officer cannot retrieve/access the new application. The applicant should also be prepared to accurately explain to the officer any material changes, related issues, and need for the updated DS-160.
Emily Neumann is Managing Partner at Reddy & Neumann, P.C. with over 15 years of experience practicing US immigration law providing services to U.S. businesses and multinational corporations. Emily has helped transform the firm from a solo practice to Houston’s largest immigration law firm focused exclusively on U.S. employment-based immigration. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Central Michigan University and her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Houston Law Center. Emily has been quoted in Bloomberg Law, U.S. News & World Report, Inside Higher Ed, and The Times of India on various hot topics in immigration. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and Society for Human Resource Management.
Reddy & Neumann has been serving the business community for over 20 years and is Houston’s largest immigration law firm focused solely on US. Employment-based immigration. We work with both employers and their employees, helping them navigate the immigration process quickly and cost-effectively