HomeTravelNavigating the Immigration Process: DS-260 Form BreakdownWhat is Form DS-260?

Navigating the Immigration Process: DS-260 Form BreakdownWhat is Form DS-260?


Form DS-260, also known as the “Immigrant Visa Electronic Application,” is an online application form used by individuals seeking to immigrate to the United States. It is specifically designed for applicants who are applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.

The DS-260 is part of the U.S. Department of State’s Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) system. It is used for various immigrant visa categories, including family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant visas.

Applicants are typically required to complete and submit Form DS-260 after receiving notification from the National Visa Center (NVC) that their immigrant visa case is ready for processing. The form collects information about the applicant’s background, family, education, work history, and other relevant details.

It’s important for applicants to provide accurate and complete information on the DS-260, as this information is used by consular officers to determine eligibility for an immigrant visa. Once the form is submitted, applicants may be required to attend an in-person visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.

It’s advisable for applicants to carefully review the instructions provided by the U.S. Department of State and seek guidance from the embassy or consulate handling their case to ensure the accurate and timely submission of Form DS-260.

Form DS-260 Checklist of Civil Documents

The Form DS-260, which is the Immigrant Visa Electronic Application, is associated with the immigrant visa application process for individuals seeking to move to the United States. As part of this process, applicants are typically required to submit a set of supporting documents, often referred to as “civil documents,” to provide evidence of their identity, relationships, and eligibility for an immigrant visa.

While there isn’t a specific “checklist” embedded within the DS-260 form itself, the U.S. Department of State provides general guidance on the types of civil documents that applicants may need to submit. The exact document requirements can vary based on the specific immigrant visa category and the individual circumstances of the applicant. Here’s a general Form DS-260 checklist of civil documents that applicants may be asked to submit:

  • Passport(s): Valid passports for the applicant and each family member included in the application.
  • Birth Certificates: Original or certified copies of birth certificates for the applicant and each family member.
  • Marriage Certificate(s): If applicable, original or certified copies of marriage certificates.
  • Divorce or Death Certificates: If applicable, documents indicating the termination of previous marriages, such as divorce or death certificates.
  • Police Certificates: Police certificates or clearances from the applicant’s current and previous places of residence.
  • Military Records: If the applicant has served in the military, relevant military records may be required.
  • Adoption Documents: If the applicant or any family member has been adopted, adoption records may be necessary.
  • Court and Prison Records: If the applicant has a criminal record, court and prison records may be required.
  • Photographs: Passport-style photographs that meet the specific requirements outlined by the U.S. government.
  • Affidavit of Support: For certain immigrant visa categories, a Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) from the sponsoring U.S. citizen or permanent resident may be required.

How to fill out Form DS-260?

Filling out Form DS-260 is a crucial step in the U.S. immigrant visa application process. Here’s a general guide on how to complete Form DS-260:

Before You Begin:

  • Gather Required Information:
    • Have your National Visa Center (NVC) case number and Invoice ID ready.
    • Collect personal and family information, including names, dates of birth, and addresses.
    • Prepare details about your education, work history, and previous addresses.
  • Check Browser Compatibility:
    • The DS-260 is an online form. Ensure that you are using a compatible browser and that your internet connection is stable.

Step-by-Step Guide:

  • Access the DS-260 Form:
    • Go to the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website.
    • Log in using your NVC case number and Invoice ID.
  • Start a New Application:
    • Click on the “Start a New Application” button.
  • Complete the DS-260 Form Section by Section:
    • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete each section.
    • Provide accurate and truthful information. Be consistent with the information provided in supporting documents.
  • Save Frequently:
    • The form does not have a “save” button. However, it is designed to automatically save your progress. Nonetheless, it’s a good practice to proceed through the form systematically.
  • Review Your Entries:
    • Before submitting, thoroughly review all information for accuracy.
  • Upload Supporting Documents:
    • Attach any required supporting documents as prompted. This might include passport-sized photos, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.
    • Ensure that documents meet the specified size and format requirements.
  • Sign and Submit:
    • Electronically sign the form when prompted.
    • Submit the DS-260. Once submitted, you will receive a confirmation page with a confirmation number.
  • Print Confirmation Page:
    • Print the confirmation page for your records. You will need the confirmation number for future reference.
  • Payment of Fees:
    • After submitting the DS-260, you may need to pay the visa application processing fee. Follow the instructions provided by NVC.
  • Schedule Visa Interview:
    • Once your DS-260 is processed, you will be instructed on how to schedule a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country.

Additional Tips:

  • Use the Help Text:
    • Hover over the question mark icons for help text and explanations throughout the form.
  • Be Consistent:
    • Ensure that the information provided in the DS-260 matches the details in your supporting documents and previous forms.
  • Seek Professional Advice:
    • If you are unsure about any part of the process, consider seeking advice from an immigration attorney or contacting the U.S. embassy or consulate handling your case.


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