A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration attorney and counsel. Contact Info: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/ (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

All K Fiancé (és) Visa Applicants must start using Form DS-160

Secretary of State John Kerry has issued a cable communications to all American consulate offices mandating the use of Form DS-160 in all K (fiancé / fiancés) visa applications.  This cable message states that, effectively immediately, K-1 and K-2 nonimmigrant visa applicants must start using the DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application.  The DS-160 will replace the DS-156 Electronic Visa Application form (EVAF), the DS-156K (Nonimmigrant Fiance Visa Application), and the paper-based DS-230 Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration (parts I and II).

The following are the exceptions:  For K visa cases in process at a U.S. embassy or consulate, the DS-160 is not required when, prior to October 7th, 2013, one of the following conditions apply:

  • The K visa applicant is already scheduled for an interview.
  • The K visa applicant has already been interviewed and has been requested to submit additional documentation or is pending administrative processing.
  • The K visa applicant has already submitted a valid, signed, unexpired DS-156, DS-156K and/or DS-230 or received instructions to do so.  
It makes sense to switch to the new DS-160 for K visa applications, although the switching is quite sudden without much advanced notice to the visa applicants.  Presently, K visa applicants must complete multiple application forms including the DS-156 form, the DS-156K form, and the DS-230 form (which is an application for immigrant visas).  These forms are quite cumbersome and repetitive in terms of the information requested.  Although the K visa is for fiancé and fiancés of U.S. citizens who intend to eventually immigrate to the U.S., it is still technically an non-immigrant visa.  Therefore, using the DS-160 Non-Immigrant Visa Application is a logical choice.

The DS-160 application is an online application.  It is quite comprehensive in terms of the questions asked. Applicants should have their immigration documents and information ready before completing this application online including the following:

  • Valid Passport
  • Travel itinerary, if you have already made travel arrangements.
  • Dates of your last five visits or trips to the United States
  • Dates of your international travel history for the past five years.  
  • Employment history: Names of employers and dates of employment
  • Educational background: Names of schools and dates of attendance
  • Students and Exchange Visitors (F, J, and M): Provide your SEVIS ID number, and the address of the school/program at which you intend to study. This information should also available on your I-20 or DS-2019 form. 
  • Temporary Workers (H-1B, H-2, H-3, L, O, P, R, etc.): You should have a copy of your Form I-129 available when completing your DS-160. 
  • Other Temporary Workers: You will be asked for information about your employer, including the employer’s address, while completing your DS-160

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