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Completing the DS-160

Before you can book your face to face interview at the US Embassy you must complete the DS-160 form

**This information is also available on the London US Embassy Website http://london.usembassy.gov/niv/ds160.html **

The DS-160 is an online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from persons seeking a nonimmigrant visa.
The DS-160 is submitted electronically to the post where the applicant will apply for the visa via the internet.

Before completing the form, watch our video for tips and assistance.
We are unable to provide individual guidance on how you should answer a question. Please complete the form to the best of your ability.

  • If you are applying for a visa at the Embassy in London, you should select, England, London. If applying at the Consulate in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Belfast.
  • Consular Officers will use the information entered on the DS-160 to process the visa application and, combined with a personal interview, will determine an applicant’s eligibility for a nonimmigrant visa. If you have entered any information incorrectly, have saved the form but not transmitted it, you may make the corrections before transmitting it. If however, the form has been transmitted, you are to complete and submit a new form.
What happens to my DS-160 if I select a U.S. Embassy or Consulate where I will be applying for my visa, but end up making an interview appointment instead at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate?
The Embassy or Consulate at which you actually apply should be able to access your form using the barcode on your DS-160 confirmation page, which you must bring to the visa interview.

Filling out the DS-160 - Common Questions

  • What is the "Purpose of My Trip"?

    In almost all cases you will be a J1 Exchange Visitor.
    If required you can also put your specific programme - i.e. : Intern, Trainee, Summer Work and Travel or Camp Counselor

  • What do I put under National ID

    If you're a UK citizen then you can put N/A or leave this blank. This only applies to countries whose citizens have ID numbers. We do not have these.

  • If asked for the US Social Security Number and Tax Payer ID Number..

    Tick ‘DOES NOT APPLY’ (unless you have a US social security number from a previous trip you won't have these yet and will apply for them in the US.

  • It's asking for ADDITIONAL POINT OF CONACT INFORMATION? What do I put here

    At the top of this section it says:
    ‘NOTE: You have indicated that you will be studying in some capacity
    while in the United States. List at least two contacts in your country of
    residence who can verify the information that you have provided on this application.

    Do not list immediate family members or other relatives.

    Elements of the above statement should be ignored as you are
    applying for an exchange J1 visa.
    Please do not call or contact our team about your visa being a study visa. IST Plus, CIEE and the US Embassy are aware you will not be studying in the USA. You must still answer all questions.
    List two people and contact details for those people that reside
    in your country of residence. You should write the contact details of
    two friends in the UK who could verify your information.

What's my Programme number?

  • For Summer Work and Travel USA this is: P-3-04320
  • For Internship USA this is: P-3-05133
  • For Graduate Internship USA this is: P-3-05133
  • For Professional Career Training USA this is P-3-11217
  • For Summer Camp USA this is P-3-14839


If you experience issues with uploading a photograph, you may bring the photograph to the visa interview.

The DS-160 form may be accessed at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/

Before accessing the form, please note the following points:

The site does experience intermittent connectivity issues. As you complete the form, save a copy onto your hard drive and ‘save’ often;
Please see the Embassy Slideshare presentation before uploading the photograph. If your photo does not comply, it will be rejected;

Select the correct visa category under "Purpose of Travel to the United States" in the "Travel Information Section" - the drop down list will appear in answer to the question" Are you the Principal Applicant". If you do not see your visa category, click on “Other” for further information.
If asked the question “Have you attended any secondary educational institutions at secondary or above, you should list all educational institutions you have attended since the age of 11.

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IST Plus was formed in 2003. Since then we have worked with thousands of students and young people from all over the world to help and guide them on their international journeys.
We work with partners across the globe to provide the best service possible.


In the UK: 0207 788 7877
International: +44 (20) 7788 7877


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