BEWARE! Form DS-160 and Photos Must Be Completed Correctly!

It is critical to complete the Form DS-160 and accompanying photograph correctly. The U.S. Embassy in London has provided two examples where visa applicants were turned away due to insufficient completion of these items. This is important to note since an applicant who is turned away due to an incorrect form or photo could be formally refused a visa, which may affect eligibility for the Visa Waiver Program later on.

Example 1: Not selecting the correct visa category on the form

The Embassy has provided the following information for visa applicants with respect to the visa category:

It is important that you select the correct visa category in the “Travel Information Section.” If you do not do so, the Embassy will not be able to process your application, and you will be required to complete a new DS-160, which will mean having to reschedule the visa interview. In the “Travel Information Section,” you are asked “Are you the principal applicant?” On answering that question, a drop down list will appear under “Purpose of Travel to U.S.” It is important that you review the information carefully. If your purpose of travel is not covered in the list, click on “Other.” This will offer you a further drop down list of choices.

If you are planning on working in the United States and you are being sponsored for a visa by a U.S. company or if your employer is transferring you to a subsidiary or parent company in the U.S., you should select the appropriate category, which is either “Temporary Employee (H1,H2),” “Trainee (H3),” or “Intracompany Transfer (L).” Do NOT select Business/conference visitor (B1) or Business/Personal Travel (B1, B2) as this does not cover your purpose of travel.

Example 2: Photograph is not correct

The Embassy has provided the following information for visa applicants with respect to the photograph:

There are some important points to note before you attempt to upload the photograph:

1. The photos must be no older than 6 months
2. The photos must measure exactly 2 inches by 2 inches
3. The photo should show a clear, front view, full face of the applicant
4. Unless worn daily for religious reasons, all hats or headgear should be removed for the photo
5. Eyeglasses worn on a daily basis can be worn for the photo. However, there should be no reflections from the eyeglasses that obscure the eyes. Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons
6. Uniforms, clothing that looks like a uniform, and camouflage attire should not be worn in photographs except in the case of religious attire that is worn daily. Otherwise, normal street attire should be worn
7. A parent or guardian may not appear in the photo of a minor child; the child must be the only subject
8. Nothing used to support the minor child, whether by mechanical or human means, should be in the camera’s frame

9. Only original photos are acceptable. Photos copied from recent driver licenses or other official documents that are copied or digitally scanned will not be accepted and the photos must not be retouched to alter the applicant’s appearance in any way.

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