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DS 260 Form Step By Step Complete Guide PART 2 Apply for a U.S. Visa 1

A Complete Guide To Form DS – 260 for 2022 to 2023

Today we will share the basics of the DS – 260 form and gain some insight into it. Let’s begin by understanding Form DS-260.

What Is Form DS-260?

Form DS-260 for Immigrant Visa Application is an online form to be filled out by individuals and family members who are applying for a Diversity Visa as well as by anyone trying for a green card based on marriage and living outside the U.S. currently.

It must be noted that the National Visa Center (NVC) reviews Form DS-260 and not the USCIS. The form is for applicants intending to stay in the United States and not just the ones traveling to the U.S. temporarily for work or leisure.

You will have to fill the form with information as follows:

    • Your background
    • Places you have resided since 16 years of age
    • Educational history
    • Questions about family members
    • And other relevant essential details associated with past life events

DS-260 Total Costs

The fee for the DS-260 form in 2022 is $220. The fee is also known as the USCIS Immigrant Fee and is required by the department to create and send you your physical green card. Pay the fee online as soon as you receive your visa stamp, which you will use to enter the U.S.

USCIS will send the green card to your U.S. address that you specified roughly three to four weeks after entering the United States.

Processing Time For Form DS-260

It will take around 1 to 2 months for the NVC to process a DS-260 Form in 2022. However, the wait time can vary depending on the system’s workload. Expect to receive an answer for your DS-260 in 2 to 3 months during the busy season. This processing time is relatively less as compared to the 10 – 17 months wait time for a family-based green card.

Steps For Filing DS-260

The below-given step-by-step process will help you streamline your Form DS-260 filing.

  • Get approval on your I-130 and DS-261 by paying all the required fees and submitting all the documents for the two forms.
  • Keep your case number and beneficiary ID number with you while starting the process. Get your invoice number through the NVC welcome notice.
  • Mention information about children in your form if you have children. Their age is irrelevant at this step, and so does the mention of them accompanying you to the U.S. But you must include any biological, step, or adopted children of yours.
  • Include all the places of your residence since you turned 16 years of age. You can include them through any official addresses you have lived at and also through any unofficial addresses where you have resided permanently.
  • Provide an up-to-date mailing address as the green card will be sent to you by post. If you mention the wrong address, it will take longer for your green card to reach you.
  • Read through all the entered information carefully and ensure that all the details are correct. Click submit once you are sure the information is correct.
  • Print the confirmation page once submitted, as it is required at the interview.

If you have made a mistake on your DS-260 form, there is no way to fix it. But this does not mean you will have to redo the entire process. Instead, you can simply inform the U.S. consulate interviewing officer about the mistake. It is a common practice for consulate officers to correct some application mistakes.

To familiarize yourself with the DS-260 form, you can consult a sample to prepare for the application filing process. The form DS-260 can be accessed via the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) on the State Department’s website or your respective U.S. embassy or consulate website.

DS-260 Visa Interview

After filing the form, you will have to undergo a medical exam before scheduling the interview. This green card interview appointment will be with the NVC at your local U.S. embassy or consulate. Once the interview is scheduled, NVC will deliver a letter that you will have to bring to the appointment. The letter will give you a list of people who should be present during the interview.

You are required to bring the following documents with you to the interview:

  • Your valid passport
  • Interview appointment letter
  • Medical exam results
  • Your marriage certificate
  • Two recent color passport photographs
  • Any other document listed on the USCIS or consulate website for green card classification

The outcome of your interview will be decided within a week by the U.S. embassy or consulate.

DS-260 Supporting Documentation

You need to provide copies of documents for the applicant’s spouse and the sponsoring spouse.

The following supporting documents are required for Applicant’s Spouse:

  • Proof of Nationality (for example copy of a birth certificate, passport photo page)
  • A copy of your marriage certificate
  • A copy of documents concerning marriage termination if there were past marriages like copies of divorce or deaths certificates
  • A copy of the military record, if applicable
  • A copy of police certificates also known as police clearance letters showing that you have not committed any violations. You can obtain the certificate:
    • From any place you have lived in your home country for a minimum of six months after turning 16 years of age
    • From any place you have lived outside of your home country where you have lived for at least a year after 16 years of age
    • A copy of any ruling where you committed a crime or were arrested regardless of your age or how long you lived there

As a sponsoring spouse, you will require the following supporting documents:

  • Affidavit of Support I-864 which is evidence of your ability to support your spouse in the U.S.
  • A copy of documents concerning marriage termination if there were past marriages like copies of divorce or deaths certificates
  • Documentation of the proof of address like a domicile or a copy of a state-issued identification

It usually takes about a few months once you have submitted all relevant documents for your visa interview to be scheduled.

The National Visa Center will issue you a notice for your assigned interview date and time.

DS-260 for the Diversity Visa Program

To file the DS-260 online form for the Diversity Visa Program, you need to enter the Diversity Visa case number given on your selection notice. This allows you to access and update any information about yourself and your family that was present on your Diversity Visa entry application.

You can make any changes to the information on Form DS-260 that need to be updated since you last entered the relevant information at the entry time. This change could be due to any life event like getting married or having a child.

The word “family member” mentioned on the form refers to a spouse and/or unmarried children under the age of 21 when you entered the Diversity Visa program. If you add relatives to the form, you will have to submit documentation proving the familial relationship. Often people don’t include the spouse or a child while submitting the Diversity Visa form. You will need to enter these details on the DS-260 form if you do not wish to be declared ineligible.

After you submit Form DS-260 online, print the confirmation page and take it to your visa interview.

DS-260 for the Marriage-Based Green Card

As a marriage-based green card applicant, if you can file Form DS-260 online, it means that your Form I-130 has been approved, you have submitted your DS-261, and you have paid the application processing fee and financial support form fee to the State Department. Once your fee is processed, you will need the following documents to file your DS-260 application:

  • Your Case Number
  • Beneficiary ID number
  • Invoice number provided on National Visa Center’s welcome notice

Some of the things you need to ensure while submitting the DS-260 form are as follows:

  • Submit the form in English
  • Use corresponding letters if the characters in your name or address are not available in the Roman alphabet.

The NVC will send you a receipt notice after receiving your submitted DS-260 form. The receipt notice usually arrives the same day the DS-260 form was submitted.

The notice will also contain information on the supporting documentation to be emailed, mailed, or uploaded for your case. The mode of transfer of the files will depend on the policies of your case processing consulate. Read the notice carefully before going for document submission.

Ensure that you are not sending the original documents if they are required through email. Make a copy of all the documents and send them by mail. The originals can be carried to the green card interview in the U.S. consulate.


Is A Sample For Ds-260 Available?

Yes, you can access the sample form at any time during the filing phase. You will just have to save the information entered so far on the online form and go to the sample for any clarification.

What is The Processing Time For Ds-260?

The processing time depends on factors like the wait times and backlogs of NVC, USCIS, and individual service centers owing to pandemic regulations. The first part of getting approval on your I-130 by USCIS can take up to 7–15 months or longer depending on your case.

How To Check The Ds-260 Status?

The status of the form DS-260 can be viewed by logging into the CEAC website.

Can Questions Be Answered In One’s Native Language?

No, the form must be filled in the English language. If you submit it in any other language, it is likely to be rejected and you will be required to resubmit it in English.

Am I Required To Complete All Fields?

The fields marked “optional” can be left blank, otherwise, you must complete all the relevant fields. To avoid any mistakes or setbacks in your green card process, it is advised to get all your papers reviewed by an immigration expert.

Why File Ds-261?

The DS-261 form is to get your contact and current address details so that the State Department can communicate with you during the process. Make sure to provide correct and up to date information as it is the only means to contact you in case of any query in your home country.

Should I bring the DS-260 to my interview?

There is no need to bring the form to the interview as the interviewing officer has full access to your application. But you must bring all the other required documents with you to the interview.

This is the end of today’s blog update. We hope you found this blog useful. Please don’t forget to support us by subscribing to our newsletter and sharing this blog with your friends and family on Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter.

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