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NPZ Immigration Law Blog

Friday, September 13, 2013

DS-260 Immigrant Visa Electronic Application- Frequently Asked Questions 2013


Important Notice: Only immigrant visa applicants applying at certain U.S. embassies and consulates where NVC requested fees or documents in October 2010 or later may use the DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa Application. Review Online Immigrant Visa Forms to learn whether you should use the online DS-260 form, as well as more important information.

Review the FAQs below if you must complete the online DS-260 form.

What do I need to complete and submit forms online?

You must have:

  •  Internet access

  •  Your NVC Case Number (refer to the message you received from NVC)

  •  Your Invoice I.D. number (refer to the message you received from NVC)

Where can I find the DS-260?

You can access the DS-260 from the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website, by going to ImmigrantVisas.state.gov and clicking on "Submit Visa Application and Civil Documents," or on the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you will apply.

Can I answer in my native language?

No. All answers, except as specially provided, must be in English, using English characters only. Applications submitted in any language other than English may be rejected, and you will be required to log back into the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) and provide English answers.

Are all fields on the DS-260 mandatory?

Most fields on the DS-260 are mandatory. You may leave fields marked "Optional" blank. Some fields may also give you the option to select "Does Not Apply." If a field does not apply to you, you may mark the box next to "Does Not Apply." All other fields must be completed: the application will not allow you to submit a form with any mandatory fields left blank. In this instance, an error message will be displayed and you will be required to complete the field before continuing with the application. If you do not answer questions that apply, your form may be rejected.

What happens if I need to step away in the middle of data entry?

You may save your partially completed DS-260 at any time by clicking on the "Save" button at the bottom of every page. If you need to step away, simply click the "Save" button to save your progress, and click on "Sign Out" in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. All data that you entered up to the point of clicking on "Save" will be stored until you are ready to continue completing the form.

To ensure your privacy if you step away in the middle of data entry, the DS-260 has a "time out" feature. If your DS-260 application is idle for approximately 20 minutes, CEAC will log you off. All data that you entered up to the last time you clicked "Save" will be stored until you are ready to continue completing the form. Any data that you entered after clicking "Save" will be lost.

How do I access a previously saved DS-260?

You can access your saved application by returning to the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website and selecting View/Edit from the IV and Alien Registration section of the Immigrant Visa - Summary Information screen. You will then be provided with a list of all applicants in your case along with the status of each application (NOT STARTED, INCOMPLETE, or SUBMITTED). To continue updating an incomplete application, simply click on the "Edit" button to the right of the application's status.

Once you submit your application, by clicking the "Sign and Submit Application" button on the "Sign and Submit" page, you will be unable to access your application again without the assistance of NVC, or the U.S. embassy or consulate at which you plan to apply.

Do I bring my DS-260 application with me to the interview?

You should not bring your application with you to your interview. The interviewing officer will have full access to review your application online.

New Information on DOS Transition to Electronic DS-260

Further update on Form DS-260 On September 3, 2013, the Department of State will transition to an online immigrant visa application. Immigrant visa applicants will apply online using Form DS-260 (Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration). Applicants will choose their agent online using Form DS-261 (Choice of Address and Agent). Applicants will access both forms on the web at ceac.state.gov.

These forms replace the paper DS-230 and DS-3032. The National Visa Center (NVC) may instruct some applicants who previously submitted Form DS-230 to submit Form DS-260. Only Diversity Visa and Cuban Family Reunification Parole applicants will continue to use the paper forms.

Generally, DS-230 has already been submitted and accepted, the applicant will not need to complete the DS-260 UNLESS instructed to do so by the NVC or a consular officer.

• If a case is already documentarily qualified and awaiting scheduling, the case will proceed with the DS-230.

• If a case is still in the document collection phase and a checklist letter is sent for any reason, even if a DS-230 is on file, you will be instructed to complete Form DS-260.

• If the NVC has already scheduled the consular interview and sent the case to post with the DS-230, then it will stay a DS-230 case. Clients will not need to complete the DS-260 unless a consular officer requests it.

  •  If applicants are ready to send the DS-230 before September 3rd, they can, but if the case is not documentarily qualified, applicant will receive a checklist letter which includes completing Form DS-260. However, if the DS-230 is complete and is the last thing needed to make the case documentarily qualified, applicants may send the DS-230 at this time.

For more information, please feel free to contact the Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group at 201-670-0006 or by e-mailing us at info@visaserve.com.

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