When filling out the DS-160 Online non-immigrant visa application form, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs suggests that applicants gather all required documentation in advance, including a passport and resume. The applicant should also be prepared with the dates and locations of past international trips, if applicable, including the last five visits to the United States. People applying in an educational or professional capacity should gather contact information for the school or employer.
The Bureau of Consular Affairs advises that applicants double-check that each answer is complete to avoid problems. When a question is not applicable, a substitute answer of "Does Not Apply" is acceptable. Applicants should not use a language other than English.
When filling out the DS-160 online, the U.S. Department of State Consular Electronic Application Center recommends that applicants make a note of their Application ID. The system enables users to download the application to fill out offline; this step is only advisable on a private, secure computer. Applicants can avoid losing saved data by downloading the form if they do not expect to complete it online within 30 days.
The electronic DS-160 requires users to upload a color photo, as of November 2015. Applicants should ensure that the photo is 2 inches square and taken within the last six months, according to the United States Embassy in Bogota, Colombia.