What Is Form DS-230 and Why Is It Needed When Filing for an Immigration Visa?

As of September 2013, applicants for immigration to the United States no longer need Form DS-230 when filing for an immigration visa, as the U.S. Department of State has replaced it with the online Form DS-260, reports Nolo. Only applicants for the Cuban Family Reunification Parole program still use Form DS-230 as of 2015, notes the U.S. Department of State.

Although applicants to the Cuban Family Reunification Parole program must bring completed Forms DS-230 to interviews as part of their documentation, consular officers may require them to complete current forms, points out the Embassy of the United States in Havana. Applicants from all other countries must submit Form DS-260 online as part of their immigration visa application process, according to the U.S. Department of State. Form DS-260 is available on the Consular Electronic Application Center website or on the applicants' local U.S. consulate or embassy website. Applicants must complete the form in English and fill in all questions unless they are marked optional. They do not need to bring the completed form to their interviews, as consular officers can access the forms online.

In the process of obtaining an immigrant visa to the United States, applicants submit Form I-130, Immigrant Visa Petition, wait for approval and then pay their processing fees, explains Nolo. The next step is submission of Form DS-260. It includes questions about work, education and residential history as well as composition of the family household. Other questions assess the applicants' admissibility to the United States. Those who are unable to finish the form in one sitting can save it and return to it later.