The U.S. Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka will soon start requiring the use of the newly-developed DS-160 non-immigrant visa (NIV) application which incorporates existing NIV forms into one interactive, online form.
A press release issued by the Embassy says for all NIV appointments starting March 17, 2010, applicants will need to fill out the DS-160 form, which will be available online March 12, 2010.
The U.S. government is introducing this new application worldwide as part of a larger effort to use new technologies to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the visa application process. Over the past two years, select U.S. Embassies have used the DS-160 on a test basis. It is now being deployed at U.S. Embassies worldwide.
Visa applicants in Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives will need to access the Consular Electronic Application Center website (https://ceac.state.gov/GENNIV) to complete a new DS-160 application form. With the new form, the applicant will also be required to upload a visa photograph. The DS-160 will eliminate the need for paper application forms because visa applicants will submit the application electronically.
With the DS-160, applicants will print just a confirmation sheet to bring to their interviews. Currently, applicants complete their forms online but must print them out before their interviews.
The Consular Section reminds applicants that providing accurate and complete information on the DS-160 application before submission is essential. Incorrect or missing information will cause a delay in completing the interview. Applicants should save an electronic copy of their DS-160 application in case changes are necessary.
The requirement to use the DS-160 applies only to non-immigrant visa applicants. Persons applying for immigrant or fiancé visas should continue to use the existing application process.
The U.S. Embassy emphasizes that only the visa form and the way applicants submit it has changed. Eligibility and documentary requirements for all visas remain unchanged. Applicants must still demonstrate that they are qualified for a visa under U.S. immigration law.
More information about the DS-160, as well as links to the new application, can be found on the U.S. Embassy Colombo's website http://srilanka.usembassy.gov/