A Guide to Submitting the On-line DS-160

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The DS-160 is not  complicated, but the US Department of State CEAC website is difficult to navigate and can be extremely frustrating. Here are some things we have learned that may help you survive and submit.


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Be sure you have all your answers at hand. The website times out and closes down unexpectedly and without warning. If you have to keep logging in over and over, you may get locked out. Click here to review the kinds of questions you will be asked and the information you must provide.

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Be sure you have a dependable internet connection. If your signal drops, your answers may be lost.

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Be sure your photo meets the CEAC requirements and can be uploaded quickly and conveniently. You won't have time to hunt around in your files, once you begin the application.

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Be sure to save your work often – at minimum twice on each page. If the site times out, you will at least have some data preserved


We have never tried to complete the DS-160 on a phone. It is hard enough on a laptop or desktop computer.

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  • Start with a good passport photograph which meets CEAC requirements.

  • Have the photograph prepared for upload to the DS-160 form and keep it handy on your computer.

  • It must be square.

  • Your image must be in jpg format and under 240KB.

  • We recommend 600 x 600 pixels at a resolution of 72.

  • Stay away from the “Photo Tool” on the website. It only leads to frustration.

The Photo

Before you begin, have your DS-160 photo readily available for upload to the on-line form.

The photo upload can be the most frustrating part of the whole process. Here is our advice:

The Process



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Select the location where you will apply for a visa.

Enter the CAPTCHA code.

Select "Test Photo.

Tip: Ignore the Photo Standard Guide

Click "Next: Upload Selected Photo"

You will see the file name of your photo.

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Upload your photo

Click the

Browse Button

which takes you to your files.


Select your 600 x 600 pixel photo.

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Click "Continue using this photo."

You will see the successful result.

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You are now ready to complete the form.

You will not deal with your uploaded photo until after you have filled in the Security and Background section.

At that point there will be a button labeled "Photo." Select it, and you are good to go.

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This website is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read on this site.