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Form DS-230: How to Obtain an Immigrant Visa in the U.S. Thumbnail

Form DS-230: How to Obtain an Immigrant Visa in the U.S.

7.7 MIN READ

IMPORTANT UPDATE

Form DS 230, the Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application is now known as Form DS 260. The difference between Forms DS 230 and DS 260 is Form DS 230 needs to be submitted to the U.S. Consulate. Form DS 260 can be submitted electronically, making the process a little easier as long as you have access to the Internet.

For Form DS 260, the rules, process, and requirements are the same as for Form DS 230. 

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What Is Form DS-230?

Form DS 230 is an application form provided by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that individuals interested in obtaining an immigrant visa are required to complete and submit. In other words, it is an application that acts as a statement of intent to immigrate. Additionally, individuals who aim to live permanently in the U.S. need to have filed Form DS-230. 

There are two types of Form DS-230: I-525 is for investors, and I-130 is for family-based immigration. After you filed the necessary applications and petitions for the specific visa category you have chosen, you submit the form to USCIS.

Who Should and Shouldn’t Use Form DS 230?

Anyone who wants to come to the U.S should use Form DS-230. Typically, those who fill out the form are seeking a better job or have married a U.S. citizen. Aliens who want to obtain an immigrant visa also use the form. The person intending to immigrate must file Form DS 230 after filing the necessary applications and petitions for immigration. Once the applicant has been cleared—i.e., they don’t have pending cases, warrants, or other red flags—they are free to file the DS 230 application.

Form DS 230 Federal Regulations

Anyone who applies for an Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration must ensure the information they provide is correct. Form DS 230 can be accessed online and may need to be printed out before the applicant proceeds to the visa interview. The consular office will ask a series of questions to verify your personal information. If it is determined that any information you provide is false or fraudulent, your application will be immediately rejected and the USCIS might take legal action. Because of the importance of your information being correct, you must mention whether a third party assisted you with your application in your interview. 

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How to Complete Form DS-230

Filling out the form is the most important part of the process. It typically takes a little under one hour to complete filling out the form. If your family members also wish to apply, they will also need to fill out their own forms and follow the same process you are following. To reiterate, each applicant (so, therefore, each member of the family) must fill out their own forms and provide valid data to avoid running into problems after the forms are submitted and processing begins.

Be mindful that the form has two parts (which we go into detail about in the next sections). Pay close attention to how you answer the questions. Incorrect information, even in the minor details, can lead to serious problems with or even the cancellation of your application. Similarly, all form fields must be completed to avoid rejection. Both parts of the form have separate fundamental questions about you and your biographical information. 

This information is what determines whether or not you’re eligible for an immigrant visa. If you're having trouble filling out the form, you can ask for assistance from a consular office. A consular office can be located at the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate.

Form DS 230 can be found online at the USCIS website. Download the form and ensure you print it in the required ink color (which is black). 

Below are some instructions and tips on how to complete this form that comes in two parts.

Part I

Part I of DS Form 230 is your personal and biographical information. You will be asked to provide your full name, date of birth, and present address. Your name should be written on your form the same way it appears on your passport. If it’s not the same, you will need to provide an explanation (otherwise, your application will be rejected).

You will also need to include your family members' information and your educational background. You will be asked to provide the name of the school(s) you’ve attended and the courses you have taken. You will also be asked about your job history and military service history. If you have served in the military, you must include your branch, rank, and dates you served. 

Part I of DS Form-230 will require your signature. Below is a list of what you will need to be prepared to provide:

  • Surname (e.g., family name or last name)/First Name/Middle Name/Suffix (e.g., Jr. III, etc.) 
  • Other names (e.g., maiden name or any aliases)
  • If applicable, your full name is written in your native language’s alphabet (e.g., if your Chinese, write your name using the appropriate special characters from your alphabet)
  • Date of Birth in month/day/year format (e.g., mm/dd/yy)
  • Current age
  • Place of birth (City/Town/Province/Country)
  • Nationality
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Where in the U.S. you intend to live (e.g., include the person's name, address, and phone number)
  • Mailing address where you’d like your visa delivered
  • Occupation (e.g., if currently unemployed, write “N/A” for “not applicable”)
  • Present address
  • (If applicable) Spouse’s full name
  • (If applicable) Spouse’s date and place of birth
  • (If applicable) Spouse’s present address
  • (If applicable) Spouse’s occupation
  • (If applicable) Marriage date
  • Father's full name
  • Father's date and place of birth
  • Fathers present address
  • If your father is deceased, provide the date
  • Mother's full name
  • Mother's date and place of birth
  • Mothers present address
  • If your mother is deceased, provide the date
  • (If applicable) Child or children’s full name(s)
  • (If applicable) Child or children’s date(s) and place(s) of birth
  • (If applicable) Child or children’s present address(es)
  • List all locations you’ve lived for a minimum length of 6 months since you were 16 years old
  • The name(s) of an individual(s) who will accompany you 
  • The name(s) who individual(s) who will follow you after you immigrate
  • List all jobs you’ve held over the past 10 years
  • List all academic institutions you have attended (name of the school/dates/courses/diploma or degree awarded)
  • (If applicable) indicate any military service
  • List all of the previous trips and/or residencies in the U.S.    

Part II

Part 2 of Form DS-230 is very easy. It involves making sworn affirmations about security-related matters, such as drug use, terrorism, etc. You will also be asked about your health to determine if you are fit to travel and eligible to apply as an immigrant as well as information about your petitioner, or sponsor for your immigration to the U.S. You may need to include legal documents to support your application.

Part II of DS 230 does not require your signature. Below is a list of what you will need to be prepared to provide:

  • Surname (e.g., family name or last name)/First Name/Middle Name/Suffix (e.g., Jr. III, etc.) 
  • Other names (e.g., maiden name or any aliases)
  • If applicable, your full name is written in your native language’s alphabet (e.g., if your Chinese, write your name using the appropriate special characters from your alphabet)
  • Petitioner’s information (e.g., full name, address, phone number, and email address)
  • Indicate whether you are part of any group or class considered inadmissible to the U.S. (e.g., a YES or NO question)
  • Indicate whether you’ve ever been charged or arrested (e.g., a YES or NO question)
  • Indicate whether you have ever been denied admission to the U.S. at a port of entry (e.g., a YES or NO question with an explanation if YES)
  • Consent to disclosure
  • Indicate whether you’ve received assistance completing the application
  • Indicate what type of immigrant you are

Where to Complete Form DS-230

You can obtain Form DS 2-30 on the USCIS website for free. We recommend that you download and print out the form without filling it in, so you can practice writing in your answers.

After you fill out the printed form in writing, once again download the form from the website. This time, use the form you filled out in writing as a reference and start filling out the new form digitally online. Be sure to conduct a thorough review to ensure the information is correct and matches.

The consular office will assist you in completing the form. They will not allow you to complete it yourself.

Conclusion

Form DS 230 is an application for legal immigration to the U.S. It's essential to fill the form with the correct data to avoid rejection of your application. If you have a criminal record, a warrant out for your arrest, or other red flags, you will be ineligible to apply. 

It’s important that if you have family members who plan to immigrate with you that they fill out their own individual forms and apply in the same manner you are. 


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