U.S. Consulates in China Continue Roll-Out of Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application

I was proud to learn today that the very first Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, to be received by the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu was prepared by our law firm. Our client’s visa was approved.

I previously reported that the U.S. State Department has announced that by March 2010 all nonimmigrant visa applicants in China will need to use the new Form DS-160. This form combines and replaces previous Forms DS-156, 157, and 158.

Here’s an update on implementation of the new Form DS-160 by U.S. Consulates in China:

* Beijing: Effective Jan. 20 applicants through the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) corporate visa program are required to use DS-160. At our firm’s request, the Embassy has made this optional for applicants who experience technical difficulties filling the DS-160. Effective Mar. 1, all applicants must use DS-160–its use is optional beforehand. See http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/ds160onlineapplication.html.

* Chengdu: Effective Feb. 4 applicants through the AmCham corporate visa program must use the DS-160. Effective Mar. 1 all applicants must use it–its use is optional beforehand. See http://chengdu.usembassy-china.org.cn/ds-160_new.html.

* Guangzhou: Effective Mar. 1 all applicants must use DS-160. http://guangzhou.usembassy-china.org.cn/visa-application-form2.html.

* Shanghai: Effective Jan. 11 applicants through the AmCham corporate visa program were required to use the DS-160.  After advocacy by our firm and others, the Embassy has made this optional for applicants who experience technical difficulties filling the DS-160. Effective Mar. 1, all applicants must use DS-160–its use is optional beforehand. See http://shanghai.usembassy-china.org.cn/non-immigrant_visas/new-online-application.html.

* Shenyang: No announcement from the Consulate yet. See http://shenyang.usembassy-china.org.cn/160.html.

Also see my report on how filling the Form DS-160 can be an exercise in frustration.

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