AT1 32173759.1 / 99999-003073
Client Organizations and Foreign Nationals
Seyfarth Shaw Immigration Law Practice Group
Forms DS-156 and DS-157
The purpose of this memorandum is to provide visa applicants with a brief overview of the
necessary nonimmigrant visa application forms currently required by the U.S. State Department.
The Form DS-156 is the basic application form. It asks the applicant to list biographical
information and to explain his or her history of applying for visas to come to the U.S. In completing the
DS-156 applicants should be prepared to list the dates of all previous visits to the U.S. and should know
the dates of any previous visas which were granted to come to the U.S. If applicants run out of space on
the form, they should continue their responses on an attachment.
It is essential that visa applicants answer all questions completely and accurately. Incomplete or
inaccurate information may result in delay or denial of a visa application. With this in mind, we offer the
following suggestions to assist you in completing the form:
Have you ever been in the U.S.?
Applicants who can answer Yes to this question must provide information on when they were in
the United States (i.e., 3/2001 - 6/2002).
Have you ever been issued a U.S. Visa?
Applicants answering Yes to this question must provide the year they were issued the visa stamp,
where the visa stamp was issued (i.e., Paris, Chennai, Vancouver), and what type of visa was
issued to them (i.e., F-1, H-1B, L-2).
Do you intend to work in the U.S.?
Applicants should check Yes if applying for an H, L, E or O visa stamp. Applicants should
further list the complete name and address of the U.S. employer upon entry to the United States.
Applicants applying for F, M or J visas must remember that while employment is permitted under
these visa categories, it is only allowed under certain conditions. Applicants intending to work