Until recently, only the four U.S. consulates located in Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and Montreal and Vancouver, Canada required foreign nationals to submit the new DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application when applying for a nonimmigrant visa.
As of November 24, 2008, the DS-160 is also required for petition based applicants (seeking H, L, O, P and Q visas) at the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong. Visa applicants at Hong Kong should visit the consulate's website at http://hongkong.usconsulate.gov/visa_services.html for further information.
The DS-160 is completed and submitted entirely online. The application may be completed by a third party but ultimately the actual visa applicant must submit the form online. Upon submission of the DS-160, the applicant receives a confirmation page that he or she must take to the visa interview appointment. All information submitted electronically is stored in the U.S. Department of State database and is retrieved by the U.S. consular officer at the interview via the confirmation page. For more information about the DS-160 and the other U.S. consulates requiring this latest visa application please click here. Eventually, the DS-160 will replace the current DS-156 visa application, but the U.S. government has not released its timetable or plan for expanding the use of the DS-160.