Possibly a question for the meta section, but I was wondering what DS in DS-160 or in DS-2019 actually stands for?

-- just asking out of curiosity!

  • 1
    It's part of an identifying code, and does not need to stand for anything. It may have been based on something originally, but that meaning is not necessarily relevant any more (consider the F/A in the F/A-18 jet, or the AT&T in AT&T Corporation).
    – choster
    May 8, 2019 at 14:09
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    @choster it may not need to stand for anything, but it does. Even the question "what does AT&T stand for" has a meaningful answer, even if the official name of the corporation is just "AT&T Inc." or whatever it is.
    – phoog
    May 8, 2019 at 14:27
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    @phoog "Department of State" is probably where the designation originated, but the Department of State also has various forms not prefixed as DS (e.g. JF-57), and there is no guarantee that some form out among the probably tens of thousands of U.S. government forms is prefixed DS but not from the State Department. The OP did not indicate any background reasoning as to what real-world problem this relates to, so I am simply giving a warning not to read too much into it.
    – choster
    May 8, 2019 at 14:33
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    @choster, indeed, I should have mentioned that I am just asking out of curiosity!
    – safex
    May 8, 2019 at 14:36
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    @choster There's only three prefixes. SF = standard form, used by the entire Federal Government. I am guessing JF = Joint Form, because they're all foreign employee evals and they are shared with a number of other agencies, like USAID.
    – user71659
    May 8, 2019 at 16:55

1 Answer 1


DS in DS-160 stands for Department of State

  • 4
    Nice! That's what I figured too by Googling and finding a random site with the answer but couldn't find an official source.
    – user4188
    May 8, 2019 at 14:07

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