Applying for US Visa? You will now have to submit your social media details
If you are planning to apply for the US visa, you will have to submit your social media details under the newly adopted rules by President Donald Trump’s administration, as part of a strategy to improve screening of potential immigrants and visitors.
The revised US Visa forms, which were first proposed in March 2018, require most visa applicants, including tourists, to provide their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers as part of the application process.
This is according to the State Department regulations.
The changes are expected to affect close to 15 million immigrants who will apply for Visas to enter the country every year.
However, some diplomats and officials are likely to be exempted from these requirements.
“National security is our top priority when adjudicating Visa applications, and every prospective traveler and immigrant to the United States undergoes extensive security screening,” the US-based news agency Associated Press quoted the US State Department.
“We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes to protect US citizens, while supporting legitimate travel to the United States,” the State Department further said.
The requirements for Visa application come days after President Trump’s administration moved proposal to ban the practice of granting work permits to H-4 visa holders, mostly spouses of H-1B visa holders.
On May 22, the US government issued a notice to kick-off public consultations for the proposed rule.
In the past, only applicants who needed additional vetting – such as people who had been to parts of the world controlled by terrorist groups – would need to hand over this kind of data.
But now applicants will have to give up their account names on a list of social media platforms, and also volunteer the details of their accounts on any sites not listed.
Anyone who lies about their social media use could face “serious immigration consequences”, this is according to a State Department official.