VISA Applications May Require Five Years of Social Media Information
02 April, 2018, 11:30 | Author: Jason Torres
If approved, applicants also will be required to submit five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses and their global travel history.
The Trump administration wants all United States visa applicants to submit details of their previous phone numbers, email addresses and social media histories as part of its "vetting" practice and to prevent entry of individuals who might pose a threat to the country.
The decision will not take effect immediately - the publication of the planned change to visa applications on Friday will start a 60-day clock for the public to comment on the move.
The revised visa application forms will also include additional information regarding the visa medical examination that some applicants may be required to undergo. They will be asked if they have been deported or removed from any country and whether family members have been involved in terrorist activities, the department said.
The administration expects the move to affect almost 15 million would-be immigrants to the United States, according to the documents.
They will be forced to reveal all social media accounts deployed in the last five years. If adopted, it will affect nearly 15 million people who apply for a USA visa every year, the vast majority of which are tourists and those who travel to the country for business or education purposes.
In a statement emailed to The Register, a State Department spokesperson said the proposed changes follow from President Trump's March 2017 Memorandum and Executive Order 13780 and reflect the need for screening standards to address emerging threats.
The new rules would apply to virtually all applicants for immigrant and non-immigrant visas.
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