US To Check Social Media Details Before Visa Approval | The Precision

The State Department wants to require all U.S. visa applicants to
submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone
numbers, vastly expanding the Trump administration’s enhanced vetting of
potential immigrants and visitors.
In documents to be published in Friday’s Federal Register, the
department said it wants the public to comment on the proposed new
requirements, which will affect nearly 15 million foreigners who apply
for visas to enter the U.S. each year. Previously, social media, email
and phone number histories were only sought from applicants identified
for extra scrutiny, such as those who have traveled to areas controlled
by terrorist organizations. An estimated 65,000 people per year are in
that category.
The new rules would apply to virtually all applicants for immigrant
and non-immigrant visas. The department estimates it would affect
710,000 immigrant visa applicants and 14 million non-immigrant visa
applicants, including those who want to come to the U.S. for business or
education, according to the documents.
The documents were posted on the Federal Register’s website
on Thursday but the 60-day public comment period won’t begin until
Friday’s edition is published.
the requirements are approved by the Office of Management and Budget,
applications for all visa types would list a number of social media
platforms and require the applicant to provide any account names they
may have had on them over the previous five years. It would also give
the applicant the option to volunteer information about social media
accounts on platforms not listed in the application.
In addition to their social media histories, visa applicants will be
asked for five years of previously used telephone numbers, email
addresses, international travel and deportation status, as well as
whether any family members have been involved in terrorist activities.
Only applicants for certain diplomatic and official visa types may be exempted from the requirements, the documents said. (AP)

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