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State Department now requires U.S. visa applicants to share social media accounts

By CBS/AP

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(CBS NEWS/AP) — The State Department is now requiring nearly all applicants for U.S. visas to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers. It’s a vast expansion of the Trump administration’s enhanced screening of potential immigrants and visitors.

In a move that’s just taken effect after approval of the revised application forms, the department says it has updated its immigrant and nonimmigrant visa forms to request the additional information, including “social media identifiers,” from almost all U.S. applicants.

The change, which was proposed in March 2018, is expected to affect about 15 million foreigners who apply for visas to enter the United States each year.

Social media, email and phone number histories had only been sought in the past from applicants who were identified for extra scrutiny, such as people who’d traveled to areas controlled by terrorist organizations. An estimated 65,000 applicants per year had fallen into that category.

The department says collecting the additional information from more applicants “will strengthen our process for vetting these applicants and confirming their identity.”

The new rules apply to virtually all applicants for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. The department estimated it would affect 710,000 immigrant visa applicants and 14 million nonimmigrant visa applicants, including those who want to come to the U.S. for business or education, according to an initial notice.

The new visa application forms list a number of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and require the applicant to provide any account names they may have had on them over the previous five years. They also give applicants the option to volunteer information about social media accounts on platforms not listed on the form.

In addition to their social media histories, visa applicants are now 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 are exempted from the requirements.

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4 comments

  1. Be careful what you say about TRAMP you will not be able to enter the USA

    (0)(0)
  2. SIR ARTHUR LEWIS

    We must continue buying our local goods and services, and support our local businesses(regional also). We must take care of own, country included.
    Everyone else seem to be locking down theirs. Self reliance.
    Booker T Washington
    W E B DU BOIS
    DR BEN
    DR CLARKE
    CHANCELLOR WILLIAMS
    DR JEFFERIES
    DR DIOP
    DR FINCH
    Professor Van Sertimah
    PROFESSOR THEOPHILE OBENGA
    DR Sebi
    PRO JAMES SMALLS
    ELIJAH MOHAMMAD
    FRED HAMPTON
    Thomas SANGAKARA
    DR MARTIN LUTHER KING
    NELSON & WINNIE MANDELLA
    KENUATTA JOMO
    Noble Drew Ali
    .........................

    Salute.

    Message - "Support your own"

    (1)(1)
  3. America has more domestic terrorist than any other countries look recently we had a shooting of 12 dead in Virginia Beach

    (4)(1)
  4. It good all these people who like to tell St Lucia kiss their ass it good for them I love my Lucia God bless St Lucia.butt

    (3)(2)
  5. Who need to visit the shut hole country anyway

    (7)(2)

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