US social media screening rules go into effect for all US visa applicants

Nearly all applicants for US visas will have to submit their social media details under newly adopted rules

Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay

The US government wants all US visa applicants to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers, AP reported. The new screening rules, which want a five-year social media and email history, have gone into effect, the State Department said. The change was proposed in March 2018 and is expected to affect about 15 million people who apply for visas to enter the US each year. us visa social media check

We already request certain contact information, travel history, family member information, and previous addresses from all visa applicants,” the State Department said in a statement. “We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes to protect U.S. citizens, while supporting legitimate travel to the United States.”

Before, social media, email and phone number histories had only been sought from applicants who came under extra security attention, such as people who had traveled to areas controlled by terrorist organizations. An estimated 65,000 applicants per year fall into that category.

The new rules apply to virtually all applicants for immigrant (710,000 per year) and non-immigrant (14 million) visas; the latter is for people coming to the US for business or education. The Trump administration first proposed the rules in March 2018.

How does immigration check your social media?

Social media platforms listed on the forms will include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The agency says it will not ask for passwords and will only look at publicly available information to determine whether an applicant “poses a law enforcement or national security risk to the United States.”

How much time does it take to get a US visa after the interview?

It takes from 3 to 5 weeks for a US visa application to get processed. After the processing, the applicant can get a positive reply on their application, and the consulate will deliver the document. The delivery of the visa can take up to two other workdays.

us visa social media check

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