US Visa Applicants Must provide Social Media Details
According to APnews.com yesterday, United States (US) Visa applicants must provide their social media details such as username. On top of that, the US visa applicants must also submit previous email addresses and phone numbers for the past five years.
The following is the statement as reported in APnews.com.
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.
The new visa application forms 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. 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.
For Malaysians, we need to apply the US Tourist Visa and with this new ruling, you need to fill in your social media usernames (eg. Facebook and Instagram username), previous email addresses and phone numbers in the past five years.
There is no exact date on the start of this ruling but we don’t see this a huge problem. This is another screening on your social media activities and your email address or phone numbers. There is also request on International travel and deportation status and also if any family members involved in terrorist activities.
Make sure you don’t post any negativity news on US on your social media accounts since they will screen them now. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
We are planning to revisit US in the future and we will be updating more US Visa news from time to time. Our old US Visa has expired so we are planning to get a new US tourist Visa in the near future. US is always part of our travel plans but the question is when is the right time for us to revisit US. Check out our previous posts on New York.