Applying for a US Visa now requires you to submit your Social Media accounts

If you are planning to apply for a new Visa to the USA now, you will now be required to submit your social media information to the US government as a part of the necessary information in your visa forms. This new requirement was introduced on May 31, 2019, for most visa applicants, including temporary visitors. This requirement has been put in place per an order to put extreme vetting into place for visitors to the USA, which was set in motion via an Executive order in 2017.

Applicants will be required to list their social media identifiers, in a drop-down menu format, along with other information needed for the visa. One will need to provide all Social Media accounts used over the past five years.  They can also choose to say they don’t use Social Media, but as per The Hill, who talked to some officials in the US State Department, said that if the visa applicant lies about the social media use, they could face serious immigration consequences. 

US Visa Social Media

US Visa Social Media Questions

The US Government claims that this move is to screen the social media of applicants to weed out terrorist and public safety threats from getting on the US soil. The US Government claims that the social media identifiers will be incorporated into background check reviews against US Government watchlists as well.

In addition to social media histories, visa applicants are also going to be required to submit five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses, international travel and deportation status, as well as a declaration if any family members have been involved in terrorist activities. Only applicants for certain diplomatic and official visa types are exempted from the requirements.

An estimated 15 million people apply for some US Visa every year, and earlier, about 65,000 of them were asked to supply such information because of extra scrutiny requirements.

 

Bottomline

There is no getting around the fact that to access the USA, you will now have to provide more information than you would be comfortable with earlier. This might also set off a trend where other governments would even start imposing such requirements and social media might begin to become patrol media rather than just fun.

What do you make of the new move from the US government to collect Social Media histories from Visa applicants?

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Comments

  1. i submitted my US visa application on 21 May 2019 and i have appointment on 17 and 18 July. that time there was no option for for sharing social media accounts. now what should i do how can i share or do i need to submit again visa application.
    thanks in advance to all.
    Bhagwan Soni

  2. “required to submit five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses,”

    Can anyone pls tell me how i’m supposed to remember all the people i’ve called to/called to me and those i’ve sent/received emails from during the last 5 years?
    How many people have that kind of photographic memory. I don’t!O.A

    • I’m certain it means YOUR previously used numbers and email addresses.

      Of course they don’t expect you to keep a call record of the last 5 years.

  3. US is right to do it, since most terrorists have connection to other people who agree with their beliefs. On top of it, US is a target so they have the right to prevent possible problems in their country.

  4. Apparently the USG is no longer interested in visitors coming to visit (and spend their money in) the US. No problem, I am sure they will find a more welcoming destination elsewhere.

    • We believe we are welcoming, but only to those who wish not to harm us. In addition, I think if I were a visitor from another country, I would want to know that I would not encounter a terrorist either on a plane or inside the country.

      • Will this new ruling apply to ESTA applicants as well? And also, is Donald Trump ruling that anyone criticising his policies whilst communicating on social media be denied entry and/or face a ban from entry into the USA as well?

  5. Bottom line, if you put it on the internet there is no expectation of privacy. There is also no guaranteed right to enter the US or any other country. I don’t like it because I know this will lead to the government wanting access to the accounts of citizens as well.

  6. You don’t have to like the rules that any country has that you have to comply with before they will allow you to enter. It is their country, therefore their rules. If you don’t like their rules then go somewhere else. Simple as that.

  7. This is a message for the US inteligent service , my name is Philippe Launay ,living in a French city close to the Swiss border called Ferne-Voltaire, ( it will be more easy to find me) ,fistly I visited Iran last April 2019 , secondly forbid me for life to go to USA . The world is big enough to visit, where is the supposed concept of “fredom”?

    • You have the “freedom” to visit any country that you choose to. However, every country also has the “freedom” to put in place any rules for visitors that they choose to. If you don’t like the entry rules established by any country then you have the “freedom” to go elsewhere. Their country, their rules.

      This same “freedom” applies to your property. You have the “freedom” to deny entry to your house by anybody who you don’t approve of, for any reason that you wish. Your house, your rules.

  8. Oh no. I have a “fake” Facebook account because I hate the way Facebook tracks you. Good that it’s only the past 5 years because about 10 years ago, I created about 15 fake Facebook accounts just for gags, most of which I forgot the names and passwords. I only use my “real” Facebook account at home but I rarely use that now because Facebook is for old people. Young people use Instagram and Twitter.

      • Indeed. The NSA will have your IP address, as well as all the packets sent to and from it. They will be able to routinely check this, since it is all automated, and packets going to social media servers will easily be identified, since their IP addresses are known.

        Any mismatch between the traffic you say that you create and the traffic that is monitored will show up as a reason to probe deeper into your application.

        I am quite thankful that when I started using the Internet, many years ago, I installed a hardware firewall incorporating a VPN at the point where it enters my house – making my traffic unable to be tracked. Everyone laughed at me for doing this in 2001…..

  9. Social media was always the escape from societal boundaries to freedom for me. This is extremely sad that people will now judge me for using social media too

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