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United States proposal seeks 5 years of social media data from visa applicants

31 March 2018

Applicants would also have to submit past telephone numbers, email addresses and travel history.

According to the documents, approximately 14 million people would be affected by the new proposals and another 700,000 would be affected in the immigration system.

The U.S. government wants to require all USA visa applicants, both immigrant and non-immigrant, to disclose their social media handles to the USA government, State Department proposals showed on Friday as part of President Donald Trump's policy of "extreme vetting".

The online form will provide a list of social media platforms - presumably the major ones - and "requires the applicant to provide any identifiers used by applicants for those platforms during the five years preceding the date of application".

The state department estimates the new proposal would affect approximately 710,000 people applying for immigrant visas and almost 14 million people applying for nonimmigrant visas to enter the country on business or for education purposes.

The new move is expected to affect almost 14 million visitors and about 700,000 migrants, said the department.

The US State Department today published public notices for both nonimmigrant visa and immigrant visa (and alien registration) applications.

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In turn, DHS established a task force for using social media to screen immigration applicants.

The State Department will propose these new requirements on Friday, Bloomberg reports.

This proposal comes in line with President Trump's 2016 campaign pledge to harshen security measurements on illegal immigration, and his call for "extreme vetting" of foreigners entering the United States.

The U.S. State Department in a statement said it wants the public to comment on the proposed new requirements, which will affect almost 15 million foreigners who apply for visas to enter the U.S. each year.

There is also no criteria to guide how the social media information should be used in the decision making process about visas, the release added.

In addition, visitors travelling on diplomatic and official visas will mostly be exempted.

United States proposal seeks 5 years of social media data from visa applicants