Social Media account disclosure is now part of visa processing
The U.S. Department of State has begun implementing a requirement, long championed by President Trump’s White House, for U.S. visa applicants to disclose certain social media activity over the past five years. Applicants will have to provide social media memberships from a dropdown menu of specific websites and apps (see image), as well as their personal account names, nicknames, handles, or other identifying information. Applicants will not have to disclose passwords for these accounts.
We also need to point out that this particular requirement applies only to applications that require Consular Processing to enter or return to the United States. This includes fiancé visas and Lawful Permanent Residence (“green card”) processes that involve consular processing.
The underlying reasoning for this move is to continue President Trump’s promise of “extreme vetting” in order to prevent the entry of terrorists. Immigration officers will be able to browse the disclosed social media accounts seeking red flags for potential threats. According to the State Department, failure to disclose such information could lead to “serious immigration consequences.”
Critics of the move suggest that there is no evidence that having this information will lead to the prevention of terrorist attacks. Rather, they believe the intent is actually to intimidate visa applicants with additional surveillance methods, as well as dissuading aspiring immigrants with further red tape. It’s one more tactic in President Trump’s war on immigrants.
While we agree with these critics, we hope that everyone seeking the types of visas with this social media requirement is not dissuaded. It is your right to apply for immigration benefits, and we will help you every step of the way. We have access to a large database similar to what Immigration has, in case you have forgotten a membership.
Of course, we advise all of our clients to be “Social Media Smart” by not posting any information about potentially illegal activity. For instance, the use of marijuana, even if it is legal in your state, remains illegal at the federal level, so it can compromise your approval.
Please see this article for more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/02/us/us-visa-application-social-media.html