U.S. now asking for social media accounts in visa vetting

June 2 (UPI) — U.S. embassies have begun asking new visa applicants to disclose their social media accounts as part of a new questionnaire approved by the Office of Budget and Management.

A voluntary, three-page questionnaire, supplemental to the visa application process, was rolled out on May 25 as a temporary measure in response to President Donald Trump‘s May 6 memo calling for enhanced screening. Trump called for “extreme vetting” of foreigners seeking to come to the United States as he ran for the presidency.

The questionnaire asks applicants for all email names and names used on social media accounts — their Internet “handles” — in the past five years, as well as passport numbers, travel histories, sources of funding for trips, employment histories, and names of spouses or partners in the past 15 years. Disclosure of passwords is not requested, although the Trump administration earlier considered that requirement. It advises that, although the responses are voluntary, a lack of answers to questions could delay the visa process.

The State Department estimates that about 65,000 of 13 million annual visa applications will be subject to extra scrutiny.

A State Department spokesperson said the requested social media information will apply to those “who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security related visa ineligibilities.”

During a public comment period prior to the approval of the new rules, the American Civil Liberties Union called the questionnaire overly broad, adding that social media information would imperil the privacy and freedom of applicants and of any U.S. citizens with whom they may have communicated.

Betsy Lawrence of the American Immigration Lawyers Association said information provided on the questionnaire could be difficult to document, and a simple error in answering questions could create a suspicion of fraud.

View the original article: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2017/06/02/US-now-asking-for-social-media-accounts-in-visa-vetting/5391496409183/

“There are already screening protocols in place, and we have seen significant delays for legitimate travel to the United States for family or work purposes. This might create even greater barriers for people,” Lawrence said.

In the same category are

ICE planning more jails across U.S. to house immigrants Oct. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to build more jails in the United States to house additional undocumented migrants, a ...
Judge declines to dismiss corruption charges against Menendez Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A federal judge Monday refused to throw out any of the 18 charges -- including bribery -- in the corruption case against U.S. Sen. Ro...
Maria Sharapova wins Tianjin Open for first title since 2015 Maria Sharapova ended a victory drought of more than two years Sunday by posting a 7-5, 7-6 (8) victory over upstart Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in the...
Truck bomb kills more than two dozen in Mogadishu Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Officials said a truck bomb exploded Saturday in a busy intersection of Mogadishu, Somalia, killing and injuring dozens and destroyin...
Tim Horton’s releases ‘Buffalo spice’ latte Oct. 13 (UPI) -- A pair of Tim Horton's locations in Buffalo, N.Y., have introduced a new drink combining Buffalo-flavor seasoning and seasonal lattes...
Justice Dept. gives ‘last chance’ for sanctuary cities to comply Oct. 12 (UPI) -- The Justice Department on Thursday sent out a "last chance" warning for several U.S. cities to comply with federal immigration laws, ...

Dont forget to “Like” us on Facebook

Need something to share, visit our sister site for the

‘News in the last 30 days”

in a clear concise package ….


If you are an artist or interested in art, visit our art website and read about todays artscene and browse some of our artist profiles


Comment on this story