It was reported not too long ago that the administration was considering putting new requirements in place for United States visa applications across the globe. Among other things, the applicants would be asked to provide their social media handles. The new requirements have now been approved and are required as part of the disclosures for revised visa applications. The decision comes from the government’s Office of Management and Budget which made it despite concerns and objects from academic and education groups.

As part of the new visa requirements, applications will have to provide social media handles, email addresses, and phone numbers for the past five years as well as biographical information that goes back 15 years. These new measures are part of an effort to further vet prospective visitors to the United States before they’re issued with a visa.

However, critics feel that this step isn’t required and that it’s going to be burdensome. They feel that this is going to cause long delays in processing which is going to discourage international students and scientists from coming to the United States.

Reuters quotes an unnamed State Department official who added that additional information could be requested from the applicants when it’s felt that “such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting.”

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