Most applicants for a visa for the United States will now be required to submit their social media information along with their visa applications. This new policy of the Trump administration has gone into effect over the weekend. It applies to most visa applicants, including those visiting the country temporarily, and they will need to list their social media identifiers in a drop-down menu along with some other personal information.
Applicants will be given the option to say that they do not use social media if they really don’t maintain an online presence. However, a State Department official told The Hill that applicants who lie about their social media use could face “serious immigration consequences” for not being truthful.
The drop-down menu only includes major social media networks for now the official added that applicants will soon be able to list all of the sites that they use. “This is a critical step forward in establishing enhanced vetting of foreign nationals seeking entry into the United States,” said the official, adding that “This will be a vital tool to screen out terrorists, public safety threats, and other dangerous individuals from gaining immigration benefits and setting foot on U.S. soil.”
These social media identifiers will then be incorporated into a background check that’s conducted on visa applicants. Their identifiers will be checked against watchlists that are generated by the government.