The US administration led by Donald Trump has given instructions to all its diplomatic missions in the world in order to recognize specific groups that require additional scrutiny and implement a strict screening process for offering visas.
A diplomatic cable issued by Rex Tillerson, the U.S. Secretary of State said that the applicants of US visa including business and tourist visas would be asked to furnish residence and employment details for last 15 years. They will also have to give details of the phone numbers used by them in the last five years, added the cable statement.
This cable was dispatched on March 15 and says that the extra protocols have been formulated to prohibit arrival of overseas nationals to the US who may commit, support or aid terrorist, criminal or violent acts. It is also to ensure that those permitted to arrive at the US are strictly scrutinized.
The confidential cable also asks its diplomatic posts overseas to urgently formulate criterions that would ensure a strict screening process for issuing visas to overseas nationals.
The cable further instructs officers issuing the visas to ask extra questions to the visa applicants. They would also have to ask the applicants to reveal details of their social media accounts, emails and phone numbers that they have used in the previous five years.
The cable from Mr. Tillerson also restricts the daily visa interviews that can be conducted by a visa officer. It advises that diplomatic posts should normally not schedule more than 120 interviews for visas every day to ensure that adequate attention is given to each visa applicant.
At the same time, the cable acknowledges that this could result in backlogs being created for the appointment of interviews. The officers at Consulate offices must not shy away from rejecting any case that poses security concerns. Every decision to approve a visa is a decision involving national security, said Tillerson.
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