In an attempt to have stringent visa scrutiny processes, the US administration has approved several measures that include seeking social media details for the past five years of the visa applicants and individual details for past fifteen years.
US Office of Management and Budget approved the new questionnaire on May 23, 2017, that intends to toughen the scrutiny of immigrant arrivals to the nation. It has been argued by the critics that the new format of the questionnaire will result in prolonged delays in visa processing, would be extremely taxing and demotivate overseas scientists and students from arriving at the US, as quoted by AOL.
As per the new visa scrutiny process, visa applicants can be asked by the consular office to reveal details of all earlier passports held, five years records of social media accounts, contact numbers, e-mail addresses and individual details of past fifteen years that includes travel history, employment, and addresses.
The additional details will be demanded by the US officials when they conclude that obtaining these details are needed to affirm identity or for increased scrutiny in the interest of US national security, as informed by an official of the US State Department. The department further elaborated that the enhanced scrutiny of visa applications would be applicable for individuals who have been assessed to be detrimental to national security or in association with terrorism.
It has been avowed by US President Donald Trump to enhance measures for national security and protection of US borders and to increase the budgetary allocation for the armed forces.
In a rarity, the US Office of Management and Budget authorized the new format of the questionnaire for six months, deviating from the normal three-year period. Though the new questionnaire is voluntary in nature, the form also specifies that if the applicants fail to share the information their visa applications may be delayed or even refused.
It has been opined by the experts in the Immigration industry that the new stringent visa scrutiny measures such as individual details of past fifteen years and details of all social media accounts will make applicants with oversight or lesser memory more vulnerable.
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