With an aim to get more information about the US visa applicants, the US federal government is considering collecting social media identities from almost all people who wish to enter their country, according to a filing of State Department on 30 March.
If this proposal is approved by the OMB (Office of Management and Budget), most US visa applicants would need to submit all social media identities that have been used by them in the past five years.
This information is to be used to scrutinize and identify 14.7 million people annually if the proposal it gets approved.
The proposals are in line with the promise of Donald Trump, the US President, to introduce ‘extreme vetting’ of foreign nationals visiting America to pre-empt terrorism.
Earlier, as per rules put in place in May 2017, instructions were given to consular officials to collect social media information only when they felt that this information was needed to verify their identity or conduct national security vetting more rigorously, it was stated by a State Department official at the time.
The State Department was quoted as saying by Reuters then that rigorous vetting would be applicable only to people who have been decided to be scrutinized more with respect to terrorism or other visa irregularities relating to national security.
Published in the Federal Register on 30 March, the public will have 60 days to express their views on the revised procedures before it is approved or rejected by the OMB.
If this proposal is approved, the applicants would also need to submit details of email ids, telephone numbers and their international travel information in five years.
If you are looking to travel to the US, talk to Y-Axis, the world’s No.1 immigration and visa consultancy, to apply for a visa.