On 1st June, 2019, US President Donald Trump’s administration passed a policy which makes it mandatory for most visa applicants to submit a record of the social medial details over the last five years.
Barring certain diplomatic and official visa applicants, all other applicants have to submit their social media records, email addresses, and phone numbers over the last 5 years. Previously, these details needed to be submitted only if the applicant had travelled to parts of the world that were controlled by terrorist organisations. Additionally, they now also need to submit records of international travel, deportation details as well as details of any family members involved in terrorist activities.
This new policy has been introduced to protect the national security by aiming to improve the vetting process. They need to submit details of social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube. Applicants will also have the option of stating that they do not have any social media accounts. However, lying on the form would imply serious immigration results.
It can affect up to 15 million people who apply for US visas each year which includes 7,10,000 immigrant visa applicants and 14 million non-immigrant visa applicants. It also includes those who want to come to the US for business or education.