The Trump administration is set to implement new legislation requiring individuals who wish to apply U.S. visas to disclose their social media information.
According to the U.S. Department of State official, the new requirement will serve as “vital tool to screen out terrorists, public safety threats, and other dangerous individuals” from entering the country and gaining immigration benefits, as reported by the Hill.
“This is a critical step forward in establishing enhanced vetting of foreign nationals seeking entry into the United States,” the official told The Hill.
“As we’ve seen around the world in recent years, social media can be a major forum for terrorist sentiment and activity.”
The new law will apply to most U.S. visa applicants including non-immigrant, students, tourists, and business visas where they will need to share their social media accounts in a drop-down menu.
— The Hill (@thehill) May 31, 2019
The current drop-down menu contains all major social media platforms but in the future, applicants can list out all sites they use.
There is also an option to indicate if they do not use social media.
According to the U.S. Department of State officials, applicants who are found to lie on their applications could face “serious immigration consequences.”
If a visa applicant claims that they do not have a social media account but is found to have one, they could be permanently banned from getting a U.S. visa, the official told Breitbart.
The new policy will also require the applicants to disclose more detailed information about where they have previously traveled for the same reason.
According to Reuters, the new law will affect 14.7 million people annually.
The department said last year that applicants may also be required to submit five years record of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses and international travel history.
— Steve Parks (@steveparks) May 31, 2019
They may also be asked if they have been deported or removed from any country and whether their family members have been involved in terrorist activities.
However, the U.S. Department of State also said it doesn’t intend to routinely ask most diplomatic and official visa applicants for additional information.
Credit: The Epoch Times