US visa applicants to now submit 5-year social media details

Under the new rules by the State Department, all the visa applicants for the United States will now have to submit their social media details to obtain a visa. The new rules also demand five years’ worth of email addresses and phone numbers from the US visa applicants.

When proposed last year, authorities estimated the proposal would affect 14.7 million people annually. Certain diplomatic and official visa applicants will be exempt from the stringent new measures. However, people who travel to the US for work and study will have to provide their details.

The department said, “We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes to protect US citizens, while supporting legitimate travel to the United States.”

Earlier, only people who are associated with the world controlled by the various terrorists’ groups were required to hand over their information. However, the new rules would require all the US visa applicants to submit their social media details.

An official said that anyone who lies about their social media usage could face serious consequences. The Donald Trump administration had first proposed the rules in March 2018.

At the time, the American Civil Liberties Union – a civil rights group – said there is “no evidence that such social media monitoring is effective or fair”, and said it would cause people to self-censor themselves online.

US President Donald Trump made cracking down on immigration a key plank of his election campaign in 2016. The proposal is President Donald Trump’s ‘extreme vetting’ of immigrants initiative which is looking at anything which could render terroristic tendencies.

On Friday Trump vowed to impose gradually rising tariffs on Mexico unless the country curbed illegal immigration at the US southern border.

With IANS inputs


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