To get USA visa you must give all media accounts

To get USA visa you must give all media accounts

To get USA visa you must give all media accounts

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What just happened? The Trump administration is bringing in new rules first proposed in March 2018, whereby visa applicants must hand over details of any social media channels they have, as well as any email addresses and phone numbers from the last five years.

The US State Department updated its immigrant and nonimmigrant visa forms to request additional information from most US applicants, including "social media identifiers".

The administration expects the move to affect almost 15 million would-be immigrants to the United States, according to the documents.

"National security is our top priority when adjudicating visa applications, and every prospective traveler and immigrant to the United States undergoes extensive security screening", the State Department said, according to Time.

"We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes to protect U.S. citizens, while supporting legitimate travel to the United States".

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Since its early days, the administration has been telegraphing a desire to more closely dig through the backgrounds and social media histories of foreign travellers, but Thursday's move is the first time that it will formally require virtually all applicants to come to the United States to disclose that information.

Critics complain the moves, amid broader efforts by the administration, are not only invasive on privacy grounds, but also effectively limit legal immigration to the USA by slowing the process down, making it more burdensome and making it more hard to be accepted for a visa.

According to the official's statement, the move is a result of a memorandum issued by President Donald Trump in 2017 on "vetting" for people coming to the USA and a provision of an executive order from around the same time that sought to block entry to the United States for people from several majority-Muslim countries, which included a provision on vetting standards.

Previously, social media information had only been collected from people who warranted additional security vetting. In addition to requiring the five years of social media history, the application will also ask for previous telephone numbers, email addresses, prior immigration violations and any family history of involvement in terrorist activities, according to the notice.

"There is a real risk that social media vetting will unfairly target immigrants and travellers from Muslim-majority countries for discriminatory visa denials, without doing anything to protect national security."

Applicants will also need to provide their phone numbers, email addresses, worldwide travel and deportation status from the past five years, according to Time.

An estimated 65,000 applicants per year had fallen into that category. While little has been done so far to bring down the number of people coming to the country, new changes have been made to empower immigration officials when screening applications.

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