U.S. visa seekers to submit social media addresses, telephone numbers, emails

Trump administration wants social media information from anyone entering US

Trump administration wants social media information from anyone entering US

The State Department wants to require all us visa applicants to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers, vastly expanding the Trump administration's enhanced vetting of potential immigrants and visitors.

The proposals are part of a broader effort by the Trump administration to implement "extreme vetting" on immigration, the department said.

Other questions seek five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses and global travel whether the visa applicant has been deported or removed from any country and whether specified family members have been involved in terrorist activities, said the document which would be formally published today.

The public will have 60 days to comment on the State Department's proposed rule change.

The Department of State estimates that its revised visa process will affect 710,000 immigrant visa applicants attempting to enter the USA; its more limited review of travelers flagged for additional screening only affected an estimated 65,000 people.

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

The proposal, if approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), would require most immigrant and non-immigrant visa applicants to list all social media identities they have used in the past five years. They would be required to say if they had ever been deported from a country, or if any relatives had been involved in terrorist activity. Though, Crocetti explained that one's refusal to relinquish passwords or other non-public social media accounts can not be used as legal standing to deny approval or entrance.

The State Department estimates that the new visa forms would affect 710,000 immigrant and 14 million non-immigrant visa applicants. There are exemptions for diplomatic and official visas, the State Department said.

The changes would impact all applicants for immigrant and non-immigrant visas.

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