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U.S. Visa Applicants Must Now Provide Their Social Media Accounts

Posted on in Immigration

Stamford immigration lawyer

The U.S. State Department will now require applicants to provide additional information when filling out their visa application forms. This additional vetting is a part of a more significant effort by the State Department to both increase national security and provide greater clarity to the visa application process. As of June 2019, when visa applicants fill out their visa application form, they will be asked to provide all the social media profiles, email accounts, and phone numbers they have used in the last five years. In addition, applicants must submit information regarding previous international travel, any deportation statuses, and whether any family member has been involved in terrorist activity.

The Background of the Decision

In previous years, visa applicants were not asked this additional information unless it was believed that extra scrutiny was required, such as when applicants originated from regions where terrorist groups were known to be active. However, with the flood of immigrants into Europe and other areas around the world from these areas, there has been a growing fear that members of terrorist cells will seek to use what have traditionally been secure immigration and travel routes to enter the United States.

What Is the Justification for the Policy?

The argument for such a policy is that radical groups, regardless of their belief systems, all use social media to indoctrinate potential members. The instigators of many terrorist acts, such as the San Bernardino and Christchurch shootings, all had indicated the potential for violence on their social media accounts. Such postings involved interactions with official or unofficial accounts associated with violent groups and individuals.

How Does This Affect the Visa Application Progress?  

The new requirements make the visa process more stressful and challenging by forcing honest and upstanding individuals who want to enter the United States to learn, work, or become an American citizen to provide a great deal more information. Theoretically, if your Internet and travel history shows no involvement with radical groups, providing this additional information can be unnecessary. However, what may seem like an innocuous travel or social media activity may be interpreted in a negative way. This could possibly prevent you from receiving your long-awaited visa.

Contact a Fairfield County Immigration Visa Application Attorney

The additional requirements for the visa application process can complicate your goal of obtaining your visa. Clicking on or “liking” a random post on social media years ago could put that visa in jeopardy. This is why you need the diligent Darien, CT immigration lawyer at Gonzalez Law Office, LLC. We will work with you to help you navigate the visa application process smoothly. Contact our office today at 203-323-1440 to learn more about visa applications or to address your concerns about the immigration process.

 

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/us/san-bernardino-attacks-us-visa-process-tashfeen-maliks-remarks-on-social-media-about-jihad-were-missed.html

https://www.apnews.com/c96a215355b242e58107c2125c18fc4a

 

Fairfield County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut American Immigration Lawyers Association
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