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"What's Your IG Handle?" US Visa Applications Now Need Your Social Media Details

Applying for a visa before a trip to the US is a long established necessity, but soon, you might need to include a few more details to your application.

According to reports, applicants for US visas will soon need to submit their social media usernames and details, alongside five years’ worth of email addresses and phone numbers.

The new visa application forms will “list a number of social media platforms” and applicants need to provide the account names they’ve had on them over the last five years.

Forms will also “give applicants the option to volunteer information about social media accounts on platforms not listed on the form”.

Additionally, applicants will need to declare their international travel and deportation status and if any family members have been involved in terrorist activities.

Previously, only applicants who needed “additional vetting – such as people who had been to parts of the world controlled by terrorist groups” needed to hand over data.

The new rules will apply to “virtually all” applicants for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, and were proposed last year in March by the Trump administration.

The State Department estimated that around 710,000 immigrant visa applicants and 14 million nonimmigrant visa applicants will be affected by the new rules.

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

Only applicants for certain diplomatic and official visa types will be exempted, and those caught lying about their social media use “could face serious immigration consequences”, according to a report on The Hill.

Featured Image Credit: Greg Siskind on Twitter

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