State Department Proposed Regulations Call for Review of Social Media Identities, Other Info for Visa Applicants; Public Comments Due 5/29/2018
April 2, 2018
On March 30, the Department of State issued 2 proposed regulations to modify the application forms for nonimmigrant visas and immigrant visas to solicit social media identities of applicants, going back 5 years preceding an application. The Department of State intends to add and remove from the specified list of social media platforms over time. In addition, the proposed regulations indicate that the Department of State will seek 5 years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses and international travel, as well as prior immigration violations (removals or deportations) in any country, and whether certain family members have been involved in terrorist activities.
Visitors coming to the U.S. from visa waiver countries are not required to apply for visa stamps, though it is possible they will be subject to similar types of questions when they seek admission to the U.S. at border points or airport inspection.
The government will be accepting public comments about the proposed rules for 60 days, until May 29, 2018. Sometime after that, final rules may be promulgated and will take effect.