US Visa now requires to submit Social media accounts

Posted: June 4, 2019 Updated: June 4, 2019 by onlineph | Filed under Government, Internet, Social Network, Technology, Travel.

United States Visa Applicants will now be required to submit any information about their social media accounts. These social media accounts should have been used for the past five years prior to the VISA application.

This used to be a requirement only when US officials deemed it necessary to further scrutinize an applicant’s personal details. However, Associated Press (AP) reported that the social media data is now needed both for immigrant and nonimmigrant visa forms. This additional required info was first suggested on March 2018 to incorporate it with against the watch lists generated by the US government.

US Visa now requires to submit Social media accounts

The accounts must give the US government its access to photos, locations, dates of birth and other personal data people commonly share of social media.

The visa application portal asks:

“Do you have a social media presence? Select from the list below each social media platform you have used within the last 5 years. In the space next to the platform’s name, enter the username or handle you have used on that platform. Please do not provide your passwords. If you have used more than one platform or more than one username or handle on a single platform, click the ‘Add Another’ button to list each one separately. If you have not used any of the listed social media platforms in the last 5 years, select ‘None.”

The said move is considered as a step up from a September 2017 measure to have extraordinary broad surveillance.

On the other hand, Hina Shamsi, of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project voiced out that this kind of monitoring will only lead people to speak less freely in their social media. This will also result in suspicion of surveillance of travelers and their circle of friends and business associates. The US government failed to explain how they will identify which person is a threat based on their social media. There are no clear indicators.

As of the moment, the visa application portal asks for various social media platforms such as Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, and YouTube. Only applicants for diplomatic or official VISAs will be exempted from this requirement.

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