US to request five years of social media history for visa applicants

The Trump administration is working on changing visa applications procedure. The new change may require all applicants to show five years of their social media history. This particular move is a major decision of President Trump’s effort to implement “extreme vetting” for letting people get in the country. The idea is to change the current procedure and implement a new way to see how immigrants and visitors to the U.S. are verified, processed.

The new rule would ask foreigners applying for a visa to include their social media usernames on social media websites including Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, as well as previous email addresses. This information would be from the last five years.

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According to the ABC news, the State Department has filed a notice of the proposed change, estimates it is going to affect 14.71 million applicants. This will also impact students, people applying for vocation or business visa.

“Maintaining robust screening standards for visa applicants is a dynamic practice that must adapt to emerging threats,”

State Department spokesperson for the Bureau of Consular Affairs Virginia Elliott told ABC News. “Collecting this additional information from visa applicants will strengthen our process for vetting these applicants and confirming their identity.”

Before the terror attack in San Bernardino that killed 14 people, the U.S. generally did not allow officials to check the social media posts of applicants due to civil liberties concerns.

After the attack, President Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” and the new rule is made to verify that no Anti US sentiments holder enters the country.

The news originally appeared on ABC News

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