The US government wants to check social media handles before giving a green card

BCCL

  • The United States’ Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is planning to loop in the citizens already in the US in its social media identification process.
  • It will include people applying for citizenship, green cards or H1-B visas along with the existing green card holders seeking re-entry into the country.
  • The proposal, which was laid out in the Federal Register on 4 September, is out for public opinion for two months.
  • Previously, the US government said that the visa applicants will have to submit the social media handles that they have used in the past five years.
The Donald Trump government may add a new layer to its immigration rules for foreign citizens.

The United States’ Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is planning to loop in the citizens already in the US as a part of its social media identification process. The proposal will require the citizens in the country to fill in several forms to obtain a green card or permanent residency in the US.

The proposal will cover those applying for citizenship, green cards or H1-B visas along with those who are green card holders and are seeking re-entry into the country, TOI reported citing Rajiv Khanna, managing attorney at Immigration.com.

In cases where social media handles are not provided in the form, applications will still be processed. But, they might get delayed. “It is yet to be seen how the forms will be designed to accommodate those who do not provide social media identification,” he added.

The proposal, which was laid out in the Federal Register on 4 September, is out for public opinion for two months. It is likely to affect Indians opting for US citizenship. In 2017, 50,000 Indians received US citizenship, while 60,000 successfully obtained green cards.

Previously, the US government said that visa applicants will have to submit social media handles hey have used in the past five years. This is to give access to their account information, photos, location and publicly shared data on their profiles.

It was for applicants seeking visa for work-related opportunities and studying at American universities.

The Trump government, in fact, permitted the immigration officials to fabricate new accounts in order to access the social media profiles of those applying for green cards and citizenship, TOI noted.

The idea of tracking social media accounts was proposed last year. "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 earlier said.

See also:
The Indian government wants a handle on students' social media profiles —and that has sparked an outrage

US visa seekers will now have to submit their social media handles

Trump plans a 15% cap on H-1B visas — and Indians will be hurt the most
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