US visa seekers will now have to submit their social media handles
- Visa applicants seeking entry to the US will now have to submit their social media accounts, according to new visa norms.
- The US State Department Policy is seeking access to their account information, photos, location and publicly shared data on their profiles.
- The idea of tracking social media accounts was proposed last year, expected to affect 14.7 million people annually.
- According to Rahul Reddy, an expert who specializes in business-related immigration, the policy will affect nearly 1.2 million Indians annually.
US visa applicants will now have to submit their social media handles they have used in the past five years. They will have to give access to their account information, photos, location and publicly shared data on their profiles. Moreover, applicants are also required to submit their previous email addresses and phone numbers.
Talking of the tightened visa norms, the department reportedly said that "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 idea of tracking social media accounts was proposed last year, and was expected to affect 14.7 million people annually.
While a similar policy has been in place for applicants who have been to the countries prone to terror activities, the recent move is new for applicants seeking visa for work-related opportunities and studying at American universities.
In case anyone is found lying about their social media profiles, they may face "serious immigration consequences," BBC reported citing a government official.
The move will likely affect Indian emigrants in large numbers. According to Rahul Reddy, a business-related immigration specialist, the policy will affect nearly 1.2 million Indians annually, The Hindu reported.
The move has already faced criticism. The American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) has said it finds the move “deeply problematic and ineffective.”
Trump may have an ugly surprise for H-1B visa applicants
US Immigration is denying more H1-B visas than ever before — without notice or authority
Indians seeking UK visa will now have to shell out a lot more