Tighter visa rules: US wants social media details, travel info of past 15 years

Tighter visa rules: US wants social media details, travel info of past 15 years

Trump administration launched a new questionnaire for United States visa applicants worldwide requiring social media over the past five years and biographical information dating back to 15 years.

The new questions, as part of an effort to strengthen control of potential visitors to the United States, were approved on May 23 by the Office of Management and Budget, despite criticism from various education officials and university groups during A period of public comment.

Critics argued that the new questions would be too cumbersome, lead to long delays in treatment and deter international students and scientists from coming to the United States.

With the new procedure, consular officials can request previous passport numbers, five social media functions, email addresses and phone numbers and 15 years of biographical information, including addresses, employment and travel history.

Officials are requesting additional information to decide “whether the information is needed to confirm identity or to conduct more stringent national security controls,” a State Department official said Wednesday. The State Department earlier said that tighter control would apply to visa applicants was instrumental in justifying further verification as part of terrorism or other visa restrictions related to national security. ”

US President Donald Trump has pledged to increase national security and border protection by proposing to give more money to the military and to pay Mexico to build a wall along the southern border of the United States.

An attempt was made to establish a temporary travel ban for people from six predominantly Muslim countries in which a US appeals court refused to rejoin the discrimination of calls and the establishment of a confrontation before the Supreme Court.

The Office of Administration and Budget has granted emergency authorization for the new six-month issues instead of the usual three years.

Although the new questions are voluntary, the form states that information may delay or prevent the processing of an individual visa application. Lawyers and immigration lawyers say the demand for 15 years of detailed biographical information as well as the expectation that bidders will remember all their social media functions, likely to contract candidates who make innocent mistakes or do not remember all the information requested.

The new questions give consular officials “arbitrary power” to determine who gets a visa without effective control of their decisions, said Babak Yousefzadeh, a San Francisco-based lawyer and president of the Iran Bar Association.

“The United States has one of the strictest visa application processes in the world,” said Yousefzadeh. “The need to further strengthen the implementation process is  unknown and unclear.”

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