Trump administration approves tougher visa vetting, including social media checks
WASHINGTON: The Trump administration has launched a new questionnaire for US visa applicants worldwide demanding social media over the last five years and biographical data dating back 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 all previous passport numbers, five social media functions, email addresses and telephone numbers and 15 years of biographical information, including address, employment and travel history.
Officials ask for additional information to decide “that information is needed to confirm identity or to conduct a more rigorous national security review,” a State Department official said Wednesday.
The State Department previously said that the most serious verification would apply to visa applicants “who were determined to warrant further verification as part of terrorism or other national visa-related security obligations.”
President Donald Trump has pledged to increase national security and border protection by proposing to give more money to the military and the payment of 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 indicates that the information can not delay or prevent the processing of an individual visa application.
Lawyers and immigration lawyers say that the demand for 15 years of detailed biographical information, as well as the expectation that applicants will remember all forms of their social media, are likely to contract candidates who make innocent mistakes or do not remember All the requested information.
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.”