Show us your tweets: US unveils nosy new visa questionnaire

US Visa Rules Trump

Show us your tweets: US unveils nosy new visa questionnaire

USA visa applicants must now reportedly provide the username of every social media account they've had in the last five years.

The Trump Administration just rolled out a new set of questions for for USA visa applicants, making the process longer and more hard for many.

A State Department official told Reuters Wednesday that consular officials will only require applicants to provide additional information when they feel it is needed to "confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting".

Despite the Trump administration's strong-armed stance on tightening vetting procedures, the State Department previously said the heightened security measures would apply only to visa applicants deemed as a potential threat to national security and those "who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related ineligibilities".

The State Department, which issues visas to foreign nationals through its diplomatic missions across the world, said that it started implementing this new change from May 25.

President Donald Trump has vowed to increase national security and border protections, proposing to give more money to the military and make Mexico pay to build a wall along the southern US border.

The proposal is open to public comment till May 18, and if approved by Office of Management and Budget, it will apply for just 6 months instead of the usual three years.

Most controversially, Trump has also attempted to ban travel from six Muslim-majority countries, a decision that was struck down by several district courts in the country. However, immigration advocates and lawyers have voiced concerns that the extensive information asked for in the questionnaire is more likely to penalize applicants for an "honest mistake" like misremembering an old email or forgetting that YouTube is a social media website.

The new questions grant "arbitrary power" to consular officials to determine who gets a visa with no effective check on their decisions, said Babak Yousefzadeh, a San Francisco-based attorney and president of the Iranian American Bar Association.

Show us your tweets: US unveils nosy new visa questionnaire
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