Published On: Wed, Jun 7th, 2017

Some US visa applicants now required to provide social media handles

NEW-social-mediaWASHINGTON - Would-be visitors to the United States from the Caribbean and elsewhere may want to moderate their online interactions following the news that the US has begun asking some visa applicants to provide their identities on social media.

This addition to the Trump administration’s “extreme vetting” measures went into effect on May 25, according to an AFP report quoting a State Department official.

The official, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, said that the measure would apply to travellers thought to present a risk.

In a March 6 memorandum, President Donald Trump vowed to tighten controls on who could enter the United States, the better to weed out extremists who might pose a threat.

Consular officers can now demand extra information from applicants they deem to require “more rigorous national security vetting,” according to the US official.

“Such visa applicants will be asked to provide additional information, including their social media handles, prior passport numbers, additional information about family members, and a longer history of past travel, employment, and contact information,” the official said.

She nevertheless added that these changes would “affect only a fraction of one percent of the more than 13 million annual visa applicants worldwide.”

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