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United States government plans to ask visa applicants for social media history

02 April 2018

It expands the Trump administration's plan to evaluate threats and benefits associated with potential immigrants and visitors. If adopted, it will affect nearly 15 million people who apply for a U.S. visa every year, the vast majority of which are tourists and those who travel to the country for business or education purposes.

"Applicants will be required to identify which they use and provide any identifiers used by applicants for those platforms during the five years preceding the date of application".

According to notices submitted by the State Department on Thursday, set for formal publication on Friday, the government plans to require almost all visa applicants to the U.S. to submit five years of social media handles for specific platforms identified by the government - and with an option to list handles for other platforms not explicitly required.

Other questions seek five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses and worldwide travel whether the visa applicant has been deported or removed from any country and whether specified family members have been involved in terrorist activities, said the document which would be formally published today.

They will be forced to reveal all social media accounts deployed in the last five years.

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The suggestion, which is from the state department, would request details about the social media accounts from the visa applicants.

But now, every applicant will be required to include five years of social media usernames on their application - some 15 million foreigners who apply for us visas each year - although certain diplomatic and official visa applicants would usually be exempt.

The administration expects the move to affect almost 15 million would-be immigrants to the United States, according to the documents.

Only applicants for certain diplomatic and official visa types may be exempted from the requirements, the documents said.

United States government plans to ask visa applicants for social media history