The Department of State updated its immigrant and nonimmigrant visa application forms to request additional information, including social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers, from most U.S. visa applicants worldwide.
According to The State Department, collecting this additional information “will strengthen our process for vetting these applicants and confirming their identity.”
The new visa application forms list different social media platforms and require applicants to provide their account names that were used on those platforms over the previous five years. Even if an applicant deletes his/her social media account prior to applying for a U.S. visa, he/she will still be required to disclose social media history for the previous five years. Please, keep in mind that information on the Internet is cashed and stored, so deleting an account will not remove a trail of the applicant’s social media presence.
The question is worded as follows, “Do you have a social media presence?” and followed by a list of social media platforms including:
- QZone (QQ)
- Sina Weibo
- Tencent Weibo
- Vkontakte (VK)
In addition to their social media histories, U.S. visa applicants are asked for five years of previously used telephone numbers and email addresses.
Applicants must provide truthful information on visa application forms. Any misrepresentation will be considered to be a fraud and can result in a permanent bar.
If you have any concerns regarding this new requirement, it is strongly recommended to consult with a knowledgeable immigration attorney who can provide viable advice and guide you through a visa application process. At Root Law Group we offer free in-office consultations with our experienced immigration attorneys specializing in all aspects of U.S. immigration. Over the years, we helped 2500+ clients and are proud to have a high 95% success rate on most of our cases. Call us today at (323) 456-7600 to schedule your free in-office consultation!