U.S approves Social Media background checks & makes visa vetting tougher
As per the recent news the visa application process to the US is now set to toughen up a little more. The US government’s Office of Management & Budget is reinforcing a new visa policy which requires social media background checks for applicants, thus making the visa process a little more tedious. In simple words, travellers applying for visa to US will also be required to share links to their social media profiles for review.
This new addition will make the process lengthier and could increase the process of providing visas. It was also reported that the final call taken by the US Government happened despite a lot of objections from student representatives from various academic groups. Reason being, that a lot of students apply to the US every year for higher studies and they are seen as prospect immigrants.
Therefore, students as a community seem to be the ones who'll get affected the most. Other than students, this change might create some hurdles for qualified professionals who are seeking to visit US for career growth.
As per the new questionnaire, travellers applying for US visa will have to share social media links to their profiles dated back 5 years along with biographical information dated back almost 15 years. It is also possible that US consulate professionals could ask applicants to present all of their passport numbers, email addresses, phone numbers, employment and travel history.
Could this be government’s way to make process of coming & settling in US even more difficult for immigrants?
Reuters also reported that social media profile information may not be needed for everyone but only in certain cases where it might be required to confirm or verify the identity of the traveller.
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