Trump Administration to Require Visa Applicants to List ‘Social Media Identifiers,’ Previous Phone Numbers

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According to CBS News, the State Department is now requiring nearly all applicants for United States visas to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers, a vast expansion of immigrant and visitor screening under the Trump administration.

Applicants for certain diplomatic and official visas are exempt from the new measure.

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The new applications list social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and require applicants to provide account names they have held over the previous five years, along with phone numbers used during the same length of time.

Social media, email and phone information had previously been a set of factors reserved for applicants identified for increased application scrutiny, including applicants who were from or recently been in regions controlled by terrorist organizations.

Before the change, an estimated 65,000 applicants received the extra attention.

The State Department estimates the new rules would affect more than 700,000 visa applications from immigrants and 14 million visa requests from those who wish to conduct business or pursue an education.

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The State Department says it has updated immigrant and nonimmigrant visa forms to request the “social media identifiers” from applicants.

Initially proposed in March of last year, the new requirement will affect nearly 15 million foreign visitors who apply for visas to enter the country each year.

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Ibn Safir

Contributing Editor. When he's not pullin' up, he's usually jumpin' out. You can find him in the cut.