Visa applicants required to submit social media history

Visa applicants required to submit social media history

WASHINGTON D.C. (Tucson News Now) - The U.S. visa application process received a 21st century makeover on Thursday.

According to notices submitted by the State Department, the Trump administration will soon require immigrants applying for a visa to submit five years of social media history and usernames.

Targeted information would include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram information, as well as previous email addresses, phone numbers and international travel records for the past five years.

The policy will not take effect for at least 60 days, as it will be open for public comment.

The social media accounts of immigrants were thrust into the spotlight in 2015, when it was discovered that San Bernardino terrorist Tashfeen Malik had showed signs of support for a jihad on Facebook before coming to the country.

The current visa application asks applicants to list their social media information, but only voluntarily.

The State Department estimates the change will affect 14.71 million applicants, including those who apply for students, business, and visitor (vacation) visas.

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