USA visa applicants must now provide social media handles for extra screening

US visa applicants may now have to provide social media handles, personal details of past 15 years

It's just another step to make it easier for the administration to block anyone they want from entering the USA - whether they're a true threat to national security or not.

Washington, Jun 1 The Trump administration has enforced a new extreme visa screening process for foreign nationals including those from India under which applicants might be asked to share information regarding their social media accounts, emails and telephone numbers.

However, critics have said the new questions would be tiring and lead to long delays in processing, discouraging global students and scientists from travelling to the States.

The questionnaire when approved would apply to "immigrant and non- immigrant visa applicants, some of the new questions would be requesting social media profiles from the last five years (a first), email addresses, phone numbers and 15 years of biographical information including addresses, employment and travel history, Reuters reports".

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Now it appears that the Trump Administration wants a further head start on perusing the digital lives of those entering the U.S. While the new questionnaire isn't as obviously invasive as a customs agent rifling through your vacation photos and text messages, it does give authorities an opportunity to dig deeper than they have before.

Quoting an unnamed State Department official, Reuters reported that the additional information would only be requested when the department determines that "such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting".

President Donald Trump has vowed to increase national security and border protections, proposing to give more money to the military and make Mexico pay to build a wall along the southern US border.

Most controversially, Trump has also attempted to ban travel from six Muslim-majority countries, a decision that was struck down by several district courts in the country.

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He said that when he asked Corby where she would fly tomorrow, she said: "Can go to Perth, can go to Brisbane , or wherever". When the parole officer said, you must be happy about going home tomorrow, Corby didn't give any response.

The Office of Management and Budget has granted emergency approval for the new questions for six months, rather than the usual three years.

The questions are technically voluntary, but the form notes that failing to answer could delay or outright prevent the visa's processing.

Immigration advocates and lawyers have argued that the new questions grant arbitrary powers to consular officials, and also may force the applicants to make "innocent mistakes" if they do not remember all the information asked for.

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