U.S. Visa Applicants May Soon Have to Submit Five Years of Social Media Information
If you’re hoping to apply for a U.S. visa in the future, you may have to prepare yourself to hand over a lot of your very personal information — including your Twitter handle.
The Trump administration announced Thursday that it plans to require all U.S. visa applicants to hand over up to five years worth of their social media information. The administration has put an emphasis on “extreme vetting” of potential U.S. immigrants. This means prying through their Facebook and Twitter feeds, CNN reported.
The Obama administration also practiced monitoring visa applicants’ accounts, but on a more limited and voluntary basis. The new policy would be mandatory and much more widespread.
The government intends to require applicants to submit their usernames for certain social media networks and give them the option to submit usernames for additional networks. Applicants would not be expected to share their passwords or give access to their accounts.
The new policy is expected to affect about 15 million immigrants in the U.S., according to CNN. The public has 60 days from Friday, March 30, to comment on the new policy.