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Social media details now required for some US visa applications

Select US visa applicants may have to hand over their social media details as part of a new questionnaire authorised by the Trump administration.

This questionnaire was approved by the Office of Management and Budget on 23 May according to Reuters.

Applicants who are selected to fill in their social media details will be required to hand over their social media handles as well as identify which platform the handle belongs to. Information from the last five years will be required.

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According to reports, the social media questions are voluntary, however, the questionnaire states that failure to answer them may see visa issuance delayed or halted altogether.

Along with five years worth of social media handles, consular officials are also able to request prior passport numbers, email addresses, phone numbers and 15 years-worth of biographical information. This includes travel history, addresses, and employment history.

A State Department official told Reuters, officials will request additional information when they determine “that such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting.”

As Reuters reports, critics of this new questionnaire argue the system would be ‘overly burdensome’ and would lead to longer delays in processing visas.

Critics also argue the measures would discourage scientists and students from moving to the United States.

How do you feel about the US government’s social media requirements? Let us know in the comments.