Department of State Requiring Social Media Identifiers from U.S. Visa Applicants
Effective May 31, 2019, the U.S. Department of State updated its nonimmigrant and immigrant visa application forms to require most visa applicants to provide their social media identifiers for designated social media platforms used in the past five years. Visa applicants must provide usernames, previous email addresses, and phone numbers. Applicants are not required to disclose passwords. Covered social media platforms requiring disclosure include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn, among others. The visa application lists the specific social media platforms for which identifiers are requested.
All nonimmigrant and immigrant visa applicants are required to submit the requested social media information except for those applying for designated A, C, G and NATO visas.
A response to the social media question is a required field on the nonimmigrant visa applicant form (DS-160) and immigrant visa application form (DS-260 ). While an applicant may respond “none” if applicable, the failure to provide an accurate, complete, and truthful response may result in denial of the visa application and more serious immigration consequences, including a finding of fraud or misrepresentation.
Applicants should expect that Consular Officers will surveil social media platforms to vet applicants, compare with information provided on visa applications and immigration petitions, and ascertain eligibility for the visa requested.
At this time, individuals traveling to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (with ESTA travel clearance) are not required to provide social media identifiers.
For additional information concerning this alert, and applying for visas generally, please contact your designated Gibney representative or email email@example.com.