Recently, the US Department of State updated its immigration policy. According to new immigration rules, visa applicants have to provide their social media history of the last five years while filling online visa application forms. Social Media History of previous five years is now asked for both immigrant and non-immigrant visas.
Visa applicants can see an additional question “Do you have a social media presence?” especially while filling forms DS-160 and DS-260. This question is usually visible under “Address and Phone” tab of the online visa application form.
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A list of 20 popular social media platforms is given under this question. Applicants can choose platforms they have been using in the last five years and enter their social media wall/profile URL/Link so that US immigration may check their activities during the previous five years. Social media handler or identifier is enough, there is no need to provide password of social media accounts.
- ASK FM
- GOOGLE +
- LINKED IN
- MY SPACE
- QZONE (QQ)
- SINA WEIBO
- TENCENT WEIBO
- VKNOTAKTE (VK)
Applicants have to choose all social media platforms which they have been using for the last five years.
There is an option of “NONE” at the end of the social media platforms list which can be used if the applicant is not using any social media platform. However, selecting NONE might look suspicious to the immigration department. Although social media history is not mandatory and applicant can choose NONE yet this will give a reason to US immigration for visa application refusal.
Furthermore, it is not mandatory to have accounts on all these 20 platforms. If an applicant does not remember his account identifier, he can enter the answer “unknown” or “I don’t recall” or any other appropriate answer.
All non-immigrant and immigrant visa applicants will be required to answer these questions relating to their social media profiles, except for applicants applying for the following types of non-immigrant visas: A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3 (except attendants, servants, or personal employees of accredited officials), G-1, G-2, G3, G-4, NATO-1, NATO-2, NATO-3, NATO-4, NATO-5, or NATO-6 visas.
The new change is going to affect millions of US visa applicants. Consequently, there will be more delay in processing of visa applicants. And of course, many visa applicants will see a refusal for US visa due to their social media profiles.
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