Travellers applying for a US visa will now have to have over details from their social media accounts as well as previous email addresses and even phone numbers from the past five years under strict new rules.
The US State Department said the update, first proposed in March 2018, “will strengthen our process for vetting these applicants and confirming their identity”.
“National security is our top priority when adjudicating visa applications, and every prospective traveler and immigrant to the United States undergoes extensive security screening,” the US State Department said, according to the ABC.
“We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes to protect US citizens, while supporting legitimate travel to the United States.”
A screenshot of the new visa form shows how applicants will have to list their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest and MySpace names, just to name a few.
If any journalists need a screenshot of the new visa question, please use this one as I took it myself versus the one I posted which was passed to me by a colleague and I'm not sure of the origin. This one actually shows more detail anyway. pic.twitter.com/iDZvk3LIOv
— (((Greg Siskind))) (@gsiskind) May 31, 2019
Visa applicants also have to report international travel, deportation status, and whether any family members have been involved in terrorism.
It’s estimated that these new requirements will affect around 15 million foreigners who travel to the US each year.
Australian travellers visiting the US for 90 days or less will not be affected, however those who require a visa will have to comply with the strict new policy.