Posted June 07, 2019 - Vineesha Kakarlapudi
US has created a big buzz among the American Dreamers with their latest update in the US visa application. It is about the ‘Inclusion of social media information in the DS-160 form of every applicant’.
“The current president has pushed for stricter visa policies.” Says the Forbes.
Why Do US Need Social Media Profile in the US Visa Application?
The Department of state has mandated a rule, seeking the social media information of every applicant in their DS-160. This rule is actually started in the year 2016, but only for those applicants for whom consulate officer thought an extra vetting is needed. Now, this is extended to almost all the applicants irrespective of their visa type.
According to the Department, this additional collection of information is to enhance the applicant’s identity verification and vetting process. And hence improve their immigration system’s efficiency in identifying the fraudulent cases at the earliest.
However, many analysts and American dreamers don’t think so. People believe that providing personal information without an idea of how the screeners are going to analyze it, is an invasion of their privacy.
“This new proposal has nothing to do with national security. It’s about cracking down on free speech.” says ‘The Guardian’.
The present tech-based generation is totally inclined towards their social media platforms. This is the major medium for presenting oneself & a huge reflection of our day to day activities. Handing over such information in a visa application is like restricting the freedom of voicing out our opinions. Misinterpretation of any activity in social media is a major possibility, which is the major concern for the visa applicants.
In a recent Reddy & Neumann immigration show, Emily said that “Their(US) main goal is to catch terrorists and make sure they are not entering the country” addressing the concern. However, she has also added that “this rule is hassling the people who are entering the country truthfully.”
The updated US visa application DS-160 now includes a new question ‘Do you have a social media presence?’. You have to select the social media platform used in the past 5 years from the list available in the dropdown. Upon selection, you have to provide your username/handle of that platform but not the password. In addition, if you are having accounts in multiple platforms, you can add them by clicking on ‘Add another’.
Department Official has confirmed that you can add additional platforms used (if any), even if those aren’t provided in the list. Contradicting to what the official has said, there is no option to add other platforms that aren’t present in DS-160.
However, you can choose the option ‘none’, if you are not using any social media. But a false claim would lead to major consequences and even visa denial. So, be careful in providing accurate information regarding your social media. In addition to social media handles, you should also provide mobile numbers, Email Ids and international travel details for the past 5 years.
Will this new rule make the US a welcoming nation or shut down its doors for all the American dreamers?