In what could only be seen as further making stringent the procedures of entry into the United States, the State Department wants to require all US visa applicants to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers as well.
This is being seen largely as vastly expanding the Trump administration’s enhanced vetting of potential immigrants and visitors.
The State Department meanwhile has summoned public comments over the proposed new requirements.
The move is expected to affect nearly 15 million foreigners who apply for visas to enter the US each year.
The practice earlier was that social media, email and phone number histories were only sought from applicants identified for extra scrutiny.
It would also give the applicant the option to volunteer information about social media accounts on platforms not listed in the application.
In addition to their social media histories, visa applicants will be asked for five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses, international travel and deportation status, as well as whether any family members have been involved in terrorist activities.
Only applicants for certain diplomatic and official visa types may be exempted from the requirements, the documents said.>