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U.S. Visa Applicants to Supply Social Media Handles & 15 Years Biographical Information

NAN

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U.S. President Donald Trump

The Trump administration has rolled out a new questionnaire for U.S. visa applicants worldwide that asks for social media handles for the last five years and biographical information going back 15 years.

The new questions, part of an effort to tighten vetting of would-be visitors to the U.S., was approved on May 23 by the Office of Management and Budget in spite of criticism from a range of education officials and academic groups during a public comment period.

Critics argued that the new questions would be overly burdensome, lead to long delays in processing and discourage international students and scientists from coming to the U.S.

Under the new procedures, consular officials can request all prior passport numbers, five years’ worth of social media handles, email addresses and phone numbers and 15 years of biographical information including addresses, employment and travel history.

Officials will request the additional information when they determine “that such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting,” a State Department official said on Wednesday.

The State Department said earlier the tighter vetting would apply to visa applicants “who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities.”

President Donald Trump has vowed to increase national security and border protections, proposing to give more money to the military and make Mexico pay to build a wall along the southern U.S. border.

He has tried to implement a temporary travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority nations that a U.S. appeals court refused to reinstate, calling it discriminatory and setting the stage for a showdown in the Supreme Court.

The Office of Management and Budget granted emergency approval for the new questions for six months, rather than the usual three years.

While the new questions are voluntary, the form says failure to provide the information may delay or prevent the processing of an individual visa application.

Immigration lawyers and advocates say the request for 15 years of detailed biographical information, as well as the expectation that applicants remember all their social media handles, is likely to catch applicants who make innocent mistakes or do not remember all the information requested.

The new questions grant “arbitrary power” to consular officials to determine who gets a visa with no effective check on their decisions, said Babak Yousefzadeh, a San Francisco-based attorney and president of the Iranian American Bar Association.

Yousefzadeh said: “the U.S. has one of the most stringent visa application processes in the world. The need for tightening the application process further is really unknown and unclear.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.

13 Comments

  1. Fabulous

    June 1, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Their headache. Mstchewww.

  2. Simply beee

    June 1, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    15 years? Two words: Ridiculous.

  3. amaa

    June 1, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    He made a promise to keep America safe he is doing it . Sounds hash but you can reciprocate if you don’t like it. I hear its difficult to get Nigerian visa lol

    • Dora the explorer

      June 1, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      you heard wrong, there is now visa on arrival, that means everybody can enter anytime..

    • Jay

      June 1, 2017 at 10:34 pm

      Dora,
      That is wrong. There is no visa on arrival in Nigeria. Nigeria isn’t a tourist country, by the way. You can get visa on arrival in few Africa countries like Kenya. In countries in Euroasia like Turkey. You cannot get visa on arrival in Nigeria; that is false.

    • Susan

      June 1, 2017 at 10:41 pm

      Dora the explorer, there is no visa on arrival in Nigeria. You are the one who heard wrong. The Senate is trying to pass visa on arrival only for foreign investors who want to do business, and the paper work and requirements is long. It’s not like anyone can just visit Nigeria and get visa on arrival. Get your facts right and don’t mislead people with inaccurate information.

    • Ni Ne

      June 2, 2017 at 10:32 pm

      @Dora the Explorer, Jane, Susan…. there is a visa on arrival in Nigeria (see here portal.immigration.gov.ng/pages/visaWavierProgram) albeit tailored to business people/ investors but I hear some tourists use it but have to prove business ties first

  4. adelegirl

    June 1, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Can’t fault him on this with all the madness that’s going on with terrorists increasing the tempo of their attacks in the West. I sincerely think this is in order. He is doing what he ought to as President – protect the sovereignty and borders of his country and protect the peace and security of its citizens.

    • Hogan

      June 1, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      But terrorism now is home grown. Citizens are the ones carrying out terror attacks in the West. I do not see the impact this line of vetting will have in the wider sense of curbing terrorism in the country. “my thots”

    • Abi

      June 2, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Point of correction you all, be informed! Dora the explorer is very right. THERE IS VISA ON ARRIVAL IN NIGERIA. I handle this for expats coming into Nigeria for meetings in my company so I know what I’m talking about. Go to immigration website to get informed, and meanwhile its been on since early 2016, made official end of 2016.

  5. Jwezee

    June 1, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Think it’s a good move, other nations should do same.

  6. Papacy

    June 1, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Ayele o ibosi o…

  7. Kunle Johnson

    June 2, 2017 at 7:39 am

    It’s a nonsense ans unprofitable business for so-called terrorism.what is their achievement on the so call nonsense ,it’s actually for the children of evil that does such arrant nonsense. Afterall we shouldn’t fear anything in any environment we find ourselves,God does not created such stupidity.it is we human being that form that nonsense,Anyway let the guy guide his country the way he could in other to bring peace to the citizenry. How can someone woke up and started killing innocent people.Did God gave them the contract to kill.

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