For US visa, give 5- yr phone, email, FB data

The Asian Age - - Front Page - LALIT K. JHA

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion wants all US visa ap­pli­cants to sub­mit de­tails of their pre­vi­ous phone num­bers, email ad­dresses and so­cial me­dia his­to­ries as part of its “vet­ting” process in or­der to pre­vent the en­try of in­di­vid­u­als who might pose a threat to the coun­try.

In a doc­u­ment posted on the Fed­eral Regis­ter on Thurs­day, any­one who wants to come to the US on a non- im­mi­grant visa will have to an­swer a list of ques­tions un­der the new rules. The state depart­ment es­ti­mates that the new visa forms will af­fect 710,000 im­mi­grant and 14 mil­lion non- im­mi­grant visa ap­pli­cants.

It said that in ad­di­tion to ask­ing the visa ap­pli­cants to pro­vide their iden­ti­fi­ca­tions or han­dles of their so­cial me­dia plat­forms, they would also be asked to give de­tails of their phone and mo­bile num­bers used in the last five years.

Other ques­tions seek five years of pre­vi­ously used tele­phone num­bers, email ad­dresses and in­ter­na­tional travel, and whether the visa ap­pli­cant has been de­ported or re­moved from any coun­try and whether spec­i­fied

fam­ily mem­bers have been in­volved in ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties, said the doc­u­ment which would be for­mally pub­lished later on Fri­day.

Af­ter its pub­li­ca­tion, the pub­lic will have 60 days to com­ment on the pro­posed new visa form. “One ques­tion lists mul­ti­ple so­cial me­dia plat­forms and re­quires the ap­pli­cant to pro­vide any iden­ti­fiers used by ap­pli­cants for those plat­forms dur­ing the five years pre­ced­ing the date of ap­pli­ca­tion,” the doc­u­ment said.

It said the state depart­ment will col­lect the in­for­ma­tion from visa ap­pli­cants for “iden­tity res­o­lu­tion and vet­ting pur­poses” based on statu­tory visa el­i­gi­bil­ity stan­dards. How­ever, it in­tends not to rou­tinely ask the ques­tion of ap­pli­cants for spe­cific visa clas­si­fi­ca­tions, such as most diplo­matic and of­fi­cial visa ap­pli­cants, it said.

The re­vised visa ap­pli­ca­tion forms will also in­clude ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the visa med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion that some ap­pli­cants may be re­quired to un­dergo.

The state depart­ment es­ti­mates that the new visa forms would af­fect 710,000 im­mi­grant visa ap­pli­cants and 14 mil­lion non- im­mi­grant visa ap­pli­cants.

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