US visa applicants to now submit social media details, phone numbers

US visa applicants to now submit social media details, phone numbers

- Nearly all applicants for US visas will have to submit their social media usernames under newly adopted rules

- Applicants will also have to submit five years' worth of email addresses and phone numbers

- This is part of the state department’s plan to ensure national security in the country

The State Department of the United States says applicants for visa will now have to submit their social media details.

According to BBC, under the newly adopted rules, applicants for US visas will also submit five years' worth of email addresses and phone numbers.

However, certain diplomatic and official visa applicants will be exempt from the stringent new measures.

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"We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes to protect US citizens, while supporting legitimate travel to the United States," the department reportedly said.

In the past, social media, email and phone number histories had only been sought from applicants who were identified for extra scrutiny, such as people who had travelled to areas controlled by terrorist organisations.

The President Donald Trump administration first proposed the rules in March 2018. When it was proposed, authorities estimated the proposal would affect 14.7 million people annually.

According to an official who spoke to The Hill, anyone who lies about their social media use could face "serious immigration consequences."

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Trump made cracking down on immigration a key plank of his election campaign in 2016.

The US president had in 2018 said the United States must get rid of lottery and have a system of immigration that is merit-based. He said he would be willing to shut down government if the Democrats do not give their votes for the country's border security.

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