For US visa applicants, information on social media is expected to be taken into account – a statement by the US Department of State on Friday sent to the White House budget office.
The draft, which reflects on the earlier position of President Donald Trump, suggests that the US authorities collect data from social media even for nearly all who intend to enter the United States.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, most immigrants immigrating to the United States or non-immigrant visa applicants will have to show the data of any of their social media accounts for five years on the visa application form. The information will be used to identify and control the visa applicant.
The draft must be approved by the White House Budget Office (OMB).
Last May, the Foreign Ministry has already instructed American consulates worldwide to have access to information on social media platforms from one visitor as long as it is considered necessary for reasons of national security. However, gathering information was not a prerequisite for issuing a visa, which was entrusted to the consulates. According to the Foreign Ministry’s statement, stricter controls will primarily apply to those who “reasonably need to undergo more detailed screening” for terrorism or other relationships affecting US national security and may therefore not be granted a visa. The Office of the White House must decide within sixty days to accept or reject the Foreign Affairs Proposal.