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U.S. State Department proposes ‘extreme vetting’ measures for visa applicants

Washington D.C. [USA]: The U.S. State Department has put forward new proposals “extreme vetting” of certain visa applicants, including requesting social media handle.

In response to Trump’s March 6 memorandum, which demanded more screening for visa applicants, the State Department has published a notice in the Federal Register seeking feedback on the proposals, reports the Fox News.

Under the proposals, such applicants would have to provide information including social media handles, phone numbers and emails for the last five years, prior passport numbers and additional information about their family, past travel and employment.

Consular officials would not be allowed to seek passwords or breach privacy controls on social media accounts.

Much of the information that would be required is already requested of all applicants, but for a lesser time frame. So, for instance, employment history is already requested for five years, but under the proposal could be increased to 15 years for flagged applicants.

Other requirements, such as social media handles and requests for names and dates of birth of siblings and children, are new.

The notice says that failure to provide the information won’t necessarily result in a denial of a visa if the official believes the applicant has a credible explanation. (ANI)