The United States govt. have announced, that they will now require social media username and five years’ worth of email addresses and phone numbers from all visa applicants.
While it is expected that the new move will affect 14.7 million people annually, however certain diplomatic and official visa applicants will be exempt from the stringent new measures. The US state department who disclosed that it will demand social media usernames from all visa applicants, stated that this is to protect its citizens.
“We are constantly working to find new methods to improve our screening processes to protect US citizens, at the same time supporting legitimate travel to the United States,” the department said.
Before now, only applicants who needed further vetting – such as people who had been to parts of the world controlled by terrorist groups – would need to hand over this data. However all visa applicants will now have to give up their account names on a list of social media platforms, and also volunteer the details of their accounts on any sites not listed.