"EXTREME VETTING" OR EXTREMELY UNNECESSARY: Trump Administration Releases New Questionnaire Asking for Visa Applicants' Social Media Handles and Biographical Information

The Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Blog

Sponsored by the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section of the New York State Bar Association
July 2, 2017


As reported by Reuters on June 1st, “The Trump administration has rolled out a new questionnaire for U.S. visa applicants worldwide that asks for social media handles for the last five years and biographical information going back 15 years.”

Though the “new questions are voluntary, […] failure to provide the information may delay or prevent the processing of an individual visa application.”

However, more concerning than these two possibilities are: (1) What, if anything, will the Administration do with this information and the information in the Applicant’s social media feeds; (2) How closely will the Administration look at someone’s social media feeds (e.g., content posted by the applicant, content posted to the applicant, followers of the applicant, followers-of-followers of the applicant, those who the applicant follows, and so on); and/or (3) The potential for short- and long-term ramifications for any wrong answers related to forgotten handles, passwords or biographical information.

Considering the prevalence of social media use across disciplines, any of these possibilities should cause the practitioner and her or his client to be more alert about social media usage under the current Administration.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-visa-idUSKBN18R3F8

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