May 22, 2020

USDOS Reviewing Social Media When Processing Visas

Social media is a fun way to connect with people all over the world. It is a way to communicate with your friends, family, shared-interest communities, keep up with local and worldwide news, and entertain oneself. However, the way you present yourself on social media is crucial to your visa application.The US Department of State (DOS) will review any social media the visa applicant uses to collaborate, share information, and interact with others in an effort to heighten security and further vet applicants for entrance to the US.The US DOS has added a question to both the immigrant visa application (DS-260) and non-immigrant visa application (DS-160) asking for the applicant's social media information. Specifically, the form asks which social media platforms the applicant has used in the last five years and provides a dropdown with a list of options. Once the platform is selected, the form requires the applicant to provide his/her username for the social media account.The US government has the authority to review an applicant's deleted past and present photos, locations, and other personal data from social media.It is advisable that visa applicants should refrain from posting anything about the following:

  • Negativity about anything or anyone
  • Fraudulence
  • Offensive terms
  • Threats
  • Criminal activity

It's okay to continue posting and using your social media accounts, just be mindful that visa applications can be denied if an applicant's social media activity goes against statutory visa eligibility standards.

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