New regulations from the U.S. State Department will require nearly all applicants for U.S. visas to submit social media details during the application process.
According to a report from the AP, the move is part of a “vast expansion” of screening procedures that includes five years' of social media history, email addresses, and more for visa applicants. The process already includes certain contact information, travel history, family member information, and previous addresses.
The request expansion was first proposed last year and will reportedly impact all visa applicants who do not have diplomatic or official status.
According to that report, the State Department is hoping to “strengthen our process for vetting these applicants and confirming their identity.”
“We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes to protect U.S. citizens, while supporting legitimate travel to the United States,” a spokesperson told the AP.
The rule is expected to impact about 14 million nonimmigrant visa applicants, along with another 700,000 immigrant applicants.