Immigrant visa applicants should be aware that that the DS-260 was quietly revised to incorporate some new questions in addition to the social media question which we previously discussed in July of this year. The DS-260 is the electronic application that all individuals applying for immigrant visas must fill out. In addition to going over basic biographic information as well as a battery of security questions, the form now inquires into the following:
· Other telephone numbers used
· Other email addresses used
· Other social media used (this is in addition to the now standard question pertaining to Social Media Provider(s)/Platforms(s)
· Travel to any countries/regions within the last five years
While these questions may seem innocuous in and of themselves, they only make an increasingly onerous process more formidable. Applicants must now go into detail regarding things that arguably have nothing to do with their legal eligibility. Moreover, officers will now have to scour over responses to these new questions, contributing additional delay to the process as email addresses, telephone numbers, and trips are needlessly vetted.
These changes are in addition, of course, to two major changes affecting all visa applicants. The first is the health insurance requirement, where visa applicants must furnish proof that they will be covered by an approved health plan within thirty days of entry. This is scheduled to take effect November 3, 2019. The second significant change involves the imminent implementation of the new public charge guidelines, which allows consular officers more discretion in determining whether an applicant will become financially dependent on the US government for support by looking at a person’s age, education, health, and fluency with English.
All these new rules promise to make consular processing even more complicated and confusing than it already is. If you or a loved one has any questions regarding the new rules or visa eligibility, please contact our office for an in-depth consultation.
The above is general information only. It is not specific legal advice nor intended to create an attorney client relationship. If you need advice, please consult with an attorney.