Applicants for immigrant visas may be surprised to see a new question on the electronic DS 260 application pertaining to social media. As of May 31, 2019, the immigrant visa application (and reportedly the electronic DS 160 nonimmigrant visa application as well) now feature arguably invasive questions requesting information regarding social media platforms used within the last five years. Applicants are requested to list their usernames (or "handles") for the following sites/apps/programs:
An intriguing article came out last week in the New York Times regarding the use of social media by the Department of Homeland Security to identify and root out potential terrorists. According to the article, the DHS is considering new policies to scrutinize the social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) of potential visa applicants and those seeking refugee or asylum status here in the US. Interestingly, DHS already has four pilot projects, one of which has been active since December, and which examines the social media accounts of those wishing to enter under a fiancé or K-1 visa, which was the type of visa that the San Bernardino terrorist Tashfeen Malik had entered the country on. Moreover, USCIS already scours the social media of Syrian refugees when the applicant is flagged for something, whether due to a hit in a security background check or due to questions raised by an immigration officer.