14 Million Visitors to U.S. Face Social-Media Screening

14 Million Visitors to U.S. Face Social-Media Screening


Nearly all applicants for a visa to enter the United States — an estimated 14.7 million people a year — will be asked to submit their social-media user names for the past five years, under proposed rules that the State Department issued on Friday.

Last September, the Trump administration announced that applicants for immigrant visas would be asked for social-media data, a proposal that would affect about 710,000 people each year. The new proposal would vastly expand that requirement to cover some 14 million people each year who apply for nonimmigrant visas.

Although officials did not specify which social-media platforms would be affected, the proposal is likely to cover the largest ones, like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. It could also conceivably include social-media platforms based overseas, like QQ and Weibo in China and VK in Russia.