Trump administration to start social media vetting for visa applicants

(FOX News) -- The Trump administration has approved a new questionnaire for U.S. visa applicants that asks for social media handles and accounts used during the last five years and travel history, including the source of funding for trips, over the last 15 years, for more “rigorous” vetting.

The State Department requested expedited consideration and “emergency review” from the Office of Management and Budget on May 5 for the new visa application protocol. Fox News can confirm that OMB has approved the new measures.

>>VIDEO: U.S. working on plan to examine visa applicants' social media

The State Department proposed new measures for U.S. visa applicants worldwide in order to “more rigorously” evaluate applicants for terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities.

“Collecting additional information from visa applicants whose circumstances suggest a need for further scrutiny will strengthen our process for vetting these applicants and confirming their identity,” a State Department official told Fox News. “We estimate these changes would affect only a fraction of one percent of the more than 13 million annual visa applicants worldwide.”

In addition to social media accounts requested from flagged applicants, the State Department will continue to request phone numbers and email addresses used during the last five years, address and employment history during the last 15 years, and names and dates of birth for all children, current and former spouses or partners, and siblings, along with all former and current passport numbers and country of issuance.

Read more at FOXNews.com

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