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US now seeking social media details from all visa applicants

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Posted at 6:30 AM, Jun 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-02 07:30:30-04

The State Department is now requiring nearly all applicants for U.S. visas to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers. It's a vast expansion of the Trump administration's enhanced screening of potential immigrants and visitors.

In a move that's just taken effect, the department says it has updated its immigrant and nonimmigrant visa application forms to request the additional information from almost all U.S. applicants.

The change, which was proposed in March 2018, is expected to affect about 15 million foreigners who apply for visas to enter the United States each year.

Social media, email and phone number histories had only been sought in the past from applicants who were identified for extra scrutiny, such as people who'd traveled to areas controlled by terrorist organizations.