17 May Trump’s “Extreme Vetting” of Visa Applicants
During Pres. Trump’s candidacy, and after he was elected, he stated that among the ways he would combat terrorism would be through “extreme vetting,” which would include a “rigorous evaluation” of visa applicants to determine if they support terrorism.
Recently, the State Department listed possible additional questions for visa applicants who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities, in order to more rigorously evaluate applicants for terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities:
If a person is suspected of having terrorist ties or sympathy for terrorists, he or she may be required to provide the following information, if not already included on an existing visa application:
- Travel history during the last fifteen years, including source of funding for travel;
- Address history during the last fifteen years;
- Employment history during the last fifteen years;
- All passport numbers and country of issuance held by the applicant;
- Names and dates of birth for all siblings;
- Name and dates of birth for all children;
- Names and dates of birth for all current and former spouses, or civil or domestic partners;
- Social media platforms and identifiers, also known as handles, used during the last five years (such a Facebook, etc.); and
- Phone numbers and email addresses used during the last five years.
- People may also be required to turn over their cell phones, to see who they have been calling, etc.
Most of this information is already collected on visa applications, but for a shorter time period, e.g. five years rather than fifteen years. Regarding travel history, applicants may be requested to provide details of their international or domestic (within their country of nationality) travel, if it appears to the consular officer that the applicant has been in an area while the area was under the operational control of a terrorist organization.
These questions may not always be required for every visa applicant. But you can see the type of information that may soon be required for anyone applying for a US visa.
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