New applications for US visas may see requests for a lot of additional information. The Trump administration has received approval to include an additional questionnaire that asks for past passport numbers, residential history, all social media handles, and up to 15 years of biographical history.
Not everyone will be subject to the questionnaire, and the decision is being left to the officials handling visa requests. Critics warn that this could lengthen the already long visa application times for travelling to the US. It may also end up discouraging students and scientists from looking to visit the country.
Answering the questions is completely voluntary, but the US administration says that failure to comply may affect the visa application. Of course, people who don’t remember the address of their house or passport number from 15 years ago may face some amount of trouble.
The additional information is meant to increase security checks and combat terrorism. Despite the fact that the US has not had a foreign-based terrorist attack on its soil since 11 September.
It should also be noted that US border agents have also been allowed to inspect all visitors’ social media accounts upon arrival. Again, it’s a voluntary process, but failure to comply may result in entry to the US being denied.