On May 31, 2019, the State Department added new questions to visa application forms , DS-160/DS-156 Nonimmigrant Visa Application and Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Application. Visa applicants now have to disclose the social media platforms that they have used within the previous five years and provide their user names or handle for each platform.
This information needs to be provided through a drop down list of common social media platforms, although some of the platforms listed are defunct. Applicants are instructed to not provide the passwords for these accounts.
Additional questions requesting the applicant’s current e mail and phone number, as well as a list of additional e mail addresses and phone numbers used in the past five years also now appear on the forms. If applicants are unable to provide the precise details, they can insert “unknown”, but this could result in additional screening or delays during the visa process.
It is recommended that anyone applying for these forms use good judgement when posting and sharing on social media, as well as the knowledge and awareness that the Department of State can access and review whatever is posted. There is a chance that officers might misunderstand or misinterpret content.
In order to avoid inconsistencies between applications and social media profiles, applicants should make sure that their social media profiles are up-to-date concerning employment history, residence history, marital status, and similar relevant topics that are covered in other parts of the DS-160, DS-260, and the underlying visa application.