immigration lawyer, miami fl

Trump administration approves tougher visa vetting, social media checks

Jun 5, 2017

Trump administration approves tougher visa vetting, social media checks

AUTHOR MICHAEL G. MURRAY,
IMMIGRATION LAWYER (MIAMI)
MICHAEL G. MURRAY, P.A., IMMIGRATION LAWYER (MIAMI)
June 5, 2017

As a Miami immigration lawyer and an Austin immigration lawyer, I read with interest that the Trump administration has rolled out a new questionnaire for U.S. visa applicants worldwide that asks for social media handles for the last five years and biographical information going back 15 years. Below are some frequently asked questions.

Why did the Trump administration roll out new visa checks for U.S. visa applicants?
The new questions are part of an effort to tighten vetting of would-be visitors to the United States. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

When were the new visa checks approved?
The new visa checks were approved on May 23 by the Office of Management and Budget. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

How have different groups reacted to the implementation of new visa checks?
There has been widespread criticism from a range of education officials and academic groups during a public comment period. Critics argued that the new questions would be overly burdensome, lead to long delays in processing and discourage international students and scientists from coming to the United States. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney or an Austin immigration attorney.

What kind of information can be requested of U.S. visa applicants under the new visa checks?
Under the new procedures, consular officials can request all prior passport numbers, five years’ worth of social media handles, email addresses and phone numbers and 15 years of biographical information including addresses, employment and travel history. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

When will U.S. officials request additional information from U.S. visa applicants?
Officials will request the additional information when they determine “that such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting,” a State Department official said on Wednesday. The State Department said earlier the tighter vetting would apply to visa applicants “who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities.” If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

Are the new questions in effect forever?
Not yet. The Office of Management and Budget granted emergency approval for the new questions for six months, rather than the usual three years. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

What will happen if an individual refuses to provide the additional information as requested?
While the new questions are voluntary, the form says failure to provide the information may delay or prevent the processing of an individual visa application.  Immigration lawyers and advocates say the request for 15 years of detailed biographical information, as well as the expectation that applicants remember all their social media handles, is likely to catch applicants who make innocent mistakes or do not remember all the information requested. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

What effect will this have on U.S. visa applications?
Critics have expressed that the new questions grant arbitrary power to consular officials to determine who gets a visa with no effective check on their decisions. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

If you would like more information on visa applications, obtaining a green card, deportation defense, or obtaining  U.S. citizenship, please contact Miami immigration lawyer and Austin immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at www.mmurraylaw.com.

CONTACT Michael G. Murray, P.A. for assistance with immigration law in miami and south florida.
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