Visa Applicants Will Now Face Stricter Scrutiny During the Vetting Process!
June 4, 2017
Since his campaign, President Donald Trump has stated that he will increase national security at all cost. Over the past few months, President Trump has implemented travel bans, proposed giving more money to the military to keep immigrants out at the borders, and claimed that he will make Mexico pay for a wall to divide the borders. Most recently, the Trump administration has implemented a new questionnaire that will affect visa applicants, making the processes more difficult for visa applicants. This new questionnaire aims to provide stricter scrutiny during the vetting process.
Visa applicants will now be asked to produce their social media handles, email address, and phone numbers from the last five (5) years. This information was not previously required by the U.S Department of State (USDOS). Additionally, applicants will also be asked to produce all biographical information; including their past employment and travel information from the last fifteen (15) years. The United States Office of Management and Budget (US OMB) has approved this questionnaire, despite the fact that the questionnaire will make it overly burdensome for applicants, create long delays in processing, and discourage international students and scientists from traveling to the United States. Immigration attorneys fear this questionnaire will delay the lengthy-process even further as applicants may not remember their information from so long ago. Additionally, there is significant concern for the negative consequences for applicants who make an innocent mistake on the supplemental questionnaire. The questionnaire appears to be on a trial run, however, as the form has been approved for a six-month period rather than the typical three years.
Our office will continue to monitor this process and provide any updates and new information. For more information or questions regarding the new supplemental questionnaire and how this will affect your case, please contact Attorney Nicole Fink.