Today, May 4th, 2017, the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) released a list of new questions it seeks to ask all applicants in visa interviews. DOS is asking the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for emergency review and approval of its ability to incorporate these questions into all visa interviews moving forward. This list is in response to President Trump’s March 6th, 2017  Memorandum for the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, that instructs these agencies to implement additional protocols and procedures focused on “ensur[ing] the proper collection of all information necessary to rigorously evaluate all grounds of inadmissibility or deportability, or grounds for the denial of other immigration benefits.” Additional questions DOS is seeking to implement are:

  • 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; and
  •  Phone numbers and email addresses used during the last five years.

DOS is asking for emergency review and approval of these questions by May 18th, 2017. If the OMB approves the emergency review, the approval will only be valid for an initial 180 day period, starting after May 18th, 2017. This means that visa applicants attending interviews prior to May 18th will not be asked these questions. SPS Immigration will post an update once OMB makes a determination on whether to grant the emergency approval request.