On Friday, March 30, 2018, the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) published notice in the Federal Register of its desire to modify the Form DS-160, which is a form required of all non-immigrant visa applicants seeking entry into the U.S., and the DS-260, which is a form required of all immigrant visa applicants seeking entry into the U.S.
One of the proposed changes to these forms is to require applicants to identify all social media platforms used during the preceding five years. Another question requires applicants to list the past five years of telephone numbers, email addresses, and international travel. The DOS is also proposing adding additional questions regarding deportation/removal issues and terrorist activities of family members. The DOS has, since May 2017, been requiring social media information in cases where consular officials determined the information was required to confirm identity or to conduct more “extreme vetting” of particular applicants.
The DOL must go through the required notice and comment period for the next 60 days, which provides stakeholders the opportunity to submit information regarding the impact of these proposed changes. Thereafter, the DOS will need to consider and respond to all comments, and give notice of the final implementation date of the revisions it will make. In other words, this Federal Register notice only indicates how the DOS desires to change the DS-160 and the DS-260. The legal process requires the DOS to go through this mandatory public notice and comment period before making any changes.
SPS Immigration will continue to monitor this process and provide updates as appropriate. If you have questions on how this change may impact your immigration case, please contact SPS Immigration.