US Dept of State proposes new visa requirements

Please note that on Friday, March 30, the State Department announced its intent to require all U.S. visa applicants to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers, vastly expanding the Trump administration's enhanced vetting of potential immigrants and visitors. 

In documents published in Friday's Federal Register, the department invited the public to comment on the proposed new requirements, which will affect nearly 15 million foreigners who apply for visas to enter the U.S. each year. Previously, social media, email and phone number histories were only sought from applicants identified for extra scrutiny, such as those who have traveled to areas controlled by terrorist organizations. An estimated 65,000 people per year are in that category.

The public comment period ends on May 29, 2018.
Please take the time to consider contributing comments about this process by the deadline.  

International education analysts believe the this requirement may have a chilling effect on the application process for nonimmigrants, which includes students and scholars, and thus further deter consideration by international students and scholars to study in the US.  US citizens travel to other countries that require entry visas may be impacted as this provision may, in turn, be applied to U.S. citizens seeking to travel abroad.  

Here is the link to the announcement on the Federal Register website:

 

Please note that student visa applications declined after 2017 and indications for 2018 are that international students are increasingly looking to study in other countries, with applications to study up sharply in Europe, Canada, Australia, Singapore and the new English language programs in Russia, China, and Korea also growing in student numbers.

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