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US embassy urged to provide more info on new visa application requirement

Attorney-at-law Able Don Foote
 
Attorney-at-law Able Don Foote wants the U.S. embassy to provide more information to Jamaicans on the recently approved requirement for nearly all applicants for U.S. visas to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers.
 
The US State Department in announcing the changes said it updated its immigrant and non-immigrant visa forms to request the additional information.
 
Mr. Foote said the policy is not a new concept as the US does research applicants before granting a visa, including a social media background check.
 
He said the rationale for the policy is for security reasons. 
 
"They want to look to see the jurisdictions you travel to; if you go frequently to jurisdictions where terrorism is prominent and that is the main reason why they want it," he said. 
 
"I don't know per se, if you go on your Twitter, for example, and say something that you don't agree with that they would use that adversely against you," he added. 
 
However, he said with Jamaicans still apprehensive about what the US will be looking for in their social media posts, more details are needed about the policy, such as the criteria for refusal or denial. 
 
He was speaking Monday morning on TVJ's Smile Jamaica programme.
 
The new visa application forms list a number of social media platforms and require the applicant to provide account names they may have had over the previous five years.
 
They also give applicants the option to volunteer information about social media accounts on platforms not listed on the form.
 


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