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Your Social Media Activities Could Bar You From US Visa Applications

by Milicent Atieno
Your Social Media Activities Could Bar You From US Visa Applications

It might be time you became a lot more careful about your activities on social media. Already, in some countries, some companies ran a background check on their prospective employees’ social media activities before hiring. Should they find any post that raises the alarm, it might be enough to deny you the job.

The Wall Street Journal writes that the US Department of Homeland Security has embarked on setting up security protocols in place to examine US Visa applicants’ social media activities. That is to say, as part of the vetting process to ‘Grant’ or ‘Deny’ US Visa, their Facebook, Twitter and other social media activities will be reviewed and have a weighed on the decision to be made.

These security measures come against a backdrop of the recent San Bernardino shootings. One of the shooters had earlier expressed support for Muslim extremism even before she applied for the US Visa. Had the immigration office ran a simple background check on her social media activities, she probably would not have been granted the Visa and entered the US in the first place.

The US Department of State Security sent a press statement to Business Insider that read: “In fact, over the last year, under Secretary Johnson’s leadership, the Department initiated three pilot programs to specifically incorporate appropriate social media review into its vetting of applicants for certain immigration benefits.

The Department is actively considering additional ways to incorporate the use of social media review in its various vetting programs.”

However, there is not much information about how the Department of Home Security will go about in monitoring US Visa applicants’ social media activities. So for those wishing to win the US Visa lottery, getting accepted is going to be a lot harder than before; you might also want to give a lot of thoughts into the things you post and comment on social media.

You should also note that what you might perceive as an innocent post on Facebook and Twitter might come off as an alarming to the Department of Home Security.

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