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Implications of Social Media Question on DS-160 and DS-260

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The U.S. Department of State is now asking applicants for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to provide information about their social media accounts.

The U.S. Department of State has added a social media question to Forms DS-160 and DS-260, the standard online applications for applicants seeking immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to the United States. The new question asks for social media usernames (or “handles”) used within the last five years for 20 popular social media websites, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. The new question is not asking for the applicant’s social media account password(s).

Since any misrepresentation or material omission is considered fraud, applicants must truthfully disclose information related to their social media presence in the past five years, even if an account is currently disabled or deleted.

This new question is not terribly alarming, since the U.S. Department of State has historically searched an applicant’s social media accounts to determine whether immigration or criminal violations were committed. For example, the U.S. Department of Status has used information contained in social media accounts verify whether a B-2 visitor engaged in unlawful employment in the United States, an applicant violated a controlled substance law, or a marriage was entered into for the purposes of obtaining lawful permanent residency.

However, this addition to Forms DS-160 and DS-260 is a good reminder that applicants seeking immigrant and nonimmigrant visas can safely assume that the U.S Department of State is carefully reviewing their social media presences to verify that the information disclosed on those applications and during consular interviews is truthful.

If you have questions about Forms DS-160 and DS-260 or applying for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, please contact Kolko & Casey, P.C. at (303) 371-1822 to schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney.

 

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Kolko & Casey, P.C. is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese and we can arrange for translators in any other language.