The Department of State (DOS) proposed adding several additional questions to the Form DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application, including the past five years of the applicant's social media identifiers, telephone numbers, email addresses, and international travel. 83 FR 13807 (March 30, 2018). DOS also proposed adding similar questions to the Form DS-260 application for an immigrant visa, in a separate Federal Register notice published the same day at 83 FR 13806. The 60-day public comment period closes May 29,2018.
NAFSA and a coalition of organizations submitted a comment letter on May 16, 2018, to express concerns regarding the notices.
Read the organization comment letter
Expressing their appreciation and support of the need to secure the nation from individuals who seek to do the United States and its interests harm, the organizations also stated that the United States must remain open to those pursuing academic study and scientific and engineering research, and that our nation's security and competitiveness in the world depends on a visa and immigration system that accomplishes both of these important tasks.
The comment letter specifically addressed the following concerns:
- Uncertainty about scope and frequency of information collection
- Uncertainty regarding the collection of social media information
- Uncertainty about privacy protection and the purpose of the information collection
- Vulnerable populations must be assured their information will be protected
- Implementation issues, including processing delays
- Visa Lifecycle Vetting Initiative
- Positive messages and privacy protections needed