The U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently proposed tougher questioning of an estimated 65,000 visa applicants who it believes warrant additional scrutiny, in a push toward the “extreme vetting” sought by President Donald Trump.
On May 23, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget approved supplemental questions as part of the administration's effort to tighten vetting of would-be visitors to the United States.
What does this mean for travelers to the United States?
This could lead to longer delays in visa processing. We have made the questionnaire available here to allow travelers to review the questions and prepare for their U.S. travel.
Who is subject to additional scrutiny?
According to a Reuters interview with a State Department official on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, officials will request the additional information when they determine "that such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting."
The State Department said earlier the tighter vetting would apply to visa applicants "who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities."
What information do I need to provide?
Certain travelers will need to provide information about their passport and travel history; names and dates of birth of relatives (siblings, children and spouses); addresses for the last 15 years; contact information for the last 5 years (phone and email); social media identifiers; employment history information for the last 15 years.
While the new questions are voluntary, the form says failure to provide the information may delay or prevent the processing of an individual visa application. Thus, it is more important than ever to seek the assistance of an immigration attorney if you are planning to travel to the U.S. If you have any questions about the visa application process, please contact us. We are here to help.
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