Destinations

Aussies requiring US visas will be forced to disclose social media account info

The United States will implement a new policy requiring most visa applicants to the country – including Australians – to disclose social media account information.

The Hill reported that as of Friday 7 June, the Trump administration will implement a new immigration policy asking most US visa applicants to disclose social media account information.

The changes, originally proposed in March 2018, are expected to effect 15 million international travellers to the US who apply for visas to enter the country each year.

Australians entering the country for periods of 90 days or less will not be required to disclose their social media account information, as they are covered under the Visa Waiver Program. However, Australians requiring visas for longer stays will be required to reveal their details.

“National security is our top priority when adjudicating visa applications, and every prospective traveller and immigrant to the United States undergoes extensive security screening,” the US State Department told ABC News.

“We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes to protect US citizens, while supporting legitimate travel to the United States.”

A screenshot of the new US visa application, which will require travellers to the US applying or visas to provide their social media information. (Twitter: Grek Siskind)
A screenshot of the new US visa application, which will require travellers to the US applying for visas to provide their social media information. (Twitter: Grek Siskind)

The new visa application form will ask travellers to surrender their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Reddit account details, including any account details they may have had in the past five years, according to ABC News. 

And if you’re thinking about lying on your form: think again.

Trump No No gif

It has reported that any applicant who lies about their social media information could face “serious immigration consequences,” according to The Hill. 

In 2018, when the Trump administration announced its proposal to extend visa-vetting requirements to include social media account information, civil rights unions were quick to slam the announcement.

The American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project director Hina Shamsi said at the time that there was no evidence social media monitoring is effective and that it could have a “chilling” effect on freedom of speech.

She also said that it could “promote self-censorship online.”

“This attempt to collect a massive amount of information on the social media activity of millions of visa applicants is yet another ineffective and deeply problematic Trump administration plan,” she said in a statement.

“There is a real risk that social media vetting will unfairly target immigrants and travellers from Muslim-majority countries for discriminatory visa denials, without doing anything to protect national security.”

The policy stems from a March 2017 executive order issued by President Trump intended to put “extreme vetting” in place.

This news on US visa requirements comes not long after the Brazilian government revealed it will allow visa-free entry to Australians, which will take effect later this month.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Travel Agents

AFTA and CLIA welcome WA government’s $3m support package for travel agents

While Western Australian agents are breathing a sigh of relief, those in other states and territories have no doubt turned green with envy over this new funding.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Chimu’s James McAlloon nears finish line of mammoth fundraising trek

Kudos to James for enduring shin splints, exhaustion, sore feet, sunburn, and two weeks of quarantine in a remote South Australian hotel, all for a good cause.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Destination NSW marketing boss to join Australian Tourism Data Warehouse as CEO

Jan Hutton is already mulling over embossing or debossing her new business card after snaring the top job at ATDW.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Why did Tom Cruise just charter two Hurtigruten ships?

Get ready to have the Mission: Impossible theme song stuck in your head for the rest of the day, because apparently the ships were hired for the latest movie in the franchise.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

You can now stay in the mansion from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Pull up to your very own kingdom for the night and sit on the throne with this nostalgia-riddled Airbnb listing from The Fresh Prince himself.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: AFTA members join National Mobilisation Program, TravelManagers agent celebrates 15 years + MORE

To celebrate the fact that it’s Friday, we’ve made you an extra special Agent Wrap! And it’s not JUST special because we forgot to post one for the past few weeks.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Tickets for Qantas’ epic seven-hour scenic flight sell out in 10 minutes!

by Huntley Mitchell

Qantas reckons it’s “probably the fastest-selling flight” in The Flying Kangaroo’s history.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: W Melbourne on the lookout for 100-plus staff, Preferred welcomes 13 new hotels + MORE

Know a teammate who’s getting behind on the latest news in accommodation? Send them a link to this week’s cracker of a Hotel Wrap.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

“This downtime has really opened our eyes”: GFOB’s Gai Tyrrell on supporting agents (and much, much more)

by Huntley Mitchell

Globus family of brands’ regional boss has shared everything that’s going on with the wholesaling giant right now and in the future with yours truly.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Regional Victorians wake to eased travel restrictions

by Christian Fleetwood

Finally, Victoria’s tourism industry has something to cheer about. Let’s hope the Andrews government continues this positive momentum.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tripadvisor names the hottest domestic travel destinations for spring

GOOD NEWS: it looks like Aussie travellers are getting set for a spring fling in the great outdoors! Click here to find out where and how they’ll be travelling.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Carnival sells two more ships, cancels more Aussie sailings

Are you looking to purchase your own personal floating city? Well, keep your eyes peeled, because Carnival has accelerated its removal of less-efficient ships.

Share

CommentComments