US visa application form DS 160 now has a new question about your social media account. US embassy visa officer can use the information against your visa application shared in Social Media section under the Address and Phone Information Page.
Beware if you have shared anything against the US government. Your visa application can potentially be denied based on your social media activity if it is found to be against visa rules.
Share All Facebook Accounts
You will have to select all the social media accounts including Facebook that you have owned and used in last 5 years. If you do not share or hide this information by selecting ‘none’, you are effectively lying on DS160 form.
If you own multiple Facebook accounts, you should add all of them in your DS160 social media account section.
Note that you are supposed to sign the DS-160 visa application form under penalty of perjury. So, explicitly hiding information from US embassy can harm your visa approval chances.
DS160 Social Media FAQs
Yes, you need to share all your Facebook and Twitter account usernames on form DS-160 that you have used in last 5 years.
Social media account password is NOT required on DS160 form.
You cannot avoid giving Facebook account information in DS160 even if you delete your account. You have give information about all accounts that have been active in last 5 years.
I recommend deleting all your Facebook posts instead of deleting the account if you think your posts may affect your US visa application.
Your phone number and email address are NOT required in DS160 social media section.
US Visa officer has all the rights and powers to ask you any question about your past, present and future plans during your interview.
If he thinks that your social profile contradicts information with respect to your visa application, he can ask you questions.
It is possible that visa officer issues a form 221(g) if you do not share the correct details in DS160 social media account section.
Social Account Password Not Required
You are only required to share the social website’s username. There is NO password required to be shared with US consulate.
Delete All Networking Accounts?
Is deleting the Facebook account an option? I do not think stopping your Facebook or Twitter account will help as the US embassy wants information if you have used any of the platforms in past 5 years.
You are required to share the account details even if closed your account recently or 4 years ago.
The DS160 social media account list of websites does not stop at popular channels but includes a lesser known ones like VKontakte, Flickr, Douban.
It is interesting to know that some networks like Google+ and MySpace which do not even exist now have been added to the list by DOS.
A blog platform Tumblr and image sharing website Pinterest, Instagram are part of long list of social networks.
Delete All Facebook Posts?
There are options to completely make your YouTube videos private or delete them if you do not want them to be visible to public including US embassy.
Please note that if you are on the US government watch list for terrorism threat, they can use their government powers to get even the deleted Facebook posts and other information directly from website owners.
I do not think that US Embassy will go that far for normal visa applications like work visas or business visas for normal people. You should be good if you can just delete your old posts if you think they can contradict your US visa claims.
LinkedIn Profile Not Matching H1B Visa Application?
If you use LinkedIn platform for marketing yourself a potential candidate for next job, US embassy can use it to verify your H1B visa claims.
Make sure that your professional networking site profile matches with what you claim on your US employment visa application for L, H, E-3, TN or other work visas.
An example of how social media accounts can affect your Visa status-
Trump government has already taken multiple steps to make the US visa process cumbersome.
Official Business Facebook accounts not Required
You are not required to share any official business social share accounts that you manage or created for your employer including diplomatic visa applicants.
Only personal social handles or user IDs need to be mentioned on form DS160.
US Port of Entry Denials based on WhatsApp, Text Messages
US port of entry officers already have the powers to check your electronic devices including Laptop and mobiles. We have heard of many instances where WhatsApp messages were checked for a B1/B2 visa holder and were denied entry to US based on the message content showing the ‘intent’ of working in USA.
As per a recent experience shared on a WhatsApp group, an F1 student’s phone was scanned by the immigration officers at the Port of entry in Chicago. He had several pictures of himself posing at a gas station on Facebook. He was sent back to India being told that he had violated immigration rules by working off campus.
The DS-160 question for sharing your networking site IDs will go a step ahead and tap into your ‘intent’ of going to USA much before you even reach the land of opportunities.
Why Social Media Account is Required?
The primary reason that US government shared is the terrorism and vetting people with suspicious past primarily from middle-east countries.
The government claims that they felt the need to evaluate people’s Facebook or Twitter accounts when these platforms were used extensively by terrorist organizations to connect and spread their message.
The national security is the biggest reason the new question form (Form DS-5535) was added for US visa applications.
Now, it has been extended to all DS-160 and DS-260 forms to provide your all social media platform usernames.
Complete list of Social Networks for DS160
- Facebook – Facebook page ID or your user name. If you login with email, just give the part of email that comes before the ‘@’. Example: email@example.com. Then, just share ‘abc’.
- Google+ – Google+ has shut down but you can still give your user name.
- LinkedIn – Your profile ID. It could be the long string of numbers.
- Myspace – Forget it if you used myspace more than 5 years ago.
- Pinterest – your Pinterest ID.
- SINA WEIBO
- TENCENT WEIBO
- TWITTER – Give your twitter handle.
- YOUTUBE – Give your log in ID or channel name.
It seems that US government is not leaving any online website un-touched in verifying your past and your thought process.
The day is not far when the artificial intelligence will be used to gauge your future intent using your social media posts.
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