Back to Top skip to main content
Green and Spiegel - An Immigration Law Firm - United States
Apr 4, 2018

Trump Administration Seeks Social Media Handles of Immigrants & Nonimmigrants

Andrew Clancy Rodgers

In yet another effort to impose ‘extreme vetting’ of foreign nationals entering the United States, on Friday March 30, 2018, The Department of State published two proposed rules (83 FR 13806 & 83 FR 13807) that, if approved, would require applicants for admission to the United States to submit five years of social media handles for specific social media platforms (the platforms have not yet been identified). 

Because the requirements would apply to both nonimmigrant and immigrant visa, the rules would effectively require all foreign nationals visiting the United States (with the exception of those from Visa Waiver countries entering for less than 90 days, and other diplomatic or official visitors) to submit five years of social media history to the Department of State for review.  The updated requests are estimated to affect 15 million people. Despite some of the rumors circulating, the Trump Administration has not yet indicated a firm intention to require applicants to provide their social media passwords. 

The Department will accept comments from the public up to May 29, 2018, and Green and Spiegel will be submitting a comment opposing the proposed rules.  These rules will have the effect of overburdening and therefore slowing down immigration processing for all foreign nationals seeking a visa to enter the United States, effectively limiting legal immigration to the United States.  Furthermore, Green and Spiegel believes that this invasion of privacy will cause some tourists, temporary workers, and intending immigrants to reconsider their desire to come to the United States at all.

In addition to submitting a comment to the present rules, Green and Spiegel will be closely monitoring the rule making process, as well as any further limitations or changes the Trump Administration is making to US Immigration.  If you have any questions regarding if and how USCIS’ announcement affects your pending nonimmigrant or immigrant visa application, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Related Team

Recent Blogs

Jul 09, 2020

Update – 60-Day Extension of Deadlines for RFEs and Other Agency Requests Extended through September 11, 2020

If RFE, NOID, NOIR, Denial, or other Agency request issued between March 1, 2020 and September 11, 2020, may submit up-to-60-days beyond stated deadline or decision date. New notices will not be issued. Learn more in this blog.

Jul 08, 2020

M.I.T. and Harvard Sue the Trump Administration over Plan to Require In-Person Classes for International Students

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced plans to severely modify temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during the fall semester forcing students enrolled in programs operating entirely online to depart the United States or transfer to another school in order to avoid deportation. Universities across the country were swift to criticize and decry this decision by the Trump administration; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T) and Harvard have filed a lawsuit against them. Learn more in this blog.

Jul 07, 2020

SEVP Modifies Temporary Exemptions for International Students Taking Online Courses During the Fall 2020 Semester

On Monday, July 6th the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced that it has implemented modifications to temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during the Fall 2020 semester. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a change in policy had permitted nonimmigrant students to take more online courses than usually permitted by Federal regulations to maintain their nonimmigrant status. Learn more in this blog.