Changes in DS-160: Social Media and US Visa

As many of you might have already read or heard, the DS-160 and the DS-260 – mandatory background information forms to be filled for a non-immigrant visa and an immigrant US visa application respectively – had an update on 30th and 31st May 2019. Not much changed in the forms – they added a section where you must list your presence on social media in the last 5 years. The section looks like this:

US Visa

Wondering what is listed in there? This is the list you see once you click on the drop down box:

  • So, why this change?

It is a part of larger policy changes, wherein the US government wants to have more information of people entering the country.

  • I have already filled up my DS-160 and submitted, but my visa interview is pending. Should I fill a new DS-160?

No. Do not fill a new DS-160, regardless of whether you have submitted your DS-160 or not. You will be informed about how to submit this information, by the US consulate. Wait for them to contact you.

  • What should you do?

Provide all information honestly. Do no miss any of your social media presence. You will be asked to provide the link to your profile for each social media portal you select above.

  • Do they need my passwords or login ID?

No, they neither need your login ID nor your password. They just need your handle. Whenever you open your profile, it opens with a link e.g. www.facebook.com/sfsdfsdfsd. Just copy paste this link. For Instagram or Twitter, mention the handle you use.

  • What if you do not provide that information?

That will qualify as non-disclosure of mandatory information. According to rules, this means, whenever this nondisclosure is detected, you will be deported from the country and barred from re-entry.

  • What if you miss out on providing that information?

Ideally, that should not happen, because you know what social media you already use.

  • What will they do with this information?

As of now, nothing much. They will NOT HACK into your profiles. They are just accumulating records.

  • So should I change my social media posts?

If you have ever posted, or supported posts of the following nature, yes, you should delete them:

  1. Supporting terrorism
  2. Supporting persecution of a particular community or race
  3. Supporting extremist or radical views
  4. Supporting illegal or criminal activities that violate the sovereignty of the United States.

Relax! Liking a meme on Instagram or a funny post on Facebook will NOT put you into trouble. If you believe any of your previous posts falls under the above category, remove them. If you are not sure, leave your social media as it is. Do not overthink.

  • Will this lead to more questioning during visa interview?

NO. They are not going to read your posts as of now. Do not believe any online posts which say the visa interview went bad or that social media was cited during the interview. Nothing of this sort will happen. Approximately 14 million people visit the US every year. No one has so much time and energy to read every single social media post just for an interview. Just provide the information, and you are done.

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