In accordance with the President’s March 6, 2017 Memorandum on enhancing the screening and vetting of applications for visas, the Department of State has begun collecting additional information from visa applicants worldwide when a consular officer determines that such information is required to confirm identity or to conduct more rigorous national security vetting. Such visa applicants will be asked to provide additional information, including their social media handles, prior passport numbers, additional information about family members, and a longer history of past travel, employment, and contact information. We estimate these changes affect only a fraction of one percent of the more than 13 million annual visa applicants worldwide.
The Department of State is committed to facilitating legitimate travel and providing prompt and courteous service. At the same time, we must ensure that applicants do not pose a security risk to the United States and otherwise are eligible for a visa. We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes and to support legitimate travel and immigration to the United States while protecting U.S. citizens.