News reaching BuzzNigeria from Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, is that US visa applicants will need to present their social media passwords for account scrutiny.
This new measure is to help tighten security into the United States and applies mainly to applicants from the seven Muslim-majority countries [Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia] that were given 90-days temporary entrance ban into the U.S.
John Kelly revealed this development during the hearing of the Homeland Security Committee. He said getting into the social media accounts of US visa applicants is a new requirement and some sort of additional screening.
According to Kelly, since it is a lot difficult to screen people from the above-mentioned countries, the Homeland Security team plans to get a sneak peep into their social media, using their passwords so they can see for themselves the discussions going on in these people’s social media, which includes but not limited to Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and more.
Kelly emphasized that this probing system is still under serious deliberations and has not been decided upon, however, he hinted that the screening process of getting a US Visa will now be tougher and anyone who does not comply can kiss the opportunity to visit America goodbye.
Meanwhile, considering the argument that President Trump‘s immigration ban on the seven Muslim-majority countries was issued out too early, the ban has been placed on temporary pause following a court order.
Similarly, Daily Post has confirmed that the rumors making rounds, which states that the US visa duration issued to Nigerians has been reduced to 1 year, is false.
Also, some bad-news mongers are spreading the news that the immigration ban from Muslim Countries affects Nigerians as well. This is also untrue as Nigerians are safe from the ban.
A travel agency, the Mavlon Tour Team encourages Nigerians to go ahead with their plans to get a visa.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja on “Executive Order on Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” the US Consular General, Meghan Moore has revealed that they still issue two-year US visas to Nigerian US visa non-immigrants applicants and will continue to.
Moore assured that the executive order would not affect the validity of visas issued to Nigerians, saying that the only thing that has changed is the renewal period. The Consular Chief said though the US visa policy was based on reciprocity, Nigerians would not be discriminate against it.
“The US government issues multiple-entry 2 years visa for Nigerians. The rumours that we are planning to change that to one year are not true. The main difference for Nigerians will be; you can use the DHL Dropbox renewal programme if your visa has expired within 12 months. But if it expired more than 12months ago, then you will need to schedule an appointment for the interview.”
Also, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington said the new measure was to ensure the safety of Americans and those visiting the country. Therefore, he assured Nigerians that they would not be singled out for visa restrictions based on their religious belief, race, looks, or names.