New Delhi, July 30: If you're applying for a visa to the United States, United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand among other countries, make sure your social media profiles, i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and others, are clean enough to keep rejection at bay. According to reports, immigration officials are scanning social media profiles of visa applicants to help find out any inconsistencies with the information provided in the application. Earlier this year, reports had said that the Trump administration wants all US visa applicants to submit details of their previous phone numbers, email addresses and social media histories.
According to a TOI report, if any of your social media posts scanned by immigration officials are found to be under 'hate speech', your visa can be rejected. Meanwhile, your visa can also be rejected if you are connected with a banned organisation as per information given on your online profiles.
In addition to social media profiles, officials in some countries also scan your electronic devices on your arrival in the said country, says the report. Global law firm Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) has issued a white paper stating a 58 percent spike in searches of electronic devices such as phone and laptops by US officials in 2017.
In countries like Singapore, Canada, South Africa and Australia, if a person's social media profiles have more photographs of them with someone other than the spouse named in the application, officials may call the applicant for further questioning, says the BAL white paper.
BAL’s white paper “Social Media and Immigration” has advised organisations to prepare employees for different types of border questioning, stops and searches, especially searches involving company computers and phones as well as risks and the exposure of personal and company data.