On May 23, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget approved new questions designed to tighten screening procedures for visitors to the United States despite criticism from education officials and academic groups during the new public comment proceedings.
Critics said the new questions would be a heavy burden and would lead to a delay in entry procedures and would discourage foreign students and scientists from coming to the United States.
Under the new procedures, consular officials can request:
Numbers of all previous passports
Accounts on social networking sites over the last five years
Biography information dating back to 15 years
Information on previous jobs and travel
While the answer to the new questions is voluntary, the questionnaire model says that non-response may delay consideration or lead to rejection of the visa application.
A State Department official said Wednesday that officials were entitled to request additional information if they decided that "such information is necessary to confirm the identity or to make a more precise examination required by the public security interest."
Earlier, the State Department said that the tightening of scrutiny would apply to those who would be required to undergo further audit related to terrorism or public security issues.