If you are in the U.S. on a visa or green card, you may keep in contact with friends and family in your home country through social media. Through the many social media platforms, you have the freedom to share pictures, videos and updates with those who cannot be with you to see the significant changes in your life, such as getting married, having a child or obtaining other milestones.
One significant milestone you may want to share with your loved ones is your decision to seek a change in your immigration status, either to permanent residency or even citizenship through naturalization. What you may not realize is that those in your home country may not be the only ones viewing your social media. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security wants access to those accounts too.
The government is taking steps to broaden its efforts to maintain security in the country by adding new screening methods to its already complex immigration processes. If you plan to apply for citizenship or change of status after marriage, you may find new questions on the application forms of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency. Those questions involve your use of certain social media platforms within the past five years.
Some immigration forms already ask some general questions about social media use, but updated forms may soon directly request your usernames for the past five years for any of the following social media platforms and others:
As you can see, these are among the most popular social media networks in use across the world. You may feel tempted to delete your account or refuse to answer the social media questions on your application. However, USCIS warns that this may only delay your immigration process indefinitely or prevent authorities from confirming your eligibility.
What should I do?
At any time you are dealing with the immigration system, you can be certain your rights are at risk. The processes can be complex, time-sensitive and frustrating to navigate. With the addition of new security measures that delve into your privacy, you may find them even more challenging. This is why it is wise to seek the advocacy of a skilled attorney who is experienced in immigration law. Your Texas attorney will guide you through the process and represent your best interests if complications should arise.