The United States government has said visa applicants will now have to submit their social media usernames when applying for a visa into the country.
According to a report by the BBC, the new regulations would further require applicants to submit five years’ worth of email addresses and phone numbers.
“National security is our top priority when adjudicating visa applications, and every prospective traveler and immigrant to the United States undergoes extensive security screening,” the department said via an initial proposal in 2018.
“We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes to protect U.S. citizens, while supporting legitimate travel to the United States.” the US State Department said in a statement to the AP.
This is not the first time the US is carrying out the process. In the past, it had made use of the policy which affected about 65,000 people per year.
The new policy is expected to affect nearly 15 million visa applicants.