New rules for U.S. visa applicants require social media info from past five years

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      Canadians seeking to work or study in the U.S. will need to take note of new rules that have come into effect when applying for American visas.

      The U.S. State Department adopted new rules on June 1 that requires applicants for both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to submit all social media account names, email addresses, and phone numbers from the past five years.

      Some diplomatic and official visa applicants will remain exempt from these measures, which previously only applied to individuals for whom further screening was required such as those who had visited areas controlled by terrorist groups.

      These new rules were proposed by the Trump administration in March 2018 and the change is expected to affect approximately 15 million foreigners seeking to visit the U.S.

      However, the move has sparked criticism and concerns about privacy, profiling, discrimination, and First Amendment issues.