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“Extreme Vetting” – Supplemental Questions to be asked of Visa Applicants

DHS notice of request for emergency OMB approval and public comment on a new Form DS-5535, Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants, to collect information from visa applicants who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities. Comments are due 5/18/17. If granted, the emergency approval is only valid for 180 days. (82 FR 20956, 5/4/17)

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice: 9984]

Notice of Information Collection Under OMB Emergency Review: Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants

ACTION: Notice of request for emergency OMB approval and public comment.

From the notice:

The Department proposes requesting the following information, if not already included in an application, from a subset of visa applicants worldwide, in order to more rigorously evaluate applicants for terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities:

  • Travel history during the last fifteen years, including source of funding for travel;
  • Address history during the last fifteen years;
  • Employment history during the last fifteen years;
  • All passport numbers and country of issuance held by the applicant;
  • Names and dates of birth for all siblings;
  • Name and dates of birth for all children;
  • Names and dates of birth for all current and former spouses, or civil or domestic partners;
  • Social media platforms and identifiers, also known as handles, used during the last five years; and
  • Phone numbers and email addresses used during the last five years.

Most of this information is already collected on visa applications but for a shorter time period, e.g. five years rather than fifteen years. Requests for names and dates of birth of siblings and, for some applicants, children are new. The request for social media identifiers and associated platforms is new for the Department of State, although it is already collected on a voluntary basis by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for certain individuals. Regarding travel history, applicants may be requested to provide details of their international or domestic (within their country of nationality) travel, if it appears to the consular officer that the applicant has been in an area while the area was under the operational control of a terrorist organization as defined in section 212(a)(3)(B)(vi) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi). Applicants may be asked to recount or explain the details of their travel, and when possible, provide supporting documentation.

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