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Social media now an important part of US immigration law

Social media is widely used and embraced by people from all walks of life and backgrounds. People use their social media accounts to post pictures of their kids, share details of their latest vacation and to connect with friends and family members. A lot of people even think of social media as unimportant, so what they do on it might not even matter. A recent update to U.S. immigration law could change how people in Louisiana view their social media usage.

Applying for a U.S. visa will now require a little more information than before. When applying for a visa, an applicant will likely be required to also submit his or her social media information. This includes things like usernames, old email addresses and previously used phone numbers. The change is expected to impact approximately 15 million people hoping to travel to the United States.

The change did not come out of nowhere. Screening visa applicants' social media accounts was initially proposed back in March 2018. However, the application forms were only recently updated to include the social media information. In the past, immigration officials had only screened the social media information of applicants who had been identified as needing enhanced screening.

Many people do not take social media seriously. Even those who do understand the implications of using social media may have started out on these platforms when they were teenagers, and in their adolescence may have made seemingly unwise posts. However, one or two questionable social media posts should not prevent anyone who is hoping to immigrate to Louisiana. An attorney who is well-versed in U.S. immigration law can generally help individuals better understand how their social media accounts will affect their applications.

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