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Erickson in the News: Employment & Immigration Whiteboard

November 27, 2017

EMPLOYMENT & IMMIGRATION WHITEBOARD: Proposal would extend ‘extreme vetting’ visa questions for 3 years

By Ted Hesson |11/27/2017 05:10 PM EDT

The Trump administration plans to continue so-called extreme vetting of visa applicants for years to come, according to a notice published in the Federal Register today.

The notice, issued by the State Department, deals with an expanded list of questions for visa applicants “determined to warrant additional scrutiny.”

The questions were first announced in May and adopted for six months on an emergency basis. Under the current proposal, the expanded questions would be approved for a three-year period.

The supplemental questionnaire requests an applicant’s travel, address and employment history over the past 15 years. The application also requests social media handles used in the past five years.

The notice published today estimates that a greater number of visa applicants will be subjected to the additional questions each year than previously estimated.

The State Department estimated that 70,500 people annually would be required to complete the questionnaire, up from an estimate of 65,000 in May.

Hiba Anver, an attorney with the Erickson Immigration Group, said the questions “open the door” for possible abuse.

“The consular process is already discretionary,” she said. “Now officers have another tool through which they can apply their own personal biases.”