Reports: Trump administration may demand phone passwords from foreign travellers

05 Apr 2017 | Written by Abheet Sethi; Edited by Mansi Motwani

White House officials are reportedly examining a new round of vetting procedures for foreign travellers entering the US, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

These rules could apply to a majority of visitors, including from western Europe, Japan and Australia who receive US visa waivers.

America recently banned travellers from 10 Middle Eastern and North African airports from carrying large electronic devices on airplanes.

In context: Reports: US may demand phone passwords from travellers

21 Mar 2017US/UK ban laptops and tablets on flights from Middle East

The US and UK have banned travellers flying from Middle East and North African countries from carrying laptops and other electronic devices large than cell phones on flights.

Concerns about terrorism prompted the move.

The US ban affects 10 airports present in predominantly-Muslim Middle Eastern countries, including Dubai and Istanbul.

The UK ban applies to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

05 Apr 2017Reports: Trump administration may demand phone passwords from foreign travellers

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What the new regulations might entail?

DetailsWhat the new regulations might entail?

The potential regulations could require travellers to give their phones to immigration officials so they can sift through personal contacts and internet browsing history.

Travelers might have to share access to their social media accounts on request.

Such information could give an idea about a traveller's religious and political leanings, links with people and to identify potentially dangerous persons.

Tightened rules"Extreme vetting" expanded to more foreign travellers

These regulations would even apply to those taking short trips to the US.

The White House may also issue instructions to make the visa interview process more stringent for applicants who don't currently go through "extreme vetting" under the revised executive order signed by Trump in March.

That order requires citizens of six Middle Eastern countries applying for US visas to undergo "extreme vetting."

05 May 2017New Visa rules: US to seek social-media details from applicants

As part of the Trump's administration's augmented screening of potential immigrants and visitors, the State Department now expects to review social media, email addresses and phone numbers from certain visa applicants.

In a notice published on Thursday, the department sought public comment on the same.

It also requested for a temporary go-ahead from the White House, for the plan to kickstart on 18th May.

01 Jun 2017US visa new rules: Questionnaire asks for information for 15years

US has introduced a new questionnaire for visa applicants that ask for details regarding social media handles for the last five years, and other information going back 15 years.

It was approved despite criticism that it would lead to long delays in processing applications.

Additional information would be asked for when "such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous vetting".

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03 Jun 2017US implements stricter screening methods for visa applicants

The US has started implementing stricter screening methods for visa applicants, like asking some about their social media accounts.

Other information that maybe demanded includes "details about family members and a longer history of past travel, employment, and contact information," said a State Department official.

However, the changes will "affect only a fraction of one percent" of over 13mn annual visa applicants, she added.