Applying for a US Visa? You might have to watch your Social Media activity

by | Dec 14, 2015

On the second day of December this year, terror was unleashed on America. Precisely in San Bernardino, California when Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a jihadist couple opened fire at a holiday party, killing fourteen people and injuring twenty two others. The terror was akin to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre.

Investigation showed the couple began plotting the attack a long time ago, even before they got engaged to be married and authorities are trying to determine if they have links to other foreign terror organizations.

Even this in itself is not a bone of contention as further investigations have revealed that the wife Tashfeen Malik made posts on her social media account in the past openly advocating her jihadists views. And background checks did not reveal this before a visa and green card were issued to her. No matter how thorough the checks would have been, they would not have anyway as immigration checks do not usually extend to social media.

There are ongoing debates in the Department of Homeland Security as to whether it is appropriate to check social media in background checks for immigration. If the authorities had seen Malik’s post on time, maybe the San Bernardino shootings would have been forestalled. This is a pointer that the debate might just turn out in favor of social media checks on immigration before visas are granted.

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The implication of this on the Nigerian scene is scary because no matter how unofficial it is, the number of Nigerians working at  migrating to the United States is mind-boggling.

A timely advice for the average Nigerian joe seeking to gain admission into “God’s own country” is to watch what you say on social media as you go about your immigration journey legally as one of my big uncles would say.

Shutting up your mouth on social media especially Facebook and Nigerian Twitter might just be a visa to getting your visa application to the USA and green card approved in the nearest future.

Photo Credit: Amiga-Commodore via Compfight cc

Victor Ekwealor
Victor Ekwealor

tech. media. startups. africa. vc | Twitter: @victor_ekwealor

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