- United States visa applicants from Ghana will now be required to list their social media names
- The new rules apply to virtually all applicants for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas
The United States of America will henceforth require all visa applicants to submit their social media details under newly adopted rules.
The new directive will also require applicants of US visas to to provide five years' worth of email addresses and phone numbers.
The State Department regulations say the new proposal will affected an estimated 14.7 million people annually.
The new directive will however, not affect certain diplomatic and official visa applicants.
The statement noted that persons travelling to the US to work or to study will have to hand over their information.
"We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes to protect US citizens, while supporting legitimate travel to the United States," the department reportedly said.
Previously, only applicants who needed additional vetting - such as people who had been to parts of the world controlled by terrorist groups - would need to hand over this data.
But now applicants will have to give up their account names on a list of social media platforms, and also volunteer the details of their accounts on any sites not listed.
The new proposal further warned that person who lie about their social media details would face “serious immigration consequences”, the statement added.
The Trump administration first proposed the rules in March 2018.
At the time, the American Civil Liberties Union - a civil rights group - said there is "no evidence that such social media monitoring is effective or fair", and said it would cause people to self-censor themselves online.
US President Donald Trump made cracking down on immigration a key plank of his election campaign in 2016.
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