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Our office suggest that all applicants for U.S. immigration benefit should think twice before they hit the “Like” or “Friend” button or post a status update.  Social media accounts may be scrutinized by Department of Homeland Security and may lead to a denial of pending immigration benefits.

As reported in the New York Times on February 23, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking to build tools to more aggressively examine the social media accounts of all visa applicants and those seeking asylum or refugee status in the United States for possible ties to terrorist organizations. During a congressional hearing earlier this month, USCIS Director León Rodríguez testified that most social media screening is currently performed manually by USCIS analysts. In the future, he stated, DHS hopes to find a way to fully automate the process of examining applicant’s social media accounts.

Currently, there are four pilot program to examine the use of social media among applicants for immigration visas or benefits. One of these pilot programs started in December and and it screens the social media accounts of applicants for the fiancé visas.  

For more information, email or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.

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