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The U.S. State Department has announced new visa vetting procedures it plans to put into effect on May 18th, as part of President Trump’s “extreme vetting” visa policies. Applicants subject to the vetting provisions would be required to provide the following information:
- Travel history during the last 15 years, including source of funding for travel
- Address history during the last 15 years
- Employment history during the last 15 years
- All passport numbers and country of issuance held by the applicant
- Names and dates of birth for all siblings
- Name and dates of birth for all children
- Names and dates of birth for all current and former spouses, or civil or domestic partners
- Social media platforms and identifiers/handles used during the last 5 years
- Phone numbers and email addresses used during the last 5 years
Furthermore, the State Department explained that individuals may be selected for additional screening based on “individual circumstances” that may “lead U.S. consular officers at posts around the world to conclude the applicant warrants enhanced screening” that takes into account information from the additional questions listed above.
These additional stricter screening requirements are likely to result in potential administrative processing delays for some applicants, which poses potentially significant risks for employers and HR departments. These new directives will likely cause slowdowns in visa issuance and an increase in visa denials. This could potentially add weeks or months to an already complex workforce planning schedule, or force HR departments to alter staffing plans and delay projects.
HR teams who may be impacted by these changes should contact an immigration attorney to discuss alternative immigration options for hiring international employees.