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DOS Notice of New Form DS-5535, Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants

Tomorrow, DOS will publish in the Federal Register a notice of information collection under the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) emergency review on supplemental questions for visa applicants who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities. The "extreme vetting" questions include requests for information on travel, address, and employment history during the last 15 years; names and dates of birth for all siblings, children, and current and former spouses; social media platforms and identifiers used during the last five years; and phone numbers and e-mail addresses used during the last five years. If granted, the emergency approval will be valid for 180 days. Comments are due by May 18, 2017.

Most of this information is already collected on visa applications but for a shorter time period, e.g. five years rather than fifteen years. Requests for names and dates of birth of siblings and, for some applicants, children are new. The request for social media identifiers and associated platforms is new for the Department of State, although it is already collected on a voluntary basis by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for certain individuals. Regarding travel history, applicants may be requested to provide details of their international or domestic (within their country of nationality) travel, if it appears to the consular officer that the applicant has been in an area while the area was under the operational control of a terrorist organization as defined in section 212(a)(3)(B)(vi) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi). Applicants may be asked to recount or explain the details of their travel, and when possible, provide supporting documentation. - AILA Doc. No. 17050366

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