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US Visa Applicants & Travellers Denied Entry Due To Their Social Media

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Inadmissibility Issues and Waivers, U.S. Visa Waivers of Inadmissibility and U.S. Immigration

US Visa Applicants & Travellers Denied Entry Due To Their Social Media

More and more visitors to the United States are being denied entry by U.S. border officials after a review of their social media and other online accounts. In late August a 17-year old incoming Harvard Freshman from Lebanon was denied entry and deported before the start of the school year after immigration officers at Boston’s Logan Airport had concerns about his friends’ social media posts.

The new immigration regulations announced in May 2019 are expected to affect 15 million foreigners who apply for Visas to enter the United States each year and apply to applicants for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. The state department estimates it will affect 710,000 immigrant visa applicants and 14 million nonimmigrant visa applicants, including those who want to come to the U.S. for business or education.

The U.S. State Department will be reviewing social media for all Visa requests and asking additional new questions during the Visa process. The State Department has updated immigrant and nonimmigrant visa application forms to require that visa applicants submit a 5-year social media history:

  • their social media accounts
  • “social identifiers” including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
  • provide any social media account names they may have used during the previous 5 years
  • identify any social platforms not included in the form

In announcing Collection of Social Media Identifiers from U.S. Visa Applicants, the State Department said:

"We already request certain contact information, travel history, family member information, and previous addresses from all visa applicants. Collecting this additional information from visa applicants will strengthen our process for vetting these applicants and confirming their identity."

The new social media rules were published in the Federal Register in March 2018. Only applicants for certain diplomatic and official visa types are exempt from the new social identifier requirements. Previously, only a small number of visa applicants who were singled out for additional inspection were required to submit their social media, email and phone number history.

American Customs and Border Protection Officers have broad discretionary powers. If you are concerned about your eligibility to travel to the United States or if you have been you may be refused entry, contact Ackah Law today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly before attempting to travel to the U.S. again.


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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My sincere thank you to the Ackah Law for helping me to become a Permanent Resident here in Canada. I feel like I'm your family too because every time I feel down and hopeless, you guys are very supportive and always encouraging me that everything will be fine, that life is very beautiful ... you treat me not as a client but you treat me like a family and you showed it to me and I am very thankful that Ackah Law Team have a good heart... And you made it happened ... you work very professionally and I feel the confident working with you! Special thanks to Alicia and Evelyn for all the effort and knowledge you shared to me... you guys are awesome!

Hope you will continue to help other people like me and again, from my heart, I want to say thank you!

– Jaysen R

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