Are you interested to migrate to the US, are active on the social media and have accounts on blog posts, LinkedIn, Facebook, and dating websites? If yes, be careful and ensure that you do not post something which may not be similar to the information furnished to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The reason: the immigration body is, reportedly, examining social media as component of pilot schemes with a view to develop standard operating procedures (SOPs), adjudications guidance, and other mandatory procedure governance.
Immigration US Pilots Social Media Websites in Adjudicating Matters
The facts were proffered by the USCIS through a liaison meeting with American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Reportedly, the AILA representative asked the USCIS if the adjudicators review social media to authenticate or probe the details offered by aspirants in their petitions or at interviews.
The immigration agency corroborated that it has tested the feasibility of employing the facts in the adjudication procedure, and pointed-out that plans are afoot to carry on the practice, while considering the apprehensions related to privacy.
Regular Processes to Follow in Immigration Cases
The USCIS does not still have SOPs developed involving the utilization of social media as component of case evaluation. As stated, these pilot schemes are being utilized to develop such management for officials--most probably to balance security and integrity matters with privacy worries.
But, in the meantime, the pilot schemes are running under the existing US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) instructions regarding the utilization of social media accounts. As affirmed by the USCIS, the directives administer the range and method under which USCIS may operationally bring into play social media, for immigration-associated objects.
Battling Harmful Information
The USCIS was asked how a candidate would be in a position to address unhelpful or contradictory information shared on social media that was mulled over by the adjudicator. Delegates verified that, under the existing rules, it is compulsory that the candidates and petitioners are given notice of such disparaging information and be provided with the chance to address that information.
Use of Social Media in Previous Studies
Allegedly, this expose by the USCIS is not very shocking or unparalleled. Since long the USCIS has employed social media when probing alleged fraud and associated immigration infringements. But, this is different from the pilot plans talked about here, which assess social media in regular immigration petitions & applications.
It is crucial, in general, to know about one's social media presence, and the correctness of such information. In recent years, it has become rather ordinary to openly share personal facts & snaps. Since the USCIS could be studying the information shared, any discrepancy found between the information posted and the one shared in one’s application may not do any good to the candidate.