Those who wants to enter the United States will soon have to go through many security checks before being granted a visa, irrespective of whether the individual is a tourist, business traveler, or a relative of those who are residents of America. As a result, obtaining a visa will be a tough proposition for would-be travelers to America.

The New York Times reports that instructions have gone out from U.S. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson to all embassies and, the action is seen to be evidence of thorough vetting of requests, as promised by Donald Trump during his presidential campaign.

Who will be affected?

The revised process will include countries that do not enjoy the benefits of the visa waiver program, like countries in the Middle East or Africa. However, citizens of 38 countries will be exempt – these countries cover most of Europe and longstanding allies like Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea because the Visa Waiver Program is applicable to them.

Instructions have been passed on to embassy officials between March 10 and March 17 and, it will be their responsibility to check antecedents of those who apply for visas. Embassies must ensure that the applicants do not pose any security threat to the United States.

One of the checks specified has to do with the social media history of the candidate, and if the individual has ever used social media in any location controlled by the Islamic State.

The massive task involved can be gauged from the fact that in 2016, the United States had issued in excess of 10 million visas.

The present scenario

People have various reasons to come to the United States. Under the new procedure, officials of the embassy will have the authority to deny a visa to anyone who is seen as a possible threat, or anyone who intends to conduct fraud or plans to overstay.

President Donald Trump had, during his presidential campaign, pointed the finger at the Obama administration and blamed it for improper screening of people who enter the United States. Therefore, in order to streamline the process, he has tried to implement several measures to further vet the process.

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