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Green Card Lottery Winners: The Social Media Checklist

Woman Standing Juggling Social Network Icons

What are all of your social media networks?

Understanding Social Media Reporting Requirements for the U.S. State Department's Form DS-260.

If you've been fortunate enough to win the annual Green Card Lottery (DV Lottery) program and are now taking the next steps towards obtaining your Diversity Visa, you're likely navigating a myriad of forms and requirements.

One crucial aspect of the process is the completion of the U.S. Department of State's Form DS-260, the Online Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application. While this form covers various aspects of your personal and immigration history, one section may stand out to you: the Social Media reporting requirement.

The DS-260 application asks applicants to provide information about their online presence and social media activity over the last five years. This requirement aims to assess the eligibility of applicants and ensure national security by scrutinizing their online interactions and behavior.

What does the DS-260 ask about social media?

The section on social media within the DS-260 application is designed to collect the following information:

  • Social Media Platforms: You are asked to select from a list of social media platforms that you have used within the last five years. This list includes popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter (now known as "X"), Instagram, LinkedIn, and more.
  • Usernames or Handles: For each selected platform, you are required to provide your username, handle, screen name, or any other identifiers associated with your social media profile. Please note that you should never provide your passwords.
  • Other Social Media: Additionally, you have the option to report any presence on websites or applications you've used to create or share content (e.g., photos, videos, status updates) within the last five years, even if they are not included in the predefined list of social media platforms.

Why is social media information required?

The U.S. State Department introduced this social media reporting requirement as part of its enhanced security measures in May 2019. The State Department indicated that this additional information would be collected from visa applicants to strengthen the screening process.

By examining applicants' online activities, the government aims to:

  • Enhance Security: Social media can provide insights into an applicant's character, associations, and intentions. This information can help authorities identify potential security risks.
  • Verify Information: The government may cross-reference the information provided on the DS-260 Form with an applicant's social media profiles to ensure consistency and accuracy.
  • Prevent Fraud: This requirement helps prevent identity fraud and misrepresentation of an applicant's background.

Important considerations for applicants:

  1. Accuracy: It's crucial to provide accurate and truthful information about your social media presence. Inaccurate or misleading information can lead to delays or denials in the visa application process.
  2. Privacy Settings: Keep in mind that U.S. authorities may review the information you've shared publicly on your social media profiles. Therefore, it's a good idea to review your privacy settings and be mindful of what you post online.
  3. Professionalism: While it's important to be honest, also be aware that excessively negative or inappropriate content on your social media profiles might affect your visa application. Maintain a professional online presence.
  4. Complete the Form: If you have used multiple social media platforms, use the "Add Another" button to list each one separately. Ensure that you provide information for all relevant platforms.
  5. Optional Reporting: If you have used websites or applications for content creation or sharing that are not included in the predefined list, you have the option to report them in the "Other Social Media" section.
  6. Stay Informed: Policies and requirements may change over time, so it's essential to stay informed about any updates to the DS-260 application or social media reporting requirements.

Remember, the goal of this requirement is not to invade your privacy but to ensure the safety and security of the United States. By complying with the DS-260's social media reporting requirements, you are taking a necessary step toward achieving your goal of obtaining a Diversity Visa and starting a new chapter in the United States.

Form DS 260 Social Media Disclosure Screenshot

Screenshot of social media disclosure questions.

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