Immigration in the Digital Age: Social Media Screening
You want the DOS, CBP or USCIS officer reviewing your case to understand the genuine reasons that you are eligible for benefits—including your true character—and not base his or her assessment of your eligibility on your passing thoughts, feelings or photos. You also don’t want an officer to draw a false conclusion that may make an otherwise legitimate entry difficult or impossible. By thoughtfully and responsibly managing your social media persona and messaging at all times, you can limit the risk you create when you press send, share, upload or post.
- Google your own name to see what comes up, and make sure the information is accurate. If it’s not, clean it up and/or expect to be asked about it upon entry to the U.S.
- Understand that photos tell a story. Do your photos give U.S. government officials a reason to deny you entry?
- Think ahead. Don’t make social media choices now that could limit you later.
- Language matters. Threatening behavior online can raise mental health or other issues that could make you ineligible to enter the United States.
- Don’t update your online profiles to reflect U.S. job duties or locations before you actually have permission to engage in them or be there
- Ask questions. If you’re not sure if something in your present or past could make you inadmissible to the United States, ask an expert before it becomes a problem. It’s often easier to prevent a problem than to fix it later.
If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to one of the attorneys in our Immigration Practice Group
Disclaimer: The information in this post is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from our firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.