In addition to their social media histories, visa applicants are now asked for five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses, international travel and deportation status, as well as whether any family members have been involved in terrorist activities.
As part of the new visa policy, Pakistani journalists will now be granted visas for only three months and for missionaries up to a year. Previously, journalists and missionaries were given a five-year visa.
Amid the Donald Trump administration's heightened scrutiny of H1B work visas and uncertainty among workers, Nasscom Chairman Rishad Premji has said it is important to "separate the sentiment from the fact" regarding the visas.
Indian IT industry has raised concerns over the proposed changes in the US visa regime. Any changes in work visa programmes, may result in higher operational costs and shortage of skilled workers for the USD 110 billion Indian outsourcing industry.
"Infosys has agreed for a $1 million settlement for failing to follow US visa requirements for foreign workers and placing them in New York jobs without paying prevailing wages and taxes owed to them," said New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman
US visa vetting: Officials will request the additional information when they determine “that such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting,” a State Department official said.