Now, your visa hinges on your online profile too

Representative image

Representative image

By Lubna Kably

Mind your step! These words have taken on a new meaning for globetrotting individuals who are also active on social media. Immigration and border security officials across several countries are keeping an eye on your social media trail and looking up your online profiles. This helps throw up inconsistencies in information submitted to immigration authorities, connections to extremist organisations- if any, and even posts that could be considered hate speech under the host country’s laws.

In addition, officials in some countries such as the US have the authority to search your electronic devices- be it your cell phone or laptop. A white paper issued by Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL), a global law firm, states that 30,200 searches of electronic devices were conducted by US border officials in fiscal 2017, a spike of 58% over the previous year.

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