New House Visa Security Reform Bill
The House has submitted a bill for consideration called the Visa Integrity and Security Act of 2016 (VISA). Several proposed changes stand out.
1, all visa petitions will require a complete background check of the Petitioner, as well as the Beneficiaries of the application. Currently, a full background check is conducted only on the Beneficiaries.
2, a “Security Advisory Opinion” would be required for all visa applicants from countries currently associated with Islamic extremism, e.g., Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Yemen.
3, a person’s Social Media information will be reviewed as part of the background checks.
4, All visa applicants abroad will be required to have an in-person interview with a consular official.
5, DNA testing will be required for all visa applications based solely on blood relations, i.e., sibling petitions or Parent-child preference petitions. Currently DNA testing is done only where the records of birth and family heritage are insufficient or from a country lacking in reliable record-keeping.