The ESTA application has an "Online Presence" optional field, where one can provide their identifiers for various websites (example: Facebook, Instagram, etc.).

As the field is optional, I decided to not fill it.

What are the pros and cons of filling the "Online Presence" field?

This website explains that

The point, of course, is to enhance national security as well as possible. In providing your social media information, US Customs and Border Protection Agents can see if you have any connections or ties to groups that could threaten the security of the country.

I guess there are more reasons to not fill it rather than filling it.

Are there any situation where it is a good idea to fill it?

  • 1
    Purely anecdotal: I didn't fill it in for my ESTA six months ago, and it took five days to approve it compared to the normal 15-30 minutes previous times. I suppose I might have been selected for extra screening even if I did give them social media info, or refusing might have flagged something. – Johanna Dec 17 '18 at 9:38
  • 1
    The official documentation says: "If an applicant does not answer the question or simply does not hold a social media account, the ESTA application can still be submitted without a negative interpretation or inference." One really wonders what the point of the question really is in that case... – jcaron Dec 17 '18 at 10:04
  • 1
    Unrelated: quite bizarre that GitHub is in the list of social media platforms! – jcaron Dec 17 '18 at 10:06
  • 2
    @jcaron They want to check if you develop open source nuclear missile control software. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Dec 17 '18 at 13:41
  • 2
    @Giorgio But if the applicant doesn't supply social media, how could it be automatically checked? – MJeffryes Dec 17 '18 at 16:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.