The enhanced rules for ESTA/DS-160, for people from the UK visiting the US for tourism, is reported to now require present+past social media accounts, and also email addresses and phone numbers used in the last 5 years. Apparently these are now (or may become) mandatory.

I'm a bit unsure about my ability to provide the latter two pieces of information, or at least, the rules leave me unclear about what to provide. Obviously the last thing I want to do is provide anything that might be deemed untruthful or inaccurate, but guidance is hard to find.

Phone numbers: I use my own mobile phone, whose number I obviously know. I also use a landline when at my parents, as I've had to live there for an extended interval during repairs to my house. Obviously if i was visiting it wouldn't be an issue.

  • Does the fact it's a landline where I've lived, even though not in my name or at my home, mean I have an obligation to list it as "my" phone number?
  • Simultaneously my own landline may still exist, I don't know. I haven't had a landline phone for years. Due to the repairs I don't know if it's connected or not, and I'm not even sure if it's being billed or not. I don't know what its number was, or would be. But it was certainly enabled in 2015-2016. Beyond that I don't know, and I don't have details of it from back then as I never used it beyond a few test calls. It was only provided to get internet, but even that wasn't used after 2015. What should I do or say about this?

Email addresses: I have had fairly stable email addresses for the last 5 years, so that's not an issue. But I have frequently used temporary online "disposable" email addresses, to sign up for forums and websites needing registration, or to avoid spam. I haven't got a hope in hell of remembering all of them, as, by their very nature, they were used once or twice over a period of an hour to a day or so, then never used again, their details temporarily on a scrap of paper or an unsaved text file, deleted or thrown away afterwards. What should I say or do?

Additionally I'm likely to run my own email server in the next few months. When in do, then technically any email to/from MYDOMAIN.UK will be mine, and I could well use dozens or hundreds of throwaway and separate email addresses for different services, to further reduce spam or curtail marketing crossover, or for job applications. (I'll still use online third party ones as well). And of course I may get spam emails to me, that don't correspond to an active email address but I did once use, or are sent for spam purposes guessing at account names. Essentially my emails will at that point include "anything sent from these domains", but most will be again, disposables used once briefly.

Social media: the BBC report says that apart from 20 named sites, "any others should be volunteered". But what is the legal definition used for a social media site? The internet blurs categories from IRC and chat clients, to forums (including forums for technical matters and forums with social aspects, usually they blur a bit), professional and leisure collaborative websites based on wikis, where users may work together and again might be considered social, and I've used a huge number of tech and other forums and chat clients, some once-off, some ongoing. Is a private chat using a chat client app with one individual, "social media"? What if the same app is used for a chat with 100 people? Again, impossible to be sure to list all, and unsure which are required to be listed.

As this is an important form to get right, its important that answers should shown some kind of support or backing, to be sure that the advice or replies are actually based where possible on US government advice, practice, guidance or advisories (if any exists) or cases from the past if needed, or something like that.

  • 2
    Have you looked at the ESTA application forms online? A quick look now makes no mention of five years' of email addresses or social media accounts. You're asked for current contact information, and information about social media is optional. Do you have a source for the reports you mention?
    – user90371
    Jun 1, 2019 at 19:59
  • nytimes.com/2018/03/30/world/americas/… "Along with the social media information, visa applicants will be asked for past passport numbers, phone numbers and email addresses" It's hard to find specifics beyond that.
    – Stilez
    Jun 1, 2019 at 20:10
  • 5
    The New York Times says explicitly 'Citizens of roughly 40 countries to which the United States ordinarily grants visa-free travel will not be affected by the requirement', while the BBC article refers only to visa applicants. This new requirement doesn't apply to you at present. What the US may require in future is purely speculation.
    – user90371
    Jun 1, 2019 at 21:51
  • 7
    You can’t provide what you don’t have. This is a case of agonizing over nothing. You give it your best shot, that’s all. Jun 1, 2019 at 22:40
  • 1
    See my answer on travel.stackexchange.com/questions/114285/… regarding the changes. As at yesterday, they were NOT asking for phone or email details, which makes this question unanswerable.
    – Doc
    Jun 1, 2019 at 23:46

1 Answer 1


At the end of the DS-160 process, you must sign electronically and it states:

By submitting my fingerprint, I am certifying under penalty of perjury that I have read and understood the questions in my visa application and that all statements that appear in my visa application have been made by me and are true and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief.

Key part being "to the best of my knowledge and belief", which might boil down to use your own judgement and be honest. You know only what you know.

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