I heard that the US immigration is asking people for their Facebook or any other social media logins, or at least are planning to do so. I value my privacy so I don't even have a Facebook account and never will. And even if I did, I would not give away my password to the authorities.

I fear they will not believe that I don't use Facebook or any other social media and thus wont let me enter. Is this rule in place and if so, are these fears unfounded?

Also see my similar question for Canada: Do I need to provide PIN or password for my digital accessories, when entering Canada?

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    To visit the United States, you must first log in with your Facebook or Google+ account...
    – Jules
    Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 16:46
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    @sgroves Except search for your profile? If you use your real name, you will likely show up very quickly. Most of these profiles are public by nature. Or, just use Google to search for the person's name. Googling myself reveals pretty much everything about me except the direct link to my Facebook profile, but you could just use Facebook search directly to find me. I feel like people forget how much we are being tracked, and what information is public. I'm sure that the U.S. government has some more sophisticated methods. Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 18:38
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    @sgroves True, but even if you were telling the truth and it was a fake account, officials might not care - they'll take you into custody all the same if the fake account looks like it represents you and has some suspicious activity. So in any case, if there are results from that search, one should hope that there's nothing to give officials probable cause to suspect you. "Random selection" happens all the time for less justifiable reasons. Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 18:57
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    @sgroves "You must let me enter unless you can prove I'm bad" is not a thing. There's no right of entry, you are asking pretty-please. Lying to gain entry is a crime, so they can turn you away or even detain you on suspicion of that crime - only then does "deny" and "prove" enter the picture. Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 0:14
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    The fact that this question does actually make a lot of sense says a lot. And it reminds me that I better get a Facebook account if I want to make sure that it's "impossible" for anyone to create one with my name and picture in order to screw up my possible travels to US. Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 10:42

1 Answer 1


I'm going to answer this to cover two aspects - social media accounts for visas, and social media access AT the border, since they're related and will probably be asked as well.

Currently for some visas, you're now asked for your social media accounts as a foreign traveller to the US.

The US government has begun asking select foreign travelers to disclose their social media activities as part of an expanded effort to spot potential terrorist threats.

The request functions as a prompt on the online Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or Esta, a visa waiver application that many visitors are required to submit before travelling to the US. The choices include platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube, and additional space for applicants to input their account names on those sites.

However, obviously not every person has a social media account (including members of my family).

The CBP has stated:

it wouldn’t prohibit entry to foreigners who didn’t provide their social media account information.

It's a weird request. In theory if they find someone suspicious, they could use their social media to look up more info about them. Equally, it could help clear them. However, much like some of the other questions (are you a member of a terrorist organisation), it's unlikely any 'problem person' is going to volunteer their social media accounts. However, others feel insecure if they don't complete a full visa application, and the information may be used for other things, like cross referencing with other govt organisations wondering who the followers of x are, or who is tweeting from y.

However, that's speculation. The key answer to your question, again - for now, is:

it wouldn’t prohibit entry to foreigners who didn’t provide their social media account information.

Similarly, if they ask you for your actual login credentials (eg password), and you say you don't have one, it can't be held against you. However, if YOU did have one and said you didn't, and it was later found to be a lie, then you've lied to a government official, and THAT can be held against you.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 3:29

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