Social Networking Sites are viewed by USCIS

We want to remind our readers about an undated memorandum by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding the importance of social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, Google+, etc.) in fraud detection.  The memo talks about narcissistic tendencies amongst user of social network sites to have a large group of “friends” which may result in a user accepting cyber-friends that they don’t even know.  The memo encourages FDNS (Fraud Detection and National Security) officers to monitor social networking websites to observe the daily life of petitioners and beneficiaries who are suspected of fraudulent activities.

We wish to make our readers aware of the significance of posting personal details on social networking sites and would like to remind them to be extremely careful of their online postings – any online posting creates a public record and timeline of user activity.  It is extremely important to avoid making false claims or presenting information in a way that can be misunderstood/misrepresented by a FDNS officer. 

Though the purpose of the memo was to make FDNS officers aware of the significance of social networking sites for family based petitions, we would like to take the opportunity to remind our readers that they must also be mindful of their post (avoid making false claims or misrepresenting their professional achievements) on professional networking sites like LinkedIn.  Just like personal networking, it is important to be extremely important to be truthful about one’s professional life as the information posted in LinkedIn and other such sites can be used by the FDNS officer to cross check information appearing on the employment based petition like H-1B, L-1, etc.