With my involvement in both digital marketing and sharing tips and tricks for expats, I’ve had a number of lot of people contact me regarding social media and especially the announcement that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) put out on the 18th of September, 2017 about access to your social media.

The key takeaway, if you read nothing else is this: You should never attempt to go around or circumvent any country’s immigration laws. This is a crime, and you will be punished. You should also never discuss online that you are considering doing this, or that you suggest others should do this. Both can be huge red flags that can cause serious legal issues for you and others.

My advice about social media and posting as an expat

Be careful what you post on social media, and what you do online.

If you are on Facebook groups posting questions about specific immigration queries, you should likely instead be speaking to a lawyer directly. Getting general advice is fine, but if it’s floating in a gray area, speak directly to someone actually qualified to answer.

If for example, you’re putting yourself online, advertising that you are looking for work before you have a visa, you are risking your future applications as this may be construed as you looking to stay and work on a non-work visa.

Take a moment and think about what you’re posting before you post it. If you don’t want the world, the Government, and Immigration to know it, do not ever post it online; anywhere.

So what should you do instead to get answers to immigration questions?

My advice is this: Use this website for one to answer a lot of your questions. You will find FAQs at the bottom of most pages that I have compiled from questions asked online and in-person so you can also use the search tool to get you some great answers (top right of the page).

If you have questions regarding immigration law, seek out a lawyer (click here to see who we recommend) and ask them directly. You do not want a question that casts doubt on how and why you are requesting to come into (or stay in) this country.

Use Google, do your research, and feel free to get in touch with me.

I will however never provide any professional, legal, accounting, immigration, or personal advice. I can provide examples though of what I’ve done and point you in the direction of the professionals that you need to speak to!

Other suggested reading around the internet about this

Articles included this great summation from Gizmodo and this initial post from BuzzFeed which I would urge you to read, but I wanted to distill the advice down into a summary and a number of “Do’s” and “Don’ts”.