An image has been circulating on Twitter purporting to show the U.S. State Department’s online non-immigrant visa application (DS-130) that includes the question: “Which country is Crimea a part of?” One account shared the image with a caption suggesting this would make things difficult for Russian citizens applying for U.S. visas, since the United States, like most of the world, recognizes Crimea as part of Ukraine under Russian occupation.
While the Nasha Canada (Our Canada) Twitter account most likely intended it as a joke, online satire can sometimes be taken seriously when seen out of context. While the U.S. has imposed sanctions affecting individuals connected to the Russian annexation of Crimea, as well as sanctions on doing business in occupied Crimea, the image of the visa application is fake.
“We can confirm that there is no question relating to Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea on any U.S. visa application,” a U.S. State Department official wrote to Polygraph.info.
The U.S. State Department also warns U.S. citizens not to travel to occupied Crimea, and U.S. officials are forbidden from visiting the peninsula.