International Students Impacted by Partial Travel Ban

International Students Impacted by Partial Travel Ban
Susan Dutca-Lovell

The Supreme Court on Monday partially reinstated the POTUS' travel ban, exempting foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. Acceptable groups include students admitted to U.S. colleges and universities, employees who have accepted job offers in the U.S., and lecturers invited to speak to American audiences.

The SCOTUS overturned the two lower court rulings that blocked President Trump's executive order banning entry for foreign nationals of Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Sudan and Yemen. The travel ban remains for citizens of the six countries who are outside the "bona fide relationship," barring entry into the U.S. for 90 days.

International students and scholars who are able to establish a "bona fide relationship" with an American college or university "should still be able to travel to the U.S." According to the Supreme Court, a "foreign national who wishes to enter the United States to live with or visit a family member...clearly has such a relationship." Furthermore, "as for entities, the relationship must be formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading [the executive order]. The students from the designated countries who have been admitted to the University of Hawaii have such a relationship with an American entity..."

The decision comes as "welcome news for colleges and universities," according to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, as "the court specifically recognizes the status of admitted students and employees as constituting such a bona fide relationship. We expect that the administration will comply fully with the court's ruling in its visa decisions and hope that citizens of the countries in question will continue to participate in, and contribute to, American higher education as appropriate."

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