On June 26, the United States Supreme Court announced that President Trump’s so-called travel ban may be partially upheld. The ban — which limits some citizens from six Muslim-majority countries, namely Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, from travelling to the US — has caused, and may continue to cause, a great deal of uncertainty for citizens of those nations who are planning on visiting, studying, or working in the US.
The Supreme Court’s decision to lift some of the blocks previously placed on the ban enables some of the ban’s rulings to come into effect as early as this week. However, the Supreme Court stated there would be an exception for individuals that present a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
‘Bona fide’ relationship raises confusion
The Supreme Court constitutes a bona fide relationship as “a close familial relationship” with someone in the United States, or a relationship with an entity, such as a university or a workplace. These relationships must be formally documented.
According to Dr. Esther D. Brimmer, Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, ‘International educators are relieved to be able to tell our international students and scholars that they should not be afraid to come to our campuses to study, work and exchange ideas. We are pleased the court acknowledged that students and scholars, and others with connections to the United States, could not be barred from our country simply because of their nationality or religion, at least while the underlying litigation continues.’
While the statement by Dr Brimmer brings a degree of hope to international students and educators, the implications of the travel ban on international students and educators from the affected countries could continue to present a limitation to individuals whose sole prerogative is to seek a better education and career options.
Canada’s non-discriminatory policy
Canada continues to be a favourable alternative study destination, as it places no limitations to prospective international students on the basis of nationality. Canada provides various options for quality academic institutions at both university and college level, along with comparatively low costs of tuition and living expenses, and flexible work opportunities during studies.
Moreover, Canada has options for international students and their families to remain in the country upon completion of studies. Students are encouraged to consider immigration to Canada after graduation — for instance, international students are awarded additional points in the Express Entry system for applicants seeking permanent residence in Canada. Additionally, study and work permit holders will soon have a faster transition from temporary to permanent residence in the country, and soon these graduates will be able to count time studying in Canada towards the citizenship residency requirement.
As stated by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in light of the nation’s official multiculturalism day, which was celebrated the day after the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the travel ban, ‘This year, we mark both the 150th anniversary of Confederation and the 35th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These milestones remind us of the values that unite us — openness, inclusion, and deep respect for our differences. Whoever we are, wherever we come from, these values bring us together as equal members of this great country.’
If you want to discover your options for studying in Canada, complete the free CanadaVisa Study Pathway Assessment Form.
International students and post-graduate workers in Canada can join the CanadaVisa Study Hub for a chance to win a $500 scholarship. Members also get access to exclusive notifications, tools and resources to help maximize their time in Canada and pursue a pathway to permanent residence.
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