Since taking office, the Trump administration has sought to limit access to the US by individuals from certain countries through travel bans instituted by executive order. On Friday, the Trump administration issued a presidential proclamation that expanded the existing ban to include six additional countries.
Effective Feb. 21, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania will join seven other countries already facing travel restrictions.
However, unlike under past bans, the new proclamation restricts the travel of immigrants only.
Nonimmigrants from the six new countries, including international students on F-1 visas, will not be directly impacted by the policy.
The proclamation, referred to as Travel Ban 4.0, is the fourth travel ban issued by the Trump administration. According to a statement from the US Department of Homeland Security, the countries included in the newest ban failed to meet enhanced security standards established by the second travel ban, issued in March 2017, and subsequently strengthened.
Restrictions in Travel Ban 4.0 are tailored to the situation of each individual country, according to a factsheet from NAFSA: Association of International Educators. A failure to comply with criteria related to identity-management, information-sharing, and passport issuance were the common deficiencies cited in the countries included in the most recent ban. Countries that make the necessary improvements will have their restrictions removed.
Despite not directly impacting international students, NACAC remains concerned about the chilling effect, such as detracting from the desirability of the US as an education destination, that these travel bans have on prospective international students.
US higher education institutions have experienced declines in new international student enrollment in recent years, carrying negative consequences for American colleges, universities, and communities. NACAC believes further immigration restrictions, which may indirectly impact international students, deprive schools and communities of much-needed economic and cultural benefits and risk further reducing America’s standing in the world.
View a full list of countries affected by the travel bans and learn how the policies impact foreign and refuge students.
Lindsay Addington is NACAC’s director of global engagement. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.