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US Universities are Offering Students Legal Support Over Visa Concerns

March 2017, 20
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US Universities are Offering Students Legal
Once again in amidst the turmoil of the Trump presidency, for those who rely on visas for the USA, support and assistance emerge. 

The American Association of Universities and some of its Ivy League university members are offering legal support to international students studying at any of its 25 institution members. The advice is designed to help and support them during uncertainty created by the Trump administration over visa and immigration status and the changes to current and future immigration rules.

The Association is joining other organisations, such as Silicon Valley firms, to approach US congress deputies about the economic detriment of restricting immigration in the US, and the affects those concerned.

Ivy League Universities Yale and Harvard joined with the other members of the American Association of Universities to file a brief in court arguing the first immigration ban of January 27 violated US law. Yale is at the forefront of arguments to confront the legalities and effects of the immigration bans. Their concern is based both on the legal implications and the influence on the thriving intellectual culture that exists in the United States.

The January 27 immigration ban restricted the entry of immigrants and travelers from seven countries to the US. The latest ban listed six countries and has already been blocked. The first ban affected new entrants to the US but also those with visas and visas in progress and drew much protest around the world.

Proposed changes to H1B visas are also causing much concern for those who employ highly skilled foreign workers.  

Though India was not one of the countries affected by the ban, Yale and others are working to ensure that Indian students and those of other nations are not deterred from studying in the US.  After Chinese students, Indian students form the largest foreign group of students attending Yale University.

Demand for places at Yale still far exceeds the number of places available so student numbers are not expected to immediately decline. Usually, around 200 Indian students attend Yale each academic year.

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