Eight UC Santa Barbara international students will not be able to enter the country in time for the beginning of Fall Quarter 2019 due to federal restrictions on visa applications – eight of what seems to be dozens of international college students across the country.
Simran Singh, director of the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS), said over email that the students have been unable to get visas “either because they have been denied or because they are delayed by ‘administrative processing,’” or because they have been “denied entry to the United States and have been turned away at the border.”
According to Singh, two of the students are from Iran, one is from Turkey and the other five are from China. University spokesperson Andrea Estrada said she was unable to provide names and class standings.
Singh said that OISS works with students to ensure they are aware of the various immigration policies and requirements. Once a student’s visa application has been denied however, the office cannot do much to advocate for them except “provide them with verification of enrollment and continued good standing if they are a continuing student.”
Returning students who were denied entry to the United States were referred to an immigration attorney. UCSB and the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) work to help students fulfill graduation requirements whenever possible, Singh said.
“[One] continuing student who was denied entry into the U.S. was able to enroll in UCEAP and attend classes in another country,” Singh said.
UCSB admitted 5,925 international freshman students and 1,539 international transfer students in 2019, marking 21.4% and 16.3% of the respective admitted student pools. The university will not have finalized data on the number of new students attending until later this year.
Across the country, international college students have had their visas denied or delayed and have been unable to start school on time. In one of the most high profile cases of the summer, an incoming freshman at Harvard University was deported after arriving in the United States, the Harvard Crimson first reported. The student, Ismail B. Ajjawi, was later allowed to enter the country just in time for classes to begin, the Crimson reported.
At the end of the day, “the university has little influence over Federal immigration operations,” Singh said.