March 28, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 39°F


Editorial: Strict visa regulations are hindering peoples’ dreams

Society views visas as a normal requirement to travel around the world, however, the double standards, educational harms and risks visas create are often unnoticed. Loki Mulholland ’23 was one of the victims of visa restrictions when trying to return to Ithaca College from his fall semester in Russia in 1993. His visa expired and he could not get back on time for the spring semester at the college. Thus, he did not graduate in time and only after 30 years was a chance given to Mulholland to finally earn his degree. Two major problems — an expired visa and dropping out — were a part of Mulholland’s experience, yet fate and hard work found a way to get him back on track. Unfortunately, fate is not generous to everyone. 

For many students, there are no visa expiration issues because they did not even get a chance to move abroad in the first place. Dreams to study in another country were taken away from those students because of visa denials. Chinese students were getting their visas rejected in 2021 because of U.S. discriminatory immigration laws, like 212(f), which gives the president authority to suspend or restrict the entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants for whatever reason they want. A high volume of students from Africa have been denied visas to Canada. These are only two examples of millions out there. 

The scale of visa regulations differs in every country but most of them harm someone out there and destroy goals and dreams. Visa restrictions occur for multiple reasons, like the economic standing of the person, two countries’ relations and a consular officer’s doubts about a student not returning home. However, it seems that discrimination against non-citizens is the core problem. Having a world without any discriminatory immigration laws would be ideal, yet it is not possible. What is possible, though, is looser and double-standardfree laws that would not hold students back from achieving their dreams. No student should be denied a visa because the consular officer did not like how the student phrased their sentence — it creates doubts. Allowing students to explore the world and try things they are capable of comes with no harm; only a more educated society that learns about other cultures and respects one another.    

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