The European Court of Justice [court website] (ECJ) on Tuesday upheld [text] a visa ban on an Iranian student seeking to study in Germany. Sahar Fahimian applied to study sensitive security topics at a University in Germany, but was subsequently denied the visa by the German government, citing various security issues that could be used once the degree was obtained. The court decided that it was up to national authorities to decide if the visa ban was justified by security concerns. The decision allows countries to refuse visas, but requires them to state the reason for the denial. The ECJ added that, “the German court will have to ascertain whether the decision to refuse the student a visa is based on duly justified grounds and a sufficiently solid factual basis”. The German court will now have to decide if the state had valid reason to deny Fahimian the visa. Fahimian has already obtained a masters degree from an EU institution and was attempting to pursue a Doctoral degree focusing on security of mobile systems.
Issuing visas for foreign nationals is not something new to international diplomacy, yet in recent times deciding stricter means for issuing visas has become a more common trend. In the United States, President Donald Trump [official profile] has continually attempted to implement a temporary ban on nations in which the government believes impose a risk to the security of the country. JURIST Guest Columnist Jonathan Hafetz examines the latest travel ban [JURIST Op-ed] issued by the government, focusing on the underlying issue of being based around religion. In March the EU top court ordered that members do not have to issue [JURIST report] humanitarian visas, which challenged the belief in Europe that protection should be given to those fleeing war zones. Also in March, the Israeli Knesset passed legislation [JURIST report] limiting entry visas to anyone from countries who call for boycotts against the country.