The United States has granted fewer visas to Iranian students over the past months, a trend that is blamed on President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban on Iran and several other Muslim nations.
When Trump’s ban was eventually enacted after facing legal barriers, American officials said Iranian students were going to be exempt from the travel ban, which besides citizens of Iran, also denies entry to people from Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen as well as a small number of Venezuelans.
According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), which tracks foreign students in the US, there are around 12,800 Iranians studying in the country, the highest in decades. However, there are signs the figure is taking a nosedive.
US State Department data shows that 355 fewer F1 student visas were granted to Iranians between March and October compared with the same period last year, marking a 23 percent drop.