US lifts controversial American visa ban on academics

- Posted in America by Visa Bureauon 25 January 2010

The American immigration ban against the prominent scholars infuriated many academic groups, and several have been in a protracted legal battle with the US government over the visa denials.

Habib is the deputy vice chancellor of research, innovation and advancement at the University of Johannesburg, and Ramadan is a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at the University of Oxford. Both are highly respected scholars who had traveled without incident in America before the Bush administration.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lifted the orders denying an American Visa to the two scholars, and while the pair must now re-apply for a visa  they are expected to receive speedy approval.

Among the groups that joined the American Civil Liberties Union in suing the government over the visa denials were the American Academy of Religion, the American Association of University Professors and the American Sociological Association.  Many viewed Habib and Ramada’s exclusion as punishment for having spoken out against US foreign policy, although Ramadan also criticised violence by Muslim groups.

The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people make American immigration applications to the American Embassy.