Before the Ban

Policies Limit Immigration

Abby Givens

Trump made an executive order banning the travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries. Many other processes, however, are already in place to regulate travel into the United States.


  • To visit the United States, Visitor Visas are required of international travelers who aren’t citizens of one of the countries participating in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.
  • International travelers who are citizens of one of the 38 countries that participate in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program can get a visa waiver
    • Visas are not required to come to the U.S. for business meetings or vacation, but travelers must get approved travel authorization prior to the trip to the U.S.
    • Several steps are involved in getting approval to travel to the United States.
    • Visitors travelling to the U.S. under the VWP can stay for up to 90 days.


  • To study in the United States for either, university/college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory, or another academic institution, a person must obtain a Student Visa.
  • To apply for this Visa, a person must have already applied and been accepted to a SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) approved school.
  • A person must also attend an interview, with a fee of $160 if they are between the ages of 14 and 79, in addition to a passport and other qualifications.


  • If a person wants to permanently live in the United States they must first obtain an Immigrant Visa.
  • To be eligible to apply for this Visa an immigrant must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen relative, U.S. lawful permanent resident, or a prospective employer, with a few exceptions such as refugee status
  • A petition must be sent in by either oneself, spouse, child, parent, etc for immigration, which can be denied or accepted
  • Once the petition is approved, the National Visa Center handles the processing of certain documents, and sends them on to embassies and consulates.
  • U.S. embassies and consulates review visa applications and documents and conduct interviews to determine eligibility for visas, which are then distributed accordingly.

Each country has varied approaches to immigration, which are reflected by the laws and orders that are in place. For example, in Denmark, in order for a foreign spouse to qualify for citizenship, both the Danish and the international spouse must be at least 24 years old. Sweden, on the other hand, is well known for welcoming refugees fleeing from nations like Syria. Sweden is one of the highest ranked countries of the Migrant Integration Policy Index, while, one of the lowest ranked countries in the Index is Turkey.