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A Visa Success?

By Rohan Kamicheril

Over at Inside Higher Ed, they're reporting a visa success story that goes to show mostly just how hard it is to get a visa in the current environment. Waskar Ari, a Bolivian national and professor at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln receives his US work visa, but only after the University sues the federal government following its initial rejection of his application. A graduate of Georgetown University, Ari was hired by the University of Nebraska for a tenure track position for which he was "a perfect match." The full story here.

Ari's predicament raises again the common problem that many academics, artists and writers face when trying to get into the US, whether for long-term positions or on shorter stints. The NY Times's review of Sunday's Siren Festival in Coney Island notes a related lament from British rapper M.I.A., who started her set out by saying I nearly had a seizuh/Trying to get my visah.

Hopefully Ari's success in his suit will encourage more academics and artists to stand their ground on this contentious issue, and kudos to the University of Nebraska for a brave stand on this.

--Rohan Kamicheril

Published Jul 26, 2007   Copyright 2007 Rohan Kamicheril

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