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European Court of Justice uphold visa ban on Iranians

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On the date of 4 April 2017, in the case concerning the validity of visa issuance rejection to an Iranian national by the German Embassy in Tehran, The European Court of Justice ruled that national authorities may refuse, for reasons of public security, to grant to an Iranian national with a degree from a university subject to restrictive measures a visa for study in a sensitive field such as information technology security.

Ms Sahar Fahimian, of Iranian nationality, holds a Master of Science degree in the field of information technology awarded by Sharif University of Technology (Iran), which is subject to restrictive measures from the EU because of its support of the Iranian Government, in particular in the military field.
In 2012 Ms Fahimian received a grant from the Center for Advanced Security Research Darmstadt (CASED) of the Technische Universität Darmstadt (Technical University, Darmstadt, Germany), in order to pursue doctoral studies there. The subjects of her research project ranged from the security of mobile systems, including intrusion detection on smartphones, to security protocols. Ms Fahimian then applied to the German embassy in Teheran for a visa for study purposes. When she was refused the visa, she brought an action before the Verwaltungsgericht Berlin (Administrative Court, Berlin, Germany).
The German Government justifies the refusal by the fear that the knowledge Ms Fahimian might acquire during her research could subsequently be misused in Iran (for purposes such as the collection of confidential information in western countries, internal repression, or more generally in connection with human rights violations).

Consequently, the Administrative Court of Berlin asked the European Court of Justice to interpret the conditions of admission of third country nationals for study purposes. By its judgment, the Court replies that the national authorities enjoy a wide discretion in assessing the facts in order to ascertain whether the third country national who is applying for a visa for study purposes represents a threat, even if potential, to public security.
As a result, the Administrative Court of Berlin will have to ascertain whether the decision to refuse Ms Fahimian a visa is based on duly justified grounds and a sufficiently solid factual basis.

You can access the judgment of the Court here.


keywords : EU Sanctions , European Court of Justice , Freedom of movement , Irianians visa ban , National security , Visa ban ,