Author: SAIM SAEED
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled Tuesday that national governments “enjoy a wide discretion” in assessing visa applications and have the authority to deny student visas to anyone who “represents a threat, even if potential, to public security.”
The case in question concerned an Iranian woman, Sahar Fahimian, whose application to complete a Ph.D. in mobile phone security systems at the Technical University in Darmstadt, Germany was denied on national security grounds. Fahimian appealed that decision, and a German court deferred to the ECJ.
Europe’s top court ruled that because Fahimian had previously studied at an Iranian university under EU sanctions over its ties to the government, and the proposed Ph.D. was in a “sensitive field,” the German government was justified in its “public security” concerns.
But public security did not justify the collection of confidential information and human rights violations, the court said.