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I am an Indian passport holder about to go on an internship program in Iran. If I get any future opportunities in the US, will I be able to go and study there? Or will I be denied entry into the states?

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The formal restriction on visiting the USA after having visited Iran applies only to the Visa Waiver Program. Persons who have traveled to Iran are still able to get a US visa, and in fact are required to if they would otherwise have been eligible for the VWP.

Citizens of India are not eligible for the VWP and require a visa in any case. Therefore, the formal restriction against retaining VWP eligibility after having visited Iran does not apply to you. You can still get a US visa. You may, however, have a difficult time in the visa interview, but the US official will not necessarily deny you a US visa for having visited Iran. The fact of your Iran visit will simply be one piece of data that the official may or may not consider relevant.

  • So I will still be eligible to get a student visa, assuming I have proper documents/invitation from the institution In USA? – Prem Karnan May 15 '18 at 9:52
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    @PremKarnan We can't quite say that you'll be eligible, because you could be ineligible for some other reason. Your travel history in Iran will not by itself automatically make you ineligible. It could nonetheless cause problems. Your presence in Iran could cause the visa officer to develop suspicions about your intentions in the US, and that could lead to a visa refusal. It's hard to say how likely this is without knowing where you will be or what you will be doing while you are there. – phoog May 15 '18 at 14:18
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    @PremKarnan Your eligibility for a visa doesn't change based on whether you've been to Iran or not. But it might be harder to convince the US that you're a "good person" who should be given a visa. – David Richerby May 15 '18 at 14:18
  • More precisely, the restriction is on the VWP, not on visiting the US. The restriction on VWP affects the ability to get a visa, and getting a vida affects whether one can vist the US, but there is no direct "restriction on visiting the US" based on having visited Iran. – Acccumulation May 15 '18 at 16:57

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