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I have already read this question and its answers. However, I believe my question is slightly different.

I was born in Iran but I am from a religious minority called Bahai faith and the followers of the Bahai faith are persecuted in Iran. I was excluded several times from high school for my religious beliefs and I could not study at a university for the same reason. I came to Australia as a refugee (I am an Australian citizen now) and did my undergraduate studies in Australia.

Given the current political state of Iran and USA, will I face difficulties for admission to universities in USA and visa because I was born in Iran?

I find it really unfair. In Iran, I was treated like a dirt since I was not a muslim and now I should be treated the same by USA authorities simply because I was born in Iran.

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  • I can't speak with authority, but if you are an Australian citizen, I doubt there will be issues. There are members of your religion in the US, also. Apply to a few universities. Ask them for advice. Apply for a visa.
    – Buffy
    Jan 25 '20 at 10:50
  • At first, I'm sorry that you excluded from highschool. It's really not benevolent. Honestly, there are a lot of Iranian students that are applying to the US and the political issues between Iran and the US don't affect them. It just makes it harder. Good luck my old compatriot.
    – M. Rostami
    Feb 10 '20 at 17:54
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I think that as far as paperwork goes, your Australian citizenship will ensure you have very little trouble.

Regarding racism, I think the point that Boaty made above was that your explanation about your being Iranian but Bahai will really not change people's attitude or conduct towards you. Reason does not work with racists or bigots.

On the positive side, you will find many people (especially in academic contexts) who will be welcoming and non-judgmental.

The extent and frequency of the racism that you experience will partly be a function of how identifiable you are as a minority. If you have a skin color that lets you "pass", do not have a beard and so on, you will attract less of it.

Similarly, geography is an important variable too: If you are in a small town in the middle of Idaho, you are obviously more likely to be treated with suspicion and hostility than in Berkeley, CA.

Overall, my advice would be to not worry about it and have a great time.

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  • Even if you have a beard (as I have had for most of my adult life) or are dark skinned or wear some religious garb, what you will find is that people in academia, at least, are accepting.
    – Buffy
    Jan 25 '20 at 15:51
  • @Buffy That's what I tried to reassure the poster about - that he/she will find people in academia to be largely welcoming. Jan 25 '20 at 16:34
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I was born in Iran but I am from a religious minority called Bahai faith and the followers of the Bahai faith are persecuted in Iran. I was excluded several times from high school for my religious beliefs and I could not study at a university for the same reason.

Let me assure that a very high percentage of Americans will NOT know what Bahai faith is. Way too many people don't know the difference between Iran or Iraq, an arab or a farsi, the Shias or the Sunnis, a Kurd or a Turk. Let alone the decades of political issues around these races and sects.

I was excluded several times from high school for my religious beliefs and I could not study at a university for the same reason. I came to Australia as a refugee (I am an Australian citizen now) and did my undergraduate studies in Australia.

This is something you can work with. You can say in your statement of purpose that you are from a discriminated minority from Iran and that you have a refugee in Australia. Racism is racism and there is no real way around it. Your status in Australia and the fact that you have/will have a diploma from an Australian University will likely help you through lesser cases of bias.

I find it really unfair. In Iran, I was treated like a dirt since I was not a muslim and now I should be treated the same by USA authorities simply because I was born in Iran.

That is pretty much how it goes. I would advise you to not get too hung up on it. I don't think any part of the admission process in US is "fair". I think it is only reasonable to "value peoples achievements" based on the conditions they are surrounded. You would probably end up in a better program if you were a white, rich American with the legacy status from a fancy univesity. Don't let your admission results dicdate your sense of self-worth.

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    You aren't addressing the question. And you are pretty insulting to Americans. Chauvinism comes in many forms.
    – Buffy
    Jan 25 '20 at 11:42
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    @Buffy I do not think it is a insult/insulting for someone to be uninformed on very complex issues. I am only projecting what I have heard from Americans on Americans and some of my personal observations coming from American news broadcasts. My point is that middle eastern politics is not on the plate of an everyday American. Jan 25 '20 at 12:59
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    Yet you seem to have only provided a rant on America, Americans, and the American educational system for a question about visas. Perhaps it is yourself who needs to become more informed.
    – Buffy
    Jan 25 '20 at 13:24
  • For the record, many Americans are, in fact, also Kurds or Turks, or Farsi, or any of the others. There are very few groups not represented here.
    – Buffy
    Jan 25 '20 at 13:29
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    @Buffy " will I face difficulties for admission to universities in USA" part was the bit I was trying to answer. The question is directed specifically at the American educational system. I am well aware of the multi-ethinicity of the American public. I also am aware that even African Americans are highly underrepresented in academica and politics. Even part is to highlight their population and the fact that many African Americans are Americans for generations. Jan 25 '20 at 18:45

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