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US promises Australia that dual-nationals will be exempt from Visa ban

trump exec order


An executive order signed last Friday by US President Donald Trump will see a 90 day ban on immigration to the country from seven ‘Muslim-majority’ nations. The seven nations are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The executive order also suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days, with case-by-case exemptions, as well suspending all entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely. The changes to immigration rules effectively ban around 134 million people from entering the United States, at least temporarily.

Australians with dual nationality with one of the seven banned countries have been concerned that the executive order would affect them. These fears were reaffirmed after 15 year old school boy, Pouya Ghadirian (who was born in Australia), was refused a US tourist Visa for a school trip to the US due to his dual Australian-Iranian citizenship. “I have an Australian citizenship. I was born here. It doesn’t make sense and it can’t be right,” said Pouya.

However Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has recently stated that the United States has promised all Australians with dual nationality would be exempt from the Visa ban. "We have received confirmation from the White House, that Australian passport holders will be able to travel to and from the United States in the normal way," said Mr Turnbull. He added, "They won't be affected by the recent executive order regardless of whether they are dual citizens of another country or where they were born." As for Pouya Ghadirian, Mr Turnbull has said that the case may be reconsidered in light of the assurances given by the US government.

Mr Turnbull has faced criticism over his refusal to speak against President Trump's executive order. Other countries including Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have spoken openly about their opposition to the immigration ban. Opposition Lead Bill Shorten also released a statement saying "Mr Trump's ban on refugees based upon their religion or country is appalling and ought to be ended as soon as possible." However Mr Turnbull has dismissed the criticism saying that it was not in Australia's national interest to oppose the executive order.

Last modified on Wednesday, 01 February 2017 10:18

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