January 31, 2017

A 15 year old boy with dual Australian and Iranian citizenship is facing missing out on an upcoming school trip to the United States after his visa was denied following President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban.

During his visit to the US Consulate General on Monday for an interview to get a tourist visa, Pouya Ghadirian from Melbourne had his application rejected because of the “presidential proclamation”.

The event occured before this morning’s announcement from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, in which he said Australians with dual nationality would be exempt from the travel ban.

The PM said Pouya’s case could be reconsidered in the light of that arrangement.

Pouya planned to attend a school trip to the US in March with around 60 others from Melbourne High School.

While Pouya’s parents have lived in Australia for almost 20 years and he was born in Melbourne, having dual Australian and Iranian citizenship meant he was ineligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). This program allows other Australian citizens to stay in the US for 90 days without obtaining a visa.

Nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria were removed from the program due to concerns about terrorism under the previous administration. Meaning those with dual citizenship’s must apply for a visa and sit an interview.

“They had received an order a couple of hours before the interview that the executive order was put into place and any person who had dual citizenship with any of those seven countries would be denied a visa.”

After the new ban was implemented by President Trump, Pouya was one of the first to be denied a visa. He said the rejection was devastating as he signed up for the $7,000 trip about six months ago.

Pouya is hopeful the Australian Government could successfully intervene and he would be able to join his school friends on the trip.

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