• The visa waiver program will remain intact for Australians travelling to the USA. (AAP)
Donald Trump has lived up to his election promise of extreme vetting for refugees with a strict new executive order.
Source:
AAP
28 Jan 2017 - 5:28 PM  UPDATED 14 Feb 2017 - 11:01 AM

US President Donald Trump has signed a controversial executive order tightening America's borders, but Australian tourists travelling to the US will largely not be impacted.

Australians, New Zealanders and citizens of 35 other countries allied with the US will still have the simple option of going online and applying for entry to the US if their travel is for business or pleasure and less than 90 days.

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There were fears the order Mr Trump signed on Friday, titled The Protection of the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States, could scrap the visa waiver program and force Australians to sit for interviews at US consulates before departing, but that was not the case.

Mr Trump's order did "immediately suspend" the unrelated visa interview waiver program for some visitors to the US who have visas and need to renew them.

"I am establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America," Mr Trump said at the signing ceremony.

"We don't want them here.

"We want to be sure we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas.

"We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people."

Mr Trump's executive order suspends America's intake of refugees for 120 days and indefinitely blocks Syrian refugees.

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Visa applicants from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen will also be blocked until tough new vetting procedures are introduced.

The president's tough stance on refugees raised speculation he will scrap a deal with Australia to accept asylum seekers held on the Nauru and Manus Island, although his administration is yet to comment publicly on it.

Some of the asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island are from Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull brokered the deal last year with former US president Barack Obama.

It was another dramatic day for the president, who also attempted to mend his fractured relationship with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and hosted his first foreign leader, British Prime Minister Theresa May, at the White House.

Mr Trump and Mr Nieto had an hour-long phone call on Friday after the nations disagreed on who should pay for a multi-billion dollar border wall Mr Trump has vowed to build.

At a press conference with Mrs May, Mr Trump said he had a "very, very friendly" chat with the Mexican president and has a "very good relationship" with him.

Mr Trump, who is scheduled to talk on the phone with Mr Turnbull and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, told reporters he was in the early stages of considering whether to lift sanctions on Russia.

Mrs May cautioned that such a move would be premature.

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