Immigration

Schoolboy going to space camp after Trump visa ban lifted for Australians

Pouya Ghadirian (Facebook) Source: Facebook

Australian-Iranian teenager Pouya Ghadirian says his plans are back on track after the federal government secured exemptions for Australian citizens.

A Melbourne schoolboy who claimed to be the first Australian barred from entering the US under a sweeping ban said he would be joining his classmates on a space camp trip.

Pouya Ghadirian, 15, was born in Australia but holds dual Iranian-Australian citizenship by descent.

It made him ineligible to enter the US under President Trump’s executive order that he signed on Friday that temporarily banned people from seven majority-Muslim nations entering the US.



But the Turnbull Government announced on Tuesday he had secured exemptions for dual Australian citizens from the affected countries.

"I'm really pleased and hopeful for the future not just for me but for many other dual nationals that were Australian citizens," Pouya said.

"I'm definitely happy that, you know, after I made all of this noise there was an action and a result from this."

He hadn't received any official notification of the exemption but assumed his US trip was back on track, he said.

"They have our contacts, they did say they would contact us back if there were any changes to the rules, as of yet we haven't received any news from them," he said.

"I guess I've got to thank the government as well for, I guess, working hard … with [the US government] to try to make Australians exempt. Hopefully I should be able to get my visa now and there shouldn't be any problems."

His visa interview was set for the morning but was cancelled after the Trump administration's bans came into effect.

"It was disappointing yesterday to be told that I wasn't able to go, I couldn't believe that this applied to somebody who was born in Australia and lived in Australia," he said.

The school space camp trip will go to Orlando, Washington and the US Space & Rocket Center in Alabama, he said.

"I will be going past the White House so that will be pretty exciting to see, that's probably what I'm most looking forward to."

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