A Melbourne schoolboy and Australian-Iranian dual citizen denied entry into America under US President Donald Trump’s controversial “Muslim ban” is hopeful Australia will be able to work out a deal so he can still go to “space camp”.
That news came before Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told Sky News that Australian dual citizens would not be affected by the ban in future, seemingly paving the way for the boy to travel to the US.
But earlier Pouya Ghadirian, 15, said he has been in contact with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and thinks there is “some hope” for his wish to travel to the US.
“I hope the government does help to do what it can to uphold my rights as an Australian citizen,” the Melbourne High School student told reporters on Monday night.
“To not be able to go to the United States devalues my passport and my rights as an Australian citizen.
“It’s all a political matter, but hopefully the government can sort out an arrangement with the United States and make sure Australia is part of that list of countries where dual citizens can still go to the United States.”
Pouya believes he might be the first Australian declined entry into America as part of President Donald Trump’s controversial “Muslim ban”.
He is “gutted” after being knocked back for a US tourist visa as he will miss out on his dreams to go to “space camp” in Alabama in March.
Pouya was born in Australia but holds dual Iranian-Australian citizenship by descent.
He says he cried after his interview at the US Consulate in Melbourne on Monday morning, when “shocked” officers were forced to decline his school trip to visit Orlando, Washington, and the US Space & Rocket Center in Alabama.
“I cried at the consulate and I don’t normally,” he says. “(My dad) was upset as well because he was saying, ‘Look we’ve had no criminal record and we’ve done nothing wrong’.
“I have an Australian citizenship. I was born here. It doesn’t make sense and it can’t be right.”
He said the embassy was ‘shocked’ at the ruling it had to make.
“They were a bit shocked and they didn’t know how to handle it. They said they had terrible news,” he said. “They said it was the first time it had happened in an Australian embassy.”
Mr Dutton told Sky News on Tuesday morning that “if there are individual cases we can help clear those matters up.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been contacted for comment.