Sunday, 29 January 2017

Where Australians stand when it comes to Trump's travel/immigration bans of 27 January 2017

At 30 June 2015, 28.2% of Australia's estimated resident population (ERP) (6.7 million people) was born overseas [Australian Bureau of Statistics, Estimated Resident Population by Country of Birth, 30 June 1992 to 2015]

Of these a total of 166,310 individuals born in the listed countries are potentially affected by the U.S. travel/immigration ban by presidential order on 27 January 2017 [PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES]:

Iran 53,510
Iraq 68,180
Libya 2,510
Sudan 23,380
South Sudan 4,410
Syria 13,660
Yemen 660

When one adds to this an unknown number of Australians who have travelled to these countries since 1 July 2011 and face the possibility of being denied a U.S. tourist or work visa on that basis, the number of Australia citizens and permanent residents potentially affected grows.

Changes to entry requirements from 27 January 2017

The US State Department has advised visa issuance to nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has been temporarily suspended following the signing of the Executive Order on Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals on 27 January 2017.

Australians who are dual citizens of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria are no longer eligible to apply for an ESTA to enter the United States under the VWP. Any of these Australians who have previously been issued an ESTA are likely to have the ESTA revoked.

Australians who have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen since 1 March 2011 will also no longer be eligible to apply for an ESTA to enter the United States under the VWP.
If you are affected by these changes and wish to travel to the United States, you will need to apply for a non-immigrant visa at a US Embassy or Consulate. Exceptions from these travel restrictions will be made for Australians who have travelled on official Australian Defence Force or Australian Government business. No exceptions will be made for government officials or ADF members who are dual citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan.

The Secretary of Homeland Security may waive these travel restrictions on a case by case basis for travellers from the following categories: Australians who have travelled on behalf on international organisations, regional organisations or State and Territory governments on official duty; Australians who have travelled on behalf of a humanitarian NGO; Australian journalists who have travelled for reporting purposes; Australians who have travelled to Iran for legitimate business-related purposes following the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on 14 July 2015; or Australians who have travelled to Iraq for legitimate business-related purposes. Those travellers who are potentially eligible for waivers do not need to apply separately for this – an application will be automatically generated by the ESTA questionnaire.

For further information regarding the changes, visit the Embassy of the United States of America in Australia, the United States Department of State Visa Information or the United States Customs and Border Protection website. You should also speak to your nearest US Embassy or Consulate for further assistance on visa applications.

If you need to apply for a non-immigrant visa, the United States Visa Information Service for Australia encourages applicants to apply at least three months in advance of the intended date of travel.

No comments: