Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks during a media conference in Sydney, Australia. Reuters/David Gray

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Tuesday that Australian dual citizens are exempt from the Trump travel ban. The news came after politicians criticised him for not condemning the US President Donald Trump's Muslim ban and after after reports of Australians being denied US visa emerged.

Turnbull claimed that it was not his job to run a commentary on the domestic policies of other countries. This prompted critics to use the hashtag #NotMyJob, which trended Monday night on Twitter, to criticise the PM for his inaction. However, he later added that he was focused on getting results for Australians and would not speak about US policies publicly.

The exemption for Australian dual citizens travelling to US means that Aussies originating from the seven countries named in Trump’s 90-day suspension would still be allowed to enter the US. The news comes after Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop mobilised officials in the US to seek an exemption for Australian dual citizens.

Joe Hockey, country’s ambassador to the US, told Turnbull that the White House assured him that Australians are exempt from Donald Trump’s controversial executive order. “Australian passport holders regardless of their place of birth or whether they are dual nationals or whether they hold another passport will remain welcome to come and go to the United States in the usual way,” Turnbull said. This also highlights the bond between US and America, he added.

The prime minister spoke about exemptions for Australian dual citizens after the media reported that Pouya Ghadirian, a Melbourne school boy, was the most recently denied US visa. The boy was born and brought up in Australia by Iranian parents. He wanted to go to the US to attend a space camp.

However, he was denied visa at the US consulate because of President Trump’s latest orders. The order placed a 90-day ban on immigration from seven majority Muslim nations, namely Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Iran, Iraq and Sudan. Ghadirian was shocked on being denied visa and cried for hours after he thought he would miss out on the school trip to the US Space & Rocket Center in Alabama, Orlando and Washington. He also said that he was in touch with the department of foreign affairs and trade and had “some hope.”

The ABC states that more than 110,000 Australian are born in one of the seven countries that are banned under Trump’s orders. Canada and UK’s dual citizens are exempt from this ban. This prompted Bishop to instruct Australian diplomats in the US and get the necessary exemptions, which yielded results today.

Time and again, Turnbull has been slammed by politicians for not condemning Trump’s ban. After securing the exemptions for Australian dual citizens, he said that it was important for him as the Australian Prime Minister to get things done for Australians. He added that when needed, he gives his advice fearlessly to the US government. However, he doesn’t like to comment on the domestic policies of US on a public forum. "My job is to get results for Australians and that's what I've done today,” he said.