Australian tourists are facing an uphill battle to get work in the United States under President Trump’s proposed visa shake-up.
With the J-1 visa program now under review, Australian-born immigration lawyer Andrew David fears Trump’s “hire American” push could soon see Australian travellers struggle to find work in the usual lines of employment.
Summer camp counsellors, live-in childcare workers and those completing on-the-job professional training in the US are those likely to be most affected by any changes.
“Across the board, there’s harder scrutiny across every visa category,” he told the Wall Street Journal.
“So, when trying to get [visas] through, you’ve got to meet that extra scrutiny with extra transparency and extra vigilance to give yourself the best chance for success.”
While entry rules haven’t legally been changed, Mr David said minor crimes that may have been brushed aside in the past are now the subject of much firmer scrutiny.
“Let’s say you committed a crime years ago, that would have been okay, now, all of a sudden you might see a denial as a result of that crime,” he added.
Australians currently have access to a special class of working visa, the E-3, which is expected to be immune from any major changes.
Even so, Mr David said more and more Australian travellers are expressing their concerns that they could be turned away at the immigration gates.
While insisting it is not a “golden ticket”, the lawyer said that amending or pulling the E-3 would be a direct aim at Australian travellers and put a strain on the nations' relationship.