Visa change strands American couple in Cork for four months

A two-week holiday in Ireland has become a four-month stay for an American couple due to US Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Visa change strands American couple in Cork for four months
Puja Shah and Tyler Hoggatt said the community of Goleen have been really helpful.
Puja Shah and Tyler Hoggatt said the community of Goleen have been really helpful.

A two-week holiday in Ireland has become a four-month stay for an American couple due to US Covid-19 travel restrictions.

The couple were on holiday in Ireland for what they planned was two weeks but has extended to four months.

Pujah Shah and Tyler Hoggatt arrived in Cork and found themselves stranded in West Cork the day lockdown was introduced.

Speaking to John Paul McNamara on C103's Cork Today Show, Pujah Shah said a recent decision by the US government to restrict the entry of workers on certain visas, after Ireland's lockdown measures, now means she is unable to return to America.

Ms Shah said: "So I live in the US on a work visa called E3 and I have been for the past six years and I am not allowed to go back to the US.

"He [Mr Hoggatt] is because he is a citizen. We have been dating for two years, we love each other, but that's not good enough.

"Apparently we could have a marriage certificate and go back but that's not an option for us right now.

"It's basically a ban that was put in place for people who don't have citizenship in the US."

Ms Shah is originally from Perth in Western Australia while Mr Hoggatt is from Washington in the US.
Ms Shah is originally from Perth in Western Australia while Mr Hoggatt is from Washington in the US.

Ms Shah and Mr Hogatt said the Goleen community has been very helpful to them during their unexpected stay on the Mizen Peninsula in West Cork.

Accommodation remains a concern however for the couple with fewer AirBnBs available as Irish tourists begin their holidays at home.

Hotel rooms are also becoming harder to find.

Ms Shah, a tech consultant has been able to work remotely although Mr Hoggatt a surveyor has not been able to do so.

Restriction updates near the end of July will decide whether the couple will need to find longer-term accommodation.

Ms Shah told C103 that this situation "really stresses" the couple out as they do not know what they will do at the end of the month.

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