HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 26.07.2017

Jul 26,2017



  1. ‘’Why Africans are better off with second citizenship’’, Business Daily, July 25th, 2017
  • In light of uncertain political climate, unstable economies and more restrictive immigration policies, holding a second citizenship and passport has become a soughtafter commodity by wealthy individuals worldwide.
  • Today’s successful Africans, are particularly heavily driven firstly by the need of stability and family safety, and secondly by wealth preservation and freedom of movement.
  • Increasingly more African businessmen not only diversify their investment portfolios to avoid disproportionate reliance on a particular volatile asset class, but they are now also diversifying their lives to avoid dependence on just one country.
  • The law in many African countries allows its citizens the possibility of having dual nationality, therefore these families can hold a second citizenship lawfully while still keep their own.




  1. Morocco and Malaysia Agree to Partially Abolish Visa Requirements”, Morocco World News, July 19th, 2017
  • Morocco and Malaysia signed on Wednesday a partial agreement to abolish visa requirements for official and social visits between the two countries for 90day periods of stay, announced Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
  • The news site added that total trade between Morocco and Malaysia stood at RM 388.39 million in 2016, representing an increase of 24.9 percent in 2015. Ibrahim also added that the agreement will strengthen ties between the two countries and would enhance business, tourism, and investment cooperation.
  • The Malaysian official also added that he expects Malaysian airlines to launch direct flights between the two countries, noting that “approximately 3,000 people from either country travel to the other annually.”







  1. Josh K. Elliott, “Canada becomes second-most popular country for rich Chinese emigrants”, CTV News, July 17th, 2017
  • Chinese millionaires are flocking to Canada for its attractive lifestyle and property investment opportunities, according to a new survey.
  • The survey results show Canada has surpassed the United Kingdom as the secondmost popular foreign country to live in for Chinese individuals worth between 10 million to 200 million yuan ($1.8 million - $37.3 million Canadian).
  • Countries were evaluated based on investment opportunities, immigration policy, property purchasing, personal tax rates, health care, visafree travel and ease of adaptability.
  • The Hurun Report cited pollution and education as the leading reasons for Chinese millionaires to emigrate, along with fears that the yuan will continue to depreciate.


St. Kitts and Nevis


  1. St. Kitts and Nevis’ CBI Program Enjoys a Resurgent Reputation Under Dr. Harris-led Team Unity Administration”, ZIZ National Broadcasting Corporation of St. Kitts & Nevis, July 18th, 2017
  • When the Government of National Unity – expertly led by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris – commemorates the halfway point of its fiveyear contract with the people of St. Kitts and Nevis next month, there will be a lot to celebrate.
  • Prominent among the Government’s notable achievements is the dramatic improvements it has made to the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program.
  • In short, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment Program has experienced a resurgent reputation locally, regionally and internationally since the Team Unity administration entered office in February 2015.


United States


  1. US Allows Fast Processing Again For Some H-1B Visa Applications”, NDTV, July 24th, 2017
  • The US government said on Monday it would resume fast processing of H1B visas requested by institutions of higher education and nonprofit and governmental research organizations, while leaving in place a longer approval time for companies that use the visas.
  • The visa allows foreigners with certain skills to work temporarily in the United States. The visas are heavily used in the tech sector.
  • On April 3, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) suspended "premium processing" of the visas for up to six months. Under the expedited procedure, applicants can be eligible for visa approvals within 15 days, instead of a regular review period that can last several months.
  • The overall suspension remains in place but USCIS said on Monday in a statement that premium processing would resume for some applications from educational and researchoriented organizations exempt from the cap.





  1. ‘’Falls in tax revenue weaken domestic resource mobilisation in developing Asia’’, OECD, July 20th, 2017
  • Taxto-GDP ratios continue to vary widely across Asian countries. While some countries have experienced a decline in tax revenues in recent years, tax-to-GDP ratios have increased in most countries since 2000. In spite of these increases, further efforts are needed to increase tax revenues in developing countries in the region to support domestic resource mobilisation.
  • In 2015, taxto-GDP ratios in Asian countries ranged from 11.8% in Indonesia to over 32% in Japan, with all countries other than Japan and Korea below 18%, according to new data released by the OECD.
  • The fourth annual edition of Revenue Statistics in Asian Countries covers seven countries, including Kazakhstan for the first time. It shows that the taxto-GDP ratio in all these countries are lower than the OECD average of 34.3% in 2015, which highlights that scope remains for increasing tax mobilisation, especially in Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia and the Philippines to achieve sustainable growth.




  1. India’s inclusion in Global Entry programme hailed by US Senator”, The Economic Times, July 18th, 2017
  • The Trump administration’s decision to include Indians into the Global Entry programme that expedites entry of visitors at the airports and other ports of entry further deepens the bilatertal ties to the IndoAsiaPacific region, a top American Senator has said.
  • Global Entry is a US CBP programme which allows expedited clearance for preapproved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the US.
  • “India’s inclusion in the Global Entry programme further deepens US ties to the IndoAsia-Pacific region, and allows CBP to direct security resources to where they are needed most," said the Democratic Senator.
  • According to the US Commerce Department, approximately 1.2 million citizens of India visited the US in 2016 and spent USD 13 billion, making India among the top ten markets for US travel and tourism exports.




  1. G.Surach, “Visa-free travel for Malaysians to Morocco”, The Sunday, July 19th, 2017
  • The government and its Moroccan counterpart have signed an agreement to allow citizens of both countries to travel back and forth without visa requirements.
  • The objective of this agreement is to allow citizens from both countries who are in possession of a valid travel document to enter into, exit from, or transit through the territory of the other country without visa for the purposes of official and social visits for a period of stay not exceeding 90 days.
  • The agreement will come into force after all requirements have been fulfilled by both countries.
  • Morocco is the 34th country, we (Malaysia) have inked a similar agreement with.




  1. Pakistan offers favourable investment environment to US businessmen: Ambassador”, Associated Press of Pakistan Corporation, July 20th, 2017
  • Ambassador of Pakistan to US, Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry has that Pakistan offers a favourable investment environment to US businessmen due to advanced banking system and improved means of communication.
  • While speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Chaudhry briefed the delegation about the improved security situation in Pakistan over the span of 23 years which is having a salutary effect on the economy. As a consequence, he said, business activity was picking up in Pakistan, adding that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has opened new avenues for Pakistan.
  • Foreign investment is flowing into Pakistan not only by Chinese companies but a large number of Korean, European & US firms, all ready to take advantage of tremendous investment opportunities in the country, he added.




  1. ‘’Save the ink: Thailand considers scrapping immigration cards at airports’’, Coconuts Bangkok, July 24th, 2017
  • To shorten the long lines at immigration, the filling of immigration cards may be scrapped for passengers entering and leaving Thailand, as the cabinet has instructed the Immigration Bureau to come up with a better system.
  • A letter from the cabinet dated July 20 suggested that the discontinuation of the immigration cards would mean less airport congestion and more convenience for travelers, and the Immigration Bureau was asked to rethink its procedure.
  • Pol. Maj. Gen. Apirat Niyomkarn, deputy commander of the Immigration Bureau, spoke to The MATTER that this week, saying that immigration officers will meet to discuss the termination of the cards. In the beginning, this will apply only to Thai citizens, but they will consider scrapping the cards for foreigners in the future and may obtain newer technology to allow them to log their address in Thailand.




  1. ‘’Visa exemption policy crucial for raising tourism revenue’’, Vietnam Net, July 19th, 2017
  • The board proposed the Government to extend a visafree stay to 30 days from the current 15 days for citizens of another six countries including Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium as this move will attract more arrivals and encourage tourists to stay longer and spend more.
  • According to a research of the World Tourism Organization and the World Travel & Tourism Council, the visa exemption policy will help increase the number of tourists coming to ASEAN countries by 35.1% plus an increase in job creation by 1.6-3.1%.
  • The Tourism Advisory Board said that the extension of the visa waiver for citizens from five Western European countries has increased the number of tourists from these markets by 10.1%.





Czech Republic


  1. New Investment Visas in the Czech Republic”, Prague TV, July 23rd, 2017
  • The President has recently signed a new amendment to the Czech Immigration law, which substantially changes the current legislation. This law shall become effective 15 days after it has been officially published, which shall occur in the following days.
  • Among many other changes the new immigration legislation introduces the possibility to obtain a longterm residence permit for investors (hereinafter the "Investment visa"); whereby the term investor (the “Investor”) also includes shareholders or directors of a company which fulfills the criteria described below. Such instrument has been missing in the Czech immigration laws so far and it might be of interest to those who seek to obtain a visa within the Czech Republic via an investment.
  • Many other countries in the EU offer residence via investments, for example, Hungary offers residence to those who buy at least EUR 300.000 worth of stateissued bonds. Greece offers residence for an investment in real property exceeding EUR 250,000.




  1. Lisa O’Carroll, “Irish passport rush: demand jumps 50% since Brexit vote”, The Guardian, July 19th, 2017
  • Demand for Irish passports in the UK has jumped by 50% since the Brexit vote, Ireland’s minister for foreign affairs and trade has revealed. More than 100,000 Irish passports were issued in the UK in the first six months of 2017, up from 65,000 last year, according to figures released on Wednesday.
  • The rush for Irish passports to secure an EU identity after Britain leaves the bloc has brought about a 59% surge in applications in Northern Ireland and a 44% increase across Britain.
  • The rush for Irish passports reflects the desire of those who have Irish ancestry to keep their options open after the UK leaves the EU. Anyone who has an Irish parent or grandparent born in Ireland is entitled to a passport. In addition, Britain allows for dual citizenship, unlike other European countries.




  1. Daniel Boffey, “Dutch nationals taking UK citizenship ‘will lose Netherlands passports’”, The Guardian, July 17th, 2017
  • Dutch PM tells people living in Britian who want to avoid problems after Brexit that dual nationality is not an option.
  • Dutch nationals who take British citizenship to avoid having to leave the UK after Brexit will be stripped of their Netherlands passports due to existing limits on dual nationality, the Dutch prime minister has said. About 100,000 Dutch nationals living in Britain face an uncertain future after March 2019. The UK and EU are yet to reconcile their differences on the citizens’ rights issue, with Brussels describing the British government’s initial offer as vague and inadequate.
  • The Dutch government has told its citizens that if they “have more than one nationality, it is not always clear what your rights are”.
  • Downing Street has said EU citizens already in the UK, and those who arrive lawfully during a subsequent “grace period” expected to be up to two years, would be given the opportunity to build up five years of residence. This would entitle them to a special category of “settled status”, conferring the same rights to work, pensions, NHS care and other public services as UK citizens.


United Kingdom


  1. Tom Peck, ‘’Wrong immigration figures leave Government making policy 'in the dark' peers warn’’, Independent, July 20th, 2017
  • The Government will not be able to control immigration after Brexit if it does not take steps to tackle the “woefully inadequate” information it currently relies upon, according to a new report from from peers.
  • The Lords’ Economic Affairs Committee said current data does not give an accurate picture on the flow of migrants in and out of the country each year.
  • It warns that immigration policy will be made “in the dark” if it does not instigate fundamental change in the way it produces the numbers.


  1. James Blitz, “The surge in Britons seeking a second passport”, Financial Times, July 21st, 2017
  • Many Britons are understandably concerned about the impact Brexit will have on their rights to live in Europe and travel across the EU. One way in which tens of thousands of UK nationals are trying to mitigate the risk is to acquire a second passport in an EU state and take out dual nationality.
  • By far the biggest surge in the number of Britons applying for an EU passport has been seen in Ireland. The Dublin authorities announced this week around 100,000 Britons requested Irish nationality in the first six months of 2017. That compares with around 66,000 in the first six months of 2016, before the EU referendum took place.
  • France and Germany have also reported big surges in the number of Britons seeking citizenship, albeit on a smaller scale. In 2016, 1,363 Britons applied for French citizenship, an increase of 264 per cent in that year. The German Federal Statistics office recently said that 2,865 Britons took German citizenship last year, a 361 per cent increase.







  1. Jamie Smyth, Kiran Stacey, Helen Warrell, “Australia warns UK not to toughen visa regime”, Financial Times, July 24th, 2017
  • Australia has warned the UK against introducing a tougher visa regime after Brexit, and indicated this issue could have a big influence on talks between Canberra and London about a trade deal.  Australia’s stance highlights a central tension in UK prime minister Theresa May’s selfproclaimed push to create a “global Britain” after Brexit that involves an aggressive push for free trade deals while simultaneously limiting the number of people who can come to Britain.
  • The UK would like to secure trade deals with Australia and India as quickly as possible after Brexit, but these are the key countries demanding a more liberal British visa regime.
  • A report by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade indicates that Canberra is seeking a less restrictive visa regime for Australians wanting to work in the UK as the two countries prepare to pursue trade talks.




  1. ‘’PM holds Talanoa session with Fijian community in Brisbane’’, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, July 23rd, 2017
  • Issues concerning citizenship, investment opportunities, Fiji’s socioeconomic development and the latest initiatives implemented by the Government dominated a ‘talanoa’ session held in Brisbane, Australia yesterday evening.
  • Bainimarama also invited Fijians who have made Brisbane their home, to work with the Government to build the “new Fiji”.
  • They include ICT capacity for investment, the future of Fiji’s sugar industry, dual citizenship, land leases, tourism, importing food crops from Fiji etc.



New Zealand


  1. Issac Davison, “Government to backtrack on immigration cuts”, NZ Herald, July 24th, 2017
  • The Government is likely to tweak some of its planned immigration cuts after a backlash from business groups and the regions. Prime Minister Bill English said this morning that the proposals would still "largely" go ahead, but "with some adjustments".
  • The backtrack came after regional mayors, farming and hospitality groups told the Government that the proposed rule changes "were a bit tight", he told TVNZ.
  • The changes announced in April included a $49,000 minimum income for a skilled migrant visa, a threeyear limit for lower skilled workers followed by a stand-down period, and stricter rules for partners and children of workers.





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