HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 12.06.2017

Jun 12,2017



  1. ‘’Visa-free travel in Africa remains far off’’, The Economist, June 8th, 2017
  • BY 2063, according to the African Union’s (AU) rather longrange prediction, Africa will be “a continent of seamless borders”. People, capital, goods and services will flow freely from South Africa to Tunisia and from Senegal to Somalia.
  • For now, however, crossing borders remains a painful experience for most Africans. The World Bank estimates that intraAfrican trade is more expensive, all things considered, than trade in any other region.
  • But in the past year things have improved a little, according to a new report from the African Development Bank. Africans now need visas to travel to slightly fewer countries than they did in 2015, and 13 African countries now offer electronic visas, up from 9 the previous year.







  1. Ian Young, ‘’Can Canada’s immigration industry bring federal millionaire migration scheme back from the dead?’’, South China Morning Post, June 7th, 2017
  • Few mourned when Canada’s federal immigrant investor program met its demise (19862014), crushed to death under the weight of endemic tax cheating, a vast backlog of applicants and the dubious ethics and temptations involved in selling residency.
  • A new report by the Conference Board of Canada, designed to influence government policy makers and drawing heavily from immigration industry input, has recommended the launch of a new federal immigrant investor scheme.
  • “Entrepreneur and investor immigration allows Canada to attract people that can launch innovative businesses, increase the flow of foreign direct investment to Canada, and support economic development goals such as building infrastructure,” the board announced on May 2.



  1. Tracey Lindeman, ‘’Canada launches visa program for hiring specialized foreign talent’’, The Globe and Mail, June 11th, 2017
  • Canadian technology companies are greeting a new federal blueprint for hiring foreign talent with open arms – and cautious optimism.
  • The Canadian government’s global skills visa program – part of its Global Skills Strategy – officially opens for business June 12. The $7.8million, 24-month pilot program is designed to allow high-growth firms to bring in international talent within two weeks, rather than up to a year, which is how long it now takes.
  • The Employment Minister was careful to mention, however, that the new process is not “a backdoor” for prioritizing foreign workers over Canadians.



United States


  1. Trisha Thadani, ‘’Startup visa rule may be postponed, amended or withdrawn’’, San Francisco, June 5th, 2017
  • A rule that would allow some startup founders to stay in the U.S. and build their companies has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget for further review — a move that suggests the rule may be postponed, withdrawn or amended before it goes into effect in July.
  • The International Entrepreneur Rule, the closest Silicon Valley has come to a “startup visa,” was approved by the Department of Homeland Security during President Barack Obama’s last few hours in office. The point of the rule was to give entrepreneurs who do not qualify for existing visa programs a chance to stay in the United States to grow their businesses.
  • A leaked draft of an executive order in January suggested President Trump planned to do away with the rule. While leaked orders have often not translated into policy, the extra review has some experts skeptical if the rule will see the light of day.


  1. Stuart Anderson, ‘’If You Want Less Outsourcing, Then Increase Immigration’’, Forbes, June 10th, 2017
  • The more Congress and executive branch agencies restrict immigration, particularly the use of H1B and L-1 temporary visas, the more likely companies are to increase their investments outside the United States, both in their own offices and affiliates, and through contracting out to other companies. That is common sense and it reflects reality: We live in a global economy.
  • Nearly every major company in America, and many midsized companies, already has increased its presence outside the United States in response to immigration restrictions and other U.S. government policies, as well as to be closer to customers
  • Economists understand the dynamic between outsourcing and immigration. […] “If the United States takes in more immigrants, the areas in which those immigrants work are less likely to see jobs outsourced abroad. Immigration makes it possible to keep those jobs at home. In fact, the bigger a threat outsourcing becomes, the more important immigration is for keeping us competitive and for keeping other complementary jobs in place’’ [writes George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen in his book Average Is Over.]





Hong Kong


  1. Joyce Ng, ‘’I will aggressively push for visa-free access for Hongkongers, says top US envoy’’, South China Morning Post, June 7th, 2017
  • The US envoy in Hong Kong says he will aggressively push visafree entry for Hong Kong residents visiting his country, but it is up to the US Congress to pass a bill which has been languishing in legislative limbo for three years.
  • Kurt Tong told the Post that one of his priorities was to encourage more people to travel to the United States, and he hoped Hongkongers would “branch out” to destinations beyond popular places such as New York and California.
  • He said that it was now “simple” to get a 10year visa but recognised Hongkongers’ desire for visa-free travel. A new measure was announced on Tuesday to allow applicants to pay visa fees online.





  1. Soo Wern Jun, ‘’Big jump in visa applications from China, India after e-visa services implemented’’, New Straits Times, June 7th, 2017
  • The number of tourists from China and India has seen huge improvements after evisa services were made available, said Tourism Malaysia chairman Datuk Dr Siew Ka Wei.
  • “Following the green light from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to approve evisa applications for multiple entries, the Home Affairs Ministry is working on the final details of the two-week multiple entry visa-free visit to Malaysia, which will boost this number even further.
  • “In addition, they are also allowed to transit in Malaysia without a visa, on specific terms and conditions.





  1. ‘’Singaporeans can now travel visa-free to Mongolia for 30 days’’, Channel News Asia, June 8th, 2017
  • Singaporeans no longer need to apply for a visa when travelling to Mongolia for stays of up to 30 days, an increase from the current 14, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Thursday (Jun 8).
  • The exemption follows Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to Mongolia in July last year. During his visit, Mr Lee said that discussions are under way with Mongolia to exempt Singaporeans from the visa requirement.
  • “The exemption of visa requirements will facilitate greater tourism and business exchanges, and strengthen the friendly relations between Singapore and Mongolia,” MFA said in its press release on Thursday.





  1. ‘’Australia, India left out as Vietnam renews visa-free travel for some Europeans’’, VnExpress, June 5th, 2017
  • The government has decided to extend its visawaiver scheme for visitors from five European countries by another year, effectively rejecting the recent push by industry groups for a wider scope.
  • Speculation of visafree entry for Australian tourists, in particular, emerged years ago. But it was fueled in late 2015 when Australian visitors were declared the biggest spenders in Vietnam by the tourism authority.
  • It remains unclear if the government will choose to consider adding more countries to the visa waiver program over the course of the next year, before it expires.


  1. Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit, ‘’Vietnam’s visa-free travel up in the air’’, TTR Weekly, June 8th, 2017
  • Vietnam’s visafree travel concession for five European nationalities will extended for another year after the initial trial period ends 30 June .
  • Citizens of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom have been enjoying visafree travel to Vietnam which has resulted in a boost to tourist arrivals.
  • Vietnam has been offering singleentry visa exemptions to citizens from Western European countries since mid-2015. Arrivals from the markets increased between 13% to 32% in the first four months, compared to the same period last year.


  1. ‘’E-visa pilot scheme boosts tourism’’, Vietnam News, June 9th, 2017
  • The electronic visa (evisa) pilot scheme has had a positive impacts on Vit Nam’s tourism industry since it was implemented at the beginning of the year.
  • Some 21,000 tourists received evisas, 12,000 of which entered the country. Security procedures were conducted properly at airports and border gates and ensured the safety of passengers.
  • Vũ Thế Bình, standing vice chairman of the Vit Nam Tourism Association, said that the issuance of evisas has made it easier for citizens of 40 foreign countries to visit Vit Nam.
  • Simplifying immigration procedures is a common trend around the world. According to the Global Competitiveness Report 201617 from the World Economic Forum (WEF), the percentage of tourists requesting visas to enter a country decreased from 77 per cent in 2008 to 58 per cent in 2016.


  1. ‘’Vietnam Visa For Hong Kong Passport Holders Is Now Available With Two Options’’, Cross Roads Today, June 10th, 2017
  • As residents of Hong Kong and other countries that are not included in the Vietnam visa exemption list, travelers need to have a valid Vietnam visa for their visit to Vietnam.
  • The first method is known as Vietnam visa on arrival (VOA) […]. This is created to help visitors who are living far from the location of Vietnam Embassy or Consulate or in countries that do not have the Embassy of Vietnam.
  • On the other hand, visitors can decide to apply for visa at Vietnam Consulate in Hong Kong. However, this solution is more complex than submitting Vietnam VOA. Hong Kong residents must send their passport and related documents to the Consulate of Vietnam in Hong Kong.







  1. Ghazanfar Ali Khan, ‘’Albania renews visa-free travel scheme for 3 GCC countries’’, Zawya, June 5th, 2017


  • Albania has renewed a visafree travel scheme for nationals of three Gulf countries in a bid to boost the number of tourists from the region.
  • “Citizens of Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar can enter Albania without a visa,” said Albanian Ambassador Sami Shiba in Riyadh on Sunday.
  • The initiative follows similar schemes in previous years, under which Saudis and citizens of some other Gulf countries were allowed to travel to the country without visas during the summer season.




  1. ‘’Maltese EU Presidency secures deal to ensure checks of foreigners visiting the EU’’, Malta Independent, June 9th, 2017


  • During the last meeting of EU ministers of home affairs under the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU, a Council agreement was secured by Maltese officials on a compromise text for a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).
  • Once it comes into effect, the deal, which is similar in purpose to the Unites States' ESTA scheme, will establish a common system whereby nationals of countries which do not need visas to visit Europe will still need to be vetted and checked by EU authorities prior to being given approval to travel to the EU.
  • ETIAS will help improve security and protect European citizens. It will require all those who do not need a visa to be checked before they travel to the Schengen area. Anyone posing a risk will therefore be able to be prevented from coming to Europe by the authorities. The agreement is another tangible result of the Maltese Presidency in ensuring better border control and improved security for the EU.




  1. ‘’Russia introduces new visa-free 'FAN ID' document for Confederations Cup’’, ESPN, June 10th, 2017
  • Russia has introduced a new scheme that will allow football fans to enter the country for the Confederations Cup without a visa.
  • The "FAN ID" document will enable supporters to save hundreds of dollars as not only does it mean they will not need to purchase a visa, but it also grants free travel in both the cities that the Confederations Cup games are being played and for intercity match travel as well.
  • The document, which is issued free of charge to both international and Russian fans, will act as their tickets to their chosen matches.




  1. ‘’Switzerland to introduce visa-free regime with Ukraine on June 11’’, Ukrinform, June 7th, 2017
  • Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland Didier Burkhalter stated this during a meeting with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv, the president’s press service reports.
  • “The Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that his country will introduce visafree regime for Ukrainian citizens on June 11,” reads the report.
  • In addition, the parties discussed mutual willingness to intensify bilateral cooperation.


  1. Rahim Rahemtulla and Mariya Kapinos, ‘’Visa-free travel will be catalyst for closer ties’’, Kyiv Post, June 9th, 2017
  • As the visa barrier to 34 European nations disappears for Ukrainians on June 11, travel costs are expected to go down also — eventually.
  • Taken together, Ukraine is about to undergo a positive transformation not only in travel, but also in its status as a developing democracy trying to integrate more closely with the rest of Europe.
  • Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko knows the magnitude of the change that is about to take place. He describes visafree travel as a “final farewell to the Soviet and Russian empire.”


  1. ‘’Ukrainians enjoy first day of visa-free regime with EU as Europe 'opens' borders’’, Sputnik International, June 11th, 2017
  • Over 1,000 Ukrainians traveled to the European Union and countries of the Schengen Area without visas after the visafree regime with Ukraine entered into force on Sunday.
  • Beginning from June 11, the Ukrainians are able to travel to the countries of the Schengen Area with biometric passports without visas for 90 days for tourist, business or family purposes, with no right to work or study in the EU member states under such regime. The European Union has a right to suspend the regime if there will be problems with security and illegal migration.
  • Despite major changes in the visa regime between the European Union and Ukraine, there are still some restrictions. Ukrainian nationals are not allowed to enter the Schengen Area without biometric passports.



United Kingdom


  1. ‘’City News: Employers are 'Totally Unprepared' For a Fall in Migration’’, Express, June 12th, 2017
  • A survey of 500 business leaders by the Resolution Foundation showed a huge gap between the kind of immigration system employers expect and what the new government is planning.
  • The poll of firms who employ EU nationals showed that almost half have “totally unrealistic” expectations of what the postBrexit immigration regime might be.
  • Almost one in five expect no change to the current system of freedom of movement for EU nationals to the UK, while nearly a third believe that the system will be maintained for those with job offers.


  1. ‘’Half of UK employers unprepared for immigration changes - think tank’’, Reuters, June 12th, 2017
  • Almost half of British employers are unprepared for the government's planned changes to immigration rules after Brexit, a survey from the resolution foundation think tank showed on Monday.
  • According to the survey 30 percent of companies expect freedom of movement will continue for citizens from the European Union and the European Economic Area (EU/EEA) so long as they have a job offer. Another 17 percent thought there would be no change to the current rules.
  • "There's a stark gap between what businesses want and expect from our postBrexit immigration system and what the government has pledged to deliver," said Stephen Clarke, policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation.





New Zealand


  1. ‘’Slashing immigration would be unwise – PM’’, Radio New Zealand, June 12th, 2017
  • Mr English told Morning Report that, with nearfull employment in some areas, slashing immigration when there was a need for workers would not be sensible.
  • Labour, which is expected to announce its immigration policy shortly, has accused the National government of failing to adequately plan for what has been record immigration putting pressure on infrastructure, housing, and public services.
  • "We've been planning for a growing economy and adapting to that growth, because it's been more sustained I think than people expected more successful than people expected," Mr English said.


  1. Benedict Collins, ‘’Labour would aim to reduce immigration numbers’’, Radio New Zealand, June 12th, 2017
  • The Labour Party would make it tougher for lowskilled workers and students in low-level education courses to enter New Zealand as part of its plan to reduce new immigrant numbers by up to 30,000 a year.
  • It was understood Labour would also reduce the number of students entering New Zealand for lowlevel education courses, and stop students being able to work for a year after their courses have finished.
  • "Slashing the immigration whatever you think of it - slashing it when you need the people to do the jobs that must be done, it doesn't make any sense."


  1. Craig McCulloch, ‘’NZers living in Aus told to consider dual citizenship’’, Radio New Zealand, June 12th, 2017
  • Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee has issued a stark message to New Zealanders living in Australia: seek dual citizenship or realise you'll have fewer rights.
  • The tough advice comes ahead of his meeting today with expat lobby group Oz Kiwi in Wellington.
  • In recent years, New Zealanders living across the ditch have been stung by policies that reduce their entitlements, including a massive hike in university fees.





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