HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 03.07.2017

Jul 03,2017





  1. Immigration issues costing Botswana investment inflows”, CAJ News Africa, June 28th,2017
  • Strict immigration laws are forcing international companies to halt or downsize operations in Botswana while expatriate employees are shunning the country that is gradually losing its standing as an investment and employment destination of choice.
  • However, government believes new changes to the contentious immigration laws will be ushered in by the amended Immigration Act passed last year. Foreign affairs minister, Edwin Batshu, believes the new law will attract more expatriates that are capable of significantly contributing to the economy.
    According the new Act, the Minister has powers to grant the status of permanent residence to noncitizens that are investors and have resided in Botswana lawfully for a period of less than five years.





Antigua and Barbuda


  1. Press Release: CIU Head Affirms the Integrity of the Citizenship by Investment Unit”, The Daily Observer, June 27th, 2017
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), Charmaine QuinlandDonovan is assuring all industry participants, new citizens and the general public that citizenships granted and the resulting travel documents issued, have been processed in accordance with the law and international best practices.
  • “The benefits of the Programme to the people of Antigua and Barbuda are significant,” the CEO says. “More than US$200 Million from inception to date have come from the CIP. Therefore, neither the Government nor the Unit would undertake any measures that would undermine the effective administration and standing of the Programme, or compromise the mobility of Antiguan and Barbudan citizens.”
  • QuinlandDonovan confirmed that the earnings of the Programme have been utilized to service the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan; meet monthly Social Security and pension shortfalls; support the Solid Waste cleanup programme; contribute to the project to provide affordable homes for Antiguans and Barbudans, and support the Barbuda Council in meeting its expenses.


  1. Rory Butler, “From Brussels: Visa free access to EU at stake”, The Daily Observer, June 29th, 2017
  • Antigua and Barbuda is being urged to rejoin the Eastern Caribbean mission in Brussels – a body it left over a decade ago.
  • The body negotiates with the European Union; and Charge D’Affairs Sharlene ShillingfordMcKlmon says Antigua and Barbuda’s interests such as visa free access to the EU – are at stake.
  • She explained that the twin island benefited from the Schengen visa waiver along with St Kitts and Nevis despite not being present during negotiations a few years ago.
  • “So even in Antigua’s absence, they are able to benefit from the agreement we conclude, because we have the same framework, the same conditions and when we defend anything here for small states, it suits Antigua. I think it might be worthy for the Antiguan officials to consider, in a positive light, the multilateral proofing,” ShillingfordMcKlmon said.





  1. Notice – Canada imposes a visa requirement on Antigua and Barbuda”, Canada Immigration (CIC), June 26th, 2017
  • As of 5:30 a.m. EDT June 27, 2017, citizens from Antigua and Barbuda will need a visa to travel to Canada.
  • At that time, any existing electronic travel authorization (eTA) issued to a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda will no longer be valid, and these travellers will not be able to use their eTA to travel to Canada.
  • Canada continues to welcome visitors from Antigua and Barbuda, while protecting the integrity of our immigration system and ensuring the safety of Canadians. Most approved visa applicants will receive a multipleentry visa, which allows travellers to visit Canada as many times as they want, for up to 10 years. For each visit, travellers can stay for up to six months.


Caribbean Islands


  1. Joyce Loan, “Caribbean out front in citizenship by investment guide – with Dominica topping list”, WIC News, June 28th, 2017
  • Dominica has topped the comprehensive CBI Index as part of a special report into citizenship by investment by a leading international newspaper.
  • Caribbean nations stand out most among the 12 countries included, filling the top five positions in the last edition of Professional Wealth Management (PWM) – a publication from the Londonbased Financial Times.
  • Scores are worked out based on what the CBI Index describes as ‘pillars’, which include freedom of movement, standard of living and minimum investment outlay.


United States


  1. Matthew Lee, “The U.S. Has Issued New Visa Criteria for 6 Muslim Nations”, TIME, June 29th, 2017
  • The Trump administration has set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees that require a "close" family or business tie to the United States.
  • Visas that have already been approved will not be revoked, but instructions issued by the State Department Wednesday said that new applicants from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, sonin-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the United States to be eligible.
  • As far as business or professional links are concerned, the State Department said a legitimate relationship must be "formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading" the ban. Journalists, students, workers or lecturers who have valid invitations or employment contracts in the U.S. would be exempt from the ban. The exemption does not apply to those who seek a relationship with an American business or educational institution purely for the purpose of avoiding the rules, the cable said. A hotel reservation or car rental contract, even if it was prepaid, would also not count, it said.





Abu Dhabi


  1. Abu Dhabi residents can now apply for visas online”, GulfNews, July 1st, 2017
  • Residents in the emirate of Abu Dhabi can now apply for new visa or visa renewals through a dedicated online portal, the Ministry of Interior announced in statement on Saturday.
  • According to the ministry, which oversees the General Directorate for Residency and Foreign Affairs, residents can apply by visiting
  • The portal aims to ease the application and renewal process and removes the need for residents to visit the main office or typing centres, said Brigadier Mansour Al Daheri, directorgeneral of Residency and Foreign Affairs at the directorate.




  1. About 40 percent of anticipated investments in 2017 implemented”, ARKA News Agency, June 23rd, 2017
  • Earlier Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan said there were $3.2 billion worth clearcut investment projects of which $850 million could be implemented this year.
  • He said also that the Armenian Investors Club, created with the support of Russiabased ethnic Armenian businessmen, will soon announce the sectors in which its members will invest.
  • He said also that to increase investment attractiveness of the country, the government is looking into the possibility of granting citizenship to major investors.
  • Karayan said talks were underway with a string of French investors, saying also that soon a group of Danish investors who are also interested in the Armenian market, will visit the country.




  1. Indians top in acquiring foreign citizenship: OECD study”, The Times of India, June 30th, 2017
  • Indians lead the pack when it comes to acquiring foreign citizenship – 1.30 lakh [130,000] people of Indian origin became citizens of OECD membercountries in 2015.
  • India is followed by Mexico and Philippines. China comes fifth with 78,000.
  • Analysis of the data in this report shows that USA, Canada, UK, Australia and Germany continue to be the favored destinations for Indian migrants. In terms of actual numbers, there has been a slight dip, except for migration to Canada and UK which has risen marginally.




  1. Charissa Luci-Atienza, "US visa policy remains unchanged for PH", Manila Bulletin, July 1st, 2017
  • The United States Department of State announced on Saturday that the US visa policy remains unchanged for the Philippines.
  • It said the US visa policy has not changed for the Philippines amid the implementation of Executive Order (EO) 13870 or “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”
  • “The Philippines is not on the restricted country list in EO 13870 and the US Embassy in Manila welcomes visa applications for non immigrant travelers and immigrants from the Philippines,” the US Department of State said in an advisory.




  1. Ismail Akwei, Seychelles, South Africa granted visa-free travel to Qatar amid Gulf row, Africa News, June 29th, 2017
  • Nationals of Seychelles and South Africa have been listed among the 37 countries granted visafree travel to Qatar as the Gulf nation is blocked by its neighbours amid recent diplomatic row.
  • Qatari authorities announced in a statement on June 22, 2017 that they have introduced a visaon-arrival policy, Russian news agency Sputnik reported.
  • Among the countries are Argentina, Chile, French Guiana, Latvia, Macedonia, Paraguay, Slovakia, Lebanon, Bolivia, China, Ecuador, Guyana, Seychelles, Malta, Peru, Slovenia, Thailand, Brazil, Colombia, Estonia, Indonesia, Lithuania, Mexico, Romania, South Africa, Uruguay, Bulgaria, Croatia Falk Islands, Kazakhstan, Macau, Moldova, Russia, Suriname and Venezuela.




  1. Phil Davis, "Vietnam extends visa waiver scheme for Brits by a year", Travel Weekly, June 30th, 2017
  • A visa exemption scheme for UK passport holders travelling to Vietnam has been extended by a year. The arrangement allows for single entry stays of up to 15 days and will run until June 30, 2018.
  • Asian nation’s government first introduced the relaxation of visa rules for travellers from the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.







  1. One in two failed Danish citizenship test”, The Local, June 28th, 2017
  • Half of all naturalization hopefuls that took Denmark’s citizenship test in June failed.
  • 49.8 percent passed the test by correctly answering at least 32 out of 40 questions on the test, which covers subjects such as society and culture, as well as having a strong focus on historical events and figures.
  • When the new test was introduced, a number of Danish media outlets posted it on their websites, with even naturalborn Danes having a hard time passing it, leading to political calls to revamp the exam.
  • “It is a somewhat lower pass rate this time, and that just shows how important it is to prepare thoroughly – which is also the point,” immigration minister Inger Støjberg told news agency Ritzau on Wednesday.




  1. John Detrixhe, “Emmanuel Macron’s new tech visa will make France an unlikely laboratory for globalization”, Quartz, June 29th, 2017
  • Emmanuel Macron wants France to become a country of startups, and not just for French founders. That’s why the newly elected president is talking up a new tech visa intended to make it easier for fastgrowing companies to hire foreign talent and for entrepreneurs to set up shop in France.
  • France suffers from its reputation of stifling bureaucracy and hostility towards business—perceptions Macron is battling against. The world’s biggest startup campus, known as Station F, has just opened in Paris, another important statement of intent.
  • The French process appears “significantly” simpler than in the US, which doesn’t have a dedicated visa for tech workers, according to Kristie De Pena, senior immigration council at the Niskanen Center, a think tank. America’s H1B visa is cumbersome and is capped at 85,000 spots per year. There are also signs that foreign workers feel less welcome in the US, as the number of applicants fell this year, to fewer than 200,000 from 236,000 in 2016.




  1. Britons in Germany apply for citizenship amid Brexit uncertainty”, TRT World, June 26th, 2017
  • Almost 3,000 UK nationals were granted German citizenship last year, an increase of over more than 300 percent.
  • As the UK releases its proposal outlining the rights it is prepared to give EU nationals living in the country, Britons across Europe are also watching the Brexit talks closely.
  • “You do tend to think of the worst. So, what happens… we lose our right to live, we lose our right to work, we have to move away, you lose those connections with friends. You lose your entire life," he says.




  1. "Russian think tank suggests easing visa requirements for investors" , TASS: Business & Economy, June 29th, 2017
  • Russia should significantly ease visa requirements for highlyeducated staff, business representatives and investors, the Center for Strategic Research (CSR) said in its report released on Thursday.
  • Moscow needs a complex migration policy aimed at solving the problem of lack of labor force, mitigating the consequences of decline in population, ensuring the economic growth and decreasing the risks of interethnic conflicts in the country, said the report titled "Foreign Policy and Security. Theses on Foreign Policy and Russia’s Positioning in the World (2017-2024).
  • "Migration policy should be carried out with the focus on integrating migrants into Russia’s society. Limiting migration policy to police and control functions will decrease Russia’s competitiveness in attracting labor force," the report said.




  1. Saaed Abdelrazek, “Gulf Investments in Turkey Rise by 414% in 1st Four Months”, Asharq Al-Awsat, 26th June, 2017
  • Investments from the Gulf States in Turkey rose by a staggering 414 percent, reaching $550 million from just $107 million, the Turkish Economy Ministry said.
  • Economy ministry sources said the rise in investments might be the result of the law that grants the Turkish nationality to investors.
  • The law, which went into effect in May, says foreign investors will receive the citizenship in case they invest $1.5 million in Turkey.


United Kingdom


  1. New figures reveal British racing to apply for Swiss citizenship”, Le News, June 29th, 2017
  • According to Swiss broadcaster RTS, the number of British citizens applying to become Swiss has risen sharply.
  • Across Switzerland, RTS says that 687 British citizens successfully became Swiss in 2016, up 11% from 617 in 2015. However, the process for becoming Swiss is long, typically taking two years. This means many of those obtaining citizenship in 2015 and 2016 probably applied in 2013 and 2014 before the Brexit referendum. It will take time for recent applications to reach the citizenship stage.
  • In Switzerland there has been a rush to apply across all nationalities. New restrictions, which come into force on 1 January 2018, will make it harder for some to apply. At the same time the British led the way. In Vaud, applications from French and Portuguese nationals rose only 33% and 30%, compared to 71% for British nationals.







  1. Shamsher Kainth, “Over 81,000 citizenship applications awaiting processing”, SBS, 27th June, 2017
  • On April 20 this year, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced an overhaul of the citizenship law, proposing to introduce a standalone English language test and increasing the waiting time from one year to four years for permanent residents before they can apply for citizenship, among other measures.
  • “The Department currently has more than 81,000 applications on hand, and will continue delivering the Citizenship program over the coming months while new arrangements are settled,” a spokesperson of the DIBP told SBS Punjabi.
  • Labor is accusing the government of setting the English bar too high for citizenship applicants. However, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton clarified last week that citizenship applicants are not required to sit the Academic International English Language Testing System exam which is a requirement for university admission. The government wants prospective Australian citizens to score a 6 Band score on the General IELTS exam which is acceptable for immigration purpose.


  1. Sarah Basford, “New Citizenship Test Will Require Migrants to Achieve University-Level English”, StudentEdge, June 28th, 2017
  • Opposition spokesperson for citizenship and migration, Tony Burke, told Insiders that the new citizenship test proposals will require migrants to achieve universitylevel English scores.
  • The proposals will require migrants wanting to gain Australian citizenship a level of 6.0 in the general IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test.
  • For context, most European countries require an equivalent of a Band 4 in the IELTS, which would mean that Australia would have some of the toughest language requirements in the world.


  1. Tom Flanagan, “New au pair visa could be introduced under Turnbull government to help with childcare costs and allow new mothers to return to work”, Dailymail, July 1st, 2017
  • The Turnbull Government is considering making further visa changes with a view to improving the childcare system to benefit families with young children.
  • Immigration Assistant Minister Alex Hawke is in talks to roll out the special visa, which will allow au pairs and carers to obtain visas granting them a 12 month to two year stay with a family.
  • Under current ruling, au pairs can only work for a family for six months on the Working Holiday visa, and pending an appeal to Immigration, it can be extended by a further six.
  • The current system has requirements on education and finances and only a select number of countries are involved in the Working Holiday visa program, which in turn has inflated the costs of the restricted number of carers entering the country.


  1. Tas Bindi, “Tech jobs reinstated for skilled Australian visas”, ZD Net, July 3rd, 2017
  • After consultation with industry, the Australian federal government has reversed some of the changes it made to the temporary skilled migration scheme in April.
  • The Australian federal government has reinstated a number of technologyrelated titles in the list of occupations eligible for a range of temporary and permanent skilled visas.
  • All ICT visa applicants are required to have a minimum of two years work experience, except for ICT project managers, ICT sales representatives, ICT support engineers, ICT systems test engineers, software testers, and web developers.


New Zealand


  1. Conor Whitten, “Kiwis offered pathway to Australian citizenship once more”, Newshub, July 1st, 2017
  • Thousands of New Zealanders across the Tasman can now become citizens of Australia after being at a dead end for 16 years.
  • For the first time since 2001, there's a pathway to citizenship for Kiwis in Australia but only for those who can afford the cost.
  • “We’re looking at over $8500, which is not really feasible," says Nick Whiting.
  • Kiwis who arrived in Australia between 2001 and 2016 can become now become residents and then citizens if they get a new special visa.
  • From Saturday, 150,000 Kiwis are eligible for citizenship for the very first time.





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