HLG Weekly Newsletter

May 09,2017

1. Jason Lemon, ‘’Egypt just opened visa free travel to Maghreb citizens living in the Gulf’’, Step Feed, May 3rd, 2017

  • Egypt is lifting visa requirements for citizens of Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia who reside in one of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
  • Security sources have said that individuals that fit this criteria will now be eligible for visas upon arrival when they come into Cairo international airport. But citizens of Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Sudan will still be required to apply for visas before traveling to Egypt.
  • Some media reports are saying that all citizens of Maghreb countries will now have visa-free access to Egypt, but that has not been officially confirmed.



2. ‘’Dominica PM reveals prospects, pitfalls for economic success’’, The Daily Observer, April 26th, 2017

  • Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on Monday met with stakeholders in Dominica at the national consultation on development prospects, ahead of the 2017-2018 National Budget. The goal of the meeting was to acquire an objective analysis on the health and working of the Dominican economy, and to discuss plans for further success and growth.
  • The prime minister presented an important challenge facing the management of the national economy: overspending is not a responsible option, and yet the government has an obligation to continue delivering on crucial social responsibilities to its citizens “irrespective of budget realities”.


St. Kitts & Nevis

3. ‘’IMF commends St Kitts-Nevis government on efforts to strengthen citizenship programme’’, Caribbean News Now, May 5th, 2017

  • A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) commended the St Kitts and Nevis government on Wednesday on its efforts to strengthen the citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programme, the oldest of its kind in the world.
  • Otker characterized the strengthening of the due diligence processes as a “very welcome” step and noted that the reforms have helped to “reduce integrity/security risks, preserve the programme’s credibility and reputation, and avoid a race to the bottom”.
  • The IMF official added that the Cabinet’s consideration of CBI options beyond real estate was also “very welcome.” The Cabinet considers CBI options such as alternative energy, entertainment, entrepreneurship, heritage, and infrastructure, as well as investment in a growth and resilience fund.


United States

4. Becky Strum, ‘’Congress Extends EB-5 Green Card Program Through September’’, Mansion Global, May 4th, 2017

  • The controversial EB-5 immigration program, a way for wealthy foreigners to obtain green cards through investment in the U.S., will live on for at least another five months thanks to a spending bill the Senate passed on Thursday.
  • The $1.1 trillion in federal funding averted an impending government shutdown and wrapped in an extension for EB-5 only one day before the immigrant visa program’s expiration. The extension bides lawmakers and industry lobbyists more time to come up with a set of long-awaited reforms to the program before the next expiration date, on Sept. 30.



5. ‘’Business immigration can help support Canada's economic growth, if done right’’, Canada Newswire - Yahoo Finance, May 2nd, 2017

  • 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. A new report by The Conference Board of Canada, Entrepreneur and Investor Immigration: Creating Jobs and Growth provides recommendations to help strengthen business immigration's role in spurring Canada's economic development.
  • "In recent years, Canada's programs have struggled to meet policy objectives due to increased competition from all corners of the globe in attracting business immigrants," said Craig Alexander, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist. "However, as other countries are becoming less welcoming to newcomers, Canada can position itself to reap greater economic benefits from entrepreneur and investor immigration in the future by opening its doors to more foreign talent."


6. Andy J. Semotiuk, ‘’Report Outlines What Canada Can Do For Investor Immigrants’’, Forbes, May 5th, 2017

  • El-Assal [immigration researcher at the Board of Canada answered Mr. Semotiuk questions]: ‘’Despite the many difficulties Canada has experienced since it launched its business immigration programs in 1978, it is more than capable of succeeding in this field. Canada needs immigrants, has 40 years of business immigration experience, and business immigrants want to come here. It’s a match made in heaven.’’
  • ‘’Many Canadians recognize business immigration’s potential in fueling economic growth. Inclusive public consultations will lead to stronger federal programs and policies.’’


7. Marie-Danielle Smith, ‘’Liberal government to debate Senate amendments to long-delayed citizenship bill’’, National Post, May 3rd, 2017

  • The Senate voted Wednesday in favour of the bill that will revoke a Conservative policy to remove Canadian citizenship from dual citizens convicted of serious crimes such as terrorism and treason.
  • Two other amendments were adopted. For older applicants, the law currently requires language proficiency in English or French up to the age of 64. The Liberal law proposed lowering this to 55, but senators decided to adopt Conservative Sen. Diane Griffin’s suggestion of a middle ground, setting it at age 60 instead. Another amendment, from Conservative Sen. Victor Oh, seeks to ensure minors can apply for citizenship separate from parents or guardians.
  • Three amendments were introduced, however, which means the bill gets sent back to the House of Commons, where Liberals will decide whether to accept the changes or not. If they don’t, it goes back to the Senate again. 


Hong Kong

8. Kimmy Chung, ‘’Number of people seeking a fresh start outside Hong Kong hits three-year high’’, South China Morning Post, May 4th, 2017

  • The number of Hongkongers trying to emigrate to other parts of the world reached a three-year high last year, according to the latest government data.
  • Figures released by the Security Bureau show 7,600 applied for a certificate of no criminal conviction (CNCC) for outward immigration purposes – 8.6 per cent more than in 2015 and 10 per cent more than in 2014.
  • The United States remained the most popular destination, with 2,800 applying for immigration visas, the highest in five years. Australia and Canada attracted 2,100 and 1,000 applications respectively.



9. Jhesset O. Enano, ‘’Filipinos may visit Taiwan visa-free starting June’’, Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 4th, 2017

  • “Based on our recommendation, from June 1st this year, Taiwan will give visa-free treatment for all Filipinos,” [Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin] added.
  • Visa-exempted Filipinos may stay in Taiwan up to 30 days, and the visa exemption program would be in trial period for one year.
  • Flights from Taipei have been landing not only in Manila, but also in Boracay, Palawan, and Cebu provinces, said Lin.


European Union

10. Sewell Chan, ‘’E.U. Sets Aside Calls to End Visa-Free Travel for Americans’’, The New York Times, May 2nd, 2017

  • The European Commission said on Tuesday that it would not start requiring Americans to obtain visas for travel to the European Union, at least for now.
  • Right now, United States citizens generally do not need visas to enter any of the union’s 28 member nations, but citizens of five of those nations — Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania — need visas to travel to the United States.
  • That disparity has been the subject of a diplomatic dispute between Washington and Brussels that threatened to escalate in March, when the European Parliament asked the commission, the bloc’s executive body, to retaliate by ending visa-free travel to Europe for Americans.


11. ‘’EU decides not to suspend visa-free travel for Canadians’’, The Globe and Mail, May 2nd, 2017

  • The European Union says it has decided not to suspend visa-free travel arrangements with the United States and Canada given good progress made on resolving the standoff.
  • The United States is refusing to allow visa-free travel to citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania until they meet the requirements of U.S. law. Canada has limits on certain categories of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens.
  • But the European Commission said Tuesday that “contacts have been re-launched with the new U.S. administration” and Canada has pledged to lift all outstanding visa restrictions by December.



12. John Leicester and Sylvie Corbet, ‘’Pro-EU Macron wins France's presidency, Le Pen hopes dashed’’, ABC News, May 7th, 2017

  • Ripping up France's political map, French voters elected independent centrist Emmanuel Macron as the country's youngest president Sunday, delivering a resounding victory to the unabashedly pro-European former investment banker and dashing the populist dream of far-right rival Marine Le Pen.
  • Macron and Le Pen offered polar-opposite visions: Le Pen's closed borders against Macron's open ones; his commitment to free trade ran against her proposals to protect the French from global economic competition and immigration. Her desire to free France from the EU and the shared euro currency contrasted with his argument that both are essential for the future of Europe's third-largest economy.



13. ‘’English concedes NZ a 'soft entry point' to Australia’’, Otago Daily Times, May 8th, 2017

  • Prime Minister Bill English has conceded that New Zealand is considered a "soft entry point" for migration to Australia.
  • But he says his Government has no plan to change the two countries' reciprocal travel arrangements, which make it easy to move between to the two countries.
  • The New Zealand Government has expressed disappointment with recent changes in Australia which will make it harder to get citizenship and more expensive to attend university.


14. Gabrielle Chan, ‘’Aged parents of migrants to get access to five-year Australian visas for $10,000’’, The Guardian, May 4th, 2017

  • Aged parents of migrants will get access to 15,000 five-year temporary visas at $10,000 each under changes expected to be announced in next week’s budget.
  • Parents will need to hold private health insurance and have financial support through a bond from their children before the visa would be approved, SBS reports.
  • The Turnbull government released a discussion paper in September last year, which set out the terms of the parent visas. At that time the assistant immigration minister, Alex Hawke, said the program would be in place by July 2017.




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