HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 31.07.2017

Jul 31,2017





  1. Minister: ‘Principles First’ Immigration Mandate, Bernews, July 30th, 2017
  • The Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown has issued a new mandate to members of the Immigration Reform Working Group – a mandate which focuses on a ‘principles first’ approach.
  • “All laws should be developed or based on sound principles,” explained Minister Brown. “That is why the creation of such principles must come before any amendments to legislation are made or even put forward.
  • “The principles I want to see embraced when it comes to immigration reform are ones rooted in a sense of justice for all parties within the context of ‘Bermudians coming first’ while also maintaining a framework that will foster continued growth in the business sector, using a friendly and accommodating approach.”




  1. Brazil to start Issuing Passports Again After Nearly a Month”, The Rio Times, July 22nd, 2017
  • The Mint of Brazil (CMB), which produces passports for the country, announced on Friday, July 21st, that the service will be reinstated after being suspended by the Federal Police (PF) since the end of June.
  • During the suspension period, 175,000 passport applications have been postponed, according to the PF, and will now be processed in chronological order and should take up to five weeks to catch up.
  • “By understanding the importance of the urgent normalization of the service, CMB will work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, starting Monday [July 24th], with extra costs to meet all requests made by citizens at DPF during the days of suspension,” says the institution’s note.
  • The issue of passports was interrupted on June 27th for lack of funding.




  1. Pilot program for newcomers launching companies in Canada to be made permanent”, IRCC, July 28th, 2017
  • The Start-up Visa Program, a pathway to permanent residence for cutting-edge entrepreneurs launching a start-up company in Canada, will become a regular feature of Canada’s immigration landscape in 2018.
  • As part of the five-year pilot, launched in 2013, innovative entrepreneurs can apply to become permanent residents after a Canadian venture capital fund or angel investor group has made a significant financial commitment in their business idea, or after a business incubator has accepted them into their program.
  • A recent evaluation of the Start-up Visa Program found that it is delivering on its goals; immigrant entrepreneurs are actively developing innovative companies in Canada that are beginning to show positive results for Canada’s economy and creating middle-class jobs across a range of industries.
  • Making the program permanent supports the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, which seeks to attract investment and support the growth of a diverse range of companies, creating well-paying jobs for Canadians.
  • In the months ahead, IRCC will work to finalize regulations for the permanent program in order to have a seamless transition when the pilot expires on March 31, 2018.




  1. ‘’Dominica on path of growth’’, Nation News, July 28th, 2017
  • Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says Dominica is on the path towards prosperity based on the performance of the economy.
  • In his presentation themed “Realising a modern and prosperous Dominica” – Skerrit said the economy recorded growth of 2.8 per cent.
  • “The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) says the Dominican economy is expected to grow by 3.1 per cent in 2017 and 2018 – this buoyant outlook contracts sharply with the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America….the growth experienced by Dominica is clearly better than the rest of the Caribbean “
  • “This is Dominica’s moment and we as a country must seize it; we could cash in the growth dividend of successful economic management with a road expansion of existing spending programmes. That would be far easier…but this government is not in the business of sitting back and basking in its success. What we propose is a bold journey that begins this morning,” said Skerrit.
  • According to the Prime Minister, nontax revenues of $421.0 million are anticipated – a significant part will come from the Citizenship By Investment Programme which is expected to contribute $399.9 million for the year.


Saint Kitts and Nevis


  1. St. Kitts And Nevis’ CBI Programme Recognized For Its Strong Due Diligence Procedures, ZIZ Online, July 28th, 2017
  • St. Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme recently received top scores for its comprehensive due diligence procedures in the latest CBI Index, conducted by Professional Wealth Management (PWM), a publication from the Financial Times.
  • The CBI Index looked at 12 countries that offer CBI programmes and critically evaluated their performance and appeal across seven indicators relevant to an applicant’s decisionmaking process.
  • The seven indicators used to rate the countries’ programmes are freedom of movement, standard of living, minimum investment outlay, mandatory travel or residence, ease of processing, citizenship timeline, and due diligence.
  • Mr. [Les] Khan [, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU),] noted that all these measures ensure that St. Kitts and Nevis has “one of the most robust due diligence processes that cover all different angles.”


United States


  1. Nicole Sinclair, Immigration is the 'single best way' to lift economic standards’’, Yahoo Finance, July 27th, 2017
  • The labor market is at a critical inflection point, according to Moody’s Chief Economist Mark Zandi. As Trump continues to push his travel ban, Zandi said immigration is a key factor in keeping the labor market healthy and our economy growing.
  • “More immigration is the single best way to consistently lift economic growth and standards of living,” Zandi said at an ADP Research Institute panel at the Nasdaq, moderated by Yahoo Finance.
  • With baby boomers retiring and millennials already in the labor force, Zandi explained that the labor force is going to shrink going forward, making immigration necessary to fuel growth.
  • In addition to providing more workers, immigrants have proven to be twice as likely to become entrepreneurs as nativeborn US citizens, creating even more job opportunities, as Zandi pointed out.







  1. India lifts entry, exist restrictions on Bangladeshis’ visas”, The Daily Star, July 25th, 2017
  • India has removed entry or exit restrictions on visas issued to Bangladeshi nationals, said a Foreign Ministry statement issued in Dhaka today.
  • “With removal of the restriction, now, any Bangladesh national having Indian visa with name of entry/exit point (air/road) will be able to enter and exit from India through any of the 24 international airports and two integrated check posts in India in addition to entry/exit point mentioned in the visa”, the statement read.
  • Previously, Bangladeshi nationals could travel only through the ports indicated in the visa.


  1. Bangladesh likely to face EU visa curbs”, The Daily Star, July 28th, 2017
  • When the country is facing extreme difficulties in shipping goods to the European Union due to a ban on direct cargo flights, Bangladesh may face a fresh crisis of visa restriction for its nationals because of its delay in bringing back the Bangladeshis who are ineligible for asylum in Europe.
  • Diplomatic sources said the EU, the 28nation European bloc, has already decided to restrict visas for foreign countries that refuse or are reluctant to take back their nationals who reached European shores across the Mediterranean since 2014.
  • Though Bangladesh maintained its general position about bringing “all the people in irregular situation back”, European diplomats said Dhaka had been making long delay to conclude the negotiations on the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on the return of irregular migrants from the EU.




  1. Lin Wanxia, “Wealthy Chinese are still red-hot for US property”, Asia Times, July 27th, 2017
  • For a third year running, the United States has come out as the top destination for rich Chinese looking to emigrate or invest in overseas property, while Canada has overtaken Britain for the first time as the second most desired location, according to a survey by Hurun Report and the Visas Consulting Group.
  • The poll tracks immigration trends among high networth Chinese whose personal wealth amounts to between 10 and 200 million yuan (US$1.5 to $30 million).
  • Despite remaining ahead, all the US cities on the list have fallen in favor since President Trump assumed power. Meanwhile, wealthy Chinese are warming to Canadian cities such as Toronto, which saw a 2% rise in popularity from a year earlier.




  1. Manoj Ladwa, ‘’It's time to recognise the truth - a trade deal with India means concessions on immigration’’, New Statesman, July 28th, 2017
  • There is a great relationship between the oldest democracy in the world and the largest democracy in the world. Brexit will not drive a wedge between them.
  • But bilateral relationships consist of more than equity and trading volume. They are about allowing trade to transform the two countries so that they can tackle different challenges together.
  • It goes without saying that there would have to be concessions made on the freedom of movement if the UK and India are going to negotiate constructively.
  • The UK's immigration policies are restrictive enough when it comes to Indians restrictions on the availability of Tier 2 visas have led to a more than 50 per cent decline in Indian international students studying in the UK since 2010.




  1. ‘’Faster immigration handling for foreign travellers’’, The Nation, July 31st, 2017
  • The Thai Immigration Bureau is planning to install an automatic passport checking system for foreign travellers.
  • The first group to use the new system will be those with frequent visits, such as travellers from Hong Kong and Singapore, Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn Prousoontorn, Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, said in Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Tceb)’s newsletter.
  • The programme would later be expanded to countries with novisa requirement such as Australia, New Zealand and some European countries.




  1. Tourism to Vietnam attracting multi-billion hospitality investment”, The Independent, July 26th, 2017
  • Vietnam saw a record number of international arrivals in 2016 – more than 10 million tourists and a 25% increase over the previous year – and 2017 is already on track to surpass that.
  • During the first six months of the year, Vietnam recorded more than 6 million international arrivals, 30% increase over the same period a year earlier.
  • Much of this growth can be attributed to the government’s renewed focus on developing the tourism industry. Somewhat onerous visa regulations were changed in 2015, and now tourists from a range of European and Asian countries can visit Vietnam for up to two weeks without needing to obtain a visa at all.







  1. Filipp Guly, “Belarus will see real results from its visa-free program in 2018”, BelTA, July 25th, 2017
  • Belarus will see an increase in the tourist flow as a result of its fiveday visa-free program in 2018, Chairman of the Board of the National Union of Tourist Industry Filipp Guly said during a video briefing, BelTA has learned. According to him, thanks to the visa-program the geography of foreign tourists has expanded. “We see the demand and the growth. The only thing is that these have been mainly solo active tourists so far. We see a lot of businessmen, and visitors who come here not for tourism purposes only”.
  • The fiveday visa-free program facilitates the development of relations with Lithuania and Latvia, the expert continued. This year has seen an increase in the number of Australian tourists and tour groups from Israel. And these have been classical tourism, not nostalgic, ethnographic or religious, Filipp Guly noted. “Since Belarus' visa-free program is tied to the air service, it makes sense to think over radial tours.
  • It is when people arrive in Minsk and go sightseeing around the city during five days. We can arrange militarypatriotic, ethnographic, natural, cultural and castle sightseeing programs around the capital city and offer tours to explore the capital itself,” Filipp Guly added.




  1. France to speed up visas for PH, other Asian countries”, Manila Bulletin, July 27th, 2017
  • France will cut delivery time to 48 hours for Filipinos, Russians, and citizens of six more Asian countries in a bid to boost tourism, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Wednesday.
  • After a drop in 2016 following a wave of attacks that hit Paris and Nice, tourist numbers are rebounding this year. France is eyeing a record of as many as 89 million foreign tourists, up from 83 million last year, and 100 million visitors in 2020.
  • Citizens of the Philippines, Russia, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Indonesia will from Nov. 1 see the time to get a visa – which now takes around 10 days or so, more in peak season – fall to 48 hours.
  • This measure, which is already in place for a few other countries, including Qatar, would be extended to Saudi Arabia and Vietnam next year if a change in EU visa procedures for those countries allow it.




  1. EU to help Turkey to fulfill 5 conditions for visa-free regime”, Vestnik Kavkaza, July 25th, 2017
  • Ankara must fulfill five conditions before the European Union can introduce a visafree regime for Turkish citizens.
  • Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said this following TurkeyEU ministerial meeting.
  • "We are ready to support Turkey in fulfilling these five conditions," he said.


United Kingdom


  1. Rowena Mason and Kevin Rawlinson, “EU nationals can register to enter UK during Brexit transition”, The Guardian, July 27th, 2017
  • EU nationals will still be able to come to the UK during a transitional period after Brexit but will have to go through a “registration and documentation” process, Amber Rudd has said.
  • The home secretary reassured businesses that there will be “no cliffedge” in the migration system when the UK officially leaves, after Brandon Lewis, her junior minister, said free movement would officially end in 2019.
  • Rudd said free movement would end as a point of principle in March 2019 because it is part of being in the EU. But arrangements very similar to free movement could still carry on during the implementation phase lasting until around 2022.


  1. Rob Merrick, ‘’Government threatened with new court action for 'failing to act' on harsh impact of immigration rules on children’’, Independent, July 30th, 2017
  • Campaigners have threatened a fresh court challenge after accusing the Government of failing to act on the Supreme Court’s ruling that harsh immigration rules unfairly punish children.
  • Support groups said new proposals would fail to end the “heartbreaking longterm trauma” of youngsters when one of their parents has been barred from the country.
  • Thousands of Britons have been prevented from bringing their nonEuropean husbands and wives to the UK, under a strict minimum income requirement.







  1. Australia and UK talk trade and security”, Sky News Australia, July 27th, 2017
  • Australia and Britain have pledged to strengthen their military, intelligence and trade ties as the UK prepares to exit from the European Union.
  • Ms Bishop said Britain was a 'natural partner' to work with Australia on the development and security of the Pacific, noting the ministers had discussed the return of foreign fighters, China, North Korea and the threat of ISIS in the Philippines.
  • Mr Johnson says he supports the proposed free trade agreement with Australia including an 'open and generous' visa regime.
  • He said the UK already welcomed about one million Australians each year travelling visafree.


  1. Jamie Smyth, “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. Sophie Gallagher, “Australia Is Going To Start Using Your Face As A Passport”, Huffpost England, July 28th, 2017
  • In the future you won’t need your passport to visit Australia, after the government announced plans to use facial recognition technology to gain entry instead.
  • On Wednesday Immigration Minister Peter Dutton announced a new three-year contract, at a cost of $22.5 million, to roll out 105 new smart gates at airports across the country. And with more gates to come.
  • This means that ‘known’ passengers arriving from overseas will not have to produce identification documentation at the border, and instead will have their face scanned.
  • Dutton told officials the plans are in an effort to reduce queuing that has been increasingly problematic, as an estimated 40 million people cleared the borders last year.
  • A figure which is tipped to rise to 50 million within the next three years.


New Zealand


  1. Mei Heron & Gill Bonnett, “Work visas hit all-time high”, Radio New Zealand, July 26th, 2017
  • The number of work visas issued in New Zealand has hit an alltime high and the number will keep rising, according to the government.
  • More than 226,000 people were approved in the 2016/2017 financial year, up 17,000 on the year before. The biggest spikes were in the studyto-work visa category, which jumped by 6000, and the working holiday visa, which increased by 5000.
  • More than 37,000 people from India received work visas, followed by 24,000 from Britain and 21,000 from China.


  1. Jane Patterson, “Govt backs off planned changes to skilled migrant visas”, Radio New Zealand, July 24th, 2017
  • Industries reliant on migrant workers say they are happy the government's backing off changes to skilled migrant visas, but now they'd like to see a system that's more responsive to regional demands.
  • However, after complaints from businesses and some regions, Prime Minister Bill English said they would take another look at the proposals for skilled migrant visas.
  • “We’ve had some feedback from people who are in an economy that's creating 10,000 jobs a month, they're telling us that some of those parameters are too tight."






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