HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 11.09.2017

Sep 11,2017





  1. Angola and Indonesia Sign Visa Waiver Deal for Diplomats”, All Africa, September 8, 2017
  • The Republics of Angola and Indonesia signed last April a reciprocal short stay visa waiver agreement for holders of diplomatic and service passports. The information is contained in a Presidential Order published in the State Gazette of September 1 that Angop had access to on Thursday.
  • The legal tool, which is in force for an undetermined time, sets up 30 days as the maximum stay for service passport holders and six months stay for diplomatic passports holders.




  1. Moroccans Offered Visa-Free Entry to Qatar, Official”, The North Africa Post, September 5, 2017
  • Qatar announced Tuesday that it was granting visafree entry to Moroccan nationals wishing to visit the Emirate. The announcement was made by Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Thani at a meeting in Doha with a visiting Moroccan delegation.
  • During the meeting, the Qatari Prime Minister underlined the importance of the coming meeting of the MoroccanQatari joint committee, saying he is upbeat as to the results of this meeting.




  1. Godfrey Ssali, “Gov’t to Revise Dual Citizenship Fees”, The Independent Uganda, September 5, 2017
  • Government is considering revising selected immigration fees to make it easy for Ugandans in the diaspora to acquire dual citizenship. Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, while addressing the political forum of the Ugandan North American Association (UNAA) on Sunday, September 3, 2017 in Miami, Florida, said that she is aware of the predicament Ugandans abroad face and has already initiated the process with the government.
  • The Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa said that the government is working on revising the visa fees for those intending to travel to Uganda. These are fees for a service for you to get citizenship when you acquired another citizenship.






  1. Phila Shu, “Number of Hongkongers Migrating to Canada Hits 20-Year High, Stretching Back to Handover in 1997”, South China Morning Post, September 11, 2017
  • Figures from the Canadian consulate in Hong Kong showed that 1,210 Hong Kong people became permanent residents there last year, double the 630 figure for 2015 and 585 for 2014, the year of the Occupy protests.
  • [Canadian Consul General in Hong Kong Jeff Nankivell] said the figures showed Canada was a very welcoming place for people from Hong Kong and the mainland despite the scrapping of the federal Immigrant Investor Programme in 2014.
  • The number of permanent residents admitted through the skilled workers category, such as accountants and lawyers, surged by a factor of nine from 30 in 2014 to 275 last year. Investment immigration also tripled from 20 in 2015 to 60 last year.




  1. Greg Wilcox, “Citizenship Through Investment: Mideast Wealthy Pay $400,000 to Check Into New Life in Caribbean”, Thomson Reuters Zawya, September 4, 2017
  • Mohammed Asaria, vice chairman of Range Developments, is one such entrepreneur selling stability in unstable times to people across the Middle East. “A lot of the growth is down to more people knowing us and what we do, and another part is that we’re now selling investments in built hotels, so people can see what they’re investing in rather than details on a piece of paper.”
  • What is clear is that Asaria thinks this is a great deal for any investor. Not only do they get a new passport, but also a stake in what he hopes is a profitable business. “It’s an investment — it should generate you income and capitalappreciation,” he stressed.
  • Asaria, however, said that there are now enough safeguards to prevent any dodgy characters from using the scheme for illegal activities.


United States


  1. Tal Kopan, “Trump Ends DACA But Gives Congress Window to Save It”, CNN Politics, September 5, 2017
  • The Trump administration on Tuesday formally announced the end of DACA - a program that had protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation.
  • The Department of Homeland Security will stop processing any new applications for the program as of Tuesday and rescinded the Obama administration policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. In a statement after his agencies and attorney general announced the decision, President Donald Trump blamed former President Barack Obama for creating the program through executive authority and urged Congress to come up with a solution.
  • The administration also announced a plan to continue renewing permits for anyone whose status expires in the next six months, giving Congress time to act before any currently protected individuals lose their ability to work, study and live without fear in the US.






  1. Get Azerbaijan e-Visa in Just Three Hours”, Khaleej Times, September 4, 2017
  • "Arab tourists take the first position among tourists visiting Azerbaijan, followed by travellers from Russia. In July only, 330,000 people visited the country, and we anticipate that the figure will go up significantly”, [said Rashid Al Noori, chairman, Representative Office of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan in GCC].
  • Just recently, the country launched the "electronic visa", making the process of obtaining correct entry documents a little cheaper and quicker in three days. And now, they've made it even easier as visitors will have their e-visas in just three hours, be it a weekend or a holiday. Citizens of 93 countries will be able to get the electronic visa for up to 30 days stay in the country.




  1. Yogima Sharmal, “New Visa Category Likely for Entrepreneurs, Researchers”, The Times of India, September 4, 2017
  • India is looking to introduce a new category of visas with a liberal framework for entrepreneurs and researchers. A senior government official told ET that the proposal, mooted by Niti Aayog, was being discussed at the highest level and the country could in future issue this new category of visas to a select few based on a set criteria.
  • According to the official, the idea was to establish a centralised system for granting entrepreneur visas based on criteria including novelty in technology, sector, job creation potential and ease of dissemination of products or service, among other things.
  • While much work has been done by the previous governments to boost innovation, the Narendra Modi government has taken an allround approach towards developing a conducive environment for entrepreneurs.


  1. Jayanth Jacob, “India Raises Issue of New Visa Regulations with Hong Kong”, Hindustan Times, September 8, 2017
  • The ministry of external affairs has taken up with Hong Kong the issue of an additional layer of security measure in the form of a prearrival registration for granting visas to Indian travelers which has caught many visitors unawares.
  • India has already conveyed to Hong Kong authorities that “in view of expanding peopleto-people and business ties, it is important that visa and immigration system help such exchanges and not create additional hurdles.”
  • Through diplomatic channels, India has also pointed out that India has liberalized visa system for HKSAR passport holders through online visa facility.




  1. Refaelia Goichman, “Israelis to Get Free Temporary Passports as Biometric Program Falters”, Haaretz, September 5, 2017
  • Israelis traveling abroad within the next month who have not yet received their biometric passports will be issued a free, temporary passport in the meantime, the Knesset Finance Committee decided this week.
  • Travelers who applied to receive a biometric passport and are planning to fly abroad by October 20 will be eligible to receive the temporary passport. They can request to receive one while applying for a biometric passport at the Interior Ministry’s Population, Immigration and Border Authority. The offer is valid through October 3.
  • Biometric passports cost 265 shekels ($74) for citizens over 18; a temporary, oneyear passport costs 405 shekels.




  1. Wong Sai Wan, “Envoy: US Visa Waiver Possible Once Malaysians Fill Up Forms Properly”, Malay Mail Online, September 11, 2017
  • The inability to fill up visa application forms properly is the main reason why Malaysia has yet to qualify for the United States’ visa waiver programme.
  • “Malaysians just seem to be unable to fill the forms correctly. For the country to qualify for the programme, there must be no more than 3 per cent rejection of applications for visa. “But the failure rate is still hovering between 3.4 per cent to 3.7 per cent and majority of the rejection is because the forms were not filled up correctly,” Malaysian Ambassador to the US Tan Sri Zulhasnan Rafique has said.
  • Zulhasnan said Malaysia has met all other conditions to be part of the programme “long ago” with exception to the rejection rate.




  1. India to Grant Free Visa to Myanmar Citizens: Modi”, The Hindu, September 6, 2017
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 6 announced that India will grant gratis visa to Myanmarese citizens wanting to visit the country. Mr. Modi made the announcement during his joint press statement with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi after the two leaders held wideranging talks in Nay Pyi Taw.
  • Earlier, during the delegationlevel talks, Mr. Modi said, “We would like to contribute to Myanmar’s development efforts as part of our Sabka saath sabka vikaas initiative.” He said deepening the relationship with Myanmar was a priority for India, as a neighbour and also in the context of the ‘Act East Policy’.




  1. Roy Mabasa, “DFA: No More Travel Agencies in Passport Appointment Slots”, Manila Bulletin, September 4, 2017
  • Travel agencies are no longer entitled to facilitate passport application and renewal appointment slots at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) consular offices. The decision was reached in a bid to make more appointment slots for passport applications available to the public.
  • Ricarte B. Abejuela III, Acting Director of the Passport Division of the Office of Consular Affairs, said that with the DFA’s new policy, clients of travel agencies should undergo the same process all other applicants undergo when applying for or renewing a passport.




  1. Qatar Announces New Visa Measures for Moroccans and Algerians”, The Peninsula, September 10, 2017
  • Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MoI) and Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) announced today that visitors from Morocco and Algeria will be issued visaon-arrival in Qatar provided they hold valid residence permits or visas from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Schengen countries or the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
  • The new system, which is set to take effect on September 15, 2017, will allow eligible visitors from Morocco and Algeria to obtain Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) by completing a simple online application on at least 48 hours prior to travelling to Qatar.
  • Eligible travelers from Morocco and Algeria can obtain a visaon-arrival at Qatar, which will permit visitors to stay in the country for up to 30 days during a single visit. The visa can be extended for 30 additional days to be used during the same visit. If the visitor leaves the country and wishes to return, they will need to apply for a new ETA 48 hours before travelling to Qatar.




  1. Renée Salmonsen, “Jury Out on Thailand’s Visa-Fee Reinstatement for Taiwanese”, Taiwan News, September 3, 2017
  • The Thai government has offered little explanation for the controversial decision to end freevisa entry for Taiwanese last week and speculation as to why is on the rise. Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that the decision is not because of any "one-China policy" fears, reported CNA. Taiwanese will again be required to pay NT$1,200 (US$40) for a landing visa.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is reported that Thailand issued Hong Kong and Macau travelers visa waivers before considering Taiwan or China for special visas, proof that Taiwan could be considered as a single entity, despite any questions of sovereignty.


  1. Keoni Everington, “Amendment Would Bar Employers From Keeping Foreign Workers’ Passports”, Taiwan News, September 4, 2017
  • On Sept. 1, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) said that it will make amendments to the Employment Services Act to further strengthen the protection of foreign workers, including a provision to dissuade employers from confiscating the identification cards and passports of foreign workers.
  • Hsueh Chienchung ( (薛鑑忠 ), an official from MOL's CrossBorder Workforce Management, said that without presenting a proper reason for confiscating foreign workers' identification cards and passports, employers will be fined NT$60,000-NT$300,000 (US$1,993 - US$9,969) and forbidden from employing foreign laborers.
  • Hseuh, said that unless there is a legitimate reason given to justify temporarily holding on to their ID or passport, and even if the worker had signed a consent form, the employer or intermediary is not permitted to maintain possession of their identification documents. As for what those legitimate reasons may be, it has not yet been made clear.






  1. Andreas Rinke & Andrea Shalal, “Germany Sees Jump in Citizenship Applications From U.S.”, Reuters, September 8, 2017
  • German consulates in the United States have seen a significant rise in requests for citizenship since November 2016, when Donald Trump was elected president, data collected by the German foreign ministry shows.
  • Such applications climbed from 92 in October 2016 to 124 in November, 144 in December and 159 in January 2017. At least 100 people living in the United States have applied every month through June. Data from the German foreign ministry showed that, all told, 1,190 such applicants sought citizenship in the first eight months of 2017, compared with 792 in the full year of 2016.




  1. Permanent Residency Permit? Then You Need to Take More Tests, Immigrants Told”, Dutch News, September 4, 2017
  • Immigrants who have already passed the state exams (staatsexamen) to qualify for a residency permit are being asked to take more tests when applying for a permanent licence to stay in the Netherlands, the Volkskrant said on Monday.
  • There are currently two routes to becoming officially integrated in the Netherlands – the state exams which are considered to be more difficult and the six part citizenship diploma (inburgeringsdiploma).
  • A spokeswoman for the justice ministry told that people applying for a permanent residency permit have had to take the two extra tests since 2015. ‘This is not new policy,’ the spokeswoman said. People who wish to settle permanently in the Netherlands have to show that they are really committed to being here, she said.




  1. David Drummers, “The President of Poland Supports Visa-Free Regime With Kazakhstan”, Georgia Today, September 7,  2017
  • Polish President Andrzej Duda on Wednesday began an official visit to Kazakhstan to meet the country’s leader, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and attend a PolishKazakh business forum. Once there, President Duda voiced his support of President Nazarbayev’s proposal that there be a mutual visa-free regime between the countries.
  • "Polish companies have been present on the Kazakh market for several years now,” President Duda stated. “The abolition of the visa regime for Polish citizens up to 30 days would facilitate not only business contacts, but also tourist visits, as does the launch of a direct air service already implemented by the Polish airline between Warsaw and Astana.”







  1. Dan Perez, “Plans to Introduce Mandatory Provisional Visas Before Permanent Residency in Australia”, International Business Times, September 5, 2017
  • The Immigration Department is allegedly considering this possibility in a visa transformation discussion paper that invites submissions from the public. One of the questions that the discussion paper is looking into is “Should a prospective migrant spend a period of time in Australia before becoming eligible for permanent residence?” and what factors must be considered.
  • The number of persons in the country applying for permanent residence has grown over the past two decades. “In 201516, around half of all permanent visas were granted to people already in Australia on a temporary visa,” the discussion paper reads. It implies that temporary residence is increasingly becoming the initial step to live in Australia permanently.


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