HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 18.09.2017

Sep 18,2017





  1. Nqobile Tshili, “Massive Backlog Forces Suspension of Emergency Passports”, Chronicle, September 14, 2017
  • The Registrar General’s Office has temporarily suspended issuing emergency passports to clear a backlog of over 2,000 passports. Members of the public who are seeking the emergency travelling documents are forced to apply for the “normal” passport which costs $53 and is now being released after about 2 months as a result of the backlog. Normally the passport is released within 3 weeks of application.
  • [Registrar General Mr. Tobaiwa Mudede] said it will not make sense for his office to continue accepting new applicants for emergency passports when his officers are battling to clear the backlog.






  1. Employment and Social Development Canada, “Minister Duclos and Minister Weil Announce the Global Talent Stream is Now Available in Quebec”, Government of Canada, September 11, 2017
  • The Honourable JeanYves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development […] and Kathleen Weil, ministre de l'Immigration, de la Diversité et de l'Inclusion du Québec (MIDI), announced today that the Global Talent Stream is now available to employers in Quebec, providing a faster and more predictable process for attracting top talent to the province.
  • The Stream offers priority processing of applications, flexible recruitment requirements and faster work permit processing so businesses can get the talent they need when they need it. Twoweek work permit processing will be available to workers applying from overseas whose employers in Quebec have been approved to hire a foreign worker through the Global Talent Stream.


  1. Sidhartha Banerjee, “Facebook Follows Google, Microsoft to Montreal With New AI Research Lab”, The Toronto Star, September 15, 2017
  • Facebook has become the latest technology company to dig into Montreal’s burgeoning artificial intelligence sector, announcing the opening of a research lab in the city Friday. The lab, known as FAIR Montreal, is headed by Joelle Pineau, a professor in McGill University’s computer science department and codirector of Reasoning and Learning Lab.
  • Trudeau was joined by Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and Quebec’s innovation minister, Dominque Anglade. Speaking at his alma mater, Trudeau said generations of innovators have found inspiration in Montreal and Canada. “So it should come as no surprise that more tech giants are choosing our cities as their homes away from home,” he said.


Cayman Islands


  1. Brent Fuller, “Government Gets Through 15 Months of Permanent Residence Backlog”, Cayman Compass, September 17, 2017
  • Thanks largely to marathon hearings that started on July 31, the Cayman Islands Immigration Department has finished considering the vast majority of backlogged permanent residence applications filed between October 2013 and December 2014. Most of those applicants were waiting between twoand-a-half and three years to have their bids to remain in Cayman reviewed.
  • The government still has considerable work ahead to finish the entire backlog of more than 1,100 residency applications filed between Oct. 26, 2013 and midJune 2017, when officials resumed hearing those cases.
  • Since the Immigration Department staff began reviewing the residency bids, between 3040 applications have been decided each week. The board was getting through five or six cases each week.


United States


  1. Arshad Mohammed & Yeganeh Torbati, “U.S. Will Not Issue Some Visas in Four Nations in Deportation Crackdown”, Reuters, September 13, 2017
  • The U.S. State Department on Wednesday will stop issuing certain kinds of visas to some citizens of Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea and Sierra Leone because the nations are not taking back their citizens the United States wants to deport.
  • The cables, sent by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to consular officials around the world, said the four countries were “denying or unreasonably delaying” the return of their citizens, and that visa restrictions would be lifted in a country if it accepted its deportees.
  • In each case, there are exceptions for citizens of the four nations who apply for visas from outside their countries, as well as exceptions on humanitarian grounds or for travel “deemed in the interest of the United States.”


  1. Debbie A. Klis & Steve B. Park, “H.R. 601 Extends EB-5 Program and Provides $15.25B of Disaster Relief Funds”, National Law Review, September 18, 2017
  • President Trump has signed into law H.R. 601, a continuing resolution that funds the federal government through December 8, 2017, and thereby extends the EB5 Regional Center Program beyond September 30, 2017—the end of the federal fiscal year.
  • The EB5 Regional Center Program extension comes with no further legislative changes at this time, though passage of an EB-5 reform bill before December 8 is possible. Indeed, H.R. 601 arguably hints at the possibility of legislative reform before its next sunset date […].






  1. Armenia Ratifies Visa-Free Travel for Moldovans”, PanArmenian Network, September 12, 2017
  • The Armenian National Assembly on Tuesday, September 12 ratified visafree travel for the citizens of Moldova, the parliament's website says.
  • Introducing the bill to Armenian lawmakers on Monday, deputy foreign minister Shavarsh Kocharyan said the document will apply to holders of both diplomatic and ordinary passports.


  1. Armenia, Israel Discuss Visa-Free Travel Possibilities”, PanArmenian Network, September 13, 2017
  • Armenian foreign minister Edward Nalbandian and an Israeli parliamentary delegation on Wednesday, September 13 diccussed the possibility of abolishing visas between the two countries.
  • Meeting in Yerevan, the sides hailed the active dialogue at the parliamentary level and expressed readiness to deepen relations.




  1. Justina Lee, “Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei Top ASEAN Citizenship Quality Ranking”, Nikkei Asian Review, September 14, 2017
  • The people of Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei enjoy the highest quality citizenship in Southeast Asia, according to a recent report […].The Quality of Nationality Index ranks over 150 countries based on the opportunities and limitations experienced by their citizens. Each country is given an aggregate score based on factors including political stability, human development and ease of travel.
  • "All three nationalities are far superior to the others [in Association of Southeast Asian Nations] and are the only ones in the top 50 [global ranking]," the report said


  1. China Focus: China-ASEAN Collaboration Brings Tourism Boom”, Xinhua, September 14, 2017
  • In 2016, more than 30 million trips were made between China and ASEAN countries, compared with 10 million in 2011. The two are each other's largest overseas tourist destinations and largest sources of tourists, said the report on bilateral cooperation in tourism.
  • Favorable visa polices and improved traffic are behind the prosperity of ChinaASEAN tourism, said Dai Bin, head of China Tourism Academy. Since 2000, nearly 20 documents have been signed to encourage bilateral tourism. Among the 10 ASEAN countries, nine offer visa-free or visa-on-arrival policies for Chinese tourists. More than 2,700 flights fly between China and ASEAN countries every wee




  1. Close to 2000 People Arrive in Azerbaijan for Permanent Residence”, News.Az, September 16, 2017
  • Since the beginning of 2017, the population of Azerbaijan has increased by 48,879 people or by 0.5 percent, amounting to 9, 858,860 people as of August 1, 2017, the State Statistics Committee said in a report.
  • In JanuaryJuly of this year, the relevant structures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Migration Service registered 1,782 people who arrived in Azerbaijan for permanent residence and 1002 people who left Azerbaijan. The positive migration balance was 780 people.




  1. Malaysian Nationality Ranked 2nd Highest in Region”, Free Malaysia Today News,  September 15, 2017
  • Malaysian nationality has been ranked second in the region, behind only Singapore, according to a new global citizenship report. The annual Quality of Nationality Index (QNI […] said Malaysia also ranked 45th in the world, with a score of 48.5% in 2016. This is significantly higher than the Asia Pacific average of 32.99% and the global average of 39.2%, placing Malaysia in the “high quality” category.
  • Nationalities with a value of 75% and above are rated “extremely high quality”; between 50% and 74.99%, “very high quality”; between 35% and 49.99%, “high quality”; between 20% and 34.99%, “medium quality”; and less than 19.99%, “low quality”.




  1. Elaine Hou & Evelyn Kao, “Taiwan Mulls Visa-Free Entry for Filipinos in October”, Focus Taiwan, September 13, 2017
  • Residents of the Philippines could become eligible for visafree entry to Taiwan in October if the details of the new policy are hammered out at an upcoming meeting, a Foreign Ministry official said Wednesday. If details relating to the implementation of the policy are finalized during the meeting, the new visa-free entry rules could come into effect in October, the official said.
  • The Taiwan government relaxed visa rules for individuals from 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India, effective from Aug.1, 2016 and included the Philippines in its evisa program on Oct. 7 last year.




  1. Wassayos Ngamkham, “TM.6 Cards End for Thais in Bid to Cut Queues”, Bangkok Post, September 15, 2017
  • Thai nationals will from Saturday no longer have to fill out departure and arrival cards - known as Tor Mor 6 cards, or TM.6 -- before passing through airport immigration counters, government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said Thursday.
  • While Thai nationals can now pass through domestic airports and skip the timeconsuming TM.6s, foreigners will still have to fill them in until new immigration cards are launched, Lt Gen Sansern said. The new cards will only require foreigners to provide more basic information wanted by state agencies. They have been approved by the cabinet.




  1. Citizenship Through Real Estate Purchase Limit to be Reduced”, Daily Sabah, September 14, 2017
  • Work to decrease the limit of real estate purchase has started, according to a report by Turkish daily Habertürk. Although it was not announced how much the amount would be lowered, discussions regarding the issue have begun.
  • Representatives of the real estate sector, in their earlier statements, asked for the figure to be lowered. Sector representatives, who said that the figure was high, stated that a figure of around $500,000 would attract more investors to Turkey.
  • [Environment and Urbanization Minister Mehmet Özhaseki] said that 32,300 people from Gulf countries purchased 16,000 immovable properties and indicated that there is an increase in applications for Turkish citizenship by buying real estate.


United Arab Emirates


  1. UAE Ranks Top in GCC in Quality Nationality Index”, Trade Arabia, September 14, 2017
  • Among the 195 nationalities listed in the index, UAE occupies 49th place, Kuwait 72nd, Saudi Arabia 82nd, Oman 83rd, and Bahrain 84th. The UAE has made a spectacular jump forward, moving from 36.3 per cent in 2015 to 44.5 per cent of a possible 100 per cent.
  • The UAE nationality specifically, has performed remarkably and moved up 13 spots in comparison to last year’s rankings. This is because of the EU’s recent exemption of UAE nationals from a Schengen visa, granting visafree access to the zone. In addition to the 26 travel destinations of the Schengen Area, UAE nationals are also given visa-free access to eight non-Schengen countries in Europe: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, the Vatican, Andorra, San Marino and Monaco.


  1. UAE Relaxes Visa Rules for Indians”, Hindustan Times, September 15, 2017
  • In a statement, United Arab Emirates Ambassador to India Ahmed Albanna said the UAE cabinet on Wednesday (September 13) decided to grant visa on arrival to Indian passport holders with residence visa from UK and the European Union.
  • As a first step in this regard the two sides inked a MoU on mutual exemption of entry visa requirements to the holders of diplomatic, special and official passports, during the second visit of the Crown Prince to India as Chief Guest during the Republic Day this year.






  1. Stephen Gadd, “Denmark Second on ‘Quality of Nationality’ Index”, Copenhagen Post, September 13, 2017
  • According to the Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index, Denmark is the second best in the world at developing talents and businesses. For the sixth year on the trot, Germany came top, with a score of 82.7 percent, but Denmark tied with France for second place at 82.4 percent.
  • The global mean in 2016 was 39.32 percent, with Afghanistan sitting at the bottom of the index with a score of 14.6 percent.




  1. German Nationality Ranked Highest in the World”, Business Report, September 13, 2017
  • Germany’s quality of nationality is ranked first in the world, according to the […] Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index (QNI), which was launched in London today. Consistently securing the top spot for the last six years, Germany scored 82.7% out of a possible 100% on the index – the first of its kind to objectively rank the value of every nationality of the world in terms of legal status in which to develop your talents and business.
  • Prof. Dr. Dimitry Kochenov, a leading constitutional law professor with a longstanding interest in European and comparative citizenship law, says the key premise of the index is that it’s possible to compare the relative worth of nationalities, as opposed to, simply, states.




New Zealand


  1. Ardi Wirdana, “New Zealand Simplifies Visas for Indonesian Tourists”, Indonesia Expat, September 11, 2017
  • New Zealand has signed an agreement to enable Indonesian tourists to obtain a visa in only three days. The agreement, signed by Immigration New Zealand (INZ), Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) and four approved Indonesian travel agents, is an extension of a previous agreement which focused only on Indonesian business travelers to New Zealand. The four travel agents involved in the agreement were Dwidaya, Golden Rama, Panorama JTB and Wita Tour.
  • The new rule allows holidaymakers, incentive travel groups and business travelers from Indonesia to enjoy the benefit of more efficient visa service, enabling travelers to obtain a New Zealand visa in only three days. Furthermore, the visa application process also requires less documents than before if the travel to New Zealand is organised through any of the four travel agents.


  1. Lincoln Tan, “Immigration New Zealand Plans to Close Overseas Offices, Bring Visa Processing Back Onshore”, New Zealand Herald, September 18, 2017
  • Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has confirmed plans to bring the bulk of visa processing back onshore and to employ 110 more local staff to do them. The sweeping changes under the new plan will see the closure of eight overseas offices Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Bangkok, New Delhi, Pretoria, Moscow and Shanghai - and two in New Zealand. Processing will also cease in four other offices - Manila, Washington DC, London and Dubai.
  • Just two overseas offices, Mumbai and Beijing, will be kept open and retain their visaprocessing capacity.


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