HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 25.09.2017

Sep 25,2017



Cape Verde


  1. Ana Monteiro, “Visa-Free Access to Cape Verde for EU May Boost Growth to 7%”, Bloomberg Markets, September 21, 2017
  • Visafree access for EU passport holders should begin in 2018, Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva said by phone from Praia, the capital. “The dominant sector is tourism and we’re making strong investments to improve the islands as a destination,” Correia e Silva said.
  • The Atlantic Ocean country of 10 main islands, some surrounded by beaches, has about 550,000 people and attracted as many tourists last year. The total contribution of tourism was estimated to account for 44 percent of GDP in 2016, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.
  • Last week, the council of ministers approved financial incentives for foreigners to invest in Cape Verde, which will include residency, he said. “It’s not just for tourism, but it’s to facilitate the mobility of investors, academics, culture, science and technology,” Correia e Silva said.




  1. Aaron Ross, “Congo Ban on Non-Biometric Passports Sparks Outcry”, Reuters, September 19, 2017
  • A sudden decision forcing all Congolese nationals to travel on biometric passports from next month has provoked a backlash from lawmakers already vexed by revelations about the documents’ high cost. Despite a subsequent outcry, Vice Foreign Minister Aggee Aje Matembo Toto said at the weekend that, from Oct. 16, citizens would no longer be able to use nonbiometric passports, some of which are not due to expire until 2020.
  • Those that tried to would have their document confiscated and replaced with a photocopy, he said in a statement that justified the change on security grounds. The abrupt ban taps into a climate of political instability fed by militia violence since Kabila last December refused to step down at the end of his mandate.




  1. Godfrey Ssali, “Government to Roll Out Dual Citizenship Registration in Diaspora”, The Independent Uganda, September 18, 2017
  • The government through the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs will roll out the registration of Ugandans living in the diaspora for dual citizenship.
  • [The Rt. Hon Speaker Rebecca Kadaga], who was attending the Uganda UK Convention in London, Saturday, 16th September 2017 said that following the passing of the Dual Citizenship Act, there is need to implement it by having citizens registered. “There will be operation centers; one in the Nordic countries, in Washington and one in the United Kingdom starting April 2018 so that you can get the services from here,” she said.
  • She revealed that on acquisition of dual citizenship certificates, the Ugandans would also be in position to get their national identity cards immediately.




Antigua & Barbuda


  1. Antigua Prepares for Influx of Dominicans”, Barbados Today, September 24, 2017
  • The Acting Prime Minister directed the group to present a fixed set of policies that would apply to all those who are leaving Dominica for Antigua, and to plan the reception of those OECS/Dominican citizens who may choose Antigua. It was agreed that there will be only two legitimate ports of entry – the V.C. Bird International Airport and the Montserrat Ferry Dock at Heritage Quay.
  • Citizens of Dominica have a right of entry into Antigua and other OECS countries and an automatic sixmonth stay and must present their passport, driver’s license or voter’s identification card to allow entry. [Government Chief of Staff Lionel] Hurst noted that the other four OECS countries – St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada – are also likely to welcome Dominican citizens to their shores during this crisis.




  1. Belize Signs Visa Waiver for Diplomatic and Officials of India”, The Guardian Belize, September 20, 2017
  • Government of Belize and the Government of the Republic of India signed a Visa Waiver Agreement for holders of diplomatic and official/ service passports as a means of deepening bilateral relations. Signing on behalf of the Government of Belize was Minister of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington, and on behalf of the Government of the Republic of India was the High Commission of the Republic of India to Belize, His Excellency Muktesh K. Pardeshi.
  • The Visa Waiver Agreement is limited to holders of diplomatic and service/official passports to enter, exit from and transit through the Republic of India and Belize without visas for a thirtyday period. The Agreement will facilitate official travel for Belizeans, especially those attending exchange programs offered by the Government of the Republic of India throughout the year.




  1. Maya Kosoff, “Anti-Trump Tech Workers Are Ditching the U.S. for Canada”, Vanity Fair, September 20, 2017
  • Startups in the Canadian tech hub of Toronto say that they’ve been receiving “steady, double-digit increases” in job applications from the United States since the 2016 election, Axios reports. Many appear to be concerned about the president’s crackdown on visas and immigration, and are looking north for more options.
  • “We’re seeing a reverse brain drain for the first time. There are highly talented Canadians—educated in Canada or the U.S.—who are now seeking to come back home,” biotech startup Cyclica’s C.E.O., Naheed Kurji, told Axios.
  • Earlier this year, Canada launched a new visa program called Global Skills Strategy to help siphon Silicon Valley’s brain drain. Global Skills Strategy makes it easier for companies to recruit highly skilled foreign workers; instead of waiting for months for a work visa like one might have to do in the U.S., the new Canadian visa program allows employees to be approved for a visa in just two weeks.




  1. CDB Chairman Gives Thumbs Up for CBI”, Dominica Vibes, September 14, 2017
  • Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programs have again received approval, this time from the Chairman of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr. Warren Smith who paid a visit to Dominica. At a joint press conference with Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit Thursday 14 September 2017, he said CBI is a legitimate form of raising revenue for a country.
  • “Some of the most respectable countries in the world, the United States, Canada, United Kingdom have Citizenship by Investment Programs in one shape or form. There is nothing wrong with it, what I have indicated in the past is that for small countries there is more risk involved because the world we live in today is one with criminal elements operating through the financial systems that we have,” he explained.




  1. Embassy of Grenada to the Russian Federation, “Russia and Grenada Sign an Agreement on Visa-Free Travel”, September 20, 2017
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov and Foreign Minister of Grenada Alvin Nimrod held talks on the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly. The sides signed an agreement on the waiver of visa requirements for mutual visits of the nationals of the Russian Federation and the nationals of Grenada.
  • “It is very good that on the UN platform we have the opportunity to complete bilateral and international agenda,” the Russian minister said. He also thanked his colleague from Grenada for the resumption of the work of the country’s embassy in Russia.


St. Kitts & Nevis


  1. Angela H. Curtrer, “Hurricane Relief Fund Announced As Part of the Citizenship by Investment Programme”, The St. Kitts & Nevis Observer, September 23, 2017
  • The government of St Kitts and Nevis was in agreement and in a meeting of the cabinet on Sept. 23, it approved a relief fund to be hosted by the Citizenship Investment Unit. The investment product will see a proportion of the investment going into the Hurricane Relief Fund to be distributed upon application. Citizenship by Investment applicants will make a nonrefundable contribution of USD$150,000 to go into the Hurricane Relief Fund. The fees for agents and services providers will remain as standard.
  • The fund is open to families of between one and four people and will remain open until the end of March. “The Hurricane Relief Fund is an attractive option for citizenship applicants in the way it fulfils their own desire to make a positive impact on the environment in which they are seeking to play an active part”, [said Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris].


  1. Angela H. Cutrer, “St. Kitts and Nevis Signs Visa Waiver Agreement With Russia”, The St. Kitts & Nevis Observer, September 23, 2017
  • St. KittsNevis took a significant and historic step forward on Sept. 21 when Foreign Minister the Honourable Mark Brantley signed a visa waiver agreement with the Russian federation’s Foreign Minister H.E. Serguey Lavrov, an agreement that allows citizens of both St. Kitts and Nevis and Russian to travel for up to 90 days to each other’s countries without the need for a visa.
  • Today’s visa waiver signing brings to 12 the number of countries that have recently signaled their trust and confidence in St. Kitts and Nevis under its new diplomatic thrust and redounds to the freedom of travel of all Kittitians and Nevisians. The waiver takes effect 60 days from the date of signing.


Trinidad & Tobago


  1. T&T PM Offers to Waive Immigration Regulation for Dominicans”, Jamaica Observe, September 22, 2017
  • rinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, says his administration will waive the immigration requirements for residents of the hurricane ravaged island of Dominica for a period of six months as the CARICOM member state rebuilds.
  • “In situations like these, whatever we have available to us, we the people have always been generous are and willing to share […] for the next six months, TT will open our doors, our homes, our pots and I daresay out schools to the people of the Commonwealth of Dominica.”
  • He said those Dominicans taking up the offer must be able to clearly identify friends or family who will be able to accommodate them. The prime minister said arrangements will be made for any citizen who has accommodation and is willing to help provide shelter . He stressed that Dominicans who choose to come to the country, will not be classified as refugees.


United States


  1. Tal Kopan, “DHS To End Protections for Sudanese Immigrants”, CNN, September 18, 2017
  • The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday afternoon that it would be ending Temporary Protected Status for Sudan after a 12month sunset period. It opted to extend, however, Temporary Protected Status for South Sudan, which gained its independence in 2011, through May 2019.
  • Under Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke's direction on Monday, recipients of protections from Sudan will be allowed to remain protected from deportation and allowed to work under the program until November 2, 2018, during which they are expected to arrange for their departure or seek another immigration status that would allow them to remain in the US.
  • Individuals from South Sudan will be able to extend their status until May 2, 2019, when DHS will make another decision on their future based on conditions in the country.
  • Temporary Protected Status is a type of immigration status provided for by law in cases where a home country may not be hospitable to returning immigrants for temporary circumstances, including in instances of war, epidemic and natural disaster.


  1. Trisha Thadani, “Expedited Processing for H-1B Visas to Resume After Suspension”, SFGate, September 18, 2017
  • The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said Monday that it will reinstate premium processing for some H1B visa petitions, restoring a service employers rely on for a quick answer on whether they can staff a position with a foreign worker.
  • Forprofit companies can once again pay a $1,225 fee to expedite the processing of an H-1B visa within 15 days. This move comes as some H-1B applicants are having a harder time getting approved for the coveted visa because of a surge in scrutiny lawyers say they have never experienced before.
  • It is normal for immigration officials to suspend expedited processing for a few weeks each year so it can deal with a high volume of applications. This year’s sixmonth suspension was the most widespread and longest suspension that observers had seen.


  1. Devlin Barrett, “White House Expands Travel Ban, Restricting Visitors From Eight Countries”, The Washington Post, September 24, 2017
  • A senior administration official cautioned the new restrictions are not meant to last forever, but are “necessary and conditionsbased, not time-based.’’ The new travel ban represents the third version offered by the Trump administration.
  • Three new nations were added to the list of countries whose citizens will face the restrictions: Chad, North Korea and Venezuela — although the restrictions on Venezuela are narrowly crafted, targeting that country’s leadership and their family members. One country, Sudan, fell off the travel ban list issued at the beginning of the year.
  • The new restrictions will be phased in over time, officials said, and the restrictions will not affect anyone who already holds a U.S. visa. For those visitors affected by the changed restrictions, the new rules will go into effect Oct. 18, according to the proclamation.






  1. Spotlight: More Chinese Visiting Vietnam, Cambodia, Boosts Exchanges Between China, Southeast Asia”, Xinhua, September 20, 2017
  • Vietnam is poised to host nearly 2.7 million Chinese visitors in the first eight months of this year, seeing a yearon-year increase of 51.4 percent, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said in late August. Vietnam has been actively promoting its major tourist sites in China, hoping to lure some 4 million Chinese visitors this year, said the administration under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
  • Meanwhile, about 530,000 Chinese tourists visited Cambodia in the first half of 2017, representing an increase of 40 percent compared with the same period last year, according to a Cambodian Tourism Ministry report released in August.
  • This year marks the ChinaASEAN Year of Tourism. According to a report on bilateral cooperation in tourism released earlier this month during the 14th China-ASEAN Expo, more than 30 million trips were made in 2016 between China and ASEAN countries, compared with 10 million in 2011.




  1. No Entry for Foreigners Going to Malaysia for Beer Fest and Gay Party”, The Straits Times, September 24, 2017
  • The Immigration Department is working with the police and Malaysia Islamic Development Department (Jakim) to obtain information about individuals who could be entering Malaysia for the beer festival and gay party, said Immigration Department directorgeneral Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali.
  • He said the agencies were identifying the individuals and sharing information with the Immigration Department so that those individuals would be redflagged in the system and served with the Not To Land (NTL) notice upon reaching the country.




  1. Shabina S. Khatri, “Qatar Introduces Free Visa on Arrival for Pakistani Nationals”, Doha News, September 21, 2017
  • Pakistani visitors to Qatar can now get free visas on arrival at Qatar’s airport. These visas are good for a 30day stay, and can be extended for an additional month, according to the Qatari embassy in Pakistan. The move comes after Qatar announced a new visa-free scheme for visitors of 80 nationalities in early August.
  • To be eligible for the visa on arrival, Pakistani travelers must present passports with at least six months validity. A return/onward ticket is also needed. The traveler must also have at least QR5,000 in cash or a valid credit card. Additionally, a certificate of vaccination against polio is needed.




  1. Satish Kanady, “Turkey Revs Up Investment Consultancy in Qatar”, MENA FN, September 18, 2017
  • With Qatar ramping up its investments in Turkey, the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT) has strengthened its investment consulting service centre in Qatar by appointing a dedicated investment advisor.
  • As per World Investment Report 2017, Turkey is most active country in promoting investments. The 2017 report prepared by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), notes Turkey has noticeably increased foreign direct investments (FDI) over the last 15 years, attracting $12.3bn in 2016 alone.
  • The report also highlighted the reforms that have been implemented and the incentives that have been introduced in Turkey in recent years to attract investments, particularly incentives in R & D and those granting citizenship to foreigners under certain eligibility conditions.


United Arab Emirates


  1. Visa Free Travel for UAE Citizens to Pacific Island Vanuatu”, The National, September 22, 2017
  • The UAE and the Republic of Vanuatu signed an agreement that exempts UAE nationals carrying diplomatic, private, VIP and regular passports and nationals of Vanuatu carrying diplomatic and private passports from obtaining preentry visas while travelling to both countries, according to Wam, the state news agency.
  • Thani bin Ahmed AlZeyoudi, the UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment signed the agreement with Bruno Leingkone, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Vanuatu, on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York.




  1. Phila Siu, “Hong Kong ‘Close to Lifting Visa Ban’ on Domestic Workers From Vietnam, Top Envoy Says”, South China Morning Post, September 24, 2017
  • Hoang Chi Trung has been lobbying authorities to allow Vietnamese domestic workers to work in the city since he became Vietnam’s consul general for Hong Kong and Macau in 2014.
  • “They want to diversify the sources, not only relying on the Philippines and Indonesia. So Vietnam is possible,” Trung told the Post. “They said the population was getting older and they needed more helpers.” He said Hong Kong and Vietnam authorities had not set an official time frame.
  • Trung said that in the past year the Hong Kong government had eased the process for Vietnamese to obtain visas to be students and teachers, describing the developments as “promising signs” that domestic workers could soon follow.






  1. Immigrants Likely Boosting Euro Zone’s Labor Force: ECB”, Reuters, September 22, 2017
  • Immigrants have made a large contribution to the workingage population of the euro zone since 2013 and are likely also boosting its labor force, particularly in Italy and Germany, the European Central Bank said on Thursday.
  • “Immigration has made a large positive contribution to the workingage population during the recovery, reflecting primarily the inflow of workers from new EU Member States,” the ECB said in its economic bulletin. “In turn, this is likely to also have had a significant impact on the labor force, particularly in Germany and Italy, but also in some smaller euro area economies.”




  1. Flight from Japan Arrives at Kurile Islands First Time As Part of Visa-Free Exchanges”, TASS, September 23, 2017
  • The first chartered flight of Aurora airline arrived at the Kurile Islands from Japan on Saturday, bringing a delegation of former Japanese residents of the Southern Kurile Islands as part of visafree exchanges, the press service of the Sakhalin region government said on Saturday.
  •  Most members of the Japanese delegation have visited the Southern Kurile Islands as part of visafree exchange programs but previously the groups of visitors came to the islands by sea only. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reached an agreement on this trip at the talks in Moscow on April 27. At a G20 conference in July in Hamburg, the two leaders agreed the trip in September.


  1. Inga Velanskaya, “Vladivostok Waiting on Tourism Windfall with Russia’s New e-Visa”, Asia Times, September 22, 2017
  • Russia’s new evisa system has attracted almost 2,000 visitors to Vladivostok in six weeks, which isn’t enough to significantly boost tourism spending, but operators in the city say they are encouraged by the numbers so far.
  • China applicants made up almost half of users, followed by Japanese for the single entry evisa that can be applied for online at, officials in the Ministry for Development of Far East Russia told Asia Times.
  • Once issued, the visa must be used within 30 days and upon arrival allows 8 days in Vladivostok. The electronic visa is issued free of charge for arrivals at Vladivostok port or the city’s Knevichi airport. It’s only valid in the Primorsky Krai region of Far East Russia, where Vladivostok is located.




New Zealand


  1. Sophie Boot, “Immigration Outpaces Kiwi Leaving in August”, National Business Review, September 21, 2017
  • New Zealand annual net migration rose in August, with increasing numbers of foreign immigrants outpacing the number of New Zealanders leaving the country. Annual net migration reached 72,100 in the year to August up 3000 on the same period a year earlier, Statistics NZ said.
  • New Zealand has been experiencing record levels of net migration in recent years, with rising immigration a key election issue as it strains the country’s infrastructure and is blamed for inflating property markets.
  • Chinese migration continued to be the largest on a net basis, with 9,00 of the 72,100 net arrivals from China, though that was down 1.7% on a year earlier. Migration form the UK had the biggest increase on a net basis, up 47% to 6700, with net South African migration up 44% to 4900.


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