HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 30.04.2018

May 04,2018





  1. Mazino Dickson, “Immigration: We’ll No Longer Issue Passport Without National Identification Number”, The Cable, April 24, 2018
  • The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) says those who do not have national identity card number will no longer be eligible for international passport. Mohammed Babandede, comptroller general of NIS, said this in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the 4th annual meeting of the ID4Africa movement hosted by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
  • “Based on the president’s directive, we have committed to linking up with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ensure that henceforth, when filling your passport details, you must produce your NIN number,” he said.




  1. Brenda Nakayiwa, “Over 180 Ugandans Granted Dual Citizenship in the Nordics”, New Vision, April 29, 2018
  • A total of 184 Ugandans living in Nordic countries have been granted dual citizenship in Denmark and Sweden. The development followed President Yoweri Museveni’s recent directive to the Internal Affairs ministry to take immigration services nearer to the people.
  • The Chairman Citizenship and Immigration Control Board, Gen Emilio Mondo led a team of immigration officials to a fourday exercise held between April 23rd and 27th, 2018in the Nordics.
  • New Vision learnt that 63 Ugandans were granted dual citizenship in Denmark while 121 were from Sweden.




  1. Govt to Launch E-Passport”, Newsdze Zimbabwe, April 24, 2018
  • The Government yesterday said it will soon launch an incorruptible epassport with enhanced security features. […] In 2016, Government launched state of the art e-passport production equipment which will result in the Registrar General’s Office producing over 16,000 passports a day.
  • “It (epassport) is already in place and it’s now a question of launching it. We’re going to be launching soon as it was one of our targets within the 100 day period,” he said.






  1. Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, “Canada-Ontario Agreement Maximizes the Benefits of Immigration”, Government of Ontario, April 27, 2018
  • The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and the Honourable Laura Albanese, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced the signing of the annexes to the CanadaOntario Immigration Agreement (COIA).
  • The 3 annexes set out CanadaOntario collaboration on French-speaking immigrants, international students and the role of municipal governments as partners in immigration.
  • The FrenchSpeaking Immigrants annex relates to the promotion of Francophone immigration and the recruitment, selection, and integration of French-speaking immigrants. The partnership with Municipalities annex will facilitate collaboration of Ontario municipal governments with Canada and Ontario on issues related to municipal interests in immigration, including the attraction and retention of immigrants, and the settlement and integration of newcomers. Finally, the international students annex seeks to facilitate the entry of international students into Ontario and their transition to post-graduation employment and/or permanent residency.


Costa Rica


  1. How to Become a Resident of Costa Rica”, The Costa Rican Times, April 23, 2018
  • Obtaining Costa Rican residency is not a difficult process at all. While some people are able to extend their stay in the country by using apparent tourism loopholes in the law, it is always advisable to follow the right process. Recent laws have particularly tightened the process and citizenship by investment will entail much more than just a desire to live in the country.
  • Costa Rican residency is offered to individuals as well as families. Typically, every single person needing residency permits will need to pay the required fees individually. Every family member will thus be treated individually.
  • Finalizing the immigration process also involves being registered with the Costa Rican social security fund. A 3 years residency is then given to and you can make it permanent after the period is over.


St. Kitts & Nevis


  1. St. Kitts and Nevis, Rwanda Governments Sign Mutual Visa Waiver Agreement”, St. Kitts & Nevis Observer, April 26, 2018
  • The governments of St. Kitts and Nevis and Rwanda today signed a mutual visa waiver agreement in which the two countries agreed to allow their citizens to travel to each other’s country without a visa.
  • Once all the requisite internal procedures have been completed, the agreement will enter into force ensuring that citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis and Rwanda who hold a valid diplomatic, official or ordinary passports can enter, exit and transit each other’s territories free of visa requirements for up to 90 days.


United States


  1. Rishi Iyengar, “Indians Flock to America’s ‘Golden Visa’ as H-1B Route Closes”, CNN, April 26, 2018
  • Applications from India for EB5 visas -- which give immigrants a green card if they invest $500,000 and create 10 jobs in the United States -- have surged in recent months. The US government issued 174 such visas to Indians in the year ended September 2017, an increase of about 17% over the previous year, according to State Department data.
  • Interest has taken off since then. In October and November, the United States received another 307 applications from India for what is often referred to as the "golden visa." Indian demand for EB5 visas has "really become explosive in the past 12 months," Neil Weinrib, an immigration lawyer based in New York, told CNNMoney.
  • The spike comes as the US government makes it harder to get H1B visas, which allow skilled foreign workers to be employed in the United States. More than 70% of H-1B visas have been awarded to Indians in recent years.






  1. Hainan Offers 30-Day Visa-Free Access for 59 Countries”, TTG Asia, April 24, 2018
  • Hainan will from May 1 offer 30day visa-free access to 59 countries including Russia, Britain, France, Germany and the US, a move that is expected to bolster tourism to China’s southernmost province. Countries included in the list include Russia, Britain, France, Germany and the US.
  • Under the new policy, group or individual tourists can visit Hainan visafree and stay up to 30 days provided they book their tour through travel agencies. The province has implemented a 15-day visa waiver policy for group visitors from 21 countries since 2000, and added another five countries to the list in 2010.


  1. Huang Mingrui, “China Simplifies Passport Application Procedures for Citizens”, ECNS, April 30, 2018
  • Chinese citizens will no longer need to make multiple trips to apply for passports and other travel documents starting May 1. They can make appointments with the immigration administration online for the application, and only need to make one trip to the administration to complete the application process, according to the policy announced by the State Immigration Administration (SIA).
  • It will take about 20 days for citizens to apply for a passport in places where they are not registered as permanent residents, a 10day improvement over the current process, according to the SIA document.




  1. Meruyert Abugaliyeva, “Kazakhstan Launches 72-Hour Visa-Free Regime in Astana, Almaty for Indian Citizens Flying Local Airlines”, The Astana Times, April 24, 2018
  • Indian citizens flying thorough Kazakhstan with local airlines can enjoy a 72hour visa-free stopover in Astana and Almaty from April 23 until Dec. 31, according to a government decree signed April 10.
  • According to Air Astana, approximately 570,000 passengers and 5,600 tonnes of cargo have been transported since the establishment of air communication between two countries.




  1. Ten-Year Thai Passports Coming Soon”, The Nation, April 26, 2018
  • Thai passports in the near future will be valid for 10 years instead of five currently, a senior official of the Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department said on Thursday. Directorgeneral Chatree Atchananant, however, did not say how much the new 10-year passport would cost.
  • He said the new passport is in phase III of the plan to develop digital passports for Thai nationals The Foreign Ministry has invited private firms to propose the terms of reference to produce the new type of passports, the deadline for which has been extended from March 1 to June 1.
  • The new passports will be upgraded to use biometric technology to collect iris pattern, in addition to the current face reading and fingerprints.


United Arab Emirates


  1. Visa-Free Travel for Emiratis to Tonga”, Emirates 24/7, April 25, 2018
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, MoFAIC, has announced that UAE nationals can travel to the Kingdom of Tonga without the need for a previsa as of 24th May, and can stay for up to 60 days during each visit.
  • Ahmed Alham Al Dhaheri, Assistant UnderSecretary for Consular Affairs at MoFAIC, said that Emirati nationals holders of diplomatic, VIP, special mission and ordinary passports can travel to Tonga without prior visa arrangements, following a visa waiver Memorandum of Understanding signed by the governments of the two countries on 23rd April 2018, following a joint committee meeting in Abu Dhabi.


  1. Prior Visa Waiver for Emiratis Travelling to Honduras”, Khaleej Times, April 27, 2018
  • The UAE and Honduras have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to exempt the UAE nationals holding diplomatic, private, VIP and regular passports from prior visa arrangements while travelling to the American country.
  • The MoU will go into force effective May 25, whereby UAE citizens shall be able to enter Honduras without prior visa arrangements, with the possibility of staying for 90 days per visit, said Ambassador Ahmed Saeed Ilham Al Dhaheri, Assistant UnderSecretary for Consular Affairs.


  1. Ali Al Shouk, “Passport Clearance Cut to 10 Seconds at Dubai Airports”, Gulf News, April 29, 2018
  • Clearing passport control will take as little as 10 seconds instead of minutes waiting for passport clearance thanks to the system developed by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai.
  • A highranking official at the GDRFA told Gulf News that by the end of the year, the system will be fully operational in all Dubai Airports at the arrival and departure terminals. Brigadier Talal Ahmad Al Shanqeti, general director assistant of Airport Immigration Department at GDRFA-Dubai, said the ‘Next Generation Borders’ system collects details of passengers 48 hours before they board an aircraft. The system starts to collect the data when a passenger buys an airline ticket.
  • “We had an agreement with Emirates airlines to update the system with passengers’ details 48 hours before the flight. The system makes necessary checks on passengers to issue clearance and send the details to the passport control officer who will need only 10 seconds to stamp the passport rather than three minutes in the past,” Brigadier Al Shanqeti told Gulf News.






  1. People Wanting to Receive Estonian Citizenship to be Given Better Access to Language Study”, The Baltic Times, April 27, 2018
  • The government approved an amendment to the Citizenship Act, with which the possibilities of learning the Estonian language will be expanded for people wishing to receive Estonian citizenship.
  • To ensure that applying for a citizenship fall through because of language skills, the state will start offering language learning agreements for free language courses and paid study leave for learning the Estonian language. "With this amendment we will solve two problems at once: those wanting a citizenship can learn Estonian for free in the future and secondly, they will be given time to focus on learning," Interior Minister Andres Anvelt said.


European Union


  1. EU Takes Forward Decisions to Establish Travel Information System”, Xinhua, April 25, 2018
  • The European Union (EU) on Wednesday took forward the decisions to establish the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) in an aim to protect the external borders. […]The system will apply to visaexempt third country nationals. They will need to obtain a travel authorization before their trip, via an online application.
  • "Today's agreement on the ETIAS is an important step towards building a safer and more secure Europe for our citizens," European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans said, together with Commissioner for home affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos and Commissioner for security union Julian King. "We need to know who is crossing our borders. This new system, once operational, will carry out pretravel screening for security and migration risks of travelers benefiting from visa-free access to the Schengen area," they said.




  1. Russian, Turkish Foreign Ministers Discuss Easing of Visa Conditions”, TASS, April 28, 2018
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that he discussed with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu the further relaxation of visa requirements, including visafree border crossing for long-distance drivers.
  • "Today, we discussed issues that concern the further easing of the visa regime [between Russia and Turkey,]" Lavrov said at a news conference on Saturday. "Some time ago the Russian side suggested making some specific steps at this stage: firstly, to revive the visafree regime for owners of service passports; secondly, to provide visa-free border crossing for long-distance drivers who are involved in international transport operations."




  1. Book Swedish Passport Appointments Well in Advance as Summer Queues Loom: Police”, The Local, April 23, 2018
  • Sweden's police recommend that anyone who needs to make an appointment as part of a passport application do so well ahead of summer vacations as the backlog starts to build up.
  • "We estimate that you should be able to book times 60 days in advance and the passport offices with booking systems continuously release new times. It may therefore be worth visiting the online time booking system frequently in order to find a free time," Emelie Lindvall from the police passport department recommended.




  1. 1.3M Ukrainians Visit Turkey After Visa-Free Agreement”, Daily Sabah, April 25, 2018
  • According to the TÜROB Ukraine report, this year the number of Ukrainian tourists is expected to reach 1.5 million, while at least a 20 percent increase is projected in the number of Turkish tourists to Ukraine.TÜROB's report, which includes projections and expectations regarding the Ukrainian market, pointed out that the number of tourists coming to Turkey from Ukraine increased steadily, adding that "Turkey is the most popular overseas destination for Ukraine."
  • It was stated in the report that the number of tourists leaving Ukraine for travel is about 1.9 million, and that Turkey is a clear leader in this regard. Accordingly, Turkey's health tourism has seen a significant demand from Ukraine.
  • The report stressed that there are investment opportunities in the country and that Ukraine offers important opportunities for those who want to invest in hotels, cateringentertainment-recreation facilities and health services areas. Ukrainians spent an average of $565 per person in 2017, according to Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data.


  1. Almost Half a Million Ukrainians Already Taken Advantage of the Visa-Free Travel to Europe”, Ukrinform, April 28, 2018
  • This is reported by the press service of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. "In general, about 500,000 Ukrainians have already taken advantage of the visafree regime with the European Union since June 11, 2017. Most of them were airline passengers," reads the statement.
  • On June 11, 2017, the decision of the Council of the European Union to introduce a visafree regime for short trips of Ukrainian citizens to 30 countries of the European Union and the Schengen zone came into force.
  • A visafree regime allows Ukrainians who have a biometric passport of a citizen of Ukraine to stay and freely travel across Europe for no more than 90 days during any 180-day period.






  1. Thousands Granted Fiji Citizenship”, Radio New Zealand, April 26, 2018
  • Islands business magazine reports 3,815 foreign nationals were granted citizenship between October 2014 and February 2018. 1150 Australians became Fiji citizens, making them the biggest group of foreign nationals to make the move.
  • 591 New Zealanders sought Fiji citizenship and the Fiji Government also offered citizenship to 585 people described as being "stateless". Americans and Chinese rounded out the top five groups of nationals who were given citizenship.
  • In 2009, Fiji started offering dual nationality and as well as permits to exFiji citizens to re-apply.




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