- “Visa Waiver Deal Tops Angolan President Visit to Zambia”, EIN News Desk, May 2, 2018
- The agreement on visa waiver is in the top of the agenda of the visit of the Angolan president, Joao Lourenco, to pay on 23 May to Zambia. , According to the source from the ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX), the president’s agenda also includes discussions on the strengthening of the political economic relations, the customs situation and peace and security in the southern region of Africa.
- Joao Lourenco, who pays an official visit to Zambia for the first time since his inauguration to the office, is expected to accomplish an intense working agenda.
- Mpho Tebele, “Botswana Cancels Dual Citizenship”, The Southern Times, May 6, 2018
- The Botswana government has announced that it would cancel citizenship for all persons above the age of 21 who have not renounced citizenship of another country. Currently, a child born to a Botswana citizen and a foreigner has dual citizenship or is considered to assume the nationality of both parents until the age of 21.
- The ministry stated in a statement that: “Affected individuals should at the age of 20 inform the ministry in writing of their intention to renounce citizenship, a process which must be completed before turning 21. Affected individuals are to submit their letters to immigration offices in their area.” According to the statement, “When an individual with dual citizenship fails to renounce citizenship at age 21, it will result in the loss of the Botswana citizenship because the law will presume that the citizenship has been renounced as per the Citizenship Act.”
- “Togo, Morocco Sign Diplomatic Visa Exemption Deal”, Journal du Cameroun, May 2, 2018
- Togo’s Foreign Minister, Robert Dussey and his Moroccan counterpart, Nasser Bourita, on Wednesday signed an agreement to waive diplomatic visas and services between their two countries, APA can report.The announcement was made by the head of Togolese diplomacy on Twitter, without giving more details.
- Togo also signed a reciprocal visa waiver agreement with Qatar on April 30 for holders of diplomatic passports and services.
- “Government Has Set Aside Over $149 Million of CBI Funds for International Airport”, Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica, May 4, 2018
- The Hon Prime Minister and Minister for Finance has affirmed that, so far, Government has been able to set aside over EC$149 million for the construction of an international airport.
- “We said in the Parliament here of our intentions to build an international airport and the only reason why we are not more advanced now is because of the hurricane. This is the first government that has seriously pursued the international airport and EC$149,429,500 are in the account at the national bank. There is a standing order US$5 million each month,” the finance minister informed.
St. Kitts & Nevis
- “Range Developments Welcomes Park Hyatt St Kitts Inclusion in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2018 Hot List”, PR Newswire, May 2, 2018
- Range Developments, the developer of luxury hotel resorts in the Caribbean, is delighted to be included in Condé Nast Traveler's 2018 Hot List.
- For this year's Hot List, Condé Nast Traveler's editors vetted hundreds of recently opened hotels and resorts, from West Africa to Miami, and picked the 102 best new hotels in the world. Range Developments is the leading luxury developer of hotels in the eastern Caribbean using the citizenshipby-investment model.
- "We have projects in Dominica, St Kitts & Nevis, and Saint Lucia," said Mohammed Asaria, founder of Range Developments. "Every citizenshipby-investment programme is different and each one suits a different client. But there is one thing all our hotel projects share: integrity, rigour, and an attention to detail that ensures the project is completed in a timely and professional manner.
- “United Arab Emirates Signals Desire to Work More Closely with St. Kitts-Nevis”, The St. Kitts & Nevis Observer, May 3, 2018
- St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris met with a delegation from the UAE at his Government Headquarters office. The visiting delegation was led by Minister of State for International Cooperation Her Excellency Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy.
- Harris also briefed the visiting minister on the growth and strength of the country’s CBI Programme, the growing tourism and hospitality sector in the federation, as well as desire for the establishment of visafree arrangements between St. Kitts and Nevis and the United Arab Emirates.
- Nick Miroff, “Trump Administration Ends Protections for 50,000 Hondurans Living in U.S. Since 1999”, The Washington Post, May 4, 2018
- More than 50,000 Hondurans who have been allowed to live and work in the United States since 1999 will have 20 months to leave the country or face deportation, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced Friday, the latest in a series of DHS measures aimed at tightening U.S. immigration controls.
- The Hondurans were granted temporary protected status (TPS) in 1999, shielding them from deportation, after Hurricane Mitch slammed their country and left 10,000 dead across Central America.
- According to a DHS statement, Nielsen “carefully considered conditions on the ground” before making the Honduras decision. “The Secretary determined that the disruption of living conditions in Honduras from Hurricane Mitch that served as the basis for its TPS designation has decreased to a degree that it should no longer be regarded as substantial,” the DHS statement read.
- Jatin Vermal, “Demand for EB-5 Visa on Rise in India”, The Times of India, May 6, 2018
- At a time when H1B visa rules are being tightened, there is growing interest in the EB-5 visa program. The number of EB-5 visas issued to Indians touched a record 174 between October 2016 and 2017, up from 149 in the corresponding year-ago period.
- Under the EB5 visa programme, also dubbed as ‘cash for visa’, individuals can apply for lawful permanent residence in the United States (this is not citizenship) for themselves, their spouse and children below 21 years, if they make the necessary investments and create at least 10 permanent full time jobs for US workers. The current minimum threshold investment limit is US$ 1 million. A reduced investment of $500,000 is permitted for business operations in specified rural areas or those with higher unemployment limits – known as target employment areas (TEAs).
- “Pakistanis Can Have Free Qatar Visa”, Pakistan Observer, May 7, 2018
- State of Qatar has announced sunday that it would grant free visa to Pakistanis at its entry airports. The visa period would be from immediate 30 days to six months validity.
- However, Pakistan shall have to produce Credit Card and return ticket at the airport. The entry visa free of cost would be of multiple entries.
- Ayman Adly, “Sharp Rise in Chinese Tourists Visiting Qatar”, Gulf Times, May 5, 2018
- Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) office in Beijing, along with the other two QTA offices at Shanghai and Guangzhou, has achieved great success during the first quarter of this year in attracting more tourists from China to Qatar.
- The managing director of the office, Jiajing, told reporters in Beijing that 15,158 Chinese tourists visited Qatar during the first three months of this year, a 68% rise over the same period last year. He said this figure was for tourists only and did not include those going on business.
- QTA Beijing office managing director stressed that Qatar is expected to be a favourite destination among Chinese travellers, in particular as they do not require an entry visa and given visa free on arrival.
- Lim Jeong-yeo, “Korea to Change Passport Design from 2020”, The Korea Herald, May 3, 2018
- The South Korean passport cover will shed its green color and change to a navy shade for the first time in 32 years. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced Wednesday that it aims to launch the new passport design in 2020.
- In addition to a new color, the renewed Korean passport will also have electronic chips that enable faster processing at gates. Each page of the new passport will have illustrations of Korea’s cultural heritage. The exact items to be featured in the illustrations are still under discussion, as well as the specific tone of colors and text fonts. The Culture Ministry plans to finish aligning the details of the design this year.
United Arab Emirates
- “Passport Clearance Cut to 10 Seconds at Dubai Airports”, Arabian Business, May 1, 2018
- Travellers at Dubai Airports will be able to get through passport control in as fast as 10 seconds by the end of 2018 thanks to a new passenger preapproval system that checks air travellers 48 hours before they fly.
- The system is able to collect data as soon as a passenger buys an airline ticket, according to Brigadier Talal Ahmad Al Shanqeti, general director assistant of Airport Immigration Department at GDRFADubai. “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,” said Al Shanqeti.
- It has already been implemented at Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport while Terminal 1, 2 and Al Maktoum International Airport are expected to be ready by end of 2018.
- Vy An, “Vietnam Extends Visa Exemption for Europeans for Another Three Years”, VN Express, May 4, 2018
- Visitors from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom will continue to receive visa exemptions for the next three years in Vietnam, officials said at a government press conference on Thursday. Vietnam first offered visa waivers for citizens from the five European countries in July 2015, and in the past the policy has been updated annually and would have expired at the end of June.
- Western Europeans are big spenders, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, and shell out on average $1,316 per trip. In 2015, Vietnam welcomed 720,000 western European tourists. The number increased 19 percent in 2016 and doubled to 1.5 million in 2017.
- “Albania Offers Visa-Free Entry to Attract GCC Tourists”, Arab News, May 1, 2018
- According to Albanian Ambassador Sami Shiba, “The citizens of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar can enter Albania without a visa from April 1 to Oct. 31, 2018.”
- For Saudi travelers who want to come to Albania there aren’t any specific requirements. During the summer period, from April 1 to Oct. 31, 2018, Saudi citizens can travel to Albania without visas. All that is needed is a valid passport.
- “Belarus, China Working on 30-Day Visa-Waiver Agreement”, Belarus Telegraph Agency, May 4, 2018
- Belarus and China are working on a visawaiver agreement for the period of up to 30 days, Speaker of the Council of the Republic Mikhail Myasnikovich noted as he met with Chinese journalists on 4 May, BelTA has learned.
- There are some “Chinafriendly” establishments in Belarus, the speaker added. They provide Chinese-language services and add Chinese dishes to their menus. Tourist information in Belarus is also being updated, including in Chinese.
- Belarus welcomed over 20,000 Chinese tourists in 2017. Although this number has almost doubled, this is still not enough, Mikhail Myasnikovich believes. In his words, the flow of Chinese tourists to Belarus can increase thanks to the development of educational and medical tourism.
- Adam Walder, “Automatic Passport Control Coming to Luxembourg Airport”, Luxembourg Times, May 3, 2018
- Luxembourg Airport will be equipped with an automatic passportcontrol system this summer, Etienne Schneider, minister for internal security, confirmed in response to a parliamentary question. The automated border control gates will allow travellers to scan their own biometric passports themselves.
- The system, including socalled 'ABC gates', will use facial recognition technology via mounted cameras to confirm a given traveller is the passport owner before allowing him or her to pass through the gates.
- Schneider also told Luxembourg's lawmakers that the number of passport control lanes at Findel airport would increase from six to nine.
- Sevil Erkus, “2,000 Turkish Jews Applied for Portuguese Citizenship: Envoy”, The Hurriyet Daily News, May 7, 2018
- Some 2,000 Turkish Jews have applied for Portuguese citizenship after Portugal’s government decided to grant nationality through naturalization to the descendants of Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Portugal and Spain in the 15th century, Portuguese Ambassador to Ankara Paula Leal da Silva has said.
- The ambassador said she believes some 17,000 Sephardic Jews currently live in Turkey. Some of the applicants among the 2,000 have received the citizenship since the law was adopted two years ago, while some others’ acceptance process is still ongoing, da Silva told the Hürriyet Daily News in an interview.
- Knowing the Portuguese language is not a precondition to acquire the nationality, she noted.
- “EU Eyeing Visa-Free Travel for Turks Visiting Schengen Countries”, Ahval, May 1, 2018
- European Union sources on Monday said the union is poised to visit Turkey midMay to talk about the oft-discussed visa-free travel of EU countries for Turkish citizens and the issue of refugees, the Independent Balkan News Agency reported.
- Turkish minister of EU Affairs Ömer Çelik in April told lawmakers in the Parliament's foreign affairs committee that they had already discussed the proposal of visafree travel with European Commission’s First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, the site quoted Turkish state-run Anadolu News Agency as saying. Çelik confirmed that that the EU would be sending a technical delegation on visa liberalization to Turkey this month.
- Turkish officials maintain that Turkey has completed all of the European Union’s 72 criteria for granting visa free travel to the bloc and that they have handed over the relevant documents. Belgium's foreign minister however, in February that Turkey will not be given a visafree deal by the European Union until it reforms its terror legislation.
- Gunay Hajiyeva, “Russia, Turkey to Reinstate Visa-Free Regime”, Caspian News, May 1, 2018
- Following the meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that Moscow and Ankara are working together on reinstating a visafree regime between the countries. "Today, we discussed issues that concern the further easing of the visa regime [between Russia and Turkey]," Lavrov said at a press-conference on April 28.
- "Our Turkish friends promised to react. I guess it will be a tangible move for a whole number of categories of our citizens," Lavrov said. "We’ve got plans to extend categories, which will use an easier visa regime and a visafree regime, and overall we are interested in moving towards this goal."
- “Canada to Request Biometrics from Ukrainian Citizens”, Ukrinform, May 3, 2018
- Canada has decided to request biometrics from the Ukrainian citizens who apply for visa. This information was confirmed at the Canadian Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
- Biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) will be requested from the applicants for Canadian tourist visas, work, study and permanent residence permits. The biometrics will be collected from each applicant once every decade, regardless of the length of the issued visa.
- The ministry stressed that the new requirements would soon concern the citizens of all states, which do not have visa waiver programs with Canada, not just Ukrainians. The new rules are expected to come into force worldwide by the end of 2018.
- “Mauritius and New Zealand to Reinforce Collaboration in Various Economic Spheres”, All Africa, May 4, 2018
- Mauritius and New Zealand are working towards reinforcing people to people links through the good air connectivity that exists between the two countries in addition to the mutual visa waiver programme facility for both countries hence encouraging more visitors from New Zealand to visit Mauritius and vice versa.
- The intent was expressed by the High Commissioner of New Zealand, Mr Mike Burell, during a courtesy call on the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, yesterday afternoon at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis.
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