HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 21.05.2018

May 21,2018



South Africa


  1. Home Affairs Pushing Hard for New Visa Requirements and e-Visas”, Business Tech, May 18, 2018
  • With 10.3 million tourists visiting the country in 2017, the Department of Tourism is working hard alongside the Department of Home Affairs to push this number even higher. This is according to minister of tourism, Derek Hanekom, who presented his departmental budget vote for the 2018/2019 financial year on Thursday (17 May).
  • Hanekom added that discussions with minister of home affairs, Malusi Gigaba, to further lessen restrictions have been ‘most encouraging’. “They informed us of their intention to introduce evisas during this financial year. Meanwhile, they are working hard to have systems in place to recognise the Schengen visa and valid visas for the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia as sufficient for tourists to enter South Africa,” he said.
  • The Department of Home Affairs has since confirmed that the first phase of the evisa system will be piloted by the 31 March 2019.






  1. Andy Blatchford, “Education, Immigration, Trade Can Lift Canada’s Growth Prospects: Central Bank”, National Post, May 16, 2018
  • Deputy governor Lawrence Schembri mentioned the potential prescriptions in a speech Wednesday that was focused on exploring and demystifying what he called the “somewhat abstract notion” of potential growth, which provides a reading on what the economy can achieve on a sustainable basis over the long run.
  • Amid a “formidable challenge” presented by the country’s aging population, Schembri listed the need for more immigration as a remedy that will deliver increasingly necessary injections into the labour supply. He stressed, however, that the country must do a better job of matching newcomers’ skills with the needs of the workforce in order to get the most out of higher immigration levels.
  • “Both education policy and immigration policy are critical,” Schembri said after the speech as he responded to questions from the audience.


  1. Lynn Desjardins, “Immigrants Crucial for Canada’s Economic Growth: Think Tank”, Radio Canada International, May 16, 2018
  • A probusiness think tank [Conference Board of Canada] has issued a report showing that if Canada were to shut its doors to immigrants completely, its labour force and economic growth would shrink significantly. The report notes that if Canada stopped admitting immigrants, economic growth would slow from 1.9 per cent to an average of 1.3 per cent annually. It would experience a shrinking labour force, weak economic growth and greater challenges funding social services such as health care.
  • The report projects that increasing immigration to one per cent of Canada’s population by the early 2030s would help keep Canada’s population, labour force and economy growing at a modest rate. That would mean increasing the number of newcomers from 290,000 in 2017 to about 400,000 per year.


  1. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, “Minister Hussen Announces the Appointment of 10 Citizenship Judges”, Government of Canada, May 17, 2018
  • Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, today announced the appointment of 10 citizenship judges.
  • These 10 highly qualified individuals were selected for their embodiment of civic values and their inspirational contributions to their communities and to Canada. Supporting the Government of Canada’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, these individuals will play the important role of fostering a sense of belonging and attachment to Canada for aspiring and new Canadians. Among the appointments is Canada’s first Métis citizenship judge.




  1. Lucia Newman, “Why Chile is Giving Citizenship to Palestinian Refugees”, Al Jazeera, May 15, 2018
  • Palestinians living in Chile have grown to become not only the largest Palestinian community outside of the Middle East, but also extremely prosperous and influential both in industry and politics.
  • It is also one of the few countries that in recent years has given citizenship to Palestinians from Middle Eastern refugee camps.


St. Kitts & Nevis


  1. PM: St. Kitts-Nevis Created Niche Market of the Economic Citizen”, The St. Kitts & Nevis Observer, May 17, 2018
  • Prime Minister Harris said this genius idea of offering highnet-worth individuals an opportunity to invest and become a citizen has resulted in other countries around the world, including advanced nations, adopting and adapting the much-imitated concept.
  • “For our part, we have worked hard since February 22, 2015, to reorganize, restructure and rebrand our Citizenship by Investment Programme and make it an industry leader. Today, it is the most talked about programme. We have restored the trust in the programme that was damaged by a former callous regime.”


United States


  1. Swathi Moorthy, “EB-5 Visas Gaining Popularity as H-1B Visa Norms Getting Tougher”, The Hindu Business Line, May 15, 2018
  • In February, the Trump Administration announced a new policy that tightened the issuance of H1B visa for those employed at one or more third party work sites. Indian IT companies are the biggest beneficiaries of H-1B visa and the latest policy had a huge impact on Indians working onsite.
  • India is the third largest filer of EB5 visa after China and Vietnam. US issues 10,000 visas every year under this category, 7 per cent per country. According to a report, number of Indians who filed for EB-5 was 86 in 2013, 99 in 2014, 239 in 2015, 348 in 2016 and 500 in 2017.
  • The increasing demand will result in visa retrogression. That is time taken to get the Green Card may increase from two years now to five. There are talks about increasing the investment to $1 million.


  1. Harvey Law Group Offers an Exclusive Investment”, Tempo Online, May 19, 2018
  • A vibrant eightstory full-service boutique hotel has situated itself onto one of America’s busiest tourist district. The brand-new micro-lifestyle development is within walking distance to commercial and leisure destinations such as the Hollywood, Highland Entertainment Center, and Los Angeles nightlife scene.
  • The 212rooms Tommie Hotel Hollywood has started construction in Q1 2018, constructed by The Relevant Group, one of L.A.’s largest independent real estate developer, known for their renown developments along the famous Hollywood strip such Thompson Hotel, Tommie Hotel, TAO Group (Hotel & Restaurant), Avenue Club, Beaty & Essex Hollywood, and Dream Hotel.
  • “By investing 500,000 USD in Tommie Hotel Hollywood, investors can expect to receive their US green card and settle anywhere in the US in less than 2 years to pursue business, financial, and personal opportunities in a country where politics and the economy may be more stable than their country of origin.” comments Mr. Bastien Trelcat, Managing Partner (SouthEast Asia) for Harvey Law Group.
  • Harvey Law Group (HLG) is Asia’s pioneer in investment immigration and was recently appointed as the exclusive immigration law firm for Tommie Hotel Hollywood for the AsiaPacific region.


  1. H-4 Visa on Hold Till Rulemaking Process is Complete: US Immigration”, Business Standard, May 20, 2018
  • No decision about H4 visas is final until the rulemaking process is completed, a senior US official has said, days after over 100 lawmakers urged the Trump administration to continue granting work authorisation to certain dependent spouses of non-immigrant workers holding H-1B visas, the most sought-after among Indian IT professionals.
  • H4 is issued to the spouse of H-1B visa holders, a significantly large number of whom are high-skilled professionals from India. They had obtained work permits under a special order issued by the previous Obama administration.






  1. Nargiz Mammadli, “Azerbaijan Starts Issuing e-Visas at Airports”, Caspian News, May 16, 2018
  • Previsit visa application requirements for visiting Azerbaijan were lifted on Tuesday for nationals of 15 countries, as the country’s state-of-the-art ASAN visa issuance service came online at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku.
  • Selfservice terminals at Azerbaijan’s largest airport will allow citizens from Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, China, Iran, Israel, Indonesia, Kuwait, Qatar, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey, and Japan get a visa to the Caspian country within just two minutes.
  • Head of the ASAN Service, Ulvi Mehdiyev, told journalists that Japanese nationals can receive an ASAN visa free of charge, while Turkish citizens will pay $10, according to A visa to Azerbaijan for foreigners from all other eligible countries costs $20.




  1. China’s Hainan Offers More Countries Visa-Free Access”, Reuters, May 19, 2018
  • Chi Fulin, the head of the Hainanbased China Institute for Reform and Development, told a forum on Saturday that the visa-free access policy would be expanded to tourists from all countries that have diplomatic ties with China. “(The implementation) of the policy won’t take long,” Chi was quoted as saying by the state media.
  • He said he expected Hainan’s population to grow to around 15 million from around 9 million now. China aims to establish a free trade zone in Hainan by 2020 and will encourage multinational companies to set up their international and regional headquarters there as part of its plans to open the province’s economy up to foreign investors.




  1. Robin Harding & Leo Lewis, “Japan to Push for Visa Exemption in Post Brexit Trade Deal”, Financial Times, May 20, 2018
  • “The Japanese companies in the UK are experiencing a huge issue around people. Japanese expats are not getting in and the companies are tearing their hair out,” said Pernille Rudlin, the head of Japan Intercultural Consulting, a training and consulting firm based in the UK.
  • “Japanese companies want to bring in highly skilled people — design engineers and other positions that they not only need in the UK but need to have moving around the EU,” she added, referring to recent figures that showed Britain turned down more than 6,000 socalled tier 2 skilled workers visa applications between December 2017 and March 2018 — a key period of the year for Japanese companies bringing specialists into the UK.
  • While the UK is hoping to duplicate the wideranging access embodied in the Japan-EU trade pact, Japanese officials are hardening against offering an identical deal to a much smaller economy. For example, they are considering offering less access to Japan’s luxury goods market than Tokyo granted to the EU in its prospective deal. “The UK’s position is that it wants a copy and paste [of the Japan-EU deal], but that is not where we are. We want something better,” said one Japanese official involved in preparations.


Saudi Arabia


  1. No Visa Fee for First Entry for Haj, Umrah Pilgrims”, Khaleej Times, May 15, 2018
  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, will bear the cost of the first entry visa for Haj and Umrah pilgrims. The minister of Haj and Umrah, Mohammed Bin Saleh Bentin, made the statement during a coordination committee meeting with Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques. The meeting reviewed programmes and services for this year's Haj and Umrah season.
  • "Our partnership is aimed at removing all the obstacles that may face the Haj and Umrah pilgrims and facilitate their arrival to the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah," he said, according to the Saudi Gazette.


United Arab Emirates


  1. Rory Reynolds & Anam Rizvi, “Sheikh Mohammed Announces Sweeping Changes to UAE’s Visa System”, The National, May 20, 2018
  • The UAE will enact sweeping changes to its residency system that will see key workers offered visas of up to 10 years to attract soughtafter professionals. Doctors and engineers and their families are among those who will be eligible for long-stay visas. Specialists working in medicine, science, research and technical fields will also be eligible.
  • Students would also be able to secure fiveyear visas and "exceptional" graduates could remain in the country for 10 years. At present students must apply to renew their visa every year.
  • Other major changes include allowing investors to own 100 per cent of a company based in the Emirates. At present, companies are required to have a local partner that owns 51 per cent of the business. Only those based in free zones can be 100 per cent foreignowned.
  • The changes were outlined in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, on Sunday.




  1. Don Ross, “Vietnam Extends Visa-Free Deal”, TTR Weekly, May 18, 2018
  • Vietnam has announced it will extend the visa free validity period for five European nationalities through to 13 June 2021. The visafree exemption scheme was due to expire at the end of June this year. It was the second extension for the scheme introduced in 2016.
  • Asian Trails Vietnam notified its partners worldwide in a news alert, Thursday, stating the exemption would remain in place for citizens of five countries the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy. Europe’s outbound travel markets supplied 843,840 visits to Vietnam during the first four months of the year, an increase of 12.9%.
  • However, the visafree stay is limited to 15 days despite the industry lobbying to have it increased to 30 days. They claimed 30 days would allow travellers to use Vietnam as a holiday home base to make multiple trips to neighbouring countries.






  1. Visitor Numbers to Grodno District Almost Double Since Early 2018”, Belarusian Telegraph Agency”, May 16, 2018
  • The number of visitors to Grodno District almost doubled since the start of 2018, head of the Grodno Oblast sport and tourism department Oleg Andreichik said during a ceremony to welcome the 20,000th visafree visitor on 16 May, BelTA informs.
  • “Over the same period last year the region was visited by about 11,000 visafree travelers. Visitor numbers have increased almost two times. The majority of visa-free travelers are citizens of Lithuania (58%) and Poland (35%). […]”Oleg Andreichik said.




  1. A Visa Agreement Between Bulgaria and Algeria”, Novinite, May 16, 2018
  • The Council of Ministers endorsed the agreement between the governments of Bulgaria and Algeria for mutual relief from the requirements for shortstay visas for holders of diplomatic and service passports, the press center of the Council of Ministers has announced.
  • Thus, Bulgarian citizens holding such passports and staying in Algeria for up to 90 days will be exempted from the shortstay visa requirement. The agreement was signed on March 23rd, during the official visit to Algeria's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdelkader Messahel, in Sofia.




  1. Paphos Remained the Most Popular District to European and Non European Buyers for the Period Jan – April 2018”, Cyprus Mail, May 15, 2018
  • Paphos is once again in the lead as the most popular district for overseas buyers from Europe and Non Europeans by 40, 2% in comparison to Limassol which follows with 29,8%. Larnaca is 3rd with 14,1% and lastly Famagusta with 11, 4 % and Nicosia with just 5,5 %
  • During the first four months of 2018, a total of 1,410 property sales contracts have been deposited by overseas buyers, with 413 deposited by EU nationals and 997 by nonEU nationals. The total number of contracts for the sale of property deposited at Land Registry Offices has risen 38% to 2,784 compared to the 2,011 deposited during the first four months of 2017.
  • Paphos has been modernized and upgraded, reforming its urban identity and image to become a competitive destination and an attractive place for foreign investors.




  1. Kosovo Ending Last Mile to Visa Free Regime, Says DPM Hoxhaj”, Gazeta Express, May 16, 2018
  • Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister, Enver Hoxhaj, has concluded his official visit to Brussels when during meetings with the EU senior officials discussed visa liberalisation for Kosovo.
  • In a Tweet published on Wednesday, Hoxhaj said that Kosovo is finishing the last mile before its citizens can travel without visas in the EU Schengen area, hinting positive results after Tuesday’s meetings in Brussels.




  1. Lithuania to Set Quotas for Foreign Workers Due to Immigration from Ukraine”, Kyiv Post, May 16, 2018
  • The Lithuanian government has decided to set quotas for foreign workers in some professions in connection with the intensive rise of immigration from Ukraine, Lithuanian ViceChancellor Deividas Matulionis.
  • Matulionis said quotas will not apply to professionals with high qualifications. According to him, the establishment of quotas will be the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Security and Labor, and it is also planned to attract experts from the Center for Research Monitoring and Analysis. Specific proposals will be put forward before October.
  • Also, the government decided to toughen the order of the trip of thirdcountry nationals to Lithuania by bringing back the system of work permits.




  1. Majority of Swedes Positive About Immigration: Study”, The Local, May 17, 2018
  • A majority of participants in a Swedish study said they are generally positive to all types of immigration, and in particular towards foreign students and labour migration.
  • The study by The Migration Studies Delegation (Delmi) and Novus which was carried out in 2014, 2015 and 2016, also showed that the economic impact of immigration is seen to be positive in Sweden. "The results show a high degree of stability over these years in the attitude of people towards immigration. You might have thought more would have happened in opinion over a time that was quite disruptive," one of the study’s researchers Nora Theorin said to newspaper Dagens Nyheter.




  1. Ukraine’s Government Approves Visa-Free Regime with Qatar, Antigua and Barbuda”,, May 16, 2018
  • The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has approved the agreement on the mutual visafree regime with Qatar and Antigua and Barbuda as reported. According to the document, the citizens of the parties who use the foreign passports can enter, leave, transit and stay without a visa at the territory of the send party's country up to 90 days during 180 days.
  • Also, Petro Poroshenko held the meeting with Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar during the official visit to the state.





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