HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 13.08.2018

Aug 13,2018





  1. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, “A New Way Forward for Some Immigration Application Processing Times”, Government of Canada, August 9, 2018
  • On July 31, 2018, IRCC began using an improved method to estimate processing times for some new permanent residence applications. The processing times are projected, and tell applicants how long we expect most applications to take under normal circumstances if submitted today.
  • With this change in effect, we are able to better estimate how long some new permanent residence applications will take based on several factors, including the number of current applications waiting to be processed and the volume of admissions allowed each year under the multiyear immigration levels plan.




  1. Hotel Announcement: Cabrits Resort Kempinski Dominica”, Hospitality Net, August 10, 2018
  • Kempinski has appointed Michael J. Schoonewagen as general manager of Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica. […] He will lead the team to open this first luxury resort for Kempinski in Dominica, working closely with partners, Range Developments, to position the island as the new goto luxury travel destination in the region.
  • Mohammed Asaria, founder of Range Developments, said: "Hiring a general manager is a key step in completing a successful project – it shows the project is 12 months away from opening. Having Michael Schoonewagen on board at this stage is a clear sign of commitment from Range and Kempinski and reflects well both on the development and the future of tourism in Dominica."
  • Range's second development, the Cabrits Resort Kempinski Dominica, is rapidly advancing and is expected to open in the third quarter of 2019.
  • Six Senses St Kitts is Range's latest project, located on the northwestern side of the island and will further complement the country's CIP and tourism product. The Six Senses St Kitts is scheduled to open in 2020.






  1. Spotlight: Chinese Tourists’ Fever for Morocco Heats Up After Visa-Free Policy”, Xinhua, August 11, 2018
  • Since Morocco announced the visa exemption for Chinese citizens in June 2016, the number of Chinese tourists to Morocco has risen rapidly, and the boom is not over yet.
  • According to Moroccan National Tourism Office's representative bureau in China, the number of tourists visiting China in 2017 was nearly 120,000. But in the first five months this year, the number of Chinese tourists already reached 100,000.
  • Chinese Ambassador to Morocco Li Li said that since Morocco's visa exemption for Chinese citizens, the number of Chinese tourists has grown significantly, ranking first in the growth of foreign tourists to the kingdom.


  1. Belarus-China Visa-Free Agreement Comes into Force”, Xinhua, August 12, 2018
  • The intergovernmental agreement on visafree travel between Belarus and China came into force on Friday. From now on, Belarusians can stay in China without a visa for up to 30 days in one trip, but not more than 90 days a year. The same rule applies to Chinese citizens.
  • If a person wants to stay in the country for more than 30 days or engage in educational and professional activities, he or she needs a special visa. Visafree travel covers private trips, business trips and tourist trips.




  1. Kazakhstan, Iran Easing Visa Regime for Businessmen”, Azer News, August 8, 2018
  • Kazakhstan and Iran are reciprocally making it easier for entrepreneurs to obtain visas, Kazinform reports citing Iran's extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador to Kazakhstan Mojtaba Damirchilu.
  • "We had talks on easing the visa regime for Kazakh and Iranian citizens. As a conclusion of these negotiations we signed a document which covers facilitation of visa issuance for entrepreneurs of the two countries. We are also interested in facilitating the movement of citizens between the two countries. Certain measures are being taken in this direction. Iran's stance with regard to neighbors is aimed at facilitating or completely establishing a visafree regime with them," Iranian ambassador said.




  1. General Security to Introduce 10-Year Validity for Biometric Passports”, The Daily Star, August 8, 2018
  • Lebanese biometric passport validity will be available for up to ten years for a fee of LL500,000 ($330.50) starting Aug. 10, the Directorate General of General Security announced Wednesday.
  • Passport issue and renewal is now available with three options. In addition to the new tenyear plan, one year of validity costs LL60,000 and five years costs LL300,000.
  • Those who wish to obtain a biometric passport need a passport form signed by a local mukhtar (government official), an ID card or an individual status record valid for three months, a new color photograph measuring 3.5 by 4.5 centimeters – also validated by the mukhtar – as well as an application fee.




  1. Shawn Ng, “Immigration Department to Roll Out e-Visas for Approved MM2H Applicants by End-2018”, The Edge Markets, August 9, 2018
  • The Immigration Department of Malaysia is expected to introduce evisas for approved Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) applicants by end-2018 to ease the traffic at immigration centres and reduce the processing time, said Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia (Motac) head of department for the immigration unit of MM2H Ernee Shylla Mohtar.
  • “So we are coming up with EVAL, which stands for Electonice Visa Approval Letter, to allows MM2H participants to apply [their visa] online through the immigration system anytime and anywhere or appoint their MM2H agent to do so. The system will also ensure a smooth process as it will notify the applicant of any missing documents while the applicant can track the latest status online,” she said.
  • She said currently, the processing time for an MM2H visa can exceed three days as the application needs to circulate among a few authorities. But with the implementation of the evisa, the processing time is expected to be reduced by 70% as some of the steps will be processed simultaneously, such as the visa approval letter and issuance of e-visa, she told at the sidelines of the workshop.


  1. Minderjeet Kaur, “Indonesians Top the List of Foreigners Applying for Citizenship”, FMT News, August 13, 2018
  • The National Registration Department has received 90,681 applications from foreigners applying for Malaysian citizenship with Indonesians topping the list. This was followed by foreigners from Thailand, India, Cambodia and the Philippines, the home ministry said in a written parliamentary reply today.
  • It was replying to Wong Shu Qi (PHKluang), who asked for the total number of applications received since 2013 according to gender, age, race and religion. The ministry said the highest age group comprised those from 22 to 70 (42,581), followed by those aged 12 and below (30,257). Those between 13 and 21 numbered 15,592, while the smallest group was those over the age of 71.


Sri Lanka


  1. Sri Lanka Mulls Visa Free Entry for India, China, EU to Promote Tourism”, Sputnik, August 8, 2018
  • Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed a task force to look into the proposal of visafree entry for tourists. Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka recorded a 15.3% jump in the last year.
  • Sri Lanka is mulling the provision of visafree entry for tourists from friendly countries, including neighboring India, China as well some European countries, Tourism Minister John Amaratunga told media. The proposal is designed to facilitate citizens of these countries to gain hassle-free access to Sri Lanka's tourist destinations in the months of October to November and March to April.




  1. Janina C. Lim, “Taiwan Asks PHL to Reciprocate on Visa Waivers for Tourists”, Business World, August 6, 2018
  • Alfred Y.H. Wang, director for the Economic Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines (TECOP), said he has been seeking reciprocal visafree status but negotiations with the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) are still ongoing.
  • TECOP recently extended the 14day visa-free program for Filipino visitors by another year. Initially intended as a nine-month trial, the program was extended to July 2019 after Taiwan received a record number of Filipino tourist arrivals last year. MECO was asked for comment yesterday but had not responded at deadline time.


United Arab Emirates


  1. UAE Offers 6-Month Temporary Visa Without Sponsor”, Trade Arabia, August 9, 2018
  • The UAE has launched a new amnesty initiative which will enable applicants to receive a sixmonth temporary residency without the need for a sponsor, a top official of Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship was quoted as saying in a media report.
  • Brigadier Saeed Rakan Al Rashidy, acting directorgeneral of Foreigners and Ports Affairs at the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship added that the initiative will enable violators to pay to leave their sponsors and leave the country without a deprivation stamp, reported Emirates news agency Wam. This also applies those who entered the country illegally and are banned from entering again for two years, as well as allowing the transfer of residence for those wishing to modify their status without fines with nominal fees, he explained.
  • The initiative, titled, 'Protect Yourself by Modifying Your Status' launched by the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship, confirms the UAE's approach to make everyone living in the UAE happy.






  1. Belarus Welcomes First Visa-Free Tourists from China”, Belarusian Telegraph Agency, August 10, 2018
  • A number of Chinese tourists have already arrived in Belarus without visas thanks to the BelarusianChinese visa waiver agreement, BelTA has learned.
  •  According to Vitaly Gritsevich, Deputy Director of the Tourism Department of the Belarusian Sports and Tourism Ministry, Belarus has been working with the Chinese market consistently for a long time. “2018 has been declared the Year of Belarusian Tourism in China. The agreement to allow citizens of the two countries to visit each country for 30 days without visas is its logical continuation. Besides, we are working hard to improve our infrastructure so that Chinese tourists could be comfortable here,” he said.
  • The BelarusianChinese visa waiver agreement came into force today. Belarusians can stay in China without visas for 30 days per trip or at most 90 days per year. The same rule applies to Chinese citizens in Belarus. If a person wants to stay for more than 30 days or wants to engage in education or business, he or she will need to acquire a special visa. The visa waiver agreement applies to private trips, business trips, and tourism trips.




  1. Chase Winter, “Dual Citizenship Granted to Most Naturalized Germans”, Deutsche Welle, August 10, 2018
  • An increasing number of naturalized Germans are not required to renounce their original citizenship before receiving a German passport. The rise has been driven by internal EU migration and an uptick in refugee numbers, according to the Federal Statistics Office. Of 112,211 naturalized German citizens last year, 68,918, or about 61 percent, kept their previous citizenship, Die Welt newspaper reported on Friday citing the statistics office.
  • German law generally discourages dual citizenship, but it does not always require that applicants renounce their citizenship before becoming German. Citizens of other EU member states have the right to dual citizenship inside the bloc. Of those 112,211 naturalized German citizens in 2017, almost 39,000 came from EU member states and 99 percent kept their original nationality. Another exception is made for refugees, who represent a growing share of dual nationals.




  1. Maria Spiliopoulou, “Greece Does Not Grant Citizenship for Investments: Ministry”, Xinhua, August 9, 2018
  • "Greece does not belong to the EU member states which grant citizenship for investments, purchase of real estate or other business activities," the Greek ministry clarified on Wednesday in an emailed statement. "The only change made in 2017 concerns the ability of people who have residency permits to apply for citizenship after seven years of stay in the country. This applies to all categories of holders of residency permits," the statement read.
  • "The prerequisites are the same for all applicants (good knowledge of the Greek language etc). Residency permits do not translate to granting of travel documents (passports)," the statement concluded.
  • Under the Greek program launched in 2013, Greece grants residence permits to third country citizens who buy property assets worth more than 250,000 euros (290,000 U.S. dollars) in Greece, as well their family members. According to the latest official data from the ministry, a total of 2,639 visas have been offered to third country citizens so far.




  1. Russia May Extend Visa-Free Entry for Fan ID Holders Until 2019 Universiade in Krasnoyarsk”, TASS, August 7, 2018
  • Russia may extend visafree entry for Fan ID holders until the Winter Universiade, scheduled to be held in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk in March 2019. "We are considering this possibility. There are different views on that so consultations are underway," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets told reporters during a trip to Krasnoyarsk.
  • After the World Cup was over, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow would continue to grant visafree entry to Fan ID holders until the end of the year, while their family members would have a chance to get free Russian visas.


  1. Diyar Guldogan, “Russia ‘Willing’ to Lift Visa for Turkish Citizens”, Anadolu Agency, August 12, 2018
  • Moscow is willing to lift visa regime in some categories for Turkish citizens, Russian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.
  • In a statement, the Russian ministry said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit Turkey on Aug. 13 and 14 to attend the 10th Ambassadors Conference, which will be held on Aug. 1217 in both the capital Ankara and in the central Konya province. "It is planned to discuss the prospects of easing travel regime for the citizens of the two countries. We confirm willingness to lift the visa regime in certain categories for Turkish citizens," it said.


United Kingdom


  1. Ben Chapman, “UK Should Scrap Immigration Targets After Brexit, Businesses Say”, The Independent, August 10, 2018
  • The government should scrap net migration targets after Brexit and continue to allow visafree entry into the UK by EU citizens, a leading business group has recommended. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said firms need a new immigration policy that ensures control but means the UK remains open to the skills the country needs.
  • Immigration policy needs to shift away from attempting to reduce numbers and should instead be focused on ensuring that people coming to the UK make a positive contribution to the economy, the CBI said.
  • The report, which draws on evidence from 129,000 firms across 18 sectors, calls for the simplest possible travel arrangements for all British and European citizens to avoid lengthy border delays at sea ports and airports.


  1. Heathrow Airport Passport Queues Reach 2.5 Hours”, BBC, August 13, 2018
  • On 30 out of 31 days in July, the border force missed its target of a 45minute wait or less for 95% of visitors from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).
  • Citizens of the European Union, the EEA and Switzerland can use the electronic gates at Heathrow's passport control but visitors from all other countries must have their passports checked by a border force official. John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow's chief executive, has previously called for the Home Office to allow visitors from "low risk countries" - like the US, he suggests - to be allowed to use the electronic gates.
  • BBC reporter Jenny Kumah said the Home Office explained its poor performance in July was worsened by a "large numbers of vulnerable adults and children arriving", alongside a number of computer errors. A Home Office spokesman said: "The vast majority of people who arrive at Heathrow get through the border within our service standards.






  1. Gareth Hutchens, “Reserve Bank Governor Says Australia’s High Immigration Levels Boosted Economy”, The Guardian, August 8, 2018
  • Australia’s high immigration levels have been a positive for the economy, helping to arrest the rate of the ageing of the population and ensure higher than average growth in recent years, the Reserve Bank governor says. It means Australia has one of the youngest populations among advanced economies, with a higher fertility rate and better prospects for growth.
  • “This inflow of younger people through immigration has significantly reduced the rate of population ageing in Australia,” he said. “Over the past five years, over 80% of net overseas migration has been accounted for by people under the age of 35.”
  • [Reserve Bank Governor Peter Lowe] said RBA staff had recently examined demographic trends over the next quarter of a century for 37 advanced economies using United Nations data, and Australia was better placed than most comparable countries.


New Zealand


  1. Jane Patterson, “Student Visa Regime: Govt Confirms Changes on Way”, Radio New Zealand, August 11, 2018
  • Immigration Minister Iain LeesGalloway said the changes were also aimed at better matching skills to the demands of New Zealand businesses.
  • One of the changes is the removal of a visa foreign students can use to work in New Zealand, as long as they have an employer offer of fulltime work. "The removal of employer-assisted post-study work rights at all levels will help reduce the risk of migrant exploitation, and better protect New Zealand's international reputation," Mr Lees-Galloway said.
  • Currently, new students studying below degree level can work for a total of two years once they have finished studying, but that will be reduced to one year. However, if they study outside of Auckland they keep the two years. Those studying at degree level will be able to work for three years on an open visa.
  • "The changes will take effect in November 2018, with grandparenting provisions that mean that international students who are currently in New Zealand will be better off as a result of these changes."





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