HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 06.08.2018

Aug 06,2018





  1. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, “Canada Expands its Biometrics Screening Program”, Government of Canada, July 30, 2018
  • On July 31, 2018, all nationals from countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East are required to provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photo) if they are applying for a Canadian visitor visa, a work or study permit, or permanent residence.
  • The Government of Canada has taken several steps to make giving biometrics easier for travellers, including only requiring that temporary residents provide their biometrics once every 10 years (those applying for a visa, or a study or work permit).
  • Canada is also increasing its Visa Application Centre (VAC) presence in the next 2 years. Canada has one of the largest VAC networks in comparison with other countries; more than 97% of applicants can access a VAC in their country of residence. By November 2019, Canada will have a network of at least 157 VACs in 105 countries. In addition, applicants living in the U.S. can use the extensive network of 135 U.S. Application Support Centers for biometrics collection.


St. Kitts & Nevis


  1. Harvey Law Group Announces Strategic Partnership with Range Developments in SEA in Six Senses St. Kitts & Nevis”, EIN Newsdesk, August 1, 2018
  • Harvey Law Group announces Strategic Partnership with Range Developments in Southeast Asia for the newly launch Six Senses St. Kitts Resort and Spa.
  • Six Senses St. Kitts is a project by Range Developments, which specializes in developing luxury Caribbean resorts, together with design creativity, management and marketing by Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. The resort is scheduled to be completed over three years.
  • Mr. Bastien Trelcat, Managing Partner of the leading investment immigration firm Harvey Law Group for Southeast Asia added “Harvey Law Group is honored to collaborate one more time with Range Developments and the Government of St. Kitts & Nevis for the Six Senses project as the exclusive service provider for Southeast Asia of 100 shares coming with a financing option. St. Kitts boasts the longest established Citizenship by Investment program in the world presenting opportunities to obtain a wellrecognized passport for you and your family.”


United States


  1. Pedro Goncalves, “US Expats Hand Back Passports to Avoid Tough Tax Rules”, International Investment, August 1, 2018
  • The financial firms prefer not to have American customers because of the cost of complying with Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) rules, introduced in 2015. Under FATCA, foreign financial firms must report financial and personal information about any accounts controlled by American customers to the US Internal Revenue Service.
  • American expats must also file an FBAR form to let the IRS know about “all bank and financial accounts – including those with zero balances if the total of all accounts on any day of the year exceeds $10,000,” David Treitel, managing director of American Tax Returns, told International Investment. According to the IRS, the most recent data for the first three months of 2018 shows 1,099 Americans renounced their citizenship.
  • Under citizenshipbased taxation, American citizens living abroad are obliged to file tax returns to the IRS every year, as well as certain other documents, such as Foreign Bank Account Reports. The requirement is life-long, no matter how long they live abroad, even if they were only in the US long enough to be born there.






  1. Agreement on Visa-Free Regime Between Belarus and China to Come Into Force This Week”, TVR, August 6, 2018
  • This week the agreement on visafree regime between Belarus and China will come into force. Citizens of our country will be able to stay in China without a visa for up to 30 days, but not more than 90 days a year.
  • The same rule applies for the Chinese. Visa free regime applies to private and tour trips, as well as business trips. However, the visa will be required if you plan educational or professional activities.
  • The intergovernmental agreement on mutual visafree travel was signed on June 10 in Qingdao during the working visit of the President of Belarus to China.




  1. Government Extends e-Visa Facility for Citizens of 165 Countries”, The Economic Times, August 6, 2018
  • Seeking to promote tourism, the government has extended evisa facility for citizens of 165 countries at 25 airports and five seaports, the Lok Sabha was informed today.
  • Tourism Minister K J Alphons also said the government has launched the 'Incredible India 2.0' campaign, marking a shift from generic promotions to marketspecific promotional plans.




  1. Investors’ Interest in Citizenship Incentive on the Rise”, The Jordan Times, July 31, 2018
  • A total of 105 investors have applied to the Jordan Investment Commission (JIC) to obtain the Jordanian nationality or permanent residency, marking a 35 per cent increase compared with the previous month, a government official said on Monday.
  • In a JIC statement, carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, Minister of State for Investment Affairs Muhannad Shehadeh, who is also JIC chairman, noted that six investors had obtained nationality certificates issued by the Civil Status and Passports Department, while 15 investors have met all conditions necessary to obtain citizenship and are awaiting the process to be finalised.




  1. Myanmar to Allow Visa-Free Entry for Japanese and Korean Tourists, but Chinese Must Still Pay US$50”, South China Morning Post, August 1, 2018
  • Myanmar will start granting visafree entry to tourists from Japan and South Korea in October to attract more visitors from Asia – but travellers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau will still have to pay US$50 for visas upon arrival.
  • Last week, the ministry sent a notification to the Union of Myanmar Travel Association to inform it of the new visa rules, which will begin on October 1 as a oneyear trial. Japanese and South Korean travellers will be allowed visa-free entry by air and land, while tourists from China, including Hong Kong and Macau, will be able to enter with a visa granted on arrival for US$50 per person at airports in Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyidaw. Chinese travellers previously had to apply for visas in advance.
  • According to the notification, tourists will be required to possess at least US$1,000 in cash. But the ministry was considering accepting credit cards or other means to check their financial standing, the director said.




  1. Asma Ali Zain, “Free Passport Extension for Pakistanis Seeking Amnesty in UAE”, Khaleej Times, August 1, 2018
  • The threemonth visa amnesty starts today as the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) has announced the 'Protect Yourself by Modifying Your Status' campaign till October 31.
  • Speaking to Khaleej Times, a spokesperson for the Pakistan Embassy and Consulate said that the embassy will be supporting the initiative fully by waiving the fees for outpasses issued and for passport extension to amnesty seekers. "It is going to be zero fees for outpasses and passport extension for seven months," he said. The original fee charged for an outpass is decided on a case to case basis.
  • Under the scheme called 'Protect Yourself via Rectifying Your Status,' foreigners violating the residency law will be granted a threemonth grace period to either leave the country voluntarily without prosecution, or rectify their legal status by paying the required fees. The visa relaxation will lift the fears of over-staying foreigners, reduce the burden on those facing hefty fines, while encouraging illegal expats to make their status legal or voluntarily depart, without incurring a ban.




  1. Singapore Tests Eye Scans at Immigration Checkpoints: Media”, Reuters, August 6, 2018
  • Singapore will scan travelers’ eyes at some of its border checkpoints, local media reported on Monday, in a trial of expensive technology that could one day replace fingerprint verification.
  • “The trials will help us in our consideration of whether and how we should implement such technology at our checkpoints,” an Immigration Checkpoint Authority (ICA) spokesman was quoted as saying by the Straits Times newspaper. The move will be implemented at two checkpoints on its northern border with Malaysia and one at a ferry terminal running services to nearby Indonesian islands, the Straits Times reported.
  • The trials will only affect Singapore citizens and permanent residents, the Straits Times said, and the ICA has been collecting iris images since January last year when people apply for identity cards or a passport.


Sri Lanka


  1. Laos Gives Visa-on-Arrival for Sri Lanka Tourists”, Economy Next, August 1, 2018
  • Lao Peoples Democratic Republic will provide visa on arrival to travelers from Sri Lanka from August 01, 2018 the foreign ministry said. "Sri Lankan citizens holding valid travel documents could apply for visaon-arrival at the international border check points of the Lao People's Democratic Republic," a statement said.
  • Sri Lankans can travel without preapproved visas to ASEAN nations of Singapore, Indonesia and the Maldives in South Asia. Within the ASEAN citizens have visa free travel, which has led to an explosion in regional tourism air travel and people to people contact.
  • While Sri Lanka does not have visa free travel as a general process, the country has an advanced electronic preapproved entry permit system where only a few pertinent details are asked and approval comes within minutes for tourists.


  1. Sri Lanka Looks to Grant Visa Free Entry to Tourist Friendly Nations”, Xinhua, August 6, 2018
  • Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed a task force to study the possibility of granting visa free entry to visitors from certain tourist friendly nations in order to boost arrivals to the island country, local media reported on Monday. Sri Lankan Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said that some of the countries under consideration are India, China, and some European and West Asian countries.
  • Following recommendations from the Task Force, this proposal may be implemented in the off peak months of October to November and March to April, the minister said. He further said the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) is currently working on this plan.




  1. Duncan DeAeth, “Taiwan and Marshall Islands Sign Visa-Free Travel Agreement”, Taiwan News, July 31, 2018
  • Marking the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, citizens of Taiwan will now be able to visit the Marshall Islands without a visa, in a move that will hopefully strengthen ties between the two Pacific nations.
  • Radio New Zealand reports that the two countries are also negotiating an agreement for joint maritime patrols and military exercises, which will contribute to the security and stability of the region.


  1. Catherine Lai, “Taiwan Refutes Rumour That Airlines No Longer Accepting Republic of China Passports”, Hong Kong Free Press, August 1, 2018
  • Taiwan authorities refuted a rumour on Monday that its citizens will no longer be able to use their Republic of China passports as travel documents. According to Taiwanese newspaper Liberty Times, the rumour originated from a message spread on various online platforms including messaging app Line.
  • Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday that the rumours were misinformation and urged citizens not to believe them “to avoid relaying rumours, causing unnecessary anxiety and even affecting plans to travel abroad.” It added that Taiwanese nationals can still enjoy visafree entry to the UK and the EU, and that 167 countries in total offer visa-free entry, or visas upon arrival, to Taiwanese passport holders.






  1. Belarus Extends Visa-Free Travel for Tourists to 30 Days”, News 18, August 1, 2018
  • Belarus on Tuesday announced that it is extending visafree travel for tourists from five days to 30 days in a move that could attract more visitors to the ex-Soviet state on the European Union's doorstep. Strongman ruler Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree allowing visitors from 80 countries including 39 in Europe, as well as the United States, Australia and Japan to stay for 30 days.
  • The visafree rule requires visitors to fly in and out of Minsk's main airport. As before, the visa exemption does not apply to foreigners arriving or leaving from Russia because of a lack of border controls betweeen the neighbours.
  • Chinese people will also be covered by a separate visa agreement that comes into force in August.




  1. Nigel Howarth, “Cyprus Property Sales Up 21% in July”, Cyprus Property News, August 2, 2018
  • The number of property sales contracts deposited at Land Registry offices across the Republic of Cyprus during July 2018 rose 21 per cent compared to July 2017 according to official figures published by the Department of Lands and Surveys. This follows increases of 2% in June, 23% in May and 29% in April.
  • During July a total of 896 contracts or the sale of residential and commercial properties and land (building plots and fields) were deposited at Land Registry offices across Cyprus, compared with the 758 deposited in July 2017. Of the 896 contracts deposited, 426 (48.7%) were for properties purchased by nonCypriots.
  • The figures show a continuing improvement in the economic conditions, coupled with government measures such as the citizenship by investment scheme (aka Passports for Cash scheme.)




  1. Germany’s Immigration Population Reaches 23.6 pct in 2017”, Yeni Safak, August 1, 2018
  • The share of immigrants and their descendants in Germany’s population has increased to 23.6 percent in 2017, according to the figures released on Wednesday. Some 19.3 million people out of a population of 81.7 million had at least one parent born without German citizenship, said Destatis, the federal statistical office. In 2016, 22.5 percent of Germany’s population - 18.6 million people -- were immigrants or their descendants.
  • According to the statistical office’s “Microcensus 2017” report, Turks remained the largest immigrant group in Germany with an estimated population of 2.8 million. 2.1 million Poles and 1.4 million Russians were the two other major immigrant populations.




  1. Montenegro to Introduce Citizenship by Investment Programme”, Private Banker International, July 30, 2018
  • The Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program includes a €100,000 in the form of a Government Fund Donation along with a €250,000 investment in approved real estate in an undeveloped region or €450,000 investment in a developed region. Accordingly, the programme requires a minimum starting investment of €350,000 from the interested applicants. The programme will be limited to 2000 applicants from nonEU countries during a period of three years.
  • After a due diligence process of the applications, the investor will receive permanent residence status within 3 weeks and citizenship within six months. Montenegro is a NATO member and is expected to join European Union by 2025 under the future expansion process.
  • One of the fastest growing economies in the Balkans, the country is estimated to host key industries due to its strategic position, according to World Bank. According to The Passport Index, the Montenegrin passport is ranked 37th enabling its citizens visafree travel to 115 countries.




  1. Putin Signs Bill on Visa-Free Entry for Fan ID Holders into Law”, TASS, August 3, 2018
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law on visafree entry to Russia for holders of Fan IDs they used to attend matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup till the end of the current year, according to the official portal of legal information. The bill was passed by the Russian State Duma lower parliament house on July 26 and approved by the Federation Council upper house on July 28.
  • Russia hosted the FIFA World Cup from June 14 through July 15, 2018. Holders of Fan ID’s who had tickets to the tournament’s matches needed no visa to enter Russia. After the championship, Russian President Vladimir Putin came out with an initiative to grant foreign holders of Fan IDs multiple visafree entry to Russia till the year-end.




  1. Over One Million Ukrainians Enjoy EU Visa-Free Regime – Poroshenko”, The Unian, July 31, 2018
  • "Over one million Ukrainians have already enjoyed the visafree regime with the EU countries since June 2017!" the president wrote on Facebook.
  • As UNIAN reported earlier, a decision by the Council of the European Union to introduce a visafree regime came into force on June 11, 2017, allowing Ukrainian citizens to make short trips to 30 EU countries and the Schengen zone.
  • Ukrainians are eligible to stay in the EU states for up to 90 days during each 180day period. As of today, citizens of Ukraine who are holders of biometric passports can visit 128 countries without a visa.






  1. Shane Wright, “Surge in Immigration Hits Population Forecasts for Six”, The West Australian, August 6, 2018
  • About 7pm tomorrow, the arrival of a migrant or a baby will lift Australia’s population to 25 million. Australia, the world’s sixthbiggest nation by size, will maintain its position as the 53rd biggest by population — between North Korea and Ivory Coast.
  • Then treasurer Peter Costello introduced the Intergenerational Report in May 2002 — when Australia was home to 19.7 million people — to give some guidance to policymakers about future issues caused by an ageing population. His Treasury predicted that Australia’s population would reach 25.6 million by 2042.
  • Births have increased since 2002. Almost 250,000 babies were born 16 years ago. Last year almost 309,000 babies filled hospital maternity wards. But the real swing factor has been immigration. Net overseas migration was 110,000 in 2002. Last year it had reached 240,000.



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