HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 03.09.2018

Sep 03,2018





  1. Sonia Farid, “Egypt’s Multi-Million-Pound Citizenship to Foreigners: Who Gets It?”, Al Arabiya, September 1, 2018
  • On July 16, the Egyptian House of Representatives approved a bill submitted by the government to amend citizenship laws and on August 15, President Abdel Fattah alSisi ratified it. According to the new law, foreign nationals who deposit seven million Egyptian pounds, or the equivalent in other currencies, get a five-year residency after which they apply for citizenship.
  • For Journalist Mohamed Hammad, the only people that are expected to benefit from the new law are Arab businessmen with refugee status who already reside in Egypt, which mainly applies to Syrians. “Syrian businessmen in Egypt have always been concerned about their status as refugees, which they believe puts their business at risk,” he wrote.



  1. More Ugandans in Diaspora Get Dual Citizenship”, New Vision, August 31, 2018
  • The number of Ugandans in the diaspora securing dual citizenship keeps growing by the day. The statistic is expanding thanks to the efforts of the Directorate of Dual Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC), which is extending the service to Ugandans living abroad.
  • The Ugandan high commissioner thanked Ugandans for their contribution towards the social economic development of Uganda. He urged them to be patient as government improves service delivery. The delegation included the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), Bank of Uganda, National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the works ministry.






  1. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, “Canada and Australia Announce Amendment to Youth Mobility Arrangement”, Government of Canada, August 28, 2018
  • The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and the Honourable Peter Dutton, Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs, today announced an agreement to expand the age range in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Canada and Australia concerning Youth Mobility. Through the amended MoU, Canadian and Australian young adults aged 18 to 35 will now be able to work and travel through the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.
  • Reflective of our strong peopleto-people ties, Australia is a major source of foreign participants in IEC and Australia is consistently the top destination for Canadian youth through the program. Increasing the eligible age from 30 to 35 will provide for more opportunities for experienced professionals from both countries to gain valuable skills in a global work environment.




  1. Dominica Welcomes Additional Flights from Air Antilles”, St. Lucia News, August 29, 2018
  • The Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Air Access Committee of Discover Dominica Authority have successfully negotiated an additional 2016 seats into the destination from two new flights added by Air Antilles.
  • The flights will commence on November 1, 2018, departing Pointea-Pitre (PTP) at 9pm to arrive in Dominica at 9:30pm on Thursdays and Sundays. The aircraft will overnight in Dominica and depart the next mornings (Fridays and Mondays) at 5:30am to reach Pointe-a Pitre at 6:00am. The flights will terminate for the season on March 29, 2019.


United States


  1. Chantal Da Silva, “H-1B Visa Premium Processing Fast-Track Program On Hold Until 2019”, Newsweek, August 29, 2018
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will be extending—and expanding—its temporary suspension of premium processing for H1B visa applicants, causing delays until around February 2019.
  • In a statement announcing the decision, the agency said it was made as part of its efforts to clear a "backlog" in its application system for H1B visas. These visas are meant to allow U.S. companies to hire highly skilled foreign professionals—by issuing short-term visas—in industries where there are shortages of qualified American workers.
  • The decision affects wouldbe beneficiaries, many of which are from India, with 64 percent of employers submitting applications on behalf of Indian-born beneficiaries in fiscal year 2012 and that number rising to 70 percent in fiscal year 2014, according to USCIS.


  1. Peter Kotecki, “A Record Number of Americans Renounced Their US Citizenship in the Last Few Years – Here’s How You Do It”, Business Insider, September 1, 2018
  • The number of Americans renouncing their citizenship has grown significantly over the past few years, hitting a record high of 5,411 in 2016. Renunciations fell slightly last year, though there were still nearly 1,000 more than in 2015.
  • Americans may choose to renounce their citizenship for a variety of reasons: High taxes (the US is one of the few countries that taxes citizens based on worldwide income), family circumstances, and legal complications are just some of the explanations.
  • You won't be able to renew your citizenship if you decide to renounce it. However, the Immigration and Nationality Act states that someone who renounces their citizenship before they turn 18 can reinstate it if they contact the State Department within six months after turning 18.






  1. China Eases Process for Issuing, Renewing Passports”, Xinhua, August 28, 2018
  • The State Immigration Administration (SIA) announced several measures on Tuesday to simplify the process of issuing passports and travel documents to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
  • From Sept. 1, citizens will be able to apply for or renew passports and travel documents to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan anywhere, regardless of where their household registration is, the SIA statement said. The processing time will be reduced to seven working days, according to the statement.
  • Tourists traveling to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan in groups can also apply for travel permissions in places other than their household registration locality.


  1. FOCAC Summit to Set New Path for China-Africa Ties”, New Vision, September 3, 2018
  • As African leaders are gathering in Beijing for a summit of the Forum on ChinaAfrica Cooperation (FOCAC), expectations run high for the two sides to strengthen their already solid friendship and further enhance pragmatic cooperation to bring tangible benefits to the Chinese and African people.
  • The summit, scheduled for Sept. 34, aims to build a closer China-Africa community with a shared future, further dovetail China's Belt and Road Initiative with African development, set a new path for a higher level of China-Africa cooperation, and deepen people-to-people exchanges.
  • This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Chinaproposed Belt and Road Initiative, with more African countries expressing their interest in joining the grand project. So far, nearly 10 African countries have signed Belt and Road cooperation agreements with China, and a few more are in negotiations. Recently in July, during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Africa, China signed cooperation documents with Senegal and Rwanda.


Sri Lanka


  1. Sri Lanka Looks to Re-Introduce Visa Free Policy to Selected Countries”, MENA FN, August 29, 2018
  • The Sri Lankan government is reviewing a proposal to reintroduce the 'visa free entry policy' for travelers from SAARC countries and a few other selected countries in a bid to promote tourism, Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said Wednesday. In a local media report, Amaratunga said the proposal had been submitted to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is presently working on the issue.
  • Last week, Amaratunga said the government hoped to attract at least 3 million tourists in 2019, making Sri Lanka one of the most sought after destinations in the global tourism map.




  1. Sophia Yang, “Taiwan Mulls Cutting Visa-Free Travel to Twice a Year From 6 Times for Thai, Philippines, Brunei Tourists”, Taiwan News, September 1, 2018
  • In the wake of more Southeast Asian visitors on visa waiver programs involved in the sex trade during multiple trips to Taiwan, Taiwanese officials are planning to slash visafree entry for Thai, Philippines, and Brunei visitors to twice a year from the existing six times.
  • Minister Without Portfolio Chang Jingsen convened a cross-departmental meeting on Friday to review the country's visa waiver policies. While there was a remarkable increase of 410,000 visitors from Thailand, Brunei, and the Philippines in combination over the past two years thanks to the visa waiver program, more visitors from the three countries have also been found engaging in prostitution during their stay in Taiwan.
  • To address the issue, the government has cut each visafree stay to 14-15 days for citizens from the three countries, and is considering to slash the visa-free visits from six times a year to twice a year. Also, high-risk individuals will be targeted in the strengthened inspection and follow-up measures, he said.




  1. Peng Wan-hsin & William Hetherington, “Thailand’s Office Cancels Visa Fee Hike”, Taipei Times, August 30, 2018
  • Amid backlash from travel agencies and tourists, the Thailand Trade and Economic Office yesterday canceled a proposed NT$470 increase in the handling fee for visa applications.
  • Amid backlash from travel agencies and touriThe office on Tuesday said that beginning in October, Taiwanese visitors to Thailand would have to pay an additional handling fee for visa applications processed by a newly hired Dubaibased consular services provider.ts, the Thailand Trade and Economic Office yesterday canceled a proposed NT$470 increase in the handling fee for visa applications.
  • The office yesterday said that applicants could continue to apply directly to the office or a travel agency, while the new third option of applying through VFS Global was added for convenience.


United Arab Emirates


  1. Dhanusha Gokulan, “UAE Announces New Rules for Tourist Visas”, Khaleej Times, September 2, 2018
  • Tourists travelling to the UAE during the summer won't need to pay visa fees for dependents aged 18 years or below, the UAE Cabinet announced recently. The fee exemption will be applicable between July 15 and September 15 every year and is expected to boost tourist numbers during the off peak season.
  • The decision follows the exemption of transit tourists from visa fees for the first 48 hours. Travel agents in the UAE have welcomed the move, saying it would help boost tourism during the summer season.


  1. Waheed Abbas, “Passport to Prosperity: UAE Expats Eye Caribbean Second Passport”, Zawya, September 2, 2018
  • According to the latest report released by Professional Wealth Management (PWM), Dominica, St Kitts Nevis, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, Vanuatu, Cyprus, Malta, Bulgaria, Turkey and Austria offer the best citizenshipby-investment programmes based on seven key factors.
  • Dominica remained the world's best economic citizenship option, coupling low investment thresholds with efficiency, speed and the certainty of permanency. St Kitts and Nevis, a strong contender, improved its visafree travel options and lowered its entry thresholds. Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda performed well, but also suffered from a slowing down of the application review process.
  • In the Caribbean, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Kitts and Nevis all achieved full scores under mandatory travel or residence, as none of them require applicants to travel to, or reside within, their territory at any time prior to or after receiving citizenship.


  1. Waheed Abbas, “These Workers Can Get 10-Year Visa in UAE”, Khaleej Times, September 2, 2018
  • Technology entrepreneurs, influencers, highend individual investors and specialists in certain fields such as science, space and medicine would be eligible for the 10-year visa slated to be implemented by the end of this year, say industry executives.
  • The UAE government recently announced that it would issue 10year visas for professionals and investors and will also allow 100 per cent foreign ownership in mainland companies as part of reforms to attract the best talent available in the world and also to lure foreign direct investment into the country.
  • "We have to wait and see the specific directions as to what will include. But from what we have seen is that the initial wave will include technology entrepreneurs, influencers and highend individual investors in certain areas that the country needs. I think it will not be a blanket for everyone to benefit from this system immediately. Maybe during the time, some new groups will be involved. But for now, I think technology entrepreneurs, influencers, high-tech investors and so on," said Dr Habib Al Mulla, executive chairman of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla.






  1. Armenia to Abolish Visas for Albanian Citizens”, PanArmenian Net, August 29, 2018
  • The Armenian government will discuss abolishing visa requirements for citizens of Albania on Thursday, August 30, according to a draft proposal submitted by the Foreign Ministry.
  • Armenians have been exempt from visa when traveling to Albania since 2013, and the document says a corresponding decision by the government pursues the principle of reciprocity in the ArmenianAlbanian bilateral relations. When approved, the decision will enable Albanian citizens to travel visa-free and stay in Armenia for a maximum of 180 days within a year.




  1. Germany Named Belarus’ Most Valuable Visitor Market”, Belarusian Telegraph Agency, August 27, 2018
  • Germany has been Belarus' most valuable tourism source market since the launch of the 30day visa-free travel program, the Belarusian State Border Committee told BelTA.
  • A total of 1,658 German citizens visited Belarus without visas via the Minsk National Airport from 27 July to 26 August. It was approximately 500 people more, or 35.4% up as against the same period of last year. The United States was second in terms of the number of visits to Belarus. Since the launch of the 30day visa-free travel Belarus welcomed 969 visits from the United States, which was up 48.2% from the same period a year earlier. Italy came in third with 946 visits (up 52.6%).
  • As it was reported earlier, foreign citizens are allowed to stay in Belarus for up to 30 days without visas, provided they cross the border at the Minsk National Airport.




  1. Clara Kenny & Eoin Burke-Kennedy, “’Brain Drain’ Reversed as Ireland Sees Highest Immigration Since 2008”, The Irish Times, August 29, 2018
  • The number of Irish people returning to live in Ireland from abroad has overtaken those emigrating for the first time in 10 years, while the number of people at work in the State is now almost 20,000 higher than it was before the crash.
  • New figures from the Central Statistics Office show the highest level of immigration overall since 2008, with 90,300 people moving here in the 12 months to April, up 6.7 per cent on the previous year.
  • With the economy approaching full employment, Ireland is proving attractive again for Irish emigrants, with 28,400 moving back here from abroad, up 1,000 on the previous 12 months. The numbers emigrating dropped 8.1 per cent, to 28,300, resulting in a net inward migration total of about 100 people.


  1. Increase in UAE Visitors to Ireland Due Only to Visa Exemption”, Travel Daily Media, August 29, 2018
  • Since the announcement, in January 2018, of visafree travel for UAE citizens to Ireland, UAE visitor numbers to the Emerald Isle have increased significantly. This was confirmed by Enda Corneille, Ireland country manager with Emirates, who announced a 17% increase in total business coming from the UAE into Ireland through the Dubai route.
  • Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “The introduction of visafree travel for UAE nationals to Ireland was a milestone for both the United Arab Emirates and the Irish governments.




  1. Elena Teslova, “Russia, Turkey to Discuss Visa-Free Regime in Autumn”, Andalou Agency, August 30, 2018
  • Russian and Turkish consular experts will hold consultations on visafree regime for specific categories of Turkish citizens in autumn, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zaharova said on Thursday.
  • "It was agreed to form a mechanism for the development of agreements on the facilitation of mutual travel for certain categories of Turkish citizens. The most suitable platform for discussing visa issues is bilateral consultations of consular experts. Such consultations are scheduled for autumn," she said.
  • [Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov] told reporters after meeting with [Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu] on Aug. 24 that Russia is ready to lift visa restrictions on Turkish holders of special and service passports as well as for drivers engaged in cargo transportation between the two countries.


United Kingdom


  1. David Sapsted, “Employers Cheered After No Visa Cap Imposed in August”, Relocate Global, August 31, 2018
  • The granting of 2,256 Tier 2 (General) restricted certificates of sponsorship (RCoS) in August was a direct result of the decision by Home Secretary Sajid Javid in July to remove NHS doctors and nurses from the annual limit of 20,700 – a move that effectively freed up more than a third of the allocations available.
  • Mr Javid, who took his decision in the eighth successive month when imposition of the visa cap left thousands of overseas professionals unable to take up job offers in the UK, told the Daily Express on Friday, “After we leave the EU we will end free movement and put in place an immigration system which works in the best interest of the UK. “We will ensure we are in control of our own borders but continue to attract those who bring significant benefits to the UK.”






  1. Indonesian Working Holiday Visas to Rise”, SBS News, September 2, 2018
  • Trade Minister Simon Birmingham says a "few thousand" more Indonesians will be able to enter Australia on working holiday visas under a new agreement.
  • Thousands more Indonesians will be allowed into Australia on working holiday visas under the conditions of a landmark free trade agreement. Trade Minister Simon Birmingham confirmed a "few thousand" people will be allowed to enter Australia after Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Indonesian President Joko Widodo committed to the agreement in Jakarta.




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