HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 23.10.2018

Oct 23,2018





  1. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, “Going to Great Heights with Canada’s Newest Citizens”, Government of Canada, October 15, 2018
  • This year during Citizenship Week, 6442 people became new Canadians at 72 special citizenship ceremonies across Canada. Citizenship Week (October 814) also marked the 1year anniversary of Bill C6, which brought in important changes to the Citizenship Act, helping qualified applicants get citizenship faster.
  • The changes from Bill C6 came into effect on October 11, 2017, and provided those wanting to become Canadian citizens with greater flexibility to meet the requirements. In particular, the changes reduced the time permanent residents must be physically present in Canada before applying for citizenship from 4 out of 6 years to 3 out of 5 years.
  • By the end of October 2018, an estimated 152,000 people will have obtained Canadian citizenship since the changes came into effect, an increase of 40%, compared to the 108,000 people who obtained citizenship in the same period the year before.


  1. Employment and Social Development Canada, “Government of Canada Helps 960 Internationally Trained Newcomers in Hamilton and Toronto Regions Get Their Credentials and Experience Recognized in Canada”, Markets Insider, October 20, 2018
  • […] The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Member of Parliament for York South — Weston, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced a new project that will help about 960 internationally trained newcomers in Toronto and Hamilton regions get financial assistance and employment coaching to help them enter the Canadian workforce.
  • By funding this project, the Government is helping reduce barriers to employment for highly skilled newcomers and helping them find meaningful and longterm jobs in the Canadian workforce faster.


  1. John Ibbitson, “Foreign Students Transforming Canada’s Schools, Immigration”, The Globe and Mail, October 19, 2018
  • Earlier this week, the Trump administration moved to impose fixed time limits on student visas, making Canada an even more attractive destination for students from abroad.
  • More than 500,000 international students are expected to study in Canada this year, in primary schools through to universities, more than four times as many as were here in 2000. “The increase is a huge success for international education in Canada," said Larissa Bezo, interim head of the Canadian Bureau for International Education.
  • Canada’s international student program offers powerful incentives. Under Canadian rules, students can work parttime while studying; they automatically qualify for a work permit of up to three years upon graduating; and they are given preferred status if they apply to become permanent residents.
  • “Overall, foreign students appear to increase domestic enrollment,” wrote Kevin Shih in the Journal of Public Economics. The high tuition paid by foreign students subsidizes additional space for domestic students, the report found.




Hong Kong


  1. Simone McCarthy, “How Changes to Schengen Area Entry Policy Will Affect Hongkongers”, South China Morning Post, October 18, 2018
  • From 2021, holders of Hong Kong passports will no longer be able to simply hop on a plane and arrive in most European countries with nothing more than a passport, owing to a policy change that will put an end to nearly two decades of completely open travel to much of Europe.
  • Instead, Hong Kong passport holders will need to apply for a travel authorisation before they travel to the 26 countries that make up the Schengen Area […].
  • The new regulation was approved by the European Commission in July, and the Commission formally established the pretravel screening process, known as the Electronic Travel Information and Authorisation System, to increase security, on October 9. The system will be rolled out for use by travellers in 2021.
  • Hong Kong passport holders will need to log on to the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) website and fill in an online application form with their personal details, which will be automatically crosschecked against international security databases.




  1. India Considering 14-Day Visa Free for Malaysia”, Borneo Post, October 19, 2018
  • India is now considering a 14day visa free single entry for Malaysians, said Human Resource Minister M Kulasegaran yesterday. He said the matter was raised with India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during his visit to New Delhi last week.
  • Kulasengaran in a statement said the Indian minister had agreed to consider the request and would let Malaysia know “as soon as they make a decision on the matter”.




  1. Iran Ends Visa-Free Travel for Serbians”, Tehran Times, October 17, 2018
  • Iran has scrapped visafree entry for Serbian nationals, days after the Balkan country reintroduced visas for Iranians, CHTN reported on Thursday. The practice will be mutually implemented followed by Serbia’s recent suspension of visa waiver for Iranian citizens, the Foreign Ministry’s passport office announced in a statement.
  • On October 10, Serbia announced it would terminate visafree entries for Iranians out of concerns that some may “abuse the system” as an avenue to enter other European states. In August 2017, Serbia abolished visas for Iranians in a move to boost tourism, improve growth and reach out to non-European markets.




  1. Foreign Owners of Existing Projects Can Apply for Jordanian Citizenship”, Roya News, October 17, 2018
  • The Jordanian government is looking to give the Jordanian nationality to foreign owners of prospering projects in Jordan, on the condition that they match certain criteria, on an equal basis with an earlier decision which indicated giving the nationality to new investors in the Kingdom, an official source has said.
  • In February, the government agreed to grant the Jordanian nationality or a permanent residency to new foreign investors, should they meet certain conditions. Fifteen investors were granted the Jordanian nationality since the adoption of the decision. Meanwhile, the JIC is looking into applications for citizenship from 105 more investors.
  • "The required terms and conditions are centered around the size of investment and the total number of Jordanian employees that will be hired through it," the source added.




  1. Malaysia to Reduce Visa Cost for China Tourists”, The Star, October 16, 2018
  • The government will look at ways to reduce the cost of visa for Chinese tourists, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. “The issuance of these visas are done by China and there is a shortfall in the service, which needs to be improved. “We will have to decide on a visa cost, which is not too high, and ways on how to speed up the visa issuance process,” said the Prime Minister when replying to a supplementary question by Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BNAyer Hitam) in Parliament.
  • Dr Mahathir said the drop in Chinese tourists had not only affected Malaysia but other countries. “During their national holidays between Oct 1 and Oct 7, many Chinese travel overseas. “However, many Chinese tourists had also travelled within China,” he said. Dr Mahathir expressed confidence that the number of Chinese tourists to the country would pick up again.




  1. Suchat Sritama, “Ministry Backtracks on Visa Fee Waiver Plan”, Bangkok Post, October 19, 2018
  • The government's plans to exempt tourists from visaon-arrival fees to attract foreign travellers is unlikely to happen this year, according to Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat.
  • He said at a meeting with the private sector on Thursday that Chinese tourists have already finished their travel planning for the high season this year and will resume their overseas trips during Chinese New Year, which falls in early February.
  • Instead of an exemption, the minister has called for the Immigration Office to improve its services by providing better equipment and machines at all entries to facilitate visitors.




  1. House Sales to Foreigners in Turkey Soar After Government Eases Requirements for Citizenship”, Hurriyet Daily News, October 19, 2018
  • Property sales to foreigners in Turkey surged 151.1 percent in September yearon-year, hitting 5,615 units, official data has shown. Data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) showed on Oct. 19 that most house sales were made to Iraqi citizens as they bought 1,351 properties last month.
  • The significant rise in this area came after the government significantly eased the criteria for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship to encourage investment, according to new regulations published in the country’s Official Gazette on Sept. 19. Foreigners who own real estate in Turkey worth a minimum of $250,000, instead of $1 million, can now avail Turkish citizenship.


United Arab Emirates


  1. New Visa Rules to Become Effective in the UAE”, Salaam Gateway, October 17, 2018
  • The UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship announced that its visa system reform will start being rolled out next Sunday, October 21.
  • Three of the measures approved by the government’s Cabinet last June will become effective. One is a twoyear extension option for parent-funded students after completing high school or university courses in the country.
  • Widows and divorced women and their children will also have a chance to extend their residence visas for one year in the event that their husbands should die or that they should become divorced, provided that they were living in the country due to being married.
  • Another new rule is an additional 30day visa made available to tourists once their initial permits expire, without their having to leave the UAE.


  1. Robert Anderson, “UAE, Mexico Announce Visa Waiver”, Gulf Business, October 18, 2018
  • The UAE and Mexico have announced visa exemptions for citizens travelling s to both countries. UAE ambassador to Mexico Ahmed Hatem Al Menhali signed the memorandum with Mexican undersecretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Carlos de Icaza
  • Under the terms, citizens with regular UAE or Mexico passports will be granted visafree entry to each country. “Al Menhali praised the historic occasion and described it as the crowning of their intense bilateral efforts while noting its advantages. He also thanked the Mexican authorities, who contributed to its success,” state news agency WAM reported.




  1. Nguyen Quy, “Vietnam Extends e-Visa Policy for Foreign Tourists Until 2021”, VNExpress, October 20, 2018
  • A policy extension will allow citizens of 46 countries to enter Vietnam for 30 days with evisa until 2021. The Vietnamese government has approved a two-year extension of the pilot e-visa issuance program for foreigners visiting the country.
  • The evisa application scheme was scheduled to expire next February, but has been extended now. Visitors with e-visas can enter the country at any of Vietnam’s eight international airports, including Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City, Noi Bai in Hanoi and Da Nang in the central region. They can also arrive via land at 13 international border gates, and via sea at seven ports across the country.






  1. Belarus, Montenegro to Facilitate Travel Arrangements”, Belarusian Telegraph Agency, October 17, 2018
  • Belarus and Montenegro plan to facilitate travel arrangements. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed the relevant document, Decree No.413 on the signing of the international agreement, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian head of state.
  • In 2009 Belarus and Montenegro signed an intergovernmental agreement envisaging a 30day visa-free entry, exit and stay for citizens of one country on the territory of the other. It is time to update the provisions of the agreement with a view to simplifying travel arrangements between the two countries. The two states will agree on amendments via the exchange of diplomatic notes.




  1. Cyprus: Residential Property Prices Index Rises for Eighth Quarter”, Financial Mirror, October 19, 2018
  • In the second quarter of 2018, the residential property price index, compiled by the CBC (houses and apartments) rose by 0.3% with the index of houses and apartments rising by 0.2% and 0.7% respectively on a quarterly basis. On an annual basis the residential property index rose by 1.7% in Q2 2018.
  • “The real estate sector in Cyprus follows a positive course. The prices show increase which are however moderate except in certain areas,” the CBC said. Residential property prices in Limassol, especially in apartments, showed significant increases for five consecutive quarter notably in the coastal areas where price growth is the largest compared with all other areas of Cyprus.
  • The CBC attributes this significant rise to the fact that; Limassol is the most densely populated district in Cyprus, the Cyprus University of Technology is in the town centre, demand for apartments from Airbnb, the construction of the marina and the decision of the government to operate the island’s main casino there.




  1. Dimitra Manifava, “Golden Visas for Share and Bond Buyers”, Ekathimerini, October 11, 2018
  • The Greek state is set to expand its Golden Visa program for the concession of residence permits to thirdcountry investors in stocks, bonds and bank accounts, and not just real estate, Kathimerini understands.
  • ow people who invest a minimum of 400,000 euros in Greek securities will also earn the right to a fiveyear residence permit for both themselves and their families. The new criteria include the investment of at least the above amount in stocks or corporate bonds in the Greek capital markets (or 800,000 euros in unlisted Greek companies or treasury bills), or the investment of a minimum of 400,000 euros in state bonds of at least three years’ duration through a Greece-based bank, or the investment of a minimum of 400,000 euros in a mutual fund set up in Greece or abroad to invest exclusively in shares and bonds trading in Greece and with total assets of least 3 million euros.




  1. Elaine Edwards, “More Than 62,000 Irish Passports Issued to NI Residents in 2018”, The Irish Times, October 21, 2018
  • Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney confirmed that 62,624 Irish citizens living in the North had been issued with passports in 2018. He was responding last week to a parliamentary question from Louth Fianna Fáil TD Declan Breathnach.
  • Mr Coveney said that while the volume of applications received so far this year showed a slight decrease on last year’s numbers, the overall annual volumes of applications received, and passports issued since the UK referendum on EU membership in June 2016, remained “significantly higher than preceding years”.
  • An individual born abroad is automatically an Irish citizen if one of their parents was an Irish citizen born in Ireland. A person may also claim citizenship through a grandparent born in Ireland or through a parent who was not born in Ireland but who was an Irish citizen at the time of the individual’s birth.




  1. Visa-Free Regime Between Ukraine, Qatar to Come into Force on November 2”, 112. International, October 19, 2018
  • The agreement between the Cabinet of Minister of Ukraine and the government of the State of Qatar on the mutual cancelation of the visa demands come into force on November 2 as Directorate General for consular service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported on Facebook.
  • According to the regulations of the agreement, the citizens of Ukraine who use the Ukrainian foreign passports (both, biometric and not biometric) and the citizens of Qatar who use the usual passport can enter, stay, leave and pass by transit the territory of the state of other side without visa if the continuation of their stay does not exceed 90 days in 180 days term.
  • It is noted that the passports of the travelers should be acting for at least six months since the date of the entering to the territory of another state.


United Kingdom


  1. James Griffiths, “Brexit Deal is 95% Settled, UK’s May to Tell Parliament”, CNN, October 22, 2018
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May will tell lawmakers Monday the "vast majority" of a Brexit deal has been reached with European Union leaders, as she attempts to prove she's making progress in talks amid criticism from all sides at home.
  • According to her prepared remarks, May will say "95 per cent of the withdrawal agreement and its protocols are now settled," with significant progress in "the last three weeks alone."
  • The biggest outstanding problem remains the issue of how to avoid the need to construct new infrastructure along the Irish border. The removal of border posts was crucial to the Good Friday Agreement that ended years of deadly sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.




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