HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 05.11.2018

Nov 05,2018





  1. Aaron Brooks, “Ethiopia Launches Visa-Free Travel for Africans”, The East Africa Monitor, November 5, 2018
  • Ethiopia’s government has launched a visaon-arrival regime for all African citizens, as the country moves to ease travel requirements. The programme will officially start running from November 9, 2018, which sees Ethiopia take one step closer to implementing visa-free travel for all African citizens.
  • Ethiopia is one of Africa’s most populous nations and most promising economies, home to Ethiopian Airlines Group, the continent’s leading airline.




  1. Liberia and UAE sign visa waiver”, Journal du Cameroun, October 29, 2018
  • The Liberian government and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to allow diplomatic passports holders of both countries to enjoy visafree privileges between the two states.
  • According to the MOU, diplomats of both countries will have a visafree entry into either of the two countries, while Liberian service passports holders traveling to the UAE on official duties may be accorded this same privilege.




Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States


  1. LK Hewlett, “OECD position on economic citizenship programmes unreasonable, says OECS”, Caribbean News Now, October 30, 2018
  • Following the recently held 66th meeting of the OECS Authority in St Vincent, current chairman of the OECS, prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, indicated that the matter was discussed by the leaders and certain actions agreed upon.
  • “We had a long discussion and all the arguments have been marshalled to make sure that we take aggressive steps to show the unreasonableness of the OECD position, and at the same time, the countries themselves undertake to look to see areas in their citizenship by investment/resident by investment programmes where there are areas in which there may be any limitations where those can be strengthened. So there was a good and long discussion as you’d expect on a subject like that, particularly consequent upon the OECD statement,” Gonsalves said.


Antigua & Barbuda


  1. Antigua-Barbuda applicants for Canadian visas may now submit biometric data in Barbados”, Caribbean News Now, November 4, 2018
  • Antigua and Barbuda’s nonresident high commissioner to Canada, Sir Ronald Sanders, said that he has been informed by the Canadian government that with effect from Saturday, November 2, 2018, nationals of Antigua and Barbuda may now submit biometric data for visas at the Canadian High Commission in Barbados in addition to Trinidad and Tobago.
  • “The inclusion of Barbados as a location at which biometric data for visas can be delivered, gives Antigua and Barbuda nationals two locations in the region. For business people, this is a better option since, while in Trinidad or Barbados on business, they can call at a Canadian High Commission,” he noted.




  1. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, “Businesses and communities across Canada to benefit from increased immigration”, Government of Canada, October 31, 2018


  1. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, “New Visa Application Centres open in Asia-Pacific, the Americas, Europe and Africa”, Government of Canada, November 2, 2018
  • Canada is expanding its biometrics collection program and is now taking steps to prepare for December 31, 2018, when nationals from countries in Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas will need to give their biometrics (fingerprints and a photo) when applying for a visitor visa, study or work permit, or for permanent residence.
  • As most applicants need to give their biometrics before they come to Canada, the Government of Canada is expanding its worldwide network of Visa Application Centres (VACs) to make services more accessible to a wider audience. Today, new VACs have opened in the following locations: In Asia Pacific: Bali, Indonesia; Melbourne, Australia; In the Americas: Mendoza, Argentina; Porto Alegre and Recife, Brazil; Cali, Colombia; Santiago, Chile; and Bridgetown, Barbados; In Europe: Lyon, France; and Vienna, Austria.
  • By December 31, 2018, there will be 152 VACs in 103 countries, including a new VAC in Antananarivo, Madagascar, and Cape Town, South Africa. More VAC openings will be announced at a later date.




  1. Garwin Davis, “Jamaica Waives Visas for Russian Tourists”, Government of Jamaica, October 29, 2018
  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Russian tourists, entering Jamaica, will no longer be required to use visas.
  • “We have abandoned and abolished visas. You are the last set to arrive in Jamaica with visa restrictions. The next set of Russians to enter Jamaica will not be required to have visas, which will allow them to have the benefit of staying in Jamaica for 90 days,” he noted.
  • Jamaica and Russia have signed a reciprocal agreement to waive the visa requirement for travel to their respective countries. The agreement allows Jamaicans and Russians to spend up to 90 days per year for tourism, cultural exchange or business purposes.




  1. Ruba Haza, “Mexican waiver: Football fans can travel to UAE visa-free”, The National, October 30, 2018
  • The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico have signed a visa-free travel agreement to encourage fans to make the trip from Latin America to the Middle East to support Mexico's Liga MX champions, CD Guadalajara.
  • Aref Al Awani, tournament director of the Local Organising Committee for the FIFA Club World Cup UAE, said that Mexicans are wellknown for their love of football and the new visa waiver will ensure even more passionate Mexican fans can attend the tournament. “We look forward to welcoming even more fans to Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the UAE in December,” said Mr Al Awani.


St. Kitts & Nevis


  1. Jen Schulz, “St Kitts-Nevis, Albania establishes diplomatic ties”, WIC News, October 31, 2018
  • During a ceremony at the St Kitts and Nevis High Commission in London, the High Commissioner of St Kitts and Nevis High Dr Kevin M. Isaac and Albanian Ambassador Qirjako Qirko signed a document to establish stronger collaboration and harmony between the two nations.
  • To expand the Caribbean nation’s global footprint, Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, has worked extensively on the establishment of robust diplomatic ties with foreign nations. The result has been a stronger Federation, as well the betterment of Nevis, the island he has led as Premier since October 2017.


  1. St. Kitts and Nevis, Belarus sign visa waiver agreement”, St. Kitts & Nevis Observer, November 2, 2018
  • An agreement on the mutual abolition of visas was signed here between the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Government of the Republic of Belarus.
  • The Embassy of the former Soviet Republic was the venue for the signing, which represents a concrete expression of both countries’ mutual aspiration to further promote the development of bilateral relations and to encourage and facilitate travel of citizens of and between both countries. Holders of valid passports, of all types, of each country will no longer require a visa to enter or transit through the territory of the other.


St. Lucia


  1. Saint Lucian Applicants for Canadian Visas Can Now Go to Barbados”, St. Lucia News, November 4, 2018
  • St. Lucia’s Ambassador to the United States Anton Edmunds has announced that Saint Lucians can now submit applications for visas at the Canadian High Commission in Barbados, in addition to Trinidad and Tobago.
  • In a media release on Sunday, Nov. 4, Edmunds, who also serves as nonresident High Commissioner to Canada, said: “This is a welcome step, as it gives our nationals options, and indicates a responsiveness by Canada to the Governments of Saint Lucia’s stated concerns about the costs associated with travel to Trinidad & Tobago.”






  1. Imran Mukhtar, “Pakistan Proposes Visa-Free Regime Among Asian States”, The Nation, October 31, 2018
  • Stressing the need for introducing visafree regime among Asian countries, Acting President and Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani has called for taking solid and practical steps to create an Asian Parliament.
  • “We need to move forward by introducing a visafree regime among Asian countries,” the Senate chairman said during his meetings with different delegations on the sidelines of Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA)’s Standing Committee on Political Affairs and Special Committee on Creation of Asian Parliament at Gwadar.
  • Sadiq Sanjrani while welcoming the IPU Secretary General said that excellent cooperation existed between IPU and the Parliament of Pakistan. He praised the technical cooperation between Pakistan and IPU in parliamentary sectors. Sanjrani said that Pakistan desired not only to expand socioeconomic ties with Asian countries but would also propose for a visa-free regime.




  1. Teng Pei-ju, “Uruguay Grants 90-Day Visa Waiver to Taiwanese Visitors”, Taiwan News, November 1, 2018
  • The South American nation Uruguay has given a visa waiver to Taiwanese visitors, announced Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Wednesday. The ministry’s announcement stipulated that, starting Oct. 19, Taiwanese passport holders will enjoy 90day visa-free treatment for traveling to Uruguay.
  • The ministry welcomed the measure introduced by the government of Uruguay and concurred that it will help increase tourism and commercial interactions between the people of the two countries. However, the measure is not yet reciprocal. Uruguayan nationals who wish to visit Taiwan are still required to apply for a visa.




  1. “Over 200 foreign investors apply for Turkish citizenship”, Daily Sabah, November 1, 2018
  • A total of 210 foreign investors have applied for Turkish citizenship after the country eased the process, the Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said yesterday.
  • Turkey revised the requirements for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship to encourage investment. The new regulations were published in the Official Gazette on Sept. 19. In October, the interior ministry had announced that it would open service offices to ease citizenship or longterm residence permit procedures for foreign investors.
  • Soylu said that foreigners who want to be Turkish citizen need to make an investment of $500,000; buy real estate worth $250,000 or create jobs for at least 50 people.


United Arab Emirates


  1. Gillian Duncan, “UAE passport is now the fourth most powerful in the world”, The National, October 31, 2018
  • The UAE passport is now one of the most powerful in the world, according to a new ranking. Arton Capital’s updated Passport Index rates the Emirates as the leading passport in the region, with a score of 162, giving it a passport powerranking category of four.
  • The UAE’s ranking places it in the same league as countries such as Czech Republic and Hungary and above Iceland, New Zealand and Australia, which all have a passport power rank of six in the index. UAE nationals now receive visafree travel to 113 countries and can obtain visas on arrival in a further 49.
  • This year, UAE citizens have gained visafree access to several countries including Ireland, Canada and China.


  1. UAE signs visa waiver agreement with Congo”, Gulf Business, October 31, 2018
  • UAE nationals will no longer need preentry visas to visit Congo in Africa, official news agency WAM reported. The announcement comes after the Emirates signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Congo to exempt Emirati passport holders from prior visa requirements to enter Congo.
  • “We signed an MoU on the mutual exemption of visa requirements, as part of an initiative by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to strengthen the stature of the UAE passport,” said Anwar Gargash, minister of State for Foreign Affairs.






  1. Belarus ratifies visa-free agreement with Georgia”, Belarusian Telegraph Agency, November 1, 2018
  • The Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus approved the ratification of BelarusGeorgia intergovernmental agreement on mutual visa-free trips for the citizens of the two countries on 31 October, BelTA has learned.
  • Belarus' Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Evgeny Shestakov noted that the intergovernmental agreement was signed in Tbilisi on 22 March 2018 during the official visit of the President of Belarus to Georgia and in accordance with his Decree No.113 of 21 March “On the draft international agreement”. This document provides for visafree entry and stay of citizens of Belarus and Georgia on the territory of the signatories for the period not exceeding 90 days in a calendar year from the first day of the entry.




  1. Irish Passport Applications From British Applicants Skyrocket”, BBC, October 30, 2018
  • The number of British applications for an Irish passport has boomed following the UK's vote to leave the European Union. Some UK residents are entitled to an Irish passport if their parents or grandparents were born in Ireland.
  • In 2015, the year before the Brexit vote, more than 46,000 applications were lodged from Britain excluding Northern Ireland. By the end of 2017 that number had nearly doubled to 81,000.
  • In the first five months of this year, almost 45,000 British people had requested an Irish passport, according to figures from Neale Richmond, Chair of the Irish Senate's Brexit committee. London's Irish embassy has issued more than 176,000 since 2016 more than 10 times that of any other office.




  1. Matthew Vella, “‘Passport rich’ shell out €3.9 million for Maltese charity”, Malta Today, October 31, 2018
  • Over 100 registered NGOs have benefitted from a total 624 donations from buyers of the Maltese passport under the Individual Investor Programme. The value of all donations amounts to some €3.8 million, according to updated data from the parliamentary secretariat for reforms and citizenship.
  • “Donations are given on a voluntary basis,” the parliamentary secretariat told MaltaToday. “The choice of beneficiaries and donation amount is totally at the discretion of the applicants. The IIP Agency is only informed about the donations made for information purposes only. It is testimony to the rich benefits the country reaps from the IIP scheme.”




  1. Russian, Chinese Government Heads to Discuss Visa-Free Exchange”, Trend News Agency, October 30, 2018
  • The Russian and Chinese government heads will discuss visafree regime for representatives for the Russia-Chinese cultural and humanitarian cooperation soon, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said on Tuesday, TASS
  • Golikova arrived to Beijing ahead of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to China, which will take place on November 57.




  1. Visa-Free Travel with Qatar to Fully Operate from Nov 2”, Interfax Ukraine, November 1, 2018
  • Ukraine and Qatar have completed all the formalities for a start of a fullfledged visa-free regime on November 2, 2018, Interior Minister of Ukraine Arsen Avakov has said.
  • As reported, on March 20, 2018, an agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of the State of Qatar on the mutual abolition of visa requirements was signed in the wake of talks between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
  • The agreement stipulates that citizens of Ukraine and citizens of the State of Qatar who use passports for traveling abroad valid for at least six months from the date of entry into the state of the other Party may enter, leave, transit and stay without a visa on its territory for up to 90 days within 180 days.






  1. Australians to be Fast-Tracked Through UK Immigration From 2019”, ABC News, October 30, 2018
  • Chancellor to the Exchequer Philip Hammond made the surprise announcement when delivering the UK's budget at the House of Commons, saying those with electronicallyenabled passports will be able to pass through e-gates at airports.
  • "We'll open the use of ePassport gates at Heathrow and other airports, currently only available to EEA nationals, to include visitors from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan," Mr Hammond said.
  • The move is widely seen as a move to strengthen ties with the five countries as Britain transitions out of the European Union from March 29 next year.




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