HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 09.04.2019

Apr 09,2019





  1. Mutala Yakubu, “Ghana and Malta visa waiver deal is for only diplomatic passports holders- Foreign Affairs Ministry”, Prime News Ghana, April 6, 2019
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs have moved swiftly to quash some media reportage concerning the Ghana, Malta visa waiver deal and have explained that it only applies to holders of diplomatic and service passports on official duties and not the general public.
  • The Ministry issued a statement on Friday, April 5, 2019, and explained that the agreement will, however, come into force after both countries have been notified on the existing national legal procedures involved.






  1. Ava Turnquest, “Grounds For Refusal Of Citizenship Expanded”, Tribune 242, April 4, 2019
  • The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill 2018 features expanded grounds for the refusal of citizenship under the constitution, and registration and naturalisation under the law to include terrorism, human and drug trafficking, as well as gang-related activities. #Activities that are against the interests of national security and public policy are also included as proposed grounds for refusal.
  • While existing clauses concerning the renunciation and deprivation of citizenship are re-enacted, it is now required to notify people who are being deprived, and mandates an inquiry be held before the decision is carried out.
  • The new bill also proposes to establish a new regime of appeals for the Immigration Department.




  1. Jonathan Bell, “Brown: update on Canadian visa requirements”, The Royal Gazette, April 4, 2019
  • Canada unveiled the new requirements last year, meaning that local residents carrying any type of British passport, including British Dependent Territories Citizens, would be required to submit fingerprints and a photograph with their applications after December 31. The biometric information would have to be renewed once every ten years.
  • However, Bermuda has no facilities to take biometric information, meaning locals would have to travel to the United States to provide the data.
  • The [Walton Brown, the Minister for the Cabinet Office] said: “The Bermuda Government has stepped in and is currently in discussions with the Canadian Consulate in Bermuda to address the issue of Bermudians having to travel to the US to collect the biometric data.”




  1. Six Senses La Sagesse to launch under the Grenada citizenship programme for international investors”, Caribbean News Now, April 5, 2019
  • Currently, one of the best investment opportunities in Grenada is the exclusive Six Senses La Sagesse Grenada project.
  • Six Senses La Sagesse Grenada is the result of a partnership between Range Developments, an award-winning developer of ultra-luxury resorts in the Caribbean, and Harvey Law Group (HLG), a leading multinational business and immigration law firm, as well as the strategic partner with exclusivity for Southeast Asia. The project was officially given approved project status March 15, 2019, by the government of Grenada.
  • Investing in a share of the exclusive Six Senses La Sagesse is currently priced at US$220,000, allowing the investor to take advantage of a seven-night annual complimentary stay at the resort and an investment in an up and coming hospitality brand with a unique concept. The investment will entitle the investor and their families to apply for lifetime citizenship and a passport from Grenada, with the passport passable through generations.




Hong Kong


  1. HKSAR, Belarus to mutually extend visa-free period”, Xinhua, April 8, 2019
  • The Immigration Department of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government announced Monday a mutual extension of visa-free period with Belarus.
  • The period of visa-free entry for HKSAR passport holders to Belarus will be extended from up to 14 days to 30 days with effect from April 10. Likewise, the visa-free period for passport holders of Belarus to visit HKSAR will be extended from 14 days to 30 days with effect from the same date.




  1. Iraq gives Iranians Visas Free of Charge”, MENA FN, April 3, 2019
  • Iraq on Monday began issuing entry visa for Iranians free of charge in a reciprocal move under a deal reached three weeks ago. As of Monday, Iranians travelling to Iraq could obtain visa free of charge.
  • The Iraqi cabinet of ministers said the decision that took effect on April 1 has been made as a reciprocal move which had been agreed upon during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's recent visit to Iraq.




  1. Panel approves giving citizenship to 4,000 people”, Kuwait Times, April 8, 2019
  • The National Assembly’s legal and legislative committee yesterday passed a draft law calling on the government to grant Kuwaiti citizenship to up to 4,000 people during the current year.
  • The bill gives the government flexibility on the number of people it wants to naturalize, as it does not oblige it to grant citizenship to the total number.
  • The Assembly has been passing such laws every year for more than a decade as a means of assisting the government to resolve the decades-old problem of 120,000 stateless people known here as bedoons.




  1. Supreme Court stays govt circular allowing citizenship by descent”, The Himalayan Times, April 9, 2019
  • The Supreme Court today stayed the implementation of the home ministry’s recent circular that ordered all 77 district administration offices to issue citizenship by descent to the children of citizens by birth.
  • A single bench of Justice Purushottam Bhandari issued the stay order till April 16 when both sides will present their arguments. Neupane had sought an interim order saying that it was unlawful for the home ministry to issue the circular, as a citizenship bill was under consideration in the Parliament.
  • The constitution allows the children of citizens by birth to obtain Nepali citizenship by descent, yet they have not been able to obtain their citizenship due to non-enactment of a new federal citizenship law. It’s been an agonising wait for the children of citizens by birth as they are unable to get enrolled in education institutions, open bank accounts, obtain driving licences and avail of formal sector employment opportunities due to lack of citizenship.




  1. Abdul Kerimkhanov, “China, Uzbekistan negotiating to further simplify visa regime”, Azer News, April 5, 2019
  • Chinese Ambassador Jiang Yan said that China and Uzbekistan are negotiating to further simplify the visa regime, reports. In recent years, bilateral relations between Uzbekistan and China have been developing rapidly.
  • “At the moment, the parties are still holding consultations in order to conclude new agreements as soon as possible to further simplify the issuance of visas for each other. […]” said the Chinese Ambassador.
  • Visa facilitation is taking place in Uzbekistan as part of the concept of development of the tourism sector until 2025. As part of this concept, tourism is planned to be transformed into a strategic sector of the economy of Uzbekistan.






  1. Annie Charalambous, “Citizenship applications on the rise”, In Cyprus, April 8, 2019
  • Private sector offices providing such services under licence by the Ministry of Finance confirm that applications have risen in the first months of 2019. They attribute this to the fact that criteria for acquiring a citizenship will become stricter as a result of changes due to come into effect on May 15.
  • As Phileleftheros has already announced, public tenders will open soon for a specialised foreign firm to carry out due diligence and background checks for each and every application.




  1. New security measures may cause delays at airports across Greece”, Greek City Times, April 4, 2019
  • As of Sunday, April 7, a new security measure will be implemented in Greek airports for travellers entering or leaving the Schengen zone, which may cause delays. The EU Regulation 2017/458, which requires systematic checks against relevant databases for all European citizens traveling to/from Non-Schengen destinations, will come into force in Greece’s airports by the Greek police.
  • The EU regulation requires the passports of passengers travelling outside the Schengen zone to be scanned and cross checked against international and national databases when arriving and leaving airports in Europe.


  1. Validity of ESTA applications for Greeks extended to two years”, Ekathimerini, April 4, 2019
  • The United States has extended the validity of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), an online system that is part of the US waiver program, to two years, meaning that Greek citizens can now travel to the US within two years of the issuance of the permit.
  • Until now, the US had issued ESTA permits to Greek citizens traveling under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) that were valid for one year.




  1. Record Number of Russians Want to Emigrate – Gallup”, The Moscow Times, April 4, 2019
  • A record one-fifth of Russians would like to leave the country if they could, a threefold increase from five years ago, the Gallup pollster said Thursday. Public polling inside Russia has indicated in recent years that between 17 and 20 percent of Russians were willing to migrate. Official data, which has been criticized for downplaying immigration figures, says Russia’s emigration numbers have reached a six-year record.
  • The share of Russians seeking to move permanently to another country had never passed Gallup’s 17-percent high in 2007, the U.S. pollster’s results say. However, this number has grown steadily over the past five years, tripling from 7 percent in 2014 to 20 percent in 2018. An “unprecedented” 44 percent of young Russians between ages 15 and 29 voiced the desire to leave.
  • Russian respondents named Germany or the United States as their most-desired destinations at 15 and 12 percent respectively. Japan, Canada and Spain shared the third spot, with 5 percent of hopeful immigrants each.



  1. Juan Diego Quesada, “Why wealthy families from Beijing are buying up apartments in Madrid”, El Pais, April 9, 2019
  • Known formally as the Law to Support Entrepreneurs and their Internationalization, this piece of Spanish legislation offers foreigners residency if they invest more than €500,000 in real estate.
  • In the past six years, the number of golden visas handed out has grown non-stop. In 2018, there were 16,029 requests, of which 12,634 were granted, according to information provided by the Permanent Immigration Observatory in Spain. Many Chinese clients also buy property because they hold the Spanish education system in high esteem, says [Long Fang Hu]. “Chinese [clients] ask for two- or three-bedroom apartments near good schools and universities. That really interests them,” he explains.


United Kingdom


  1. Brexit: EU agrees three-month visa waiver for Britons”, BBC, April 4, 2019
  • The European Union has agreed in principle that British citizens visiting the EU for short periods after Brexit will not need a visa. The three-month visa waiver would apply whether or not there is a Brexit deal. However it would be conditional on the UK granting the same rights to EU citizens in return.
  • The European Parliament approved the law on Thursday, meaning it will come into effect once EU states have given it the final sign-off. The final draft includes the description of Gibraltar as a "colony of the British Crown" in a footnote.


  1. Tom Metcalf, “Wealthy Chinese Still Beating Path to U.K. Even With Brexit Woes”, Bloomberg, April 8, 2019
  • Chinese applications for Tier 1 investor visas rose 19 percent to 144 in 2018 from a year earlier, according to data obtained from the Home Office by private equity firm Growthdeck. The number applying has almost doubled since 2016, when the U.K. voted to leave the European Union.
  • Chinese comprised 63 percent of the 228 applications last year, up from half in 2017, according to Growthdeck. Hong Kong was second with 26.
  • Far from dissuading wealthy Chinese migrants, the uncertainty may have encouraged applications.






  1. Frank Chung, “Immigration cuts and regional visas to ease strain on Sydney and Melbourne”,, April 3, 2019
  • In its announcement, the government said the cumulative reduction of 120,000 permanent migration places over four years was “designed to reduce pressure on Australia’s major cities” as more infrastructure is put in place “to manage long-term population growth and settlement across Australia”.
  • The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa and the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa, which replace the existing 187 and 489 visa subclasses, will allow skilled migrants to live and work in regional Australia for five years. The new visas include a pathway to permanent residency at the end of three years. In 2022, a permanent residence visa for regional Australia will be introduced.


  1. Vivek Kumar, “Ten points for those who do not have spouse or partners: New visa points system”, SBS, April 9, 2019
  • According to the Migration Amendment (New Skilled Regional Visas) Regulations 2019, three new visas have been introduced to 'assist regional Australia.'
  • The explanatory statement issued by the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs states, "The amendments introduce a revised points system for the subclass 491 visa as well as existing General Skilled Migration visas.”
  • "New system offers ten extra points for applicants who do not have a spouse or partner. Earlier applicants with partners had the edge over singles as they could claim extra points on their partner's skills," says Ms Chaman Preet of Melbourne-based Migration and Education Expert.




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