HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 06.05.2019

May 06,2019





  1. Wanga Gwede, “US says it has not added Malawi on visa waiver: Embassy dismiss fake news”, Nyasa Times, May 3, 2019
  • Malawian citizens travelling to the United States of America must apply for and receive a visa prior to travel, the US Embassy in Lilongwe has advised after dismissing as fake news circulating on social media that Malawi has been added on list of countries whose citizens are exempted from entering the country on a visa.
  • “The US Embassy has seen false reports that Malawian citizens will no longer require visa for temporary travel to the United States. These reports are untrue. While we welcome visitors to the United States, Malawian citizens travelling to the United States must apply for and receive a visa prior to travel,” reads a statement posted on Twitter and Facebook.


South Africa


  1. African countries urged to streamline tourist visa regimes”, Xinhua, May 4, 2019
  • South African president Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday urged African countries to streamline tourist visa regimes to attract more tourists. African countries must reduce the onerous and often unnecessary bureaucratic red tape that tourists who want to visit African countries face, Ramaphosa said at Africa's Travel Indaba 2019 […].
  • "We are committed to working towards the African Union's goal of visa free travel and a single African air transport market," he said.
  • The South African government is in the process of radically overhauling its visa dispensation for the rest of the world and introducing a world class e-visa system, Ramaphosa said.






  1. Aidan Macnab, “New program will train immigration and citizenship consultants”, Canadian Lawyer Magazine, May 2, 2019
  • The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council named Queen’s the sole accredited English-language provider of the graduate diploma program and Queen’s will jointly develop the program with the Université de Sherbrooke, which will offer the program in French.
  • The program will launch in both schools in 2021. The 66-week program of nine courses will be primarily online and include courses on immigration law, ethics and how to run an immigration or citizenship consultancy business. The program is intended to prepare students to write the ICCRC’s entry-to-practice exam.
  • In the budget bill proposed by the federal government on April 8, the Liberals included the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants Act, which would create a licensing regime for the immigration consultant industry — similar to the law societies that regulate the legal profession.


  1. Nicholas Keung, “Immigration key to Canada’s economic growth, study says”, The Toronto Star, May 3, 2019
  • With one in four people anticipated to be 65 or older in 2040 and a continuing low birth rate, Canada will need to rely heavily on immigration for its labour force if the country wants to maintain its social infrastructure and healthy growth, according to the report released by the Conference Board of Canada on Friday.
  • Between 2018 and 2040, 11.8 million Canadians will finish school and enter the workforce, but it’s still far short of the 13.4 million workers retiring during the period.
  • “Immigration, however, will be among the most formative policy measures to grow the Canadian labour force and economy,” said the Conference Board.




  1. Top UK firm finds Dominica’s CBI programme poses no risk to facilitating tax evasion”, WIC News, April 29, 2019
  • Dominica is at the forefront of a new report released this month by Smith & Williamson, a UK-based financial services firm. […] It concludes that there is no negative impact either on Dominica or on jurisdictions that had taxed the individual prior to his becoming an economic citizen.
  • “Smith & Williamson believe that citizenship by investment does not present a risk to facilitating tax evasion, as citizenship alone is insufficient to secure tax residency of a country and, subject to an existing double taxation treaty, an individual is only liable to tax in countries where they are tax resident,” note the authors.
  • Smith & Williamson illustrates this point by analysing the prospects of a dual UK-Dominican tax resident and Dominican citizen: “Citizenship of Dominica would not have any detrimental impact on UK tax that can be collected and, even if the individual were to also become a tax resident of Dominica, it could expose them to double taxation on their income, which could not be mitigated under the domestic tax laws of the jurisdictions involved.”


United States


  1. Najia S. Khalid et al., “E-Visas Available for Israeli Nationals Beginning May 2019”, The National Law Review, April 30, 2019
  • Effective May 1, 2019, E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor visa categories will become available for Israeli nationals.
  • Israeli traders and investors will now be able to apply for E-Visa status to further trade, commerce, and investment in the U.S., and U.S. citizens will be able to apply for visas to do the same in Israel. Unlike H-1B visas, there is no annual quota for E-visas, making them available at any time of the year.






  1. Matthew Bossons, “New Visa-Free Transit Policy Launches in Guangdong”, That’s, May 2, 2019
  • New transit visa rules went into effect in Guangdong yesterday, according to GD Today, with travelers from 53 countries now able to enjoy six days of visa-free exploration when entering China at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport or Jieyang Chaoshan International Airport.
  • To qualify for the 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy, travelers must have a valid passport and onward ticket to a third country. Also, once approved, visitors will be expected to stay within Guangdong province.




  1. Fine for Foreigners Who Overstay in Indonesia Raised to IDR 1 Million Per Day Starting This Month”, Coconuts Jakarta, May 2, 2019
  • A new regulation from Indonesia’s Directorate General of Immigration Ministry of Law and Human Rights went into effect yesterday requiring that foreign nationals who overstay in Indonesia be fined IDR1 million (US$70) per day, up from the previous fine of IDR 300,000 per day.
  • “The reason is to create a deterrent effect to foreigners who violate [Indonesia’s immigrations laws]. We felt that the previous amount of fine [for the overstay foreigners], IDR300,000, didn’t give enough deterrent effect for them,” said Agung Sampurno, the Directorate General of Immigration’s Public Relations and Data chief, said on Tuesday […].
  • Nationals from 169 countries can currently visit Indonesia visa-free for 30 days, while those from another 61 countries can apply for a Visa on Arrival (VoA) for 61 other.


  1. Predeep Nambiar, “Penang wants visa on arrival for tourists from China, India”, Free Malaysia Today News, May 2, 2019
  • A Penang executive council member said the federal government should introduce visa-on-arrival (VOA) facilities for tourists from China and India landing at the Penang International Airport in a move to tap into the lucrative tourist market.
  • He said while there were direct flights from China to Penang, the lack of VOA has showed some Chinese tourists shying away from the state.
  • “Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia allow VOA for visitors from China. I urge the government and relevant ministries to help us so we can compete with our neighbours,” he said in his winding-up speech at the state assembly here today.




  1. Macau and neighbour Hengqin eyes visa exemption for foreigners”, GGR Asia, May 2, 2019
  • Macau and its mainland neighbour Hengqin Island will strive to push for a visa-free regime for foreigners wishing to visit the latter, reported several Chinese-language media outlets.
  • “We are actually proposing whether some arrangement like 72-hour visa-free transit can be done for those international visitors that wish to travel to Hengqin. In that way, it gives the visitors more flexibility in planning their trips in Macau and Hengqin,” [Wong Fai, president of Macau Leisure Tourism Services Innovation Association] explained to us.
  • A proposal to develop Hengqin as a tourism island, and so complement neighbouring Macau’s tourism effort, was approved by China’s State Council in April.




  1. Azura Abas, “Malaysia not included in US Visa Waiver Programme”, New Straits Times, May 2, 2019
  • Malaysians planning to visit the United States are still required to apply for visas, Foreign Ministry said today. The ministry, in a statement today, said an online article, titled “US adds Jamaica, 9 other Countries to its Visa Waiver Programme” via news link, had wrongly included Malaysia in the programme.
  • “To date, there has been no change in the status of the Visa Waiver Programme for Malaysians,” said the ministry.




  1. Joey Aguilar, “Visa-free entry during Summer in Qatar”, Gulf Times, May 4, 2019
  • Families, relatives and friends of Qatar residents will have the opportunity to visit the country visa-free during the ‘Summer in Qatar’ festival, Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) secretary-general and Qatar Airways GCEO HE Akbar al-Baker has said.
  • “Citizens and residents of Qatar can bring, invite their relatives and friends, any other guests hassle-free into the country during the summer festival,” he added.




  1. Teng Pei-ju, “Russian airlines to open regular direct flights to Taiwan”, Taiwan News, May 6, 2019
  • Two Russian airlines, S7 Airlines and Royal Flight, will launch direct flights between Russia and Taiwan at the end of May, Taiwan’s aviation authorities said on Monday (May 6).
  • S7 Airlines, also known as PJSC Siberia Airlines, will open regular flights between Vladivostok, an eastern city of Russia, and Taoyuan International Airport starting May 24. Royal Flight will open its weekly direct flight between Moscow and Taiwan from May 25. The flight will be operated by a Boeing 767-300 model.
  • The new routes reflect the government’s plans to attract tourists from “high-latitude countries,” reported Central News Agency. Currently, the Taiwan government grants 14-day visa-waiver treatment to Russian passport holders traveling to Taiwan. The trial program began on September 6, 2018 and will last through July 31 this year.




  1. Santosh Patnaik, “Thailand extends visa-on-arrival fee waiver till October 31”, The Hindu, April 30, 2019
  • Tourist arrivals to Thailand […] is expected to zoom further with the Royal Thai Government deciding to extend the waiver of visa-on-arrival fee of THB 2,000 (4,380) up to October 31.
  • The visa-on-arrival fee exemption is applicable to India and 20 other countries. The last date, which was scheduled to end on April 30, was initially offered for travel from November 15, 2018 to March 31, 2019.
  • After the waiver, on an average the foreign tourist arrival per month is hovering around 3.8 million after the authorities found that there was a dip in tourists from China, India, America, Sri Lanka and other countries.


United Arab Emirates


  1. Cuba, UAE sign bilateral visa waiver agreements”, Xinhua, April 30, 2019
  • Cuba and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on mutual visa exemptions, according to Cuban local media.
  • The MoU was signed by Cuban Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Anayansi Rodriguez and UAE's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Yacoub Yousef Hassan Al Hosani, said the Cuban News Agency (ACN). Before signing the memorandum, Rodriguez reiterated Cuba's willingness to develop bilateral ties and strengthen cooperation with the UAE during her meeting with Al Hosani, who is on a work visit to Havana, said the ACN.


  1. Government of Dubai, “Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship starts granting entrepreneurs five-year residency visa”, Government of Dubai Media Office, May 1, 2019
  • To be eligible for the visa, entrepreneurs should have a former business that is worth a minimum of AED500,000 or has the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country. He should also have obtained insurance coverage for him and his family for the entire period of his residency.
  • The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship can also grant a five-year visa to three executive directors working for the entrepreneur, provided they commit to working exclusively for the entrepreneur during the period of the visa. Entrepreneurs will be allowed entry into the country on a six-month multi-entry visa as part of support provided to them to complete procedures to set up their business.


  1. Anwar Ahmad, “Long-term UAE residency visas for expatriates in five new job categories announced”, Gulf News, May 5, 2019
  • The long-term residency visas for expatriates from five select categories has come into force, permitting them to stay in the UAE for up to 10 years, a top official of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship announced in the capital Wednesday.
  • Major-General Saeed Rakan Al Rashedi, Director-General for Foreigners Affairs and Ports, said, “Today we announce the launch of new services in the field of residency, implementing the UAE Cabinet Decision No. 56 for the year 2018. It grants long-term stay in the country to investors, real estate investors, entrepreneurs, talented people like doctors, researchers, innovators and outstanding students.”
  • Applicants under all these five categories — including outstanding students — will be granted a renewable residency visa and will be permitted to sponsor their spouses and children.


  1. Mariam M. Al Serkal, “Now, visa exemption for travellers between Peru and UAE”, Gulf News, May 5, 2019
  • The UAE and the Republic of Peru have signed a mutual visa waiver for travellers between nationals of the two countries.
  • The agreement was announced on Sunday, and signed at the headquarters of the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs […].
  • According to a tweet posted by the UAE Embassy at the capital city of Lima, the visa exemption seeks to facilitate human mobility, boost tourism and strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.






  1. Scramble for Cypriot passports as tighter rules loom”, Cyprus Mail, April 30, 2019
  • Foreign nationals are reportedly scrambling to acquire Cypriot passports via the citizenship-by-investment scheme, ahead of tighter criteria kicking in on May 15. According to daily Phileleftheros, the rush will likely result in prematurely reaching the ceiling of 700 naturalizations granted per year.
  • Citing the ‘Cyprus Real Estate Market Report’ by KPMG, the paper said the uptick in applications was especially noted in the last quarter of 2018, when purchases of properties valued at €1m and above increased by 27 per cent compared to the last quarter of 2017.
  • Although the new criteria for the scheme start applying on May 15, it is possible that a slight extension may be granted to certain applicants – for instance those who already possess a bill of sale for a property but have not managed to file all the required paperwork by that deadline.


United Kingdom


  1. Jon Fingas, “UK government starts accepting Apple Pay and Google Pay”, Engadget, May 5, 2019
  • The UK government now supports Apple Pay and Google Pay for a handful of online services as part of a trial.
  • Right now, it's primarily useful for travel. You can use your mobile device to quickly pay for Global Entry (fast-tracking entry to the US), the Registered Traveller Service (for frequent non-EU visitors to the UK), the Electronic Visa Waiver Service (for some Middle Eastern visitors to the UK).
  • Officials expect to spread payments among other, more "central" government services as well as local government, health care and the police.






  1. Passport sales booming in Vanuatu”, Radio New Zealand, May 2, 2019
  • The monthly number of Vanuatu passports sale more than doubled from September to October last year, and have remained at nearly that level ever since.
  •  Based on government figures, the Daily Post reported that an estimated 1,800 passports were issued to people via Vanuatu's various citizenship by investment programmes in 2018.
  • Foreigners are able to pay for Vanuatu citizenship, which in turn allows them to apply for a Vanuatu passport.




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