HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 20.05.2019

May 20,2019



  1. Hudson Kuteesa, “Open visa policy in Africa is not a security risk – experts”, The New Times, May 19, 2019
  • Experts have said that many countries in Africa can gain more by opening up their borders to visitors. They advised the countries to emulate Rwanda’s open visa policy, which has allowed issuing visas to all citizens of the world on arrival in the country since 2018. Since January 1, 2018, all visitors to Rwanda started to get a 30day visa upon arrival without prior application.
  • Dr. Pierre Claver Rutayisire, an expert in demography and a lecturer of Migration and Spatial Mobility at the African Centre of Excellence in Data Science, was one of the keynote speakers. He looked at the migration policies of African countries, pointing out the need for them to come up with friendly policies.
  • For him, Rwanda’s open visa policy is a good move, despite the fact that people may link the open visa with insecurity, especially in regard to international terrorism threat that is coming up now. However, noting that Rwanda hasn’t registered cases of international terrorism as a result of the openvisa policy, Rutayisire believes that the policy poses no problems.


South Africa


  1. South Africans moving to Portugal on a "green" visa”, Personal Finance, May 14, 2019
  • The Green Visa is a new investment category just launched by the Portuguese government as part of its Golden Resident Permit Programme (GRPP). The GRPP, also known as the Portugal Golden Visa, is a residencyby-investment programme that allows non-EU citizens to make a capital investment into Portugal and receive a five-year residency visa. With this visa, you and your family can live in Portugal and travel visa-free throughout the European Schengen Area.
  • To be eligible for a Green Visa you need to make an investment of €500,000 in environmental projects. These projects can range from nonintensive organic agriculture and ecotourism schemes, to renewable energies and other environmental initiatives.
  • According to statistics released by the Portuguese Immigration Services in January this year, over 7,000 investors have been issued with a Golden Visa since the programme’s launch in 2012. South Africa is currently placed in fourth position with a total of 276 Golden Visas granted.






  1. Population growth in Maritimes fastest in decades, study says”, CBC, May 14, 2019
  • A new study says the population of the three Maritime provinces is growing at its fastest pace in decades, thanks mainly to immigration and a reduced outflow to Alberta.
  • Prince Edward Island, which has been boasting about its redhot economy, reported the fastest growth at two per cent year-over-year. The independent think tank says Nova Scotia's population grew by one per cent, and New Brunswick recorded a boost of 0.5 per cent — the highest increase for the province since the early 1990s.
  • Atlantic Canada's population is older, on average, than the rest of Canada and continues to age more quickly. There are now more Atlantic seniors than children and teenagers.


  1. Teresa Wright, “Immigration Minister Hussen axes ‘safe country’ program as new stats show asylum claims have tripled”, The Globe and Mail, May 17, 2019
  • Asylumseekers from a list of 42 countries deemed safe – such as the United States and most of Europe – were put through an expedited claims process. They were subject to a six-month bar on work permits and had limited access to the federal health program for refugees. If their asylum claims were rejected, they could not appeal the decision to the refugee appeal division, as is the case for claimants from countries that aren’t on the list. The premise was that people from those countries were less likely to be genuine victims of persecution.
  • Mr. Hussen announced on Friday that Canada is removing all countries from the “designated country of origin” (DCO) list. “The designatedcountry-of-origin policy not only failed to improve the efficiency of the asylum system, it compromised the principle that all people should be treated equally, regardless of nationality,” Mr. Hussen said in a statement. “The elimination of this policy is another step to restore fairness to the system to allow Canada to continue to offer protection to the world’s most vulnerable.”
  • Several Federal Court decisions have ruled elements of the DCO policy violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.




  1. Dominica establishes diplomatic relations; signs visa waiver agreement with Ukraine”, Dominica News Online, May 17, 2019
  • On the 15th of May 2019, the Commonwealth of Dominica concluded the signing of a Visa Waiver Agreement with Ukraine at a brief ceremony at the Dominica High Commission in London.
  • Preceding the signing of the visa waiver agreement, a joint communique establishing diplomatic relations between the Commonwealth of Dominica and Ukraine was signed on the 25th of April during a brief ceremony at the Embassy of Ukraine by the two diplomatic envoys.


  1. World Bank offers Dominica $27 million for geo-energy”, Caribbean New Now, May 17, 2019
  • Dominica reached a new milestone in its feat to become “the world’s first climateresilient nation,” when prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit and the World Bank regional director Tahseen Khan signed a financing agreement earlier this month worth US$27 million.
  • The World Bank funding, along with sponsorship from the citizenship by investment programme (CBI), Dominica Housing and others, will go towards developing a 7MW geothermal plant on the island.
  • “The signing of this agreement is another milestone in our quest to develop the geothermal potential of Dominica,” Skerrit explained, as he stressed the need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.




  1. IMF: Grenada has strong economic growth”, The New Today, May 18, 2019
  • The Washingtonbased International Monetary Fund (IMF) has once again given a good grade to the Keith Mitchell-led government in St. George’s for its handling of the Grenadian economy. In its Article IV assessment of the island, the IMF in its report revealed that Grenada continues to have a strong economic growth and fiscal performance after completing the three years of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).
  • The IMF team, led by Senior Economist, Bogdan Lissovolik was in Grenada from April 25 to May 8, 2019 to meet with government leader, private sector and Nongovernmental Organisations.
  • “We call it a virtuous circle, whereby the good output performance helps to improve the fiscal position, which in turn is anchored by the fiscal responsibility. We assess the estimate of GDP growth of 2018 was 4.2%, it was somewhat lower than the previous year, where it was about 5%. But it is still a number that is significantly higher than what we access, as longterm potential of Grenada, and also much higher than the long-term potential in the broader Caribbean region,” he said.


St. Kitts & Nevis


  1. Taiwan strengthens St Kitts-Nevis socio-economic development”, Caribbean News Now, May 17, 2019
  • Last week, Mark Brantley, St Kitts and Nevis’ minister of foreign affairs and premier of Nevis, headed a delegation to Taiwan where he met with President Tsai Ingwen. It is minister Brantley’s third trip to Taiwan after Prime Minister Timothy Harris visited in April.
  • Tsai highlighted the strong bilateral partnership between Taiwan and St Kitts and Nevis, emphasising the importance of international diplomacy: “Our relationship has grown from strength to strength and we continue to achieve amazing things together.” She also highlighted that more St Kitts and Nevis citizens are welcome to benefit from higher education opportunities through the MOFA Taiwan Scholarship programme.
  • Building bridges – and visafree access – with approximately 150 countries and territories is what St Kitts and Nevis has been focusing on ever since gaining independence in 1983. Despite being one of the smallest countries in the Western Hemisphere, its passport strength is ranked 26th worldwide and remains the strongest in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).


United States


  1. Laura D. Francis, “Sixteen-Year Visa Wait Keeping Chinese Investors Away From U.S.”, Bloomberg Law, May 14, 2019
  • A Chinese national applying today for a U.S. immigrant investor visa may not get one until 2035 at the earliest.
  • ith more than 34,000 applicants in line for the roughly 10,000 EB5 visas available each year—not counting the nearly 39,000 whose applications haven’t yet been approved—the average wait isn’t much better for the handful of other countries facing backlogs. Indian nationals are looking at 8.4 years, and for Vietnamese, it’s 7.6 years, Charles Oppenheim, chief of the State Department’s Immigrant Visa Control & Reporting Division, said at a recent conference hosted by an EB-5 advocacy group.
  • Chinese investors, who for years have made up the lion’s share of EB5 applicants, are still seeing the biggest wait times despite surges from nationals of Vietnam and India. Currently, 32,169 Chinese nationals are in line for an EB-5 visa, and another estimated 17,368 are waiting for their petitions to be approved.


  1. David Biller, “Latin Americans Emerge as Source in EB-5 Program”, Globe St, May 16, 2019
  • For Brazilians, the number of visas from the program, known as EB5, rose tenfold from 2015 to 2018 as Latin America’s largest economy struggled to emerge from a crushing recession. Venezuela’s total jumped as it spiraled deeper into hyperinflation. For Mexico, the increase coincided with left-wing populist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s successful presidential campaign. All three countries have also suffered surges in violent crime.
  • The number of EB5 visas issued annually to Latin Americans looks likely to surpass 2,000 within the next three years — double the total in 2018 […].





  1. Kallol Bhattacherjee, “Iran, India discuss visa extension”, The Hindu, May 16, 2019
  • Two days after the visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, India held the 11th Consular Committee Meeting with Iran on Thursday which dealt with smoothening visa and legal matters essential for bilateral ties.
  • Iran at present provides visaon-arrival to Indian travellers which is given as a paper visa. Iranian visas are also given to Indians online and through missions.
  • Iran has been conducting talks with various countries for bilateral visa arrangements to help facilitate smooth travel as the country is facing international sanctions that can potentially affect the free movement of business travellers. India provides evisa facilities to Iranian travellers. It is understood that Iran wishes longer duration e-visas from India.




  1. Thai tourism council proposes measures to long stays, visa on arrivals to boost tourism”, Xinhua, May 15, 2019
  • The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) has proposed alternative measures on long stays and visa on arrivals to the Immigration Bureau to further boost tourism in Thailand, Thai media Prachachat reported on Wednesday.
  • TCT President Chairat Trirattanajarasporn said he met with deputy commissioner of the Immigration Bureau Nathapol Sawaengkit on Tuesday to discuss issues concerning tourist safety, crossborder tourism and the recent incentive of long stays and fee exemptions for visa on arrivals valid for 20 countries and extended until 31 October.
  • The meeting also discussed multiple visas for businesspeople and visitors to meetings.




  1. Turkey introduces visa-free regime for Uzbek truck drivers”, MENA FN, May 15, 2019
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree on the abolition of entry visas for Uzbek truck drivers for a period of 30 days, Trend reports with reference to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan. The corresponding resolution was signed on May 9 by the president of Turkey and entered into force on May 10, 2019.
  • UzbekTurkish Strategic Cooperation Council of the highest level was established at the end of April 2018 within the framework of the state visit of Erdogan to Uzbekistan.


  1. Ever-increasing house sales to foreigners see best April”, Daily Sabah, May 17, 2019
  • Having seen its best first quarter performance in sales to foreigners, the Turkish housing market has now enjoyed its best April in history.
  • […] Istanbul again took the top spot and Iraqis were again the top buyers. Foreigners acquired some 3,720 houses in Turkey in April, marking the best April month ever for the housing market, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
  • Iraq was followed by Saudi Arabia with 395, Iran with 332 and Kuwait and Russia with 202 units sold.
  • Meanwhile, legislative amendments that eased citizenship with investment limits for foreigners, campaigns launched by real estate developers and banks and spiking foreign currency brought an annual record a 78.4 percent increase in 2018 compared to the previous year.


  1. Beyza Binnur Dönmez & Aicha Isabel Sandoval Alaguna, “'Paraguay, Turkey made great inroads in a short time’”, Anadolou Agency, May 18, 2019
  • With the opening of its embassy in Ankara in early May, Paraguay has already begun taking actions to strengthen ties with Turkey in political, economic, commercial and cultural fields, Paraguay's ambassador to Turkey said Friday.
  • Ceferino Adrian Valdez Peralta told Anadolu Agency that agreements had already been signed between Paraguayan businessmen and Turkey’s Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association (MUSIAD) as well as between the Paraguayan Industrial Union and Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK). They include a cooperation agreement, visafree travel agreement and air traffic agreement, he said.
  • "It is very important for us that Turkey is opening embassies in Latin American countries. Latin America is a good place to make investments, to carry out trade, and it is a continent where we can really grow together," he said.


United Arab Emirates


  1. UAE announces 6-month interim visas for long-term residence visa seekers”, Gulf News, May 15, 2019
  • The UAE on Wednesday announced a sixmonth multiple entry visa for investors, talented individuals and outstanding students so that they can “explore opportunities” and “review facilities” for long-term residency in the country.
  • The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship announced three new services: a sixmonth visa with several trips to complete the procedures for residency of an investor, a six-month visa with several trips to complete long-term residency procedures for both entrepreneurs and outstanding students, a six-month visa with only one trip to complete the residency procedures for the talented individuals.
  • Major General Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, directorgeneral of Foreigners Affairs and Ports at ICA, said there is great demand for these facilities, which contribute to enhancing the attractiveness of the UAE as an investment destination.


  1. Aarti Nagraj, “UAE gets 6,000 applications from investors, entrepreneurs for long-term visas”, Gulf Business, May 16, 2019
  • The UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) revealed that it received about 6,000 applications from investors and entrepreneurs for longterm residency visas during the first week of its launch.
  • Under the scheme, entrepreneurs and their families will be provided with a fiveyear renewable residency visa. While the ICA will be in charge of issuing the residency visas, business incubator HUB71 in Abu Dhabi and Dubai Future Foundation’s Area 2071 will nominate entrepreneurs for receiving the benefits.
  • To be eligible for the visa, entrepreneurs should have a former business that is worth a minimum of Dhs500,000 or which has the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country. They also have to arrange individual (and family) insurance coverage for the entire period of the residency.






  1. Annie Charalambous, “New criteria for citizenship in effect today”, In Cyprus, May 15, 2019
  • A number of changes approved in February by the Council of Ministers in regard to the “Cyprus Investment Programme” by which investors obtain the citizenship of EUmember Cyprus come into effect today.
  • The programme’s stricter criteria aim to ensure due diligence procedures are more stringent and effective. Such as the measure of thorough scrutiny of each applicant carried out by an independent international house, the obligation for investors to obtain a Schengen visa and the exclusion of applicants who have been rejected by other EU member states with similar schemes.


  1. International anti-money laundering experts review practices in Cyprus”, Xinhua, May 19, 2019
  • A team of international experts are making a review of antimoney laundering practices in Cyprus applied mainly by law firms, banks, accounting and audit firms, financial services firms and offices involved in the investment-for-citizenship scheme, sources with knowledge of the review said on Saturday.
  • The team comes from the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of AntiMoney Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, commonly known as Moneyval. This is the fifth time Moneyval conducts a review in Cyprus, the latest having been done at the height of the financial crisis in 2013.
  • Its report expected at the end of the year is of crucial importance for the image of Cyprus in relation to antimoney laundering practices applied both by the state and private firms associated with international transactions.




  1. Vusala Abbasova, “Russia & Japan Find Ways To Boost Bilateral Tourism”, Caspian News, May 15, 2019
  • Representatives from the Japan National Tourism Organization and the Russian Union of Tourism Industry signed an agreement in Tokyo on Tuesday to help increase tourism between the two Pacific neighbors.
  • The number of Russian travelers visiting Japan is under 100,000 – a relatively low number considering Russia’s population is over 142 million. Visa requirements were eased in 2017, following a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan in December 2016. Japan also extended the validity of multipleentry visas issued to Russian entrepreneurs, cultural figures and scientists from three to five years.
  • Last year the number of Russian tourists that visited Japan grew by 22.7 percent compared to a year earlier, totaling roughly 94,800. The number of Japanese citizens that visited Russia in the same time frame hit a record, at about 120,000 people.




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