HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 10.06.2019

Jun 10,2019





  1. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, “Canada to empower visible minority newcomer women”, Government of Canada, June 6, 2019
  • Canada is making it easier for newcomer women to find a job by providing the support and services they need to succeed. This will help these women highlight their talents and experiences as they settle in Canada.
  • Some newcomer women face multiple barriers trying to find work and get ahead in Canada. This includes gender- and race-based discrimination, precarious or low income employment, lack of affordable childcare, and weak social and employment supports.
  • Recognizing these challenges, the government has selected 22 organizations from across the country that understand visible minority newcomer women, the barriers they face, and their circumstances. These organizations will launch projects over the next 2 years […].


  1. Rani Molla, “Foreign tech workers are turning to Canada as US immigration becomes more difficult”, Vox, June 7, 2019
  • Since the beginning of 2018, the share of interest from abroad in US tech jobs has remained about the same, according to new data from the global job listing site Indeed, but by most accounts it should be growing. “All things equal, with the really strong US job market, you’d expect continued growth in foreign interest in US tech jobs,” Indeed economist Andrew Flowers told Recode.
  • Foreign interest as a share of all interest in Canadian tech jobs has shot up precipitously — 55 percent — in the past four years, according to Indeed.
  • […] Canada has become a technology hub. Recently a number of US tech companies, like Amazon and Microsoft, have expanded their offices in Canada. Presumably that’s easier than dealing with ever-tightening US immigration laws.


  1. Andy Blatchford, “Employment rate of recent immigrants to Canada reached new high last year: Memo”, Global News, June 8, 2019
  • “The performance of recent immigrants on the labour market has markedly improved in recent years, especially when considering the scale of immigrants arriving in Canada every year,” reads the January briefing note, obtained through access-to-information law.
  • The memo says the employment rate for immigrants aged 25 to 54 who landed less than five years ago, was 71 per cent last year. It was the indicator’s highest level since 2006 — which is as far back as the data goes. “Similar trends are witnessed for immigrants that landed between five and 10 years ago,” the briefing said.
  • The share of prime-aged immigrants with post-secondary educations rose from 75 per cent in 2006 to 80 per cent in 2018. That’s nine percentage points higher than the share in the general population in the same age range.


United States


  1. Abigail Hauslohner, “Number of people who became U.S. citizens reached five-year high in fiscal 2018”, The Washington Post, June 3, 2019
  • Immigrant hopefuls and their attorneys have criticized the agency for increasingly longer application wait times since President Trump took office. Jessica Collins, a USCIS spokeswoman, said that “waits are often due to higher application rates rather than slow processing.”
  • USCIS said that it processed more naturalization applications in 2018 than in any of the past five fiscal years — nearly 850,000, an 18 percent increase from 2014. According to government statistics, the agency has received more than 2 million naturalization applications in the past two fiscal years, through the end of 2018. More than 730,000 applications are pending.
  • Applications have shot up under the Trump administration, and the backlog of pending applications for both citizenship and permanent residency grew by a million people during fiscal 2017, according to government statistics published separately from the USCIS report. The backlog has remained unchanged since then.


  1. Julie Hirschfeld Davis, “House Votes to Give ‘Dreamers’ a Path to Citizenship”, The New York Times, June 4, 2019
  • The bill, which passed 237 to 187, with seven Republicans voting yes, would create a new legal pathway for young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, known as Dreamers, and for those with Temporary Protected Status, granted to immigrants whose countries are ravaged by natural disaster or violence.
  • It is almost certain to die in the Republican-led Senate, where there is no appetite to challenge Mr. Trump on his signature issue and the majority regards it as amnesty for people who have broken the law.
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said Democrats wanted the narrower measure to become law, but she conceded that it was drafted as a statement of principle and a “bridge to understanding why we need comprehensive immigration reform for an immigration system that embraces the contributions of our newcomers.”






  1. Visa-free travel to Guam in the works – ex-governor”, The Manila Times, June 4, 2019
  • Visa-free travel for Filipinos going to Guam could become a reality if plans push through, the former governor of the United States territory said on Monday. This is “high in the radar” of Guam and had also been discussed with Malacañang, Carl Tommy Cruz Gutierrez told The Manila Times in a roundtable.
  • Gutierrez, who served two terms as Guam governor from 1995 to 2003, said he met with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea a few months ago to discuss the visa-free program.
  • “They think that the opportunity is here now for Filipinos to fly to Guam, get on a plane up to 90 days stay in Guam, much like the other countries around us, and enjoy meeting their families and their friends there just to visit and buy US goods,” he said.


  1. US Citizenship Immigration Services closed due to ‘insufficient workload,’ says embassy”, The Manila Times, June 6, 2019
  • The US embassy in the Philippines on Thursday clarified that its Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would close its Manila Field Office on July 5 due to “insufficient workload” and not for lack of resources. US embassy Deputy Press Attaché Trude Raizen said that the “USCIS will transition Forms I-407 and I-130 to domestic and electronic processing, respectively.”
  • Raizen said that these two form types “account for approximately 65 percent of the office’s workload.”
  • “In addition to the Manila Field Office, USCIS will also close the Ciudad Juárez, Mexico Field Office on June 30, and has entered into discussions to phase out all international offices,” Raizen said.




  1. Qatar launches e-notification system for visitors during summer”, The Peninsula, June 4, 2019
  • Qatar's Ministry of Interior, in cooperation with the National Tourism Council (NCC), has launched an e-notification system through the Qatar Visa Services portal for those wishing to travel to Qatar during the summer season from June 4 August 16, 2019.
  • Residents in the State of Qatar can invite their relatives and receive an electronic notification allowing them to enter the country on a visa upon arrival and without visa fees. Target groups include relatives, resident friends, former residents of the country, and families looking for new destinations.
  • The Ministry noted that the electronic notification service is open to all nationalities and that the Directorate General of Passports would check and respond to applications within 24 hours.


Sri Lanka


  1. Free visa on arrival facility into force soon”, Daily News, June 10, 2019
  • Sri Lanka will soon be offering the ‘free visa on arrival’ facility to foreigners, said State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wasantha Senanayake. Speaking to ‘Daily News’ he said that this facility would be initially offered to nationals from EU countries and USA and UK.
  • Sri Lanka currently offers ‘on arrival visa’ only to citizens of Singapore, Nepal and the Maldives. Earlier, the island provided on arrival visa to many other countries, similar to the policy introduced by Singapore. However, that decision was halted eight years ago.


United Arab Emirates


  1. Waheed Abbas, “Long-term UAE visa: Overseas investors express interest in real estate”, Khaleej Times, June 10, 2019
  • The total value of Dubai real estate transactions jumped 33 per cent to Dh34 billion in the January-May period compared to Dh24 billion for the same period last year, Dubai Land Department figures revealed, reflecting strong interest in the sector.
  • Property developers revealed that the news of long-term visas have been well-received internationally as enquiries from foreign buyers, especially from China, grew from prospective buyers.
  • The UAE is giving long-term visas - five and 10 years - to investors, entrepreneurs and professionals; specialists in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields; and students and outstanding pupils to facilitate business and create an attractive and encouraging investment environment in the country. A minimum investment of Dh5 million is needed to obtain a five-year visa, and double that amount is necessary for a decade-long visa.






  1. EU Commission Starts Evaluation for Suspending Visa-Free Travel for Albanians, on the Netherland’s Request”, Schengen Visa Info, June 5, 2019
  • After receiving a letter signed by the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the EU, Robert de Groot, in which he argues the reasons why visa-free travel should be suspended for Albania, the EC confirmed on June 3, that it has now started to assess the request.
  • […] Dutch Representative de Groot presented several statistics in his letter to the EC, amongst other showing that Albanian-speaking suspects rank number two in the top five alerts registered by the Netherlands in the Schengen Information System.
  • Now the European Commission will evaluate the request of the Netherlands. With a simple majority of votes by the European Commission, the EU may initiate the Emergency Break. The Emergency Brake is a Schengen Visa suspension mechanism regulated through EC Regulation 1289/2013. It permits the suspension of the visa exemption for third country nationals in specific occasions considered as “emergency situations”.




  1. Property sales spike as investors rush to beat new passport criteria”, Financial Mirror, June 7, 2019
  • A rush by investors to qualify for a Cyprus passport saw the submission of sales document with the Land Registry by third-country nationals skyrocket 55% in May compared to the previous month.
  • Chairman of the Cyprus Property Owners Association (KSIA), George Mouskides said the increase is directly related to the new criteria which foresee the number of citizenships granted limited to 700, while the minimum investment has been increased from EUR 2 mln to EUR 2.5 mln and an extra EUR 150,000 in fees for procedures has been added to the bill of a candidate investor.




  1. Latvia turns to smart migration”, European Interest, June 4, 2019
  • Latvia’s Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins has announced plans to adopt a smart labour migration system. “We have been discussing shortage of workforce for a while already,” he said after meeting with the Foreign Investors Council in Latvia (FICIL).
  • “There is a common awareness that the number of population drops by 7,000-8,000 people annually, also due to negative rate between the number of births and deaths and due to emigration.”
  • As reported by the The Baltic Times online, Karins also stressed that there is the third opportunity to promote immigration. “Parties are not of the same opinion on it yet, but I am completely sure that it is necessary to find a smart way to promote immigration based on regulations developed by the government to prevent uncontrolled immigration,” he said.






  1. Rosi Doviverata, “Australian Government Will Look Into Visa Queries”, Fiji Sun, June 6, 2019
  • The Australian Government is ready “to take up any views or concerns” of the Fijian Government regarding the relaxation of visa requirements into Australia. Australian Minister for Foreign Affiairs and Minister for Women Senator Marise Payne made the comment during a Fijian Media Association and Australian High Commission hosted press club lunch in Suva yesterday.
  • Senator Payne was asked whether visa-on-arrival was something Australia would consider for Fijians, something being undertaken by the European Union.
  • “Effectively, Australia has a universal visa system, so all non-citizens no matter where they come from will need a visa to enter and stay in Australia. […]. But we are working very hard with our partners and our neighbours to streamline that system and I’m certainly very happy to take up any views or concerns your Government or with the community here with my colleague the Australian Minister for Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.”


New Zealand


  1. Patrick Clarke, “New Zealand Approves New Tourist Tax”, Travel Pulse, June 4, 2019
  • New Zealand Parliament has approved a tourist tax that will take effect July 1. The new legislation enables the collection of the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) as well as digital processing of the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA).
  • The NZeTA—which is designed to "improve the way travelers are assessed before they arrive in New Zealand" to strengthen border security, according to the country's immigration website—will be mandatory starting October 1.
  • Moving forward, most international visitors entering New Zealand for 12 months or less will be charged an additional fee of $35 NZD or about $23 USD. The new tax will be collected through the immigration system, the government said. Travelers will pay the IVL alongside visa or ETA fees.


  1. New US visa rules to only affect a few New Zealanders”, Radio New Zealand, June 4, 2019
  • Most New Zealanders going on holiday to the United States will likely not have to hand over their social media details when they're entering the country.
  • House of Travel spokesperson Brent Thomas said it appeared at this stage that the new rules only apply to those getting a visa, rather than people just going on holiday.
  •  Most New Zealanders can travel visa-free to the US by applying for a visa waiver called an ESTA, which applies to about 40 countries. A visa is required to work or study, or travel for longer than 90 days.
  • Mr Thomas said the rule change would only affect people travelling for work, study or longer-term visitors.




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