HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 29.07.2019

Jul 29,2019





  1. Mozambique Hikes Cost Of Entry Visas”, Journal du Cameroun, July 24, 2019
  • The Mozambican government has doubled the cost of entry visas under a decree jointly signed by Economy and Finance Minister Adriano Maleiane and Interior Minister Basilio Monteiro, APA learnt on Wednesday. Under the decree, the cost of a singleentry visa valid for 30 days jumps to US$100 from US$50 with immediate effect while a visa valid for between 31 and 60 days would now cost US$103, up from $43.
  • Visas valid for between 61 and 90 days now cost US$297, from US$64 previously.
  • The increase is however not expected to affect citizens of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) of which Mozambique is a member.




  1. Moses Walubiri & Lisa Nsaba, Immigration To Automate Visa Tracking System”, New Vision, July 26, 2019
  • Noncitizens who have over the years found it easy to melt into the Ugandan populace upon expiry of their visas will soon find it hard to pull off the feat when Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC) rolls out automation of a visa tracking system.
  • Under the mooted system, the DCIC will be able to receive alerts upon expiry of the visa. 
  • The revelation is part of documents submitted to the Public Accounts Committee yesterday as part of a response to queries raised by the AuditorGeneral, John Muwanga, in his audit report for the financial year ending June 2013.






  1. Canadian Biometrics Service For Visas”, Tribune 242, July 25, 2019
  • The Canadian government is offering a biometrics collection service in Nassau next week. The service will be available on July 29, 30, and on August 1 to those who have applied for a visitor visa, for a study or work permit or for permanent residence.
  • “Collecting biometrics gives Canada a reliable, accurate tool to establish a traveller’s identity, and it improves the ability to process applications and the entry of people upon arrival in Canada,” officials noted.
  • “The biometrics collection service is being offered on a pilot basis and will be open to applicants who have paid the biometrics fee and have received a biometrics instruction letter.”


  1. Khalid Azim Chaudhry, “Pakistanis Can Now Get Canadian Student Visas in 20 days”, SAMAA, July 27, 2019
  • Canada has made it easier for Pakistanis to get student visas for its country.
  • It has included Pakistan in the Student Direct Stream programme, which streamlines visa applications for students.
  • The programme was begun for India, China, the Philippines and Vietnam last year. Under the SDS policy, it will take 20 days for visas to be processed after complete applications and biometrics are submitted.


  1.  “Canadian Talent Initiative Grants 24,000 Visas in Past Two Years”, Wis Business, July 25, 2019
  •  A new Canadian initiative to bring in skilled tech workers from all over the world has granted about 24,000 visas in the past two years.
  • The Canadian TECNA talent initiative was first piloted two years ago and was recently made a permanent feature of the country’s immigration system. Robertson explains it included some changes to work permit exemptions for certain workers, making it easier for companies to hire desirable employees before they’re snapped up elsewhere.
  • In the past two years of the program, more than 1,100 Canadian companies have used the global talent stream, Robertson said. And about 16,000 family members have come along with those recruited through the program.
  • About 25 percent of the workers came from the United States, though the majority came from India.
  • Canadian employers using the talent stream have committed to creating 48,000 jobs and more than 12,500 paid coop positions, and have dedicated more than $113 million to skills development and training, according to Robertson.


United States


  1. Foreign Investors Seeking Green Cards To Pay Far More Under New EB-5 visa Rule”, The Mercury News, July 23, 2019
  • A U.S. visa that awards green cards to foreign investors will require a much larger investment under new rules released today and slated to take effect Nov. 21.
  • Foreign citizens are already contacting immigration lawyers about getting their EB5 investor visa applications in before the new rules impose higher costs, but once the rules are in place, EB-5 investments will drop and fewer jobs will be created through the program, an immigration lawyer said.
  • The EB5 visa, created in 1990 to stimulate the economy through job creation and capital investment, will under the new rules require a minimum investment of $900,000 instead of the current $500,000, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said. That minimum amount will be for investments in businesses in rural areas or regions of high unemployment. For investments in other areas, the minimum will be $1.8 million, compared to the current $1 million.
  • The visa will still require creation of at least 10 fulltime jobs but the new rule strips states of the ability to designate areas as rural or high-unemployment “Targeted Employment Areas” to qualify EB-5 applicants for the lower investment threshold. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will make all such designations, according to the new rules.






  1. Immigration Dept Plans New Integrated System To Replace MyIMMs”, The Star Online, July 25, 2019
  • The Immigration Department is in the process of developing a new Integrated Immigration System (IIS) to replace the Malaysian Immigration System (MyIMMs) which has been found to have been manipulated for fraudulent approvals of foreign labour quota.
  • Immigration directorgeneral Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said the department was in the process of procuring the IIS system, where the tender for the system was opened to vendors last May and would be closed in August.
  • "We will first make an assessment of the vendors who are interested in the tender of the system before launching the IIS system fully. "If everything goes well, the department will issue an offer letter to the successful vendor in January next year," he told Bernama.
  • Khairul Dzaimee said while the IIS system is being developed, MyIMMs would continue to be used with some improvements made.




  1.  “Japan Enables Easier Visa Access For Omanis”, Times of Oman, July 28, 2019
  • Exemptions from visas between Oman and Japan for nationals who work in certain categories have been announced, the Oman News Agency has said.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed diplomatic memoranda for mutual exemption from visas for official, diplomatic, private passport and service passports between the governments of the Sultanate and Japan.
  • According to the ministry, the exemption will include individuals holding "official, diplomatic, private, and service passports between the governments of the Sultanate and Japan."
  • "The agreement was signed by the Undersecretary for Administrative and Financial Affairs and the Japanese Ambassador to the Sultanate," the ministry added.




  1. Azamat Batyrov, “Kazakhstan Tries To Woo Foreigners With Visa-Free Travel”, Caspian News, July 24, 2019
  • The government in NurSultan has waived visas for residents of more than 60 countries to boost Kazakhstan’s attractiveness for cross-border investment.
  • “With an aim to boost investment attractiveness and create favorable business climate, we are taking a set of measures to liberalize the visamigration regime,” read a statement issued by the interior ministry on Monday.
  • The list of 45 countries enjoying unilateral visa exemption to visit Kazakhstan includes the United States, European Union member states, Australia and Canada. Citizens are allowed to stay in what is Central Asia’s largest country for up to 30 days without the need to register with the migration service authorities. In addition, Kazakhstan has inked bilateral agreements with 16 other countries, which allow their citizens to stay in Kazakhstan from two weeks to 90 days. Russians, for example, can remain in Kazakhstan for up to 90 days, while South Koreans can stay for up to a month.
  • At the same time, citizens residing in 140 countries, including citizens of China, India, Iran and other Persian Gulf countries, can apply for an evisa for tourism, business and medical treatment purposes. Approval takes about five business days, which results in a printable visa that the applicant carries along with his or her passport to the port of entry in Kazakhstan.


Sri Lanka


  1. Sri Lanka To Issue Free Visas For Chinese Tourists From Aug. 1”, XinHua Net, July 23, 2019
  • Sri Lanka's cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal from the Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry to include China in its free visa policy which will be launched from Aug. 1, Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga said Tuesday.
  • Addressing a media briefing held at the conclusion of a tour by visiting Chinese journalists to Sri Lanka, Amaratunga said China was the second largest market for Sri Lanka tourism and the free visa policy for the Chinese market would boost Chinese tourist arrivals.
  • "We are aware that China is one of our main markets. Despite the set back from the Easter Sunday attacks, I am sure this year we will be able to achieve our targets. From August 1, Chinese tourists can come to Sri Lanka without a visa fee and we see this as a landmark decision for the tourism industry," Amaratunga said.
  • Some of the other countries entitled for the free visa policy are India, Netherlands and certain European countries.






  1. Georgia, Nepal To Abolish Visa Regime For Diplomatic, Service Passport Holders”, Agenda.Ge, July 23, 2019
  • The governments of Nepal and Georgia have agreed to abolish visa travel for diplomatic and service passport holders, the Georgian Public Broadcaster reports.
  • The deal will be signed soon by Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia Aleksandre Khvtisiashvili, the media reports.
  • Nepalese citizens with ordinary passports will still have to receive a visa before traveling to Georgia, while Georgian citizens will be able to receive visas at the Nepalese border.
  • Georgia and Nepal established diplomatic relations in 2005.




  1. Russia Develops Plan To Become Top Tourist Draw With Streamlined Visa System”, The Japan Times, July 25, 2019
  • With ambitious plans to become one of the world’s top 10 travel destinations, Russia is offering tours off the beaten track and lifting visa restrictions to attract more visitors.
  • A year after it successfully hosted the World Cup, the exSoviet country is looking for new ways to attract international visitors with the goal of more than doubling tourism revenue to $25 billion by 2035.
  • President Vladimir Putin has ordered the government to introduce electronic visas, which are free of charge and issued quickly, for citizens of a number of countries.
  • Electronic visas will come into force in October for stays of up to eight days in the former imperial capital of St. Petersburg and the surrounding region, though Russia has not yet said which countries’ citizens can apply.


  1. Elena Teslova, “Russia Restores Some Visa-Free Travel With Turkey”, Anadolu Agency, July 25, 2019
  • The Kremlin Thursday announced new measures making it easy for many Turkish citizens to visit Russia.
  • Under a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin, Turkish holders of special and service passports paying shortterm visits to Russia will no longer need to obtain visas.
  • Putin also ordered the Foreign Ministry to send a notification to Turkish officials about this partial restoration of visafree travel.
  • The measure is valid on a reciprocal basis, the decree added, and goes into effect as of its publication.


European Union


  1. German FM Says EU May Soon Consider Visa-Free Policy For Russians”, Schengen Visa Info, July 26, 2019
  • The German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas has given hopes to Russians traveling to the EU that in the near future they might be able to enter the Schengen countries visafree.
  • During the 18th Petersburg dialogue in Königswinter last week, Minister Maas said during his speech that Germany cannot decide on its own, but it can sit with the other member states and consider granting visafree regime to Russia.
  • Currently, Russia and the EU have a visa facilitation agreement, which enables Russians to pay lower fees for a visa to Europe. Both sides have discussed a possible reciprocal visafree regime in the past, but such a thing has not come to life yet.






  1. Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, “Iran Offers One-Year Multiple-Entry Visas To Indians”, The Economic Times, July 27, 2019
  • IranIndia ties have received a boost in recent weeks with Tehran offering one-year multiple-entry visas to Indians despite New Delhi's decision to stop import of oil from its old ally and reduce the budget for Chabahar Port expansion under the shadow of US sanctions.
  • Besides multipleentry visa facility, which aims to boost bilateral trade and people-to-people contact, Iran has also extended the visa on arrival facility for Indian nationals to 90 days from 30. The two nations are also negotiating a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty to strengthen cooperation in legal matters involving their citizens.
  • An Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance on Civil and Commercial Matters is currently being negotiated with Iran, minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan told Parliament on Thursday. The proposed agreement was discussed during the IndiaIran Joint Consular Committee Meeting (JCCM), held in New Delhi on May 14, with a view to its expeditious conclusion, the minister said.




  1. Kuwait Officials: Negotiations To Exempt Kuwait From The Schengen Visa Regime Are Underway”, Schengen Visa Info, July 24, 2019
  • Kuwaiti officials say that the Gulf country is in talks with the European Union over a possible exemption of the Kuwaiti citizens from the Schengen visa requirement to travel to Europe.
  • The Deputy Foreign Minister of Kuwait Khaled alJarallah said at the beginning of this week that the country is continuing its efforts with the European Union in a bid to exempt its citizens from entry visas to Schengen countries.
  • He also said that a possible agreement on visafree regime with Kuwait and the EU was discussed during a meeting of the Kuwait officials with the EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, during a recent visit of the latter to Kuwait.



  1. Applicants Urged To Apply For Entry Visas Online”, GDN Online, July 25, 2019
  • People planning to visit Oman are being urged to apply for entry visas through the website of the Royal Oman Police (ROP), reported Oman Observer.
  • The cyber procedure aims to enable applicants’ hasslefree entry into Oman and protect them from fraud.
  • “Getting the electronic visa from ROP’s official website will prevent you from exposing yourself to the risks of unauthorised fake websites”, said a ROP statement
  • The eVisa project aims to keep pace with modern technology, facilitate procedures and simplify the process of obtaining visas.


Saudi Arabia


  1. Saudi Arabia Suspends Hajj Visas For DR Congo Over Ebola”, Aljazeera, July 27, 2019
  • Saudi Arabia has banned entry to travellers coming from the Democratic Republic of the Congo over fears Ebola could spread during next month's Hajj pilgrimage.
  • The decision, announced in a note issued on Wednesday by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, cited last week's move by the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the Ebola outbreak in DRC's eastern North Kivu and Ituri provinces a public health emergency of international concern.


United Arab Emirates


  1. Ahmed Shaaban, “Now, Men On Family Visas Can Get UAE Work Permit”, Khaleej Times, July 27, 2019
  • Men who are under the sponsorship of their families will be eligible for UAE work permits, according to a new rule implemented by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE).
  • The ministry said in a statement on Saturday it has started issuing work permits for employers wishing to recruit eligible male workers sponsored by their families.
  • Previously, these permits were exclusively issued to women who were under the sponsorship of their family. Many women who are employed in the UAE are under visas provided by their husbands or fathers.
  • Granting work permits to men and women sponsored by their families aims to help firms meet their recruitment demand from the resident population itself. This is expected to reduce operational costs for employers as they don't have to recruit from outside the country.




Papua New Guinea


  1. Brett Mason & Rosemary Bolger, “PNG PM Vows To Improve His Citizens' Access To Australian Visas”, SBS News, July 27, 2019
  • Papua New Guineans will be able to travel to Australia more easily under changes being pursued by Prime Minister James Marape.
  • Speaking in Sydney, Mr Marape told SBS News he was determined to resolve ongoing issues making it difficult for PNG residents to access Australia. Mr Marape said he understands Australia's "insecurities" and has vowed to strengthen their border security management system.
  • In a wideranging interview with SBS News on Friday, the PNG prime minister declared his week-long trip to Australia a success.
  • "Both prime ministers have agreed it's no longer an aiddonor recipient relationship, it's now about economic relationships where Australia sees PNG as an important trade and economic partner and for PNG, we can see Australia as a great market place for our local produce."



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