HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 26.08.2019

Aug 26,2019





  1. Easier Entry For Chinese Entrepreneurs And tourists In Portuguese-Speaking African Countries”, Macau Hub, August 19, 2019
  • Most African countries, including the Portuguesespeaking ones, have been facilitating the entry of Chinese citizens in their respective territories, the aim being to increase investment and tourism, indicates a study by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI).
  • Angola is one of the countries indicated as being among the latest to facilitate the entry of Chinese, specifically via a reciprocal agreement on preferential visas signed in early 2018.
  • Angola and South Africa, “both with particularly significant relations with China and with resident Chinese migrant populations, have also made it easier for Chinese travellers to obtain longterm multiple-entry visas,” the MPI explains.






  1. Bahamas Suspends Issuing Visas To Haitians”, RJR News, August 22, 2019
  • Bahamas has suspended issuing visas to Haitians until further notice.
  • In a short statement on Wednesday, the government said this is due to technical and other challenges, but did not elaborate.
  • However, the statement added that the suspension does not include Haitians who are officials, diplomats or holders of a US, UK, Canadian or Schengen visa.




  1. Dana Niland, “Jamaica Launches Digital Immigration Forms”, Caribbean Journal, August 21, 2019
  • In a major step to improve wait times at its airports, Jamaica has launched an online version of its immigration and customs declaration form.
  • The move, which would be the first by an Englishspeaking Caribbean country, means travelers can fill out their forms in advance of their arrival, with the information sent to immigration officers for processing. (The Dutch Caribbean was the first part of the region to launch such forms).
  • “As Jamaica’s arrivals numbers continue to soar, it’s important that we offer a speedier process at our airports, so our visitors spend less time waiting in immigration and customs and more time enjoying the destination,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “We’re continuously seeking ways to enhance our visitors’ experience while in Jamaica and we hope this improved experience also promotes greater return visits for our guests.”
  • The Online Passenger Declaration Form captures the same information as the current paper Immigration and Customs Passenger Declaration Form.


United States


  1. Critical Restrictions On French Nationals (E Visas)”, JD Supra, August 21, 2019
  • On August 20, 2019, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced that the reciprocity schedule for France will be revised for E visas to decrease validity periods. Specifically, effective August 29, 2019, E visas will be limited to a validity of only 15 months. Until this change, E visas have had validity for 60 months.
  • In general, different types of U.S. nonimmigrant visas have different allowable validity periods depending on the nationality of the applicant, because the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires the DOS to set countryspecific visa policies based on reciprocity.
  • The reduction in validity time from 60 months to 15 months on E visas has been implemented to correspond with the “treatment afforded to U.S. citizens by the Government of France” according to the DOS website.






  1. Prakash Kumar, “Now, Flexible Indian Tourist E-Visas For 160 Countries”, Deccan Herald, August 21, 2019
  • India is gearing up to roll out a flexible etourist visa regime for over 160 countries based on tourist footfall under which higher fee will be charged for the peak season of July to March and a considerably lower fee during the lean period of April to June.
  • The fee for evisa with a validity of 30 days to five years would range between USD 10 and USD 80.
  • Under the flexible evisa regime, tourists from all the countries to which India has extended e-visa facility would require to pay USD 10 for a 30-day e-visa in the lean season. They will have to pay USD 25 in the peak period.
  • For one year evisa, tourists from these countries would have to pay USD40 and USD 80 for e-visa with five year validity.


  1. Shreyas Tanna, “India Plans On Issuing 5-Year Visas To The Emiratis”, A Market Journal, August 20, 2019
  • India will presently offer fiveyear various section business and vacationer visas for Emirati natives, it was declared at the end of the week.
  • “The new biometric framework for visa candidates and the presentation of five years’ various section visitor and business visas for the UAE residents are gone for further reinforcing exchange and venture and individuals toindividuals connects between the two nations,” the Indian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Navdeep Singh Suri, said in function in Abu Dhabi on Thursday to check Indian Independence Day, as indicated by a report by Gulf News.
  • Exchange among India and the UAE as of late came to $60 billion and the new visas will help accomplish the objective of $100 billion set for 2020.




  1. Success Rate For Japanese-Language Student Visa Applications Plunges”, Kyodo News, August 21, 2019
  • The percentage of successful visa applications by nationals of countries such as Myanmar and Bangladesh to study from this April at Japaneselanguage schools was sharply down from the same month last year due to stricter screening, school operators said Wednesday.
  • The plunge in the percentage of visas granted reflects Japan's efforts to crack down on foreigners who enter the country to work under the guise of being students.
  • A survey by the Japanese Language School Association in Tokyo showed student visas were granted to just 15 percent of applicants from Myanmar, down sharply from 76 percent last year, and to 21 percent of Bangladeshi applicants, down from 61 percent. The success rate for Sri Lankan applicants was 21 percent, down from 50 percent.


  1. 3,000 People To Work In Japan Under Expanded Visa System”, The Japan Times, August 25, 2019
  • Over 3,000 foreign laborers are set to work under new visas introduced in April, the leader of the Immigration Services Agency said. The agency envisions starting a public certification system for dedicated supporters of foreign people, Commissioner Shoko Sasaki, 57, said in a recent interview.
  • The Immigration Services Agency has been required to play the additional role of supporting foreign residents since a new status for foreign workers with designated skills was introduced, Sasaki said. “Foreigners with the designated skills are expected to increase steadily,” Sasaki said.
  • If the system of publicly certifying the profession “works well, it may become a key feature of Japan’s foreign worker admission policy,” she added. Immigration agency officials have talked about the possibility of creating such a system, according to Sasaki. But for now, the priority is to foster support organizations registered under the current system, she said.




  1. Pakistan To Give Visas To 10,000 Indian Pilgrims For Guru Nanak’s Birth Anniversary Celebrations”, Hindustan Times, August 21, 2019
  • Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) and Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) on Tuesday reiterated that they will make all arrangements for the “sangat” (devotees) coming to Pakistan for 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak, and the Kartarpur corridor will be completed before November.
  • It was decided at the meeting to give visas to 10,000 Indian pilgrims for the Guru’s birth anniversary celebrations, though there is a provision to issue 3,000 visas under the bilateral agreement, said a member of the ETPB.




  1. Philippines Welcomes Expat Retirees With Affordable Lifetime Visas”,, August 22, 2019
  • Expats looking towards Asia for a straightforward, nononsense visa for retirement and permanent residence need look no further than the Philippines. The Special Resident Retirees Visa is a non-immigrant, lifetime product aimed at expats able to deposit $20,000 in a local bank account in exchange for residential security unavailable anywhere else in Southeast Asia.
  • Also part of the deal are multiple entry privileges and taxfree importation of personal belongings and household goods, plus other aspects of government assistance. For example, the deposit amount is far lower than the 800,000 baht permanent deposit demanded of retirees by Thailand for a one-year renewable visa and the package itself is similar to Thailand’s Elite visa, which costs just under $16,000 but is only valid for five years.
  • Expat retirees tempted by the laidback Filipino lifestyle can choose between big-city conveniences in Manila or smaller cities such as Dumaguete in Negros province, feted as one of the best retirement destinations in the world. Cebu in the Visayas region is already popular with expats for its white sand beaches, world-class restaurants, entertainment, affordability and Western standard medical care. Liveability in Davao City, a fast-growing metropolis set in the midst of natural beauty, is enhanced by its low crime rate and its place as the second safest Asian city. All have established expat communities, and Filipinos are known as some of the world’s warmest, friendliest and most welcoming people.




  1. Govt waives visa fees, not visas, for Chinese, Indian visitors”, Bangkok Post, August 20, 2019
  • The cabinet on Tuesday resolved to extend the period for free visas on arrival for visitors from China, India and other countries, but rejected a proposal to waive visas for Chinese and Indian visitors, to boost the economy.
  • Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the cabinet meeting rejected the visa waiver proposal from the Tourism and Sports Ministry for security reasons, and instead extended free visas on arrival for visitors beyond the current October until April 30 next year.
  • Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said on Tuesday that the 2,000baht visa fee exemption was for visitors from 18 countries, including China and India.
  • Prime Minister Prayut Chano-cha said on Tuesday that the fee exemption was extended until the end of April so it would include the Songkran festival next year.






  1.  “Putin: Russia Will Start Issuing E-Visas For EU Visitors In October”, eTurboNews, August 22, 2019
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia will start issuing electronic visas for some European Union countries starting on October 1.
  • Putin made the statement speaking alongside his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinisto in Helsinki.
  • On July 19, the Russian president signed a decree extending the electronic visa regime to the territory of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region.
  • Niinisto on Wednesday did not rule out the possibility of discussion with Moscow on the introduction of electronic visas for Finnish citizens to visit some Russian regions.




  1.  “Balearics Wanting Revision Of Property 'Gold Visas'”, Majorca, August 25, 2019
  • The Balearic government is to ask the Spanish government to amend state law that enables the granting of express residency visas to nonEU foreign citizens who invest at least 500,000 euros in buying property. These so-called gold visas are given for property purchases which otherwise have nothing to do with investment in productive sectors.
  • The gold visa brings with it certain rights, such as freedom of movement within the Schengen zone; hence the concerns of the European Commission.
  • The majority of these visas go to Chinese, Russian and Swiss citizens. The gold visa is also available to highly qualified professionals, but in 95% of cases it is given solely for financial reasons.






  1. Omid Khazani, “Iran Waives Visas For Chinese Visitors To Boost Tourism”, CNA, August 21, 2019
  • Iran has started waiving visas for Chinese tourists in a bid to boost its economy, which is faltering under the weight of US sanctions.
  • The focus now is on the 150 million Chinese who travel around the world annually. Omid Khazani reports from Tehran.




  1.  “ Salary Cap For Family Visas Raised To KD 500”, Kuwait Times, August 24, 2019
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Khalid AlJarrah Al-Sabah has issued a decision increasing the minimum salary to obtain a family visa to KD 500. The decision amends a previous directive which stipulated that the minimum salary for family visas should be KD 450. The decision added the director general of residency affairs can exempt those already in Kuwait or born here from the salary condition.
  • The decision also exempts the following professions: Advisors, judges, members of the prosecution, experts and legal researchers in the public sector; doctors and pharmacists; teachers at universities, colleges and higher education institutes; school principals, viceprincipals, supervisors, teachers, social workers and laboratory technicians in the public sector; university financial and economic experts; engineers; imams and muezzins; library rectors; health ministry employees (nurses, paramedics, technicians and social service workers; social workers in the government; journalists, media persons and reporters; coaches and players at sports clubs; pilots and flight attendants; funerary workers.




  1. Electronic Work Visas Soon In Oman”, Hindustan Times, August 25, 2019
  • Soon employers can obtain work visas electronically, the Royal Oman Police announced.
  • According to ROP, the system seeks to save the time and effort of the police employees as well as the clients time as they can complete the procedures electronically without having to go for a review to the General Administration of Passports and Residence office.
  • The Royal Oman Police announced that "in order to facilitate the processing and speed of transaction and to create a stimulating environment for the business sector within police competence, ROP is in the process of providing the service of issuing work visas to commercial establishments electronically as a first stage."


Saudi Arabia


  1.  Leyal Khalife, “Saudi Arabia Will Issue Millions Of E-Visas For The Upcoming Umrah Season”, StepFeed, August 19, 2019
  • The cabinet on Tuesday resolved to extend the period for free visas on arrival for visitors from China, India and other countries, but rejected a proposal to waive visas for Chinese and Indian visitors, to boost the economy.
  • Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the cabinet meeting rejected the visa waiver proposal from the Tourism and Sports Ministry for security reasons, and instead extended free visas on arrival for visitors beyond the current October until April 30 next year.
  • Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said on Tuesday that the 2,000baht visa fee exemption was for visitors from 18 countries, including China and India.
  • Prime Minister Prayut Chano-cha said on Tuesday that the fee exemption was extended until the end of April so it would include the Songkran festival next year.


  1. Leyal Khalife, “Saudi Arabia Launches 'Instant Visa' For Expats In The Private Sector”, StepFeed, August 22, 2019
  • Saudi Arabia has eased up the visa process for tourists on religious or leisure visits - in recent months. It looks like expat employees are now getting a taste of the facilitated process.
  • This week, Saudi Arabia announced that private sector firms will now be able to get instant visas for foreign workers, a process that used to take around eight months previously.
  • In order to be granted an instant visa, the company must be enrolled in the kingdom's "nationalization program" and must have witnessed an increase in its Saudi workforce.
  • Only firms in the medium green category and above, in terms of "percentage of Saudis in the workforce," are eligible to use the service.






  1. Anton Crace, “Visa, Scholarship Announcements Put Regional Australia Back On Agenda”, The Pie News, August 22, 2019
  • Immigration minister David Coleman announced that the trial of the Global Talent Scheme would be made permanent and expanded to include the Global Talent Independent program to recruit 5,000 highly skilled migrants, with fasttracked visas.
  • “Within our annual migration plan, skilled migration is the lynchpin of our approach, accounting for close to 70% of the intake,” he said, adding the education sector would play a key role. “It stands to reason that the more skilled a migrant is, the better… [and] the education sector supports high skill, high wage jobs – the exact kind of jobs we want to develop. International education must remain a key feature of our immigration system.”
  • The regional provisional visas included in the document will be spread across two categories, and have 23,000 places allocated, fasttracking permanent residency within three years for migrants living and working in regional Australia.
  • International students will also still receive an additional year of poststudy work for studying and working regionally.



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