HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 16.09.2019

Sep 16,2019



South Africa


  1. Nadine James,  “South Africa’s E-Visa System On Track For Launch By Year-End”, Creamer Media, September 13, 2019
  • Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa is optimistic that, if the test period concludes without any glaring deficiencies, the e-visa roll-out will, in all likelihood, start toward the end of November or early December and progress in earnest in 2020.
  • The International Air Transport Association (Iata) describes an e-visa as a direct replacement for the paper-based visa system, with similar, but simplified and streamlined, application procedures to enable online self-service. The evaluation of applications, however, is still conducted by government employees.
  • According to Iata, more than 30 countries had introduced e-visa systems by 2017. It states that the main benefit is convenience and easing traffic flow. “Using advanced passenger information and e-visas would enable the vast majority of passengers to be cleared for expedited travel in advance of departure and would mean they may not need to queue to see an official at the border.”






  1.  “230 Canadian Visa Applicants Receive Biometrics Screening”, St. Kitts and Nevis Observer, September 9, 2019
  • Officers from the Canadian High Commission, Bridgetown, facilitated biometrics processing at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort for citizens and residents of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis last week.
  • Though the Mobile Itinerant Collection was scheduled to begin on Aug. 29, twenty individuals were successfully processed Aug. 28, the day the officials arrived. By the time of closing Friday, Aug. 30 approximately 230 nationals and residents had their biometrics collected.
  • The Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation, highly commended the work of Her Excellency Sherry Tross, High Commissioner of St. Kitts and Nevis in Ottawa, and her team with relevant authorities in Canada, particularly after the requirement to travel to Trinidad or Barbados was added to the visa application process for fingerprinting purposes.


  1.  “Toronto Immigration Firm Charges $170K For Fake Canadian Job, Undercover Investigation Reveals”, CBC, September 15, 2019
  • A Toronto immigration company offered a job to an undercover CBC journalist posing as a Chinese national seeking permanent residence in Canada for $170,000. For that fee, WonHonTa Consulting Inc. said, the wouldbe immigrant would be buying the job and paying their own wage.
  • And the company said the applicant was to pay the fee to the personal bank account of WonHonTa's sole director in order to avoid taxes.
  • Jiacheng Song, a manager with a Chinabased affiliate of WonHonTa, Nanjing Youtai Investment Consulting Co. Ltd., explained how the business works to the undercover journalist using WeChat, a Chinese social media app.
  • Over the past year his company had placed more than a dozen Chinese nationals in Atlantic Canada and just under ten in Saskatchewan.




  1.  “Government Re-introduces Visa Requirements For Haitian Nationals”, Dominica News Online, September 12, 2019
  • The government has, with immediate effect, reintroduced visa requirements for Haitian nationals entering Dominica.
  • According to a release issued by the Ministry of Justice, Immigration and National Security, the restrictions do not apply to Haitian nationals who are holders of a diplomatic or official passport or who are business persons who are holders of the following visas: US, UK, Canadian or Schengen visas.


United States


  1. Joseph Omotayo,  “US Embassy In Nigeria Releases Steps To Follow When Applying For Visa”, Legit, September 10, 2019
  • The United States has released the first few steps to securing the US DS160 non-immigrant visa as they also highlighted common mistakes applicant make during the process.
  • When listing out the steps, they also emphasized the need for applicants to answer questions in the most accurate and truthful manner.
  • The applicant is expected to list everybody that would be accompanying them, and not only those that would be requiring US visas. The applicant should also state if they have travelled to the US before, even if they have only been in the country in transit within less than 24 hours.


  1.  “Update: U.S. to Reduce E-Visa Validity for French Nationals Effective Sept. 26, 2019”, The National Law Review, September 9, 2019
  • Whereas French Nationals have enjoyed the maximum time (60 months) allowed on their Evisas, their E-visas will be limited to a validity of only 15 months starting Sept. 26 when the revised reciprocity schedule gets implemented.
  • While the standard of review is not expected to change, the shorter visa validity will impose significant burden on French National Evisa applicants to have to renew their E-visas more frequently at the U.S. Embassies and Consulates. The expectation is that the U.S. citizens wanting to live and work in France on the reciprocal visa will also receive reduced visas as a result of this change.



Sri Lanka


  1. Ronald Lewis,  “Lanka Launches Free ‘Visa On Arrival‘ Scheme”, Stock News Brief, September 14, 2019
  • On Wednesday announced to give free visa on arrival to visitors from India and 47 other countries in its efforts to revive the country‘s tourism sector which witnessed a slump following the Sunday bombings.
  • John Amaratunga said the scheme to waive off visa fees for travellers from 48 countries will start from Thursday. Travellers from India, Sri Lanka‘s main inbound tourism market are to benefit from this privilege.


South Korea


  1.  “South Korea: Visa Restrictions For Foreign Nationals Who Default On Payments To National Health Insurance Service”, Mondaq, September 9, 2019
  • Since August 1, 2019, the Korean Immigration Service (KIS) has been restricting the grant of visa extensions and some work/residence permits to foreign nationals who have defaulted on payments to the Korean national health insurance service.
  • Foreign nationals who are found to have defaulted on their premium payments up to three times will only be granted a visa extension up to six months (previously, if requested, a longer extension period would be granted). No visa extensions will be granted to those who default more than three times.




European Union


  1. Chris Lawrence,  “ETIAS, A New Visa-Waiver System Introduced By The European Union”, Next Rankers, September 12, 2019
  • The European Union has introduced a new visa waiver system called ETIAS. ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System.
  • With the launch of this new system, the 62 countries in the world that enjoyed the benefits of having visafree travel through Europe will now have a new visa waiver system that they will have to act in accordance with. This visa program is designed as a travel authorization service.
  • main purpose of the launching of ETIAS is the smooth functioning of the airport as well as to ensure the safety of its borders.


  1.  “EU-Armenia Joint Committee On Visa Facilitation Holds Fifth Session In Yerevan”,, September 13, 2019
  • Yerevan today hosted the 5th session of the EUArmenia Joint Committee on Visa Facilitation co-chaired by Head of the European Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Tigran Samvelian and Deputy Head of the Visa Policy and Document Security Unit of the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission Diederik Paalman.
  • The parties underscored the progress made in the process of implementation of the EUArmenia Visa Facilitation Agreement and discussed the future steps targeted at full implementation of the Agreement and further increase of effectiveness. They also discussed the statistics, as well as raised several issues related to implementation of the Agreement and particularly took into consideration the current difficulties with applying for and obtaining visas from the consulates/visa centers of EU Member States.


United Kingdom


  1. John Morgan,  “UK To Reintroduce Two-Year Post-Study Work Visas”, The World Universities Rankings, September 10, 2019
  • Boris Johnson’s new government has announced the return of poststudy work visas in the UK, seven years after they were abolished by Theresa May as home secretary.
  • The new “graduate route” will allow eligible students to work, or look for work, at any skill level, for a period of two years after completing their courses. There will be no cap on the number of students who can apply for the new route.
  • The new immigration route will be available to international students who have successfully completed a course in any subject at undergraduate level or higher at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance, and have Tier 4 [student visa] leave at the point the route is introduced. This includes students who start courses in 202021 at undergraduate level or above.


  1.  “UK Declares Simpler Visas For Internet Designers, Architects”,, September 10, 2019
  • The Boris Johnson authorities on Monday comprised designers, architects and veterinarians at a list of professions which confront a deficit in the UK and which entails simpler visa norms to permit companies to sponsor the necessary talent.
  • It’s easier get a Tier 2 visa to get a profession/role cited in the listing because companies don’t have to finish a resident labour market evaluation and can also be exempt from minimum salary thresholds.
  • The Home Office explained the changes imply that companies can advertise job vacancies to the jobs included to all nationalities, which makes it much easier for them to get the global talent they require.
  • The Home Office has also compact English language testing to make sure doctors, nurses, nurses and midwives who’ve passed an English language test approved by the relevant body, don’t need to sit another evaluation before entry to the UK to a Tier 2 visa. The change will make sure that physicians and health care practices across the United Kingdom will have the ability to get into the employees they want more rapidly, the Home Office stated.






  1. Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas,  “Relaxed Visa Rules ‘Revitalise’ Medical Tourism — Hospitals Association”, The Jordan Times, September 11, 2019
  • Around 35,000 patients of restricted nationalities visited Jordan in the first eight months of this year, President of the Private Hospitals Association Fawzi Hammouri said on Tuesday.
  • The total number of foreign patients who visited the Kingdom, including restricted and nonrestricted nationalities, stands at around 160,000 patients, Hammouri told The Jordan Times, referring to the relaxation of restrictions since May to encourage medical tourism in Jordan.
  • The amended regulations governing the issuance of medical treatment visas were published in the Official Gazette and came into force in midMay, in accordance with the provisions of Article 9 of the Residency and Foreigners Affairs Law No. 3 of 1997 and its amendments.




  1.  “Move To Expedite Visit Visa Issuance”, Arab Times, September 13, 2019
  • The Ministry of State for Youth Affairs has agreed to link the sports federations, clubs and related institutions with the DirectorateGeneral of Residence Affairs, an electronic link concerning the visit visa applications of players, coaches, technicians, administrators, reports Al-Rai daily.
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid AlJarrah said the issuance of visit visas is done after checking the documents and visitor data.
  • However, he pointed out granting visit visas for six months violates the provisions of articles (10 and 11) of the Foreigners’ Residence Law and article (5) of the executive regulations of the law. He added that the ministry spares no efforts in facilitating the issue of entry visas when the sports federations and clubs submit applications to bring in sports delegations, in line with the provisions of the Amiri Decree No. 17 of 1959 for Foreigners and Ministerial Decree No. 640 of 1987 of the Executive Regulation of the aforesaid law.




  1.  “E-Visa Must For Travel To Oman Via Road”, Zawya, September 11, 2019
  • The Royal Oman Police (ROP) has sought to clear confusion on tourist visas to the Sultanate.
  • In a statement issued on Wednesday, ROP said, all visitors requiring visas for travelling to Oman through the land ports are requested to obtain it electronically (eVisa) before travel. This will facilitate easy and efficient processing at the border posts. Visa on Arrival is now an exception to the rule and e-Visa should be used wherever possible.
  • With the Sultanate moving towards the eVisa platform, all foreign tourists have been urged to obtain a visa before their departure from the city of origin.




  1.  “Pakistan To Issue 10,000 Visas To Sikh Pilgrims”, Tribune, September 13, 2019
  • Pakistan will issue more than 10,000 visas to the Sikh pilgrims in November this year, to attend the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Gurunank Dev.
  • Arrival of Sikh pilgrims would start from the first week of November. Special trains will bring Sikh pilgrims. Sikh pilgrims will reach Wagha railway station from Indian Atari railway station and then proceed would to Nankana Sahab.
  • The arrival of Sikh pilgrims would continue till November 8. Sikh pilgrims from other countries would also come to Pakistan through Wagha border.


Saudi Arabia


  1.  “SR300 For Haj, Umrah And Visit Visas To Saudi Arabia”, Saudi Gazette, September 10, 2019
  • Saudi Arabia is set to unify the price for Haj, Umrah and visit visas soon, which will be SR300 for each, government sources told Saudi Gazette.
  • Minister of Haj and Umrah Dr. Muhammad Saleh Benten thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman for the royal decree to restructure visit visa and Haj, which also includes canceling the fees of repeating Umrah.
  • Benten said that the decision shows the leadership keenness to facilitate the arrival of Muslims from all over the world to perform Haj and Umrah.
  • "The decision supports the efforts to achieve one of the main goals of Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to receive 30 million Umrah pilgrims by the year 2030," Benten added.


  1.  “Ministry To Issue e-Umrah Visa”, Saudi Gazette, September 9, 2019
  • The Ministry of Haj and Umrah has notified Umrah companies and establishments that electronic Umrah visas will be issued during the current season.
  • The evisa issuance will be made within the framework of a set of approved regulations, including advance payment of Umrah visa fee using electronic payment system prior to the pilgrims’ arrival, Al-Eqtisadiah reported.
  • The ministry stressed that the issuance of visa will be done through electronic route for Umrah, involving foreign agents and their respective Saudi Umrah service providers, and the adoption of a program that includes package of services and confirmed return tickets.




  1.  “Uzbekistan To Waive Visa Restrictions For Chinese Citizens”, Yahoo News, September 12, 2019
  • Uzbekistan said Thursday that it will lift visa restrictions for citizens from China in a bid to boost foreign tourism, becoming the first country in former Soviet nation in Central Asia to make the move.
  • An order signed by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said that Chinese citizens including those from Hong Kong would be subject to a sevenday visa waiver from the beginning of 2020.
  • Uzbekistan, which does not share a border with China, is the first of the five 'stans' in excommunist Central Asia to scrap visas for Chinese citizens.
  • Uzbekistan has made tourism a priority to reduce its dependence on exports of its natural resources, including natural gas and metals.


United Arab Emirates


  1.  “UAE: Tourist Visa Fee Waiver for Children Younger Than 18 Ends Today”, Albawaba, September 15, 2019
  • As announced in July by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, the tourist visa fee waiver for children younger than 18 travelling to UAE, accompanied by their parents, will end today.
  • The exemption is applicable for tourists travelling to the country from July 15 to September 15 every year.
  • Residents welcomed the visa waiver for underage children visiting the UAE saying it was a blessing for their relatives and family members who plan to have summer holidays in the emirates.






  1. Amy Hall, Matt Connellan & Shamsher Kainth, “Australia Grants Lowest Permanent Visas In Decade, SOL Under Review”, SBS Punjabi, September 16, 2019
  • Australia's migration intake has dropped to its lowest level in a decade. But the government says it can still combat employment problems in regional Australia by setting places aside for skilled foreign workers.
  • Around 160,000 visas were granted under the permanent migration program in 201819, nearly 30,000 fewer than the annual migration cap of 190,000. About 70 per cent of the places were filled by skilled workers, with migration agents and applicants blaming long processing times, rather than a lack of demand, for the unallocated visas.



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