HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 19.11.2019

Nov 19,2019





  1. Kenya And Somalia Agree To Restore Ties With The Restoration of Visas On Arrival For Each Other's Citizens”, Business Insider, November 15, 2019
  • On Thursday, November 14th, 2019, Kenya and Somalia agreed to normalise bilateral relations with the restoration of the issuance of travel visas on arrival arrangements for their citizens.
  • With these arrangements, citizens of both can countries can enjoy free movement of people and commerce and grow the East African markets. Somalian businesses can also tap into the Kenya economy, the biggest in the region, and continue to get support against terrorist groups.
  • The two leaders also reaffirmed the relations that exist between the two countries and agreed to explore avenues of strengthening bilateral and diplomatic ties.




  1.  “Namibia Has Promised Longer Visas For SA Business People, In A Drive For More Investment”, Business Insider, November 15, 2019
  • Namibian president Hage Geingob said South African businesspeople working in Namibia will soon be able to get five-year working visas in the country, CGTN reported.
  • Speaking at the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), Geingob said he had received complaints about the country’s current two-year visa regime for businesspeople from South Africa. He hoped that the new five-year working visa will increase investment to the country, NBC reported.
  • Geingob also said his government is planning to introduce e-visas, after introducing visas-on-arrival for a selected number of countries, CGTN reported. 


South Africa


  1. Shannon Correia, “Birth certificate visa requirements for Entry Into South Africa Updated”, The South African, November 11, 2019
  • Unabridged birth certificates and consent letters are no longer required in order to obtain a visa for international minors travelling to South Africa with their parents.
  • This announcement by Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi is expected to boost tourism and ease entry to the country.




United States


  1. Valerie Bolden-Barett, “Proposal To Scrap H-2B Newspaper Job Ad Requirement Clears White House”, HR Drive, November 13, 2019
  • The White House's Office of Management and Budget has completed its review of a proposed rule that would end newspaper posting requirements for employers looking to hire nonimmigrant H-2B visa holders for seasonal jobs.
  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor, published a joint notice of proposed rulemaking aimed at "modernizing ... recruiting requirements." The proposed rule would require employers to post electronic job ads for "at least 14 days" to give U.S. workers a chance to apply, replacing the old requirement that employers run newspaper ads. The online ads would need to be posted "on websites that U.S. workers in the area of the job opportunity would use."
  • If finalized in its current form, the rule will provide a transition period that allows employers time to switch from print to electronic ads. 



  1. Carolyn Said, “White House Restricts Legal Immigrants With Fee Hikes, H-1B Visa Denials”, San Francisco Chronicle, November 17, 2019
  • The Department of Homeland Security wants to increase fees by a weighted average of 21%, according to a Federal Register notice it published Thursday. The public has 30 days to comment.
  • “This proposed adjustment in fees would ensure more applicants cover the true cost of their applications and minimizes subsidies from an already overextended system,” immigration hard-liner Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement.






  1. Anwar Ahmad, “Emiratis To Get India Visa On Arrival”, Gulf News, November 17, 2019
  • Emiratis travelling to India can now get a visa-on-arrival. The announcement was confirmed by the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
  • “Government of India, with effect from November 16, 2019, has decided to extend the Visa-on-Arrival facility to nationals of the United Arab Emirates,” a statement from the embassy said, which was retweeted by the Indian ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor.
  • “A special gesture for the UAE with whom India has a comprehensive strategic partnership. Privileged to assume charge. Hope to further strengthen the warm India-UAE relations.,” the ambassador tweeted.




  1.  “Japan's New Working Visa Sees Only 219 Holders In First 6 Months”, Kyodo News, November 13, 2019
  • A new skilled worker visa introduced by Japan in April to bring in more foreign labor has only been acquired by 219 foreigners as of the end of September, the country's immigration agency said Wednesday, falling far short of the target for the program's first year.
  • While the numbers represent a more than 10-fold increase from the 20 visa holders recorded by June, they fall short of the maximum 47,550 foreigners expected to acquire the visa by March 2020.
  • The subdued response has been attributed to the limited test sites outside of Japan, and the narrow range of sectors for tests conducted thus far, both of which the Justice Ministry is working on expanding.




  1.  “S. Korea Eases Visa Regulations For Foreign Workers In Parts, Materials And Equipment Fields”, Yonhap News Agency, November 18, 2019
  • South Korea's justice ministry on Monday unveiled a revised visa policy to ease regulations for foreign workers in the parts, materials and equipment industries as part of ongoing efforts to help the industries that have taken a hit from Seoul's trade row with Tokyo.
  • "Starting Nov. 18, the justice ministry implements a revised policy for foreign professionals to support the parts, materials and equipment industries struggling from Japan's trade row and improve national competitiveness," the ministry said in a press release.
  • Under the plan, E-7 visa applicants working in the parts, materials and equipment industries who have received recommendations from the trade ministry will be eligible to apply for electronic visas, the ministry said in a press release.
  • Electronic visa applicants do not have to visit overseas consulates in person and can file for the application process online. The ministry expected the revised policy to shorten the process to up to one week from the current average of 30 days.




  1.  “Multiple Entry Visas Given To Sikhs To Facilitate Pilgrimage, Says Gov Sarwar”, Pakistan Today, November 13, 2019
  • Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar said that Pakistan government had issued multiple entry visa to Sikh yatrees from abroad to help them in their pilgrimage.
  • Addressing the ceremony on last day of celebrations to mark 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru
  • The governor said the government had opened doors to the Sikh community across the world and they will have no problem whenever they wish to come to Pakistan, adding that Pakistan stands by all minorities.






  1. Yahia Hatim, “Schengen Visa Applications For France To Go Paperless”, Morocco World News, November 15, 2019
  • France has announced that in two years applicants for Schengen visas will be able to complete applications and receive a visa online. The French strategic committee for visas made the announcement on Thursday, November 14.
  • The committee also announced the upcoming stages of the “France-Visas” project. The project aims to “ensure a paperless process of visa deliveries in two years, leading to better efficiency.”
  • “All the steps of visa application can be done online. The only information that will require the applicant’s physical presence in a consulate or embassy is biometrics,” adds the release.


United Kingdom


  1.  “UK Government Grants Free Visas To International Students”, iHarare, November 12, 2019
  • In a major boost for students, the UK government has announced a new two-year post-study work visa, expanding opportunities for talented international students to build successful careers in the UK.
  • The new ‘Graduate’ route will be open to all international students who have valid UK immigration status as a student and have successfully completed a course of study in any subject at undergraduate level or above at an approved UK Higher Education Provider. The visa will allow eligible students to work, or look for work, in any career or position of their choice, for two years after completing their studies.






  1. Sara Al Shurafa, “Oman Clarifies on New Tourist Visa Procedure”, Gulf News, November 14, 2019
  • Royal Oman Police released a statment on Thursday clarifying the new visa system. The statement says that there has been no change in the current procedure followed for entering its borders. However, an additional online portal has been provided for people who wish to save time at the borders, the statement said.
  • Tourists holding GCC passports, or GCC residency permits can obtain visa on arrival at all Omani border posts by filling up a form at the border. […] On long weekend holidays people were complaining about long queues, so Omani government have provided an additional online service.
  • Families of the residents, their drivers, house maids and companions are benefit from these facilities provided that they should present their labour cards and their passports are valid for a period not less than three months. All nationalities resident in GCC are benefit from the online service.


  1. Temporary Ban On Work Visas For Expats Announced In Oman”, Khaleej Times, November 12, 2019
  • The Oman's Ministry of Manpower announced a six-month ban on hiring expats in private sector establishments dealing with construction and cleaning work, reported Times of Oman.
  • In a statement issued on Monday, the ministry said: "The authorisation for the recruitment of non-Omani manpower in private sector establishments engaged in construction and cleaning works shall be suspended for six months. The permit will continue with an outgoing allowance."
  • However, companies with over 100 workers will not be affected by the move, according to Article (2) of the decision. Besides this, the decision also specifies that those establishments operating in implementation of government projects, enterprises owned by full-time employers registered with the Public Authority for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises, and establishments registered in the world category and based in free zones, will also not be affected.




  1.  “MoI’s New Portal Offers Online Visas For Events”, The Peninsula, November 12, 2019
  • A new Qatar Visa Portal has been launched by the Visa Support Services Department (VSSD) as a new platform to apply electronically for entry visas to visit Qatar to attend sports tournaments and other events hosted or organised by the State.
  • Director of VSSD at the Ministry of Interior, Major Abdullah Khalifa Al Mohannadi, said that Qatar hosts many cultural, scientific, sports and tourist events all the year round and these events attract a lot of people from inside and outside the country therefore it required the establishment of a unified platform that receives applications for visas to enter the country.
  • “The newly launched Qatar Visa Portal not only covers visas of events, but also business visas, investment and visas for other various activities,” he added.


Saudi Arabia


  1.  “Saudi Arabia Issues First Batch Of ‘Premium’ Residence Visas For Investors”, The National, November 11, 2019
  • Saudi Arabia issued its first batch of "premium" residence visas on Monday, for investors, doctors, engineers or financiers who wish to live in the kingdom.
  • The changes are part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s economic and social reform plans to diversify the economy and steer it away from its reliance on oil.
  • Saudi Arabia’s Premium Residency Centre said it had received thousands of applications through its online portal from inside and outside the country over the past few months.


  1.  Aoibhinn Mc Bride, “Saudi Arabia Has Changed Its Visa Policy For Expats”, Grazia Middle East, November 13, 2019
  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has issued its first permanent residency permits to 73 non-nationals, without the need of a sponsor.
  • The move follows Saudi's announcement in September of a new 90-day tourist visa, which has opened the country up to visitors for the first time, and is part of an initiative to "to attract overseas investment by enabling selected people to buy property and do business".
  • According to Bloomberg, the government is hoping these new “premium” residency permits will attract overseas investment by enabling people to buy property and do business without a sponsor, and the first group of recipients come from 19 countries and include investors, doctors, engineers and financiers, according to a statement Monday from the government’s Premium Residency Centre.
  • A permanent residency permit costs 800,000 riyals while a one-year renewable permit costs 100,000 riyals.


  1.  Muhammad Al-Abdullah, “Saudi Arabia Set To Classify Profession In Residence Permits And Visas”, Zawya, November 16, 2019
  • The Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) is working on classifying of professions via preparing precise details on the term “worker (laborer)”, the Director of the Professional Examinations Program at the ministry Naif Al-Omair has disclosed to Okaz/Saudi Gazette.
  • Al-Omair said: “There is a program that aims to restructure the names of professions, whether in the iqamas (residence permits) or visas.”
  • In a workshop held recently at Asharqiya Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Eastern Province Chamber), Al-Omair has stressed that the ministry would not impose any fee on changing this profession. However, the worker will have to undergo a “professional test” for the new profession.


United Arab Emirates


  1.  “2,500 People Get UAE Golden Visas”, Gulf News, November 12, 2019
  • In the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, a total of 2,500 scientists, researchers, doctors, and innovators were granted the golden visa. This is the first batch of golden visa beneficiaries.
  • The move comes in line with the Cabinet decision to grant long-term visas. It also reaffirms the country’s global position as an incubator and hub for talents, innovators and creatives.


  1.  “UAE Hints To Reopen Labour Market For Bangladeshi Workers”, Dhaka Tribune, November 17, 2019
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has hinted reopening its labour market for Bangladeshi workers after a ban of five years. Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan gave the hint while paying a courtesy call on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dubai on Sunday.
  • He also hinted to give more work permit visas for Bangladeshi workers.




New Zealand


  1. Derek Cheng, “The Government Reveals New System For Arranged Marriages and Partnership Visas”, NZ Herald, November 13, 2019
  • The Government is introducing a new system for foreigners in arranged marriages to make it easier for those in genuine partnerships to apply for partnership visas.
  • It will mean that spouses in such partnerships can apply for a special culturally-arranged visitor visa, which will then allow them to prove the integrity of the partnership before applying for a partnership visa.
  • "Once they are here, the visitor period will help demonstrate the genuine and stable nature of their relationship in order to get a partnership visa," Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said in announcing the new process today.


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