HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 14.01.2019

Jan 14,2020





  1. Salome Nuhu, “Nigeria Immigration Releases Visa-On-Arrival Application Details”, All Africa, January 7, 2020
  • The Nigeria Immigration Service has released details of its new Visa-on-Arrival application processes for Africans and non-Africans.
  • “This is to notify the General Public that Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has rolled out a new Visa on Arrival Application Process for all Business Travelers and African Union (AU) countries, except for ECOWAS member countries,” the website read.
  • President Muhammadu Buhari in December announced that starting from January 2020, Africans traveling to Nigeria will be able to obtain their visas upon arrival.






  1. Dillon De Shong, “Canadian Immigration To Process Visas In Antigua For Three Days”, Loop, January 7, 2020
  • Immigration officials from Canada will be in Antigua for two days this month to process the biometrics of business, student and leisure visa applicants.
  • Prime Minister Gaston Browne made the announcement today. The processing will take place from Monday, January 27 to Wednesday, January 29 at the Parliament Building in St John’s.
  • Persons wishing to utilize the service must fill out an application form and email, with their reference number, to book an appointment.


  1. Douglas Todd, “Douglas Todd: Robots Replace Canadian Visa Officials, Ottawa Report Says”, Vancouver Sun, January 10, 2020
  • Tens of thousands of would-be guest workers and international students from China and India are having their fates determined by Canadian computers that are making visa decisions using artificial intelligence.
  • Even though Immigration Department officials recognize the public is wary about substituting robotic algorithms for human visa officers, the Liberal government plans to greatly expand “automated decision-making” in April of this year, according to an internal report.
  • The 25-page report also flags how having robots stand in for humans will have an impact on thousands of visa officers. The new system “will fundamentally change the day-to-day work of decision-makers.”


  1.  “Biometric Collection For Canadian Visas”, Bernews, January 10, 2020
  • The Ministry of National Security is advising the public that there will be an upcoming Biometric collection session for Bermudians seeking Canadian visas, which is set to take place on January 29th and 30th.
  • Minister Wayne Caines said, “The public will be aware that specific identification criteria is now mandatory for some individuals applying for a Canadian visitor visa, work or study permit or permanent residency in Canada. This is mandatory for all foreign students, inclusive of Bermudian students.
  • “Previously Biometric collection needed to be done overseas. Now thanks to a partnership with the Bermuda Government and the Consulate General of Canada, Biometric collection will be available in Bermuda at the Department of Immigration from January 29 and 30, 2020.


United States


  1.  “US Administration Puts In Place New Policy Reducing Visa Periods For Israelis”, Jewish News Syndicate, December 31, 2019
  • changes to the U.S. administration’s visa policy targeting only Israelis reduces the period of time they can use visas for investment, work and study purposes in the United States, Ynet reported on Thursday.
  • The biggest change was regarding the investors E2 visa document, which the U.S. government announced seven months ago that it would grant to Israeli citizens. Most world citizens who request an E2 visa can get a five-year permit, but the maximum period Israelis can get was reduced to only two years, Ynet reported.






  1.  “India Issues Record Number Of 15 Lakh Visas To Bangladeshis In 2019”, The Wire, December 31, 2019
  • India issued the largest number of visas to Bangladesh nationals in 2019, which has been “economically beneficial” for South Asia’s largest country, as per Indian high commissioner to Dhaka, Riva Ganguly Das.
  • The Indian high commission in Bangladesh issues largest number of visas among all missions across the world.




  1.  “Chinese And Indian Nationals No Longer Need To Apply For Visas Before Visiting Malaysia”, Yahoo News, December 31, 2019
  • Good news for tourists coming to Malaysia from India and China: Government officials have just announced that visitors will no longer need to apply for visas beforehand, starting January 1, 2020.
  • Tourists entering Malaysia will only be allowed to stay for up to 15 days, and they must key in their details and whereabouts while in the country into an electronic registration system before they arrive. Once the details are logged in, visitors have a three-month window to visit our fair shores for a fortnight.




  1. Franco Luna, “DOJ Shortens Visa Upon Arrival For Chinese Tourists To 30 days”, PhilStar Global, January 12, 2020
  • Visa upon arrival for Chinese tourists would now be valid for only 30 days and would no longer be extendable due to an amendment to the original rule, the Department of Justice said.
  • Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete confirmed this in an interview with reporters, saying the amendment would come into effect as soon as it was published.
  • Further restrictions include a requirement for booked accommodations for every stop for tourists and for accredited tour operators to provide proof of accommodations. "The new amendment makes it restrictive in a sense that if you're coming in as a tourist, you're now required to be able to get a visa upon arrival to provide tickets to go out of the Philippines, to make sure none will be overstaying," he said.


Sri Lanka


  1.  “Sri Lanka Extends Free Tourist Visa Facility To India Until 30 April”, LiveMint, January 2, 2020
  • Sri Lankan Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has confirmed that the government was in the process of drafting a Cabinet proposal to extend the free-visa regime till April 30, it was reported on Thursday.
  • "We have just begun to draft the proposal and within the next two weeks I hope to submit it to the Cabinet for approval," the Minister told the Daily Financial Times on Wednesday.
  • According to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, 1.6 million tourists arrived from January to November, compared to the 2 million arrivals in the same period in 2018.





  1. Eve Andreou, “Moves Expected Over Visas For Travel To The US”, Cyprus Mail, January 7, 2019
  • There could be developments soon regarding visa waivers for Cypriots travelling to the US, Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said on Tuesday.
  • The minister said the competent deputy minister of the US government is expected to arrive in Cyprus this month to discuss the issue of visa waivers for holders of Cypriot passports.
  • “Our aim is to have developments towards that direction within 2020,” Christodoulides said.




  1. Visa Facilitation And Readmission: The European Union And Belarus Sign Agreements”, European Commission, January 8, 2020
  • Today, the European Union and Belarus signed a visa facilitation agreement and a readmission agreement.
  • The visa facilitation agreement will make it easier for Belarusian citizens to acquire short-term visas to come to the European Union. Once the visa facilitation agreement enters into force, the visa fee will be reduced to €35. In addition, the service fee will be limited and the deadline for consulates to take a decision on a visa application will be shortened.




  1. Russia Simplifies Tourist Visas To St Petersburg, Leningrad Region”, Global Times, January 12, 2020
  • Russia has introduced an e-visa policy for Chinese tourists planning to visit Russia for the European Football Championship games that will be held in St Petersburg.
  • Asian markets are the fastest growing tourism exporters to Russia, with China being the leading country, Sergei Korneev, deputy head of the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation (Rostourism), told reporters during a recent trip to China.
  • Rostourism said it expects that introducing electronic visas for Chinese citizens is an effective way to provide an additional increase to the flow of both group and individual tourists from China by more than 20 percent.


Schengen Area


  1. Schengen Visa Fees To Increase Starting Feb 2020”, Albawaba, December 30, 2019
  • Travelers in need of a Schengen visa will need to pay a higher fee starting from February 2020.
  • “Applicants that used to pay €60 per application will now need to pay €80, while those that had to pay €35 will now need to pay €40. This includes children and other categories that were granted with the benefit of paying lower fees. Children aged 0 to 6 remain exempt from the visa fees,” a statement said.
  • Some of the countries cooperating with the EU in terms of readmission of illegal migrants may also benefit from reduced visa fees.




  1. Turkey Issues Completion Visas For Investments Worth $18.4B”, Daily Sabah, January 2, 2020
  • Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said on Twitter that more than 157,000 jobs were created in the abovementioned period.
  • A completion visa is issued for companies benefiting from incentives when they inform the ministry that their investments are realized.
  • "We issued new incentive certificates for investments worth TL 116 billion, 46% of which were in the manufacturing sector, and we expect 186,394 additional jobs," the minister said.






  1. Reduced Visa Fees To Boost Bahrain’s Position As A Tourist Destination”, Albawaba, January 2, 2020
  • The GDN reported yesterday that starting today, entry visas valid for one year will now cost only BD40 instead of BD85, while five-year valid entry visas will be charged BD60, down from BD170.
  • Under the new measure, foreign students will be entitled to five-year valid visas, instead of one-year ones, and the validity of diplomatic visas has been extended from three to five years.


Saudi Arabia


  1. Ozgur Tore, “Saudi Arabia Extends Visa Policy”, FTN News, January 6, 2020
  • The Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage (SCTH) announced that visitors can now use existing UK, US, and Schengen area country visas to obtain Saudi Arabia visitor visas at airport arrivals regardless of their citizenship.
  • Visitors intending to benefit from the new regulation must have previously used the visa to travel to any one of these countries before entering Saudi Arabia.


  1.  “Saudi Arabia Grants Free ‘Events Only’ Visas for UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait Expats”, Albawaba, January 2, 2020
  • In a strategic move aimed at boosting its tourism industry, Saudi Arabia is granting free visas to residents from the neighboring countries of the UAE, Bahrain, and Kuwait for attending major events in the kingdom such as the New Year 2020 show.


United Arab Emirates


  1. Farah Elbahrawy, “U.A.E. Offers 5-Year Tourist Visa As Neighbors Vie For Visitors”, Bloomberg, January 6, 2020
  • Tourist visas to the United Arab Emirates will be valid for five years, Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said Monday on Twitter, part of a campaign to lure holiday makers to Gulf countries.
  • The visas were previously valid for 30 to 90 days.






  1.  “Australian Visa Changes In 2020 And Their Impact On International Students And Skilled Migrants”, SBS Punjabi, January 6, 2020
  • Most recently, the federal government introduced two new regional visas in November as part of its promise to reduce congestion in major cities.
  • While the federal government announced the regional push, it is largely up to the states to implement it, as state sponsorship is required for the majority of places.
  • Migration agents believe potential international students who planned to settle in the same country they study would now think twice about choosing Australia.


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