HLG Weekly Newsletter

Nov 15,2016
South Africa

Khulekani Magubane, "SA tourism sector still limping following new visa requirements‚ parliament told", Times Live, November 1st, 2016

Adjustments that emerged from the committee included reneging on an undertaking to replace the requirement make for an unabridged birth certificate with and an ordinary birth certificate from 1 November.

SAA recorded that 3 974 passengers were denied boarding due to unabridged birth certificates from June 2015 to the end of July 2016. Extrapolating this to all airlines‚ this equates to 13 246 passengers denied boarding.

Antiqua & Barbuda

"IMF predicts economic growth for Antigua & Barbuda", Antigua Observer, November 10th, 2016

The Antigua & Barbuda economy is expected to grow by 3 per cent this year underpinned by the continued recovery in the tourism sector and investments in new and tourist facilities, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.

He said the growth this year reflects mainly the still tight financing conditions for the public and private sector. Inflation declined to around zero in the first half of 2016, mostly due to fuel price adjustment and continued softness in global commodity prices, and is projected to remain at low levels for the rest of this year and into 2017.


"New Visa Waiver to Boost Brazilian Tourism", Tourism Review, October 31st, 2016

The Brazilian government is considering a waiver of visa requirements for visitors from the United States, Japan, Canada and Australia to boost Brazilian tourism, and the plan could eventually be extended to include China, according to a spokesman of the Tourism Ministry.

The new visa waiver program could become permanent if there is a significant increase in the number of tourists and the governments of the four countries implement reciprocal measures to remove visa requirements for Brazilian visitors, the spokesman said.

Visitors from most countries in Latin America and the European Union as well as Russia do not need visas to travel to Brazil, but US visitors are required to pay about $160 for a visa to visit Brazil, an amount that is identical to the amount Brazilians are charged if they wish to travel to the United States.


"U.S. visitors flooded immigration website prior to election night crash, department confirms", CBC News, November 10th, 2016

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada confirmed that visitors from the U.S. made up half the traffic on its website when it "started to experience difficulties" around 11 p.m. on Nov. 8. The usual proportion of visitors from the U.S. ranges from 8.8 to 11.6 per cent.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada confirmed that visitors from the U.S. made up half the traffic on its website when it "started to experience difficulties" around 11 p.m. on Nov. 8. The usual proportion of visitors from the U.S. ranges from 8.8 to 11.6 per cent.

Kathleen Harris, "Canada to open door to more skilled workers, immigrant families in 2017", CBC News, October 31st, 2016

The Liberal government is boosting the base number of immigrants allowed into Canada next year to 300,000, to help drive economic growth as the country grapples with an aging demographic.

The previous target from 2011 to 2015 was 260,000, but that swelled to 300,000 this year because of what Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum called the "special circumstances" of the Syrian refugee crisis. That number will now be the permanent base.

The 2017 targets boost entries for those in the "economic" class — skilled workers, businesspeople and caregivers — to 172,500 from 160,600. In the family class, the number of sponsored spouses, partners, children, parents and grandparents will climb to 84,000 from 80,000.

Haley Juhl, "Canada ranks just below Germany as best country, worldwide survey determines", Montreal Gazette, November 2nd, 2016

Canada was firmly in the No. 2 spot when it came to perceptions of education, green living, places to raise kids, feminism, retirement and investment.

A survey conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and BAV Consulting canvassed more than 16,000 people worldwide to find out what they perceived as the best country in which to live.

Third on the list is the United Kingdom, with the United States and Sweden rounding out the top five. Australia, Japan, France, the Netherlands, and Denmark follow them. Algeria was last at No. 60.

Laura Kane, "B.C. Foreign Buyers Tax Dragged International Investment Down to 1.3 Per Cent", Huffington Post Canada, October 28th, 2016

The rate of foreign investment in Metro Vancouver housing has fallen to 1.3 per cent since the introduction of a new tax targeting international buyers, according to new data from the British Columbia government.

The drop is dramatic compared with the seven-week period before the tax was introduced when foreign buyers accounted for 13.2 per cent of the residential purchases in the region.

The total value of purchases involving foreign buyers was $318 million, or 1.8 per cent of the overall value of purchases in Metro Vancouver.

Antony Advincula, "NY offers support for more immigrants to become US citizens", Inquirer.Net, November 9th, 2016

The campaign, known as NaturalizeNY, offers vouchers to cover the application fee for applicants who qualify, aiming to maximize the number of citizenship applications, and, in turn, boost the state’s economy.

“The truth is, [according to a 2015 report by The Urban Institute], there are over 642,000 individuals in New York City alone who are eligible for naturalization,” said Roberto Frugone, northeast regional director of NALEO Educational Fund, at a recent ethnic media briefing hosted here by New America Media in association with the National Immigration Forum and the New Americans Campaign. “And there are about 915,000 [eligible immigrants] in the entire New York state,” he said, according to a report by the Center for Migration Studies of New York.

The NaturalizeNY initiative, launched by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in July, offers a lottery for 2,000 naturalization application fee vouchers for low-income immigrants who don’t qualify for a fee waiver.

"Tougher work visa norms may boost investment-linked immigration to US", Economic Times India, November 10th, 2016

Mark I Davies, global chairperson of Davies & Associates, a US immigrant investor visa firm, says, "Trump's win in the Presidential Elections will be beneficial for EB-5 visa applicants. While some of our clients have expressed concern with a Trump victory, we believed that their concerns will be short-lived, it will cause more Indians to apply for an EB-5-based US immigrant visa."

Trump has previously used the EB-5 visa program as a source of funding for some of his real estate projects. It was popular among Chinese investors. "Trump clearly appears to be open to high-net-worth investors coming to the US and receiving a green card in exchange for a qualifying investment through the EB-5 program," adds Davies.

St. Kitts & Nevis

Geno Lawrenzi Jr., "Khan: Citizenship By Investment Most Respected, Better Organized", The St. Kitts & Nevis Observer, November 1st, 2016

The Federation’s pride in its Citizenship by Investment Unit has been justified by international acclaim from the General Consul in Dubai.

One of the recognition awards was by the Migrant World for the Most Improved program in the region. Migrant World is a marketing agent of the St. Kitts and Nevis program. Mohammed Asaria, co-founder of Range Development, which developed the Park Hyatt in St. Kitts, presented a second award.

St. Vincent & the Grenadines

US announces addition of St. Vincent to eligible countries for special visa programmes", Jamaica Observer, November 10th, 2016

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has added St Vincent and the Grenadines to the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programmes for the coming year.

Other Caribbean countries eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visas programmes as of January 18 are Barbados, Belize, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti and Jamaica.

Trinidad & Tobago

"US denies visa waiver for T&T nationals", Jamaica Observer, November 4th, 2016

The United States Friday denied reports that Trinidad and Tobago nationals no longer required visas to enter the North American country. The US embassy said that the reports that the visa requirement had been abolished for Trinidad and Tobago were circulating on social media.

“Recent reports on social media advising that the Department of State has placed Trinidad and Tobago on the Visa Waiver Programme are inaccurate. Citizens of Trinidad and Tobago are required to possess a valid visa to enter the US,” the embassy said.


Guy Henderson, "China, Serbia to sign visa-free travel deal in Riga", CCTV, November 6th, 2016

China is expected to formalize a deal with the CEE country, Serbia that will allow visa-free travel for citizens of both countries for up to 30 days. An agreement to open direct flights from Beijing was also recently approved.

The apparent hope: to increase investment to the whole region — and complement the European Union’s own development plans. As Eastern and Central European leaders meet with China’s Premier Li Keqiang in the Latvian capital Riga — those investments are expected to be a focus.


"Indonesia, Armenia sign new agreements", The Jakarta Post, November 9th, 2016

Indonesia and Armenia agreed on Tuesday to strengthen their bilateral cooperation by signing three documents on education, visa exemption for diplomatic or service passport holders and mutual cooperation.

The two countries had also agreed to promote the tourism of both countries, but not many Armenians visit Indonesia, mainly because of the technical difficulties in acquiring Indonesian visas. Indonesia does not have an embassy in the Armenian capital of Yerevan. Those who wish to get one need to go to the Indonesian Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine. Meanwhile, Indonesians are eligible for a visa-on-arrival upon reaching Armenia.


Mehdi Sepahvand, "Tehran fervidly pursuing visa waiver with Azerbaijan", Trend News Agency, November 7th, 2016

Iran favors and is fervidly following up on the case of visa waiver with Azerbaijan.

“The first step, which is being arranged, is for the two sides to ease the requirements. After that, they will lift the visa requirement for special groups, and then it would be generalized,” said spokesman of the Islamic Republic's Foreign Ministry, Bahram Qassemi.


Enda Curran, "Japan quietly accepting foreign workers — just don’t call it immigration", Japan Times, November 3rd, 2016

Japan will allow more unskilled workers to enter temporarily, as companies struggle to fill positions in a country with the lowest unemployment rate among the Group of Seven nations.

Abe has made it clear that opening the nation to permanent immigration by unskilled labor isn’t an option, reflecting a historic fear among the Japanese that foreign nationals would cause social unrest and erode national identity.

Masahiko Shibayama, a lawmaker and adviser to Abe [Prime Minister] has called for a guest-worker program that would give five-year visas for sectors suffering labor shortages. Yet he noted that even the recent tourism boom has raised questions among Japanese about how many foreign residents should be here.


Astana and Tokyo agree on visa-free travel for diplomats" , Vestnik Kavkaza, November 8th, 2016

The Kazakh Foreign Ministry held a ceremony of exchanging verbal notes on mutual cancelling of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic and official passports of citizens of Kazakhstan and Japan starting from January 2017.

In addition, Kazakhstan introduces a visa-free regime for up to 30 days for holders of national passports of Japan from January 1, 2017 in a move to boost business ties with Japan.


Poland promises to back Kuwait bid for Schengen visa waiver - Al–Jarallah", Kuwait News Agency, November 7th, 2016

Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah announced Monday that Poland promised to support his country’s application for exempting its nationals willing to travel to Schengen Area from visa requirement.

Al-Jarallah made the announcement following his meeting with head of the foreign affairs committee of the Polish parliament who is in charge of the EU affairs, and a number of Polish MPs.


Fernando Fong, "Visa exemption for Chinese tourists extended to Dec 31, 2017", New Straits Times, November 3rd, 2016

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said visa-free entry for Chinese tourists will be extended to Dec 31, 2017.

“With the visa exemption for Chinese tourists, the Tourism and Culture Ministry has set a target of 2,026,000 visitors from China this year,” he said during the Minister’s Question Time (MQT) in Parliament today.


Shaddad Al Musalmy, "Omanis Still Need Visas to Travel to US: Embassy", Muscat Daily, November 1st, 2016

The US Embassy in Muscat has said that Oman is not among the 38 designated countries on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

A report on the USA Radio website said that Omani passport holders no longer require visas to travel to the US. “The information on the USA Radio website is incorrect,” Christy Watkins, spokesperson, US Embassy told Muscat Daily. “There have been no changes to visa requirements for Omanis. Those who wish to apply for a US visa can visit our website for the latest information.”


Nada Badawi, "New free four-day transit visa now available in Qatar", Doha News, November 1st, 2016

A new visa scheme for travelers transiting through Hamad International Airport (HIA) goes online today (Nov. 1), Qatar Airways and the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) have announced.

The free 96-hour transit visa is available to all Qatar Airways passengers with layovers of five or more hours at HIA, regardless of nationality. However, visas are granted based on the sole discretion of the Ministry of Interior, and must be applied for at least seven days in advance, Qatar Airways said in a statement yesterday.


"Turkey issues biometric passports as part of visa deal with EU", Hurriyet Daily News, October 31st, 2016

Turkey will begin issuing new biometric passports in November in a bid to fulfill one of the remaining criteria required by the European Union to grant a visa waiver to Turkish citizens as part of March 18 deal between Ankara and Brussels

The new passports will contain microchips including biometric data and the fingerprint information of the holder, as well as personal information such as the holder’s name, birthplace and passport number, the agency said, citing Interior Ministry officials.

The preparations for the new passports were finalized in June 1 by the Police Department. However, the release of the new passports was postponed until Nov. 1st in order to allow some existing passports to expire, officials from the Interior Ministry told the agency. The new passports will be issued starting Nov. 1st.

United Arab Emirates

"Chinese tourists gain visa-free entry to UAE", China Radio International, November 3rd, 2016

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is now offering visa-free travel to Chinese passport holders from November 1, for a period of 30 days.

The tourist visa can be extended once for an additional 30 days, according to the UAE Embassy in China.


Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit, "Vietnam streamlines visa process", TTR Weekly, November 3rd, 2016

Vietnam’s government has approved a plan to introduce electronic visas for foreign visitors from early next year. In the initial phase an e-visa would be available on a trial basis for tourists from major source markets, according to a Vietnam National Tourism Administration source.

In the case of Vietnam, the e-visa will be applicable for airline and cruise travellers, but it could be extended to overland checkpoints at a later date.

European Union

"European Version of US waiver, valuable weapon in anti-terror fight", Mail Online November 13th, 2016

Sir Julian King, European commissioner for the security union, said plans to introduce an electronic system for travel authorization - known as an Esta in America - will help identify potential troublemakers before they arrive at border control gates.

The US scheme requires international travellers who are exempt from visa requirements to apply for an Esta and pay a small fee - around £10 - before entering the territory.

"Canada Officially Confirms Visa Waiver for Bulgaria, Romania as of Dec 2017", Novinite, November 1st, 2016

The Canadian government intends to enforce the step as of December 01, 2017, according to a government statement. "In the lead-up to the full visa lifts, Canada intends to implement partial lifts for eligible Romanian and Bulgarian citizens travelling to Canada for May 1, 2017," the statement reads.

It also says Romanian and Bulgarian citizens who have held a Canadian temporary resident visa in the past 10 years or who currently hold a valid United States (U.S.) non-immigrant visa would not require a temporary resident visa and would be able to fly to or transit through Canada with an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) instead of a visa.


Gabriel Schembri, "Justice Minister reveals €310,300,500 generated from controversial IIP scheme", The Independent, October 31st, 2016

Justice Minister Owen Bonnici revealed that the controversial Individual Investment Programme has generated €310,300,500 for Malta. He assured the public that this money will be enjoyed by all, and not just a few.


"Russia Could Introduce Visa-Free Regime With Georgia", Sputnik International, November 3rd, 2016

Russia does not rule out the introduction of a visa-free regime with Georgia, but Tbilisi's visa liberalization talks with the European Union should be taken into account, Russian State Secretary and Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoriy Karasin said Thursday.

He clarified that Russia radically simplified visa requirements for Georgian citizens nearly a year ago, including through private invitations made by any citizen or legal resident of Russia.


"Ukraine, Albania adopt visa-free policy", China News, November 5th, 2016

The agreement on lifting the visa requirements was signed by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and his Albanian counterpart Ditmir Bushati in Tirana, said the press service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. The visa waiver deal allows for multiple visits, permitting a visa-free stay for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

Kiev hopes that the agreement would help Ukraine obtain a visa-free regime with the European Union.

United Kingdom

"UK announces a new visa crackdown on non EU nationals", The Statesman November 5th, 2016

In a crackdown to curb its soaring immigration figures, the UK government has announced changes to its visa policy for non-EU nationals, which will affect a large number of Indians especially IT professionals.

Under the new visa rules announced last evening by the UK Home Office, anyone applying after November 24 under the Tier 2 intra-company transfer (ICT) category would be required to meet a higher salary threshold requirement of 30,000 pounds from the earlier 20,800 pounds.

"U.K. makes it easier for (some) Indians to a visa", CNN Money, November 7th, 2016

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced Monday that India's elite business executives will be given access to an exclusive, bespoke visa service known as the "Great Club" that will help them secure travel documents.

Indian travelers are also now eligible for the U.K.'s registered traveler scheme, which will allow frequent U.K. visitors to skip immigration lines at airports -- a privilege currently reserved for visa-free countries like the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.


"Visa Free Travel to Australia? Not so fast says the Immigration Dept.", The Malay Mail Online, November 9th, 2016

Australia’s immigration policies remain unchanged despite a “hoax” news reports saying new visa-free arrangements will come into force in January 2017, Australia’s immigration department said today, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

The hoax stories said countries including Pakistan, the Philippines, Oman and Fiji have signed deals with Australia establishing new immigration arrangements including new visa-free travel arrangements beginning in January 2017.

Martha Louis, "Pato: Dual Citizenship will encourage investment", EMTV, November 3rd, 2016

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Rimbink Pato, says the Dual Citizenship Act will help in realizing the country’s development aspirations through trade and investment; and in effect, increase positive socio-economic indicators for health, employment, education and literacy.

The Minister made these remarks during the official opening of the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority Regional office in Lae.

Amendments will be done to the Citizenship Regulations. As precaution, however, strict application processes have been devised for defrauders. PNG is the only country in the Pacific that is connected to the growing economies of South East Asia because of the land border shared with the Republic of Indonesia.


The material contained in this Publication is solely intended to inform readers of general legal information and/or developments. It is not intended, and should not be relied upon, as a legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Harvey Law Group (“HLG”) is not liable and in any way responsible for any harm or damages resulting from the use of the information contained on this Publication for legal or any other purposes. All rights reserved.