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HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 03.07.2018

Jul 04,2018

AFRICA

 

Mauritius

 

  1. Socrates Mbamalu, “Mauritius, Where You Pay $1M and More to Be a Citizen”, This is Africa, June 26, 2018
  • Mauritius was recently ranked as the most peaceful country on the African continent, and in the top 20 globally.
  • The island nation which is so small that you can reach the four corners of the country in a day is offering its citizenship for $1 million. $500,000 will be used to boost the country’s sovereign wealth fund. The decision was announced during the country’s 2018 budget. Aside from paying $1 million, applicants will pay $100,000 for each dependent and spouse, and applicants will also pay $50,000 per passport for family members.
  • Mauritius however sits in a comfortable position in terms of democracy, and ease of doing business. According to World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report, Mauritius ranked 25th worldwide, and the best in Africa.

 

Nigeria

 

  1. Evelyn Bankole, “Ecuador Joined Visa Free Countries for Nigeria”, Naij, June 26, 2018
  • A couple of days ago the Ambassador of Ecuador in Nigeria Deopoldo Rovayo announced that from now on citizens of Nigeria and Ecuador would need no visas to enter these countries. The Ambassador announced the agreement while paying a visit to the officials of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Olukunle Bamgbose, its Permanent Secretary.
  • Besides that, the Ambassador claimed that another goal of the agreement is in the simplification of visits to both the countries. The point is that there’s a significant number of Nigerians in Ecuador and that this number is rising steadily.

 

Rwanda

 

  1. Angola and Rwanda Scrap Tourist Visas”, Journal du Cameroun, June 28, 2018
  • An agreement signed earlier this month between Rwanda and Angola on mutual exemption of tourist visa requirements for holders of ordinary passports will come into effect by 1 July this year, according to an official statement issued in Kigali on Thursday.
  • Under the agreement, Rwandan and Angolan tourists are not required visas for entry, exit, transit or stay on their territories for up to 90 days within each 180day period from the first entry. However, those who travel to Angola and vice-versa to start a business, seek an employment, or to stay for more than 90 days, will still be required to obtain a visa on arrival on both countries’ entry points, it said.

 

AMERICA

 

Brazil

 

  1. Claudia Civinini, “Visa-Free Travel Between Brazil and UAE in Force”, The PIE News, July 2, 2018
  • A visa waiver agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Brazil has come into force. Citizens of both countries can travel visa free between the two countries for up to 90 days a year for tourism or business purposes.
  • Assistant undersecretary for consular affairs at UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ahmed Elham Al Dhaheri, said in a statement that the agreement will open up opportunities for tourist, travel and investment exchanges.
  • The visawaiver agreement with Brazil means UAE nationals can now travel visa free to 151 nations.

 

Canada

 

  1. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, “IRCC Improves the Processing of Student Applications from China, India, Vietnam, and the Philippines”, Government of Canada, June 8, 2018
  • To support the growth in study permit applications, IRCC today announces the Student Direct Stream (SDS), which is available to students applying for a study permit from China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines. Students from those countries who demonstrate upfront that they have the financial resources and language skills to succeed academically in Canada will benefit from faster processing times.
  • To qualify for SDS, applicants need to meet additional requirements, in particular language levels that are stricter than regular study permit requirements. Students who do not have all of the additional information required for SDS can apply through the regular study permit application process, either online or at a Visa Application Centre.
  • The SDS complements the Express Entry system as these students will be well placed to continue on the path to permanent residence and Canadian citizenship after completing their studies in Canada, if they wish to.

 

  1. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, “Policy Hub Created to Better Support Francophone Immigration Outside of Quebec”, Government of Canada, June 11, 2018
  • The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship was joined today by Serge Cormier, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, at a round table with Francophone organizations and related partners where he announced the creation of a new Francophone Immigration Policy Hub.
  • The Hub will ensure a more coordinated approach on Francophone immigration policy. This will enhance collaboration between Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the provinces and territories in the context of the recently announced Federal/Provincial/Territorial Action Plan for Increasing Francophone Immigration Outside of Quebec.
  • As part of this strategy, the Government of Canada will continue its international promotion, communication and recruitment efforts to leverage governmental, nongovernmental and employment-related partners in support of attracting, integrating and retaining French-speaking newcomers.

 

  1. Ananya Bhattacharya, “For Indian Students, the American Dream is Becoming a Canadian One”, Quartz, June 25, 2018
  • In 2017, Indian students who secured Canadian visas increased by almost 60% from a year ago, according to official data. In all, Indian students received 83,410 of the 317,110 Canadian study permits granted during the year.
  • Canada has far simpler policies for immigrant workers. After becoming permanent residents in the country for six years, individuals can apply for Canadian citizenship. Moreover, getting a work permit in Canada is not really up to chance compared to the US, where the H1B lottery determines the fate of thousands of foreign jobseekers. Canada even offers express entry for skilled immigrants.
  • Canada is relaxing its rules for foreign students even further. On June 08, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced the Student Direct Stream (SDS) for China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines. Students from these four countries who have enrolled in any of the 1,400plus designated learning institutes in Canada can now fast-track their applications, as long as they pass English-language tests and prove they are financially stable.

 

  1. Sam Wolfson, “US and Canada are Most Inclusive to Immigrant Citizens, Global Study Finds”, The Guardian, June 25, 2018
  • The polling company Ipsos surveyed 20,000 people across 27 countries, looking at questions of religion, immigration status, the origin country of someone’s parents, as well as sexuality, criminal background and extreme political views. It found that Canadians had the broadest acceptance of who was a “real Canadian”, and that the US was close behind in second place. It suggests most Americans are at odds with the nativist position of the current administration.
  • The results were then compiled into a inclusiveness index – which aggregated different responses. After the two North American countries, South Africa, France, Australia and Chile were rated most inclusive. At the bottom of the list were Serbia, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
  • On the question of whether a Muslim could be a real national, Muslim countries expectedly scored the highest. Among all other countries only four (South Africa, Canada, France and the US) had a majority of people who saw Muslims as real nationals in their respective countries.
  • Secular countries with a longstanding separation between church and state tended to have a more welcoming attitude to atheists, with France and Canada topping the list.

 

St. Kitts & Nevis

 

  1. Harvey Law Group Announces Strategic Partnership with Range Developments in Southeast Asia for Six Senses St. Kitts Resort and Spa”, Markets Insider, June 27, 2018
  • Harvey Law Group (HLG), one of Asia's leading legal firms focusing on investment immigration and mobility, announced that one of its portfolio companies has acquired nearly 20% of the inventory in the newly launched Six Senses St. Kitts being developed by Range Developments (Range) under the St Kitts' Citizenshipby-Investment program.
  • Harvey Law Group was awarded the Immigration Law Firm of The Year at the Annual Macallan ALB Hong Kong Law Awards in 2014 and 2017. It is notable that Harvey Law Group has been offering Business Immigration Services since 1992 and therefore making it one of the oldest firm in this highly specialized field.
  • JeanFrancois Harvey, Global Managing partner of Harvey Law Group said in the release, "For the last six years, Harvey Law Group has developed a strong business relationship with Range Developments. Harvey Law Group was the launch partner for Park Hyatt St Kitts in China in 2012 and we have worked closely with Range on its Cabrits Resort Kempinski Dominica across South East Asia; the next logical step was to in invest in Six Senses St Kitts and secure units for our esteemed clients in South East Asia."

 

ASIA


India

 

  1. Now, Apply for Passport from Anywhere in India: Centre”, Times of India, June 27, 2018
  • External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday launched a new scheme under which a person can apply for a passport from anywhere in India irrespective of the place of stay. The minister also launched a mobile application, available in Android and iOS platforms, that would have the facilities for applying, paying and scheduling appointments for acquiring a passport.
  • Under the new scheme, launched on the occasion of the Sixth Passport Seva Divas, a person can now choose the Regional Passport Office (RPO) and the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) or Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) for submitting the application.
  • The application can be submitted irrespective of whether the person's present residential address was within the jurisdiction of the selected RPO or not, a ministry of external affairs (MEA) statement said.

 

Malaysia

 

  1. Abdul Muin Majid, “Dr M: Malaysia Welcomes Skilled Foreigners, May Even Give Citizenship”, The Star, June 28, 2018
  • The government welcomed foreigners with certain skills such as in IT to come and live in this country, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. "If the foreigners come with certain skills that we want, we would invite them to stay in this country and even become citizens if they want to," said the Prime Minister.
  • He explained that the government is eyeing to put in place a proper policy for foreign workers. "Actually we're studying to try and find a proper policy for foreign workers...they are many wrong things being done (with regard to their recruitment),” he said at the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce luncheon here today.

 

  1. M. Kumar, “Muhyiddin: Special Committee to Resolve Citizenship Issue”, The Star, July 2, 2018
  • A special committee headed by the Home Ministry and Human Resources Ministry will be set up to look into resolving drawnout citizenship applications, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. The Home Minister said he will chair the committee that will look to resolve around 200,000 cases of people waiting to get citizenship despite being born in Malaysia or living in the country for decades.
  • “I believe that we can solve this problem quickly and that part of it should be done within two weeks,” he said after visiting the National Registration Department headquarters at Putrajaya on Monday (July 2).

 

Taiwan

 

  1. Keoni Everington, “Taiwan Extends Visa-Free Entry to Philippines, Thailand, and Brunei”, Taiwan News, June 28, 2018
  • Visafree entry for citizens from the Philippines, Thailand, and Brunei is going to be extended for one year, announced Minister without Portfolio Chang Ching-sen yesterday (June 28), reported CNA.
  • After it was determined an interministerial meeting held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) earlier this month that the current visa-free policy had produced satisfactory results, it was decided that visa-free treatment for citizens of the Philippines, Thailand and Brunei will extended to July 31, 2019.
  • In order to streamline the program, Chang said that the 30day visa-free entry originally offered to visitors from Thailand and Brunei, will be reduced to 14 days, as is currently the case with travelers from the Philippines.

 

United Arab Emirates

 

  1. UAE’s Free 48-Hour Transit Visa to Boost Tourism”, Trade Arabia, June 25, 2018
  • The UAE can expect to receive an influx of tourists over the coming months following a recent decision by the UAE Cabinet to exempt transit passengers from all entry fees for the first 48 hours of their stay, a report said. Furthermore, the transit visa can be extended for up to 96 hours for a fee of Dh50 ($13.6), a report in WAM said citing an announcement made by the cabinet.
  • According to Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index, Dubai is already the fourth most visited city destination in the world after Bangkok, London, and Paris. The new decision is expected to further boost tourism to the UAE, making it the top destination in the world.

 

Vietnam

 

  1. Charlotte Flach, “Vietnam Extends Visa Waiver for UK Nationals”, C&IT Magazine, June 25, 2018
  • The Government of Vietnam has confirmed a three year extension of its visa exemption programme for United Kingdom passport holders.
  • The extended visa waiver for British citizens is valid for singleentry stays of up to 15 days - for three more years. First introduced in 2015, the policy also applies to French, German, Spanish and Italian nationals. This latest extension, until 30 July 2021, is the longest extension period yet.

 

EUROPE

 

Belarus

 

  1. Belarusian MPs Ratify Visa-Free Agreement With China”, Xinhua, June 28, 2018
  • The House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus on Wednesday ratified the intergovernmental agreement on visafree travel with China. "This will happen within 30 days after the parties complete the approval process and inform each other," Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Evgeny Shestakov told reporters.
  • The agreement stipulates that Belarusians will be able to stay in China without a visa for up to 30 days in one trip, but not more than 90 days a year. The same rule will apply to Chinese citizens. If a person wants to stay in the country for more than 30 days or engage in educational and professional activities, he or she will need a special visa. Visafree travel covers private trips, business trips and tourist trips.

 

Cyprus

 

  1. Abdel Sattar Barakat, “Following European Criticism, Cyprus Caps Investors Visa”, Asharq Al-Awsat, June 25, 2018
  • Cyprus has tightened its procedures to allow foreign investors to acquire Cypriot citizenship, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said after criticism that Cyprus was selling European passports. “We do not accept the claim that the Cypriot passport is up for sale. The Cyprus passport, like any state passport, is given on the basis of specific criteria,” Georgiades said.
  • Georgiades said Cypriot authorities have introduced more stringent controls on the program and capped at 700 the number of passports it will grant to wealthy foreigners each year, “less than 30% of the total Cypriot naturalization.” “For example, in addition to the checks carried out to date, a thorough, exhaustive, due diligence check by specialized foreign firms will be carried out on a caseby-case basis,” indicated Georgiades.

 

Denmark

 

  1. Christian W, “Tougher Demands for Danish Citizenship on the Horizon”, Copenhagen Post, June 29, 2018
  • The government is set to team up with Dansk Folkeparti (DF) and Socialdemokratiet for new citizenship legislation in the near future. And the results are looking more stringent. Among the legislation on the table is permanent exclusion from gaining citizenship for anyone who has participated in gang crime or spent three months or more in prison for violence.
  • Furthermore, anyone receiving social benefits (dagpenge) also won’t be allowed to become Danish – something some experts claim to be a form of double punishment, particularly given that many foreigners are often on the outer edges of the labour market.

 

Greece

 

  1. Visa Free Diplomatic Travel Between Greece and Vietnam”, Greek City Times, July 2, 2018
  • Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias met on Monday in Athens with Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister of Vietnam Pham Binh Minh where they signed an agreement that abolishes the need for visas on diplomatic passports.
  • During their meeting the Vietnamese Foreign Minister expressed his appreciation “for Greece’s support in the formal signing and ratification of the freetrade agreement between the EU and Vietnam” […].

 

Ukraine

 

  1. Ukraine-Antigua and Barbuda Visa Free Regime Agreement Takes Effect”, 112.International, June 29, 2018
  • On June 29, the visa free regime agreement between Ukraine and Antigua and Barbuda took effect. In February, Ukraine signed the respective agreement on the mutual abolition of visa requirements. This was reported by Ukrainian Embassy in the United States in Facebook.
  • Visafree agreement provides for stay in these countries for the term not more than 90 days in 180 days.

 

United Kingdom

 

  1. Martin Rosenbaum, “Surge in Britons Getting Another EU Nationality”, BBC News, June 30, 2018
  • In 2017 a total of 13,141 UK citizens obtained the nationality of one of the 18 member states from which the BBC has received figures. This compares with 5,056 in 2016 and only 1,826 in 2015.
  • The most frequent new nationality was German, which saw a huge jump from just 594 cases in 2015 up to 7,493 in 2017.
  • The rise is presumed to be the result of Britons who can meet the criteria seeking to keep their legal rights attached to European Union membership. The 2017 figure is about seven times the 2015 level. The dramatic increase is consistent across many countries. France was the second most popular nationality, jumping from 320 instances in 2015 to 1,518 last year, and then Belgium, where the increase was from 127 to 1,381.

 

 

Disclaimer

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.