HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 10.09.2018

Sep 10,2018





  1. Cynthia Ombati, “Kenyans in Diaspora to Get Passports at Six New Centres”, Standard, September 9, 2018
  • Kenyans in the diaspora will no longer need to travel back to renew their passports or get any other immigration services. This follows Government plans to open six new immigration stations outside the country to ease access to the services.
  • The stations will be opened by November, according to top Ministry of Interior officials who met at Harambee House in Nairobi on Friday. They will be opened in South Africa, Dubai, Britain, Belgium, Washington and Los Angeles. “This will help those in those regions get services quickly. They have been suffering trying to renew their passports,” said one of the officials.
  • The new passports will bear the words ‘East African Community’ and ‘Kenya’, in line with the ongoing regional integration efforts.






  1. Sarah Leavitt, “Quebecers Content With Current Immigration Levels, Vote Compass Data Suggests”,  CBC, September 3, 2018
  • Almost 70 per cent of people responding to the online tool Vote Compass are happy with the number of new immigrants coming to the province or would welcome more. To the question, "How many new immigrants should Quebec admit?" 37 per cent responded "about the same as now." A total of 22 per cent said the province should admit "somewhat more."
  • "We have had, generally in Quebec, an overall positive consensus towards immigration," said Mirielle Paquet, a political science professor at Concordia University, who specializes in the politics of immigration.




  1. IMF Wants Dominica to Set Up Savings Fund to Deal With Natural Disasters”, St. Lucia News, September 6, 2018
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is urging the Dominica government to create a savings fund for natural disasters as it urged Roseau to continue implementing cost effective fiscal policies and reforms to support recovery while containing the expansion of the public debt.
  • “Fiscal performance deteriorated sharply due to the fall in tax revenue after the hurricane, but was partially offset by a surge in grants and buoyant Citizenshipby-Investment (CBI) sales revenues. With limited revenue, drawdown of large government deposits, grants, and an insurance pay out helped meet financing needs,” the IMF said.
  • “Given Dominica’s vulnerability to natural disasters, directors noted that investment in resilient infrastructure was appropriate, despite its higher cost. They encouraged the authorities to create a savings fund for natural disasters.”


St. Kitts & Nevis


  1. LK Hewlett, “US Grants SKN Nationals Visa Renewal Interview Waiver”, WINN FM, September 7, 2018
  • As part of the United States Government’s continuing efforts to improve customer service and streamline the visa process, the U.S. Embassy is implementing interview visa waivers in Barbados for qualified applicants wishing to renew their U.S. visas, effective Monday, September 10, meaning those who qualify would not have to travel to Barbados to renew their US visas.
  • St. Kitts and Nevis passport holders may qualify for a visa renewal interview waiver if their previous visa expired within the past twelve months and they are applying for the same visa category as their previous visa. The applicant must be physically present in St Kitts and Nevis or within the consular district of the U.S. Embassy in Barbados to avail themselves of this option. Additionally, the previous U.S. visa must be in the applicant's possession, and the applicant must have submitted a 10fingerprint scan in conjunction with the previous visa application.


United States


  1. Benjamin Fearnow, “Immigrants Account for Two-Thirds of US Economic Growth Since 2011, Analysis Finds”, Newsweek, September 9, 2018
  • Twothirds of U.S. GDP expansion since 2011 is "directly attributable to migration," and any cuts to immigration would damage economic gains as well as hindering innovation, a new report from Citigroup and Oxford University, revealed by the Financial Times on Sunday, said.
  • The study found that the risks of migration inherently draw entrepreneurial minded people into the U.S. workforce. Despite making up only 14 percent of the U.S. population, migrants have founded 40 percent of businesses on the Fortune 500, and about 30 percent of all the country's businesses since 2011, including more than half of startup businesses now valued at over $1 billion.
  • "Their presence," one of the authors, Ian Goldin, a professor of globalisation and development at Oxford university wrote "usually is associated with higher wages, higher productivity, lower unemployment and higher female workforce participation."






  1. Sikhs to Get Visa-Free Access to Kartarpur Gurdwara: Pakistan”, The Times of India, September 8, 2018
  • Pakistan’s information minister Fawad Chaudhry on Friday said that the Imran Khan government was planning to give Sikh pilgrims “visafree direct access” to the historic Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara.
  • “Pakistan will soon open the border at Kartarpur for Sikh pilgrims who will be able to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur without visas,” Chaudhry said, adding that “a road will be constructed for the pilgrims to come. They will then have to buy a ticket to go back.”
  • There’s, however, no clarity yet on the system – whether the access will be permanent or be specifically for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev next year.




  1. The Perks of Obtaining Permanent Residency and Citizenship by Investing in Europe for Malaysians”, Acrofan, September 4, 2018
  • Mobility is one of the top advantages of investing in European residency and citizenship. Whether to live, work, or travel, a European residency or citizenship in one country can open access to the rest of the continent and even beyond European borders including visafree access to Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, and New Zealand.
  • For example, [a] "Golden Visa" scheme is a quick and affordable investment to obtain full European residency and begin the path to permanent residency and, often, a fasttrack route to citizenship.
  • Citizenshipby-investment is the fastest and simplest way for an investor to legally obtain citizenship as well as second passport that can dramatically change an investor's travel opportunities. In particular, obtaining an EU passport allows the holder to reside anywhere in the EU and take advantage of the high standard of living that is offered in Europe including exceptional education, healthcare, and safe environment.




  1. No Citizenship Granted to Illegals Under Sabah Amnesty Programme”, Free Malaysia Today, September 6, 2018
  • The amnesty programme for illegal immigrants in Sabah is not aimed at granting citizenship or identity cards to them, says Deputy Home Minister Mohd Azis Jamman. He said the programme was an initiative introduced by the new Pakatan Harapan government to register the group following the uncontrolled entry of illegal immigrants into the state under the previous administration.
  • The Sepanggar MP said the programme was actually to get foreigners working illegally in Sabah to be registered to enable the government to be in control of the situation, especially those involved in crime.




  1. Qatar Mulls Visa-Free Entry Scheme”, Al-bawaba, September 3, 2018
  • FIFA 2022 World Cup Qatar organizers said they would take a decision on whether to adopt Russia's Fan ID scheme when they meet with their Russian counterparts soon. The Fan ID, which was a personalised document that every match ticketholder was required to have by the governing body, provided fans with visa-free entry to Russia at the 2018 tournament.
  • Nasser al Khater, Assistant SecretaryGeneral, and Tournament Affairs, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, said:"We look forward to speaking to our colleagues in Russia very soon to see what the lessons have been learned from the system. One of the main topics is the successes or lack of success of the Fan ID." "From what we learned, it was a huge success, we just want to make sure that we understand where the positives and negatives are before we take a decision."


  1. Qatar is Now the Most Open Country for Visas in the Middle East”, Times of India, September 6, 2018
  • Qatar is now the Middle East’s most open country and the 8th most open in the world, when it comes to visa facilitation. According to news reports, lately the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) revised its visa openness rankings, verifying Qatar’s latest visa facilitation advancements, which lets citizens of 88 world nations to land in Qatar visafree and cost-free.
  • Consequently, Qatar’s visa openness has made its ascent to the 8th position in the world in 2018 from the 177th position in 2014! Ever since these changes have been introduced, the percentage of tourists arriving in Qatar from India has grown by 18 percent every year. From countries like Russia and China, the number has increased by 366 percent and 43 percent respectively.




  1. Joseph Yeh, “Taiwan Offers Visa-Free Treatment to Russians”, Focus Taiwan, September 6, 2018
  • Taiwan announced Thursday visafree entry for Russian nationals as part of its efforts to promote closer exchanges. Russian nationals will now enjoy visa-free entry for visits of up to 14 days, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) statement.
  • Russians citizens must hold a passport with at least six months of validity, hold a confirmed return plane or boat ticket, and have no criminal record before they can apply to enter Taiwan visafree, the MOFA said. They will be required to prepare hotel booking records, a local contact person and a financial statement for possible check at Taiwan Customs.
  • The trial program will run until July 31, 2019 and will be reviewed to see if the visafree privileges should be further extended, MOFA said.




  1. Thais Can Still Go to Taiwan Without a Visa, But For 14 Days”, The Nation, September 4, 2018
  • On July 12, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced it was extending its trial of visafree entry for nationals from Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines for another year, but the number of days will be reduced to 14. The trial will continue from August 1 through July 31, 2019. This measure under Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy aims to attract more tourists and businesspeople
  • This visafree policy has helped boost Taiwan’s tourism industry, bringing 410,000 visitors from Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines over the past two years. The number of tourists from Thailand and the Philippines grew by 95 per cent and 48.5 per cent, respectively, during that period.
  • But many visitors from the three countries were also found to have engaged in prostitution during their stay in Taiwan. To address this issue, the Taiwan News said Taiwan had cut each visafree stay to two weeks, and is thinking about slashing visa-free visits from six times a year to twice a year. Also, high-risk individuals will be targeted with inspection and follow-up measures, the online newspaper reported.


United Arab Emirates


  1. Pedro Goncalves, “Rich UAE Expats Target Caribbean for Second Passport”, International Investment, September 3, 2018
  • The Caribbean countries have seen a surge in demand in theirs citizenshipby-investment schemes as more high-net-worth expats from the UAE are seeking a second passport.
  • According to the latest report released by Professional Wealth Management, Dominica, St Kitts Nevis, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, Vanuatu, Cyprus, Malta, Bulgaria, Turkey and Austria have some of the most sought after citizenshipby-investment schemes.
  • Last year, as many as 83% of highnet-worth individuals applying for a second passport in the UAE were families. The demand also increased across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) by 30% in 2017-18.


  1. UAE Passport Holds On to Top Spot in Arab Region”, Gulf Digital News, September 7, 2018
  • The UAE passport has consolidated its standing in the world. The Emirati passport has been ranked first in the Arab region on the Arton Capital Passport Index, according to Ittihad. The global passport power ranking index put the Emirati passport in the 10th position.
  • This means that holders of the Emirati passport are able to visit 156 countries – free of preentry visas.






  1. Denmark to Exclude ‘Suspicious’ Stateless Persons From Obtaining Citizenship”, Sputnik, September 6, 2018
  • For years, various Danish governments have maintained that the country's international obligations make stateless foreigners eligible for Danish citizenship, regardless of whether the Security and Intelligence Service (PET) considers them a security threat. As former Social Democrat Justice Minister Karen Hækkerup put it in 2014, the law wasn't "elastic," and there was no way of changing it.
  • However, the incumbent government intends to put an end to this practice, reinterpreting the Convention on Statelessness in order to allow the Immigration Ministry to postpone granting citizenship to stateless individuals as long as PET labels them a risk to Denmark's security, the daily newspaper JyllandsPosten reported.
  • In the future, the PET's suspicions will be enough to postpone granting citizenship for half a year at a time. The seeker will not be notified about this and won't be able to appeal against the ruling to an independent body. Formally, the case will be "under consideration," Støjberg explained.




  1. Large Increase in Britons Applying for Irish Citizenship”, Belfast Telegraph, September 10, 2018
  • The number of British nationals applying to become Irish citizens has grown massively in the wake of the Brexit referendum. Britons who qualify through Irish heritage have already been applying for passports in large numbers. Now, statistics from the Irish Department of Justice show that they are being joined by Britons living in the Republic who do not have family roots in Ireland.
  • In 2014, just 51 British nationals became naturalised Irish citizens, while in 2015 the figure stood at 54. In 2016, the year of the Brexit vote, the figure had almost doubled to 98. And last year saw a massive surge in applications, with 529 British nationals becoming Irish citizens. Today, 480 people from 68 countries, among them 47 Britons, will take part in a citizenship ceremony at the National Concert Hall in Dublin where they will receive their certificates of naturalisation. Poland, the UK and Romania top the list of the nationalities taking part in the ceremony.
  • Demand for Irish passports has soared in Northern Ireland and Great Britain in the wake of the vote to leave the EU. It was reported that the number of applications in the first four months of 2018 soared by 25% compared with the figures for the same period in 2016. At the time, the Department for Foreign Affairs said the increase was “undoubtedly in part influenced by Brexitrelated demand, with around 10% of all applications this year from applicants living in Great Britain”.




  1. Matthew Vella, “Passport Boss Says Malta Verifying All Sources of Millionaires’ Wealth”, Malta Today, September 4, 2018
  • The agency that oversees the sale of citizenship to the global elite has told MaltaToday it is carrying out a due diligence investigation on the sources of wealth declared by the multimillionaires aspiring for a Maltese passport. Malta’s Individual Investor Programme has generated over €680 million for the government’s posterity fund, as well as an additional €170 million in property investments.
  • “85% of our work today is due diligence,” says IIP chief Jonathan Cardona at news that the European Commission will be issuing recommendations to EU member states that are selling citizenship – namely Austria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Portugal.
  • “Our due diligence team today is almost entirely composed of former risk and compliance officers who worked at major banks, and we have developed a risk matrix that allows us to carry a thorough assessment of whether an application should be finally recommended for approval or not,” Cardona says.


  1. Massimo Costa, “Citizenship Programme Funds to Partly Finance London Accommodation for Patients’ Relatives”, Malta Today, September 8, 2018
  • An expression of interest has been launched for the development of new accommodation units in central London, with €1 million of the funding for this coming from citizenship by investment applicants who opted to help Puttinu Cares. The National Development and Social Fund, announced by the Prime Minister earlier this year, will be contributing the remaining €5 million to the fund.
  • Citizenship parliamentary secretary Julia Farrugia, who was in London for the launch of the project, said the IIP scheme […] is “making a big difference in the lives of vulnerable people, and is helping noble causes which are hardly known to the public”.




  1. Portugal Continues to Attract Filipino Visitors and Investors”, Business Mirror, September 9, 2018
  • Portugal remains the most affordable destination on the continent for luxury vacations and even residency. €359 million were invested in commercial real estate during the first quarter of 2017. There are no restrictions on foreign property ownership in Portugal and transaction costs are generally low, which is one main reason why it’s catching interests of Filipino investors.
  • For the most part, income tax is usually low, and property prices are extremely competitive compared to Manila or other Southeast Asian capitals. Conservative yields vary from 37 percent per year.
  • As of January 1, 2017, Portuguese citizens had visafree or visa on arrival access to over 160 countries and territories, ranking the Portuguese passport third in the world in terms of mobility (tied countries such as Canada, Greece and Japan).




  1. Ukraine Resumes Talks on Visa Liberalisation with the UK”, Ukrinform, September 3, 2018
  • Ukraine has resumed talks with the UK on visa liberalisation for Ukrainian citizens and some progress is possible in the near future.
  • "...We had to resume talks with the UK on visa liberalisation for Ukrainian citizens. It was agreed that the first round of talks will be held this October. […] The visafree regime granted to Ukraine within the framework of the association agreement with the EU does not cover the United Kingdom. Therefore, the visa liberalisation talks have been renewed. We expect a certain progress in this direction. However, conclusion of an agreement on simplified regime is unlikely to be a matter of one or two years," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said during a visit to Odesa, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.




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