- “Cost of Citizenship Reduced to $100K USD”, Antigua Observer, October 12, 2017
- The cost for Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship under the National Development Fund (NDF) has been reduced to US $100,000. The previous price was US $200,000. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Gaston Browne who was speaking in parliament Thursday morning.
- Browne said other countries such as Dominica have been doing extremely well with an NDF option price at US $100,000 – so Antigua and Barbuda will now do the same.
- For Antigua and Barbuda, the real estate option will remain priced at US $400,000 and the Business investment option will remain at US $ 1.5 million. The Prime Minister said the 50 percent price reduction for citizenship under the NDF is necessary to earn revenue to rebuild Barbuda.
- “Canada Tops G7 in Latest IMF Estimate for 2017 Economic Growth, No. 2 in 2018”, CBC News, October 10, 2017
- The Washingtonbased IMF is now estimating Canada's gross domestic product for 2017 will be 3.0 per cent — half a percentage point higher than its July estimate. That would put Canada ahead of all the other Group of Seven countries, with the United States coming second at 2.2 per cent growth from last year.
- The IMF's world economic outlook is similar to estimates issued last month by the Parisbased OECD, which also said Canada would top the G7 countries this year.
- Tracey Lindeman, “Talent Finds a Fast Track to Canadian Startups”, The Globe and Mail, October 13, 2017
- A pilot project that allows highgrowth companies to bring in foreign talent more easily has been working remarkably well since its June launch, say firms and applicants who have taken advantage of the federal initiative.
- The $7.8million, 24-month pilot project set a lofty service goal: It promised to treat applications within two weeks, a time frame that was met with some skepticism when first unveiled. However, project participants say the government has so far held to that schedule.
- With the Global Talent Stream, companies no longer have to prove there isn't a single Canadian who can do the job for which they're hiring. Instead, they're asked to demonstrate how new hires would improve the Canadian labour market – for example, by assigning paid Canadian coop students to work under the foreign hire.
- “Indian IT Companies Are Top Recipients of L-1 Visas, Says USCIS Report”, The American Bazaar, October 13, 2017
- India’s largest outsourcing firm, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has become the biggest consumers of L1 visas – a category of visa that allows intra-company transfer of specialized employees from India to the US, said a new report released by USCIS. According to the report, TCS topped when it comes to the number of intra-firm transfers for the years 2015 and 2016.
- The details about companies that benefited out of the L1 visa program were revealed after USCIS on Wednesday released data about temporary work visas, which include not just H-1B, but also L-1 and H-2B visas.
- According to the data revealed by USCIS, TCS that has been listed as a Custom Computer Programming Services company got 1615 L1 petitions approved in 2016, followed by Cognizant with 1337 visas; Infosys with 277, Wipro with 220, and IBM India Private with 267.
- “Venezuela Extends Expired Passports for Two Years Amid Paper and Ink Shortages”, Fox News, October 14, 2017
- Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro signed an emergency decree earlier this week extending expired passports for two more years amid a widespread shortage of paper and ink at the government agency that issues the travel documents.
- Demand for new passports in Venezuela is at a record high – at least half a million people have been trapped in the South American nation for months as they wait for new travel documents, according to Britain's The Times – as the economic and political crisis in the country continues with no end in sight.
- There are now only 10 international airlines that maintain service to Venezuela: American Airlines, Air Europa, Air France, Caribbean Airlines, Copa Airlines, Cubana, Iberia, Latin American Wings, Tame, TAP and Turkish Airlines.
- “Iran, Armenia Plan to Establish Free Trade Zone to Boost Economic Ties”, Xinhua, October 10, 2017
- Iran and its northern neighbor Armenia plan to establish a free trade zone in the border region to enhance mutual economic and trade ties, Tasnim news agency reported Tuesday. The plan was announced by visiting Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan in a meeting with Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in the capital Tehran on Monday.
- Larijani pointed to the reciprocal investment between the two neighbors, saying they should develop a clear understanding of each other's trade needs. He also hailed the decision by Yerevan to remove visa requirements for travels between Iran and Armenia, saying it has greatly helped the tourism industry in both countries.
- Stuart Winer, “State to Nix Support Program for Immigrants From France”, The Times of Israel, October 9, 2017
- The Welfare Ministry is reportedly set to end a program of services for new immigrants from France at the beginning of the coming year. The ministry recently notified local authorities that it would no longer provide a budget for special Frenchlanguage services that were started in 2015 to help absorb a wave of French immigration driven by a series of Islamic terror attacks in their country, including assaults on the Jewish community, Haaretz reported on Monday.
- The Welfare Ministry blamed the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, saying it was the latter that had cut off the budget. The Absorption Ministry argued that the budget came from the Finance Ministry.
- Wichit Chaitrong, “Taiwan Asks Thailand to Reciprocate Visa-Free Entry”, The Nation, October 16, 2017
- Visafree entry will attract more Taiwanese tourists and investors to Thailand, says Chen-Yuan Tung, a representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand. There were 370,559 Taiwanese visitors to Thailand between January to August this year, a drop of 3.7 per cent.
- In stark contrast ,Thai tourists visiting Taiwan during the same period this year were up 73 per cent to 182,840 people. It was because Taiwan has granted visa waiver status for Thailand, he said. The programme is in place until July 31 next year.
- Taiwan has already obtained visawaiver status from 124 countries, including the Schengen region, United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. Among Asean countries, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have also granted a visa waver to Taiwan, according to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.
- Helen Coffey, “Turkey Bans US Citizens After Embassy Suspends All Visa Services”, The Independent, October 12, 2017
- US citizens who don’t already possess a visa for Turkey are now banned from travelling there, after the Turkish Embassy in Washington made an announcement on its website stating that it had suspended all visa services for Americans. American travellers who are merely catching a connecting flight in Turkey will still be allowed in, but are prohibited from leaving the airport.
- Turkey’s suspension of visas is part of a bigger spat between the two countries. The decision came in response to the US’s announcement earlier in the week that it was reducing visa services at its diplomatic facilities in Turkey for security reasons, after one of its employees was detained at the Turkish consulate. The move means that Turks are currently unable to secure visas to visit the US unless they are planning to move there.
United Arab Emirates
- Angel Tesorero, “Your Smartphone Is Now Your Passport at Dubai Airport”, Khaleej Times, October 10, 2017
- If you're travelling first class or business, a soonto-be-implemented project will allow you to go straight to boarding gate without undergoing immigration check at Dubai airports. The ongoing Gitex Technology Week revealed that two future projects and one currently being implemented will make travelling smooth and smart at Dubai airports.
- "At present, egates at the Dubai airport terminals still require an Emirates ID to access the system but for smart gates, the passenger only has to scan the barcode on the smart phones to open the smart gate. Then the passenger will scan his/her fingerprint and the entire process is finished in under 15 seconds," [said Capt Amer Rashed Almheiri, general directorate of residency and foreign affairs (GDRFA) director of smart application department].
- Mi Nguyen & Prak Chan Thul, “Vietnam Calls on Cambodia to Protect Immigrants”, Reuters, October 10, 2017
- Vietnam called on Cambodia on Tuesday to guarantee the legal rights of Vietnamese migrants living there after the Cambodian government said it would revoke the invalid documents of 70,000 immigrants, most of them ethnic Vietnamese.
- Responding to Vietnam, Cambodia vowed to ensure respect for legal and human rights in its enforcement of immigration laws. “We won’t enforce it like the one done by the Pol Pot regime,” said Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak.
- “Vietnamese Flock to Japan Foreign Trainee Program as Total Tops 26,000”, The Japan Times, October 13, 2017
- The number of Vietnamese in Japan’s Technical Intern Training Program for foreign nationals stood at 26,437 in JanuaryJune this year — the largest group — according to a recent Immigration Bureau survey. Trainees from China were the second most by nation, with 16,863. They were followed by Indonesia at 4,558, Thailand at 2,160 and the Philippines with 2,043.
- The training program for people from developing nations will be drastically reformed next month, with the training period extended from three years to five and a program watchdog established to check whether Japanese companies are in compliance with appropriate pay offers.
- Foreign trainees work in sectors such as manufacturing, including at machinery makers, construction firms and food processing companies, a Japan International Training Cooperation Organization official said. The organization connects foreign trainees with Japanese companies.
- “UK Ambassador: More UK Tourists to Belarus Following Launch of Visa Free Program”, Belarusian Telegraph Agency, October 11, 2017
- The number of UK tourists in Belarus has increased thanks to the fiveday visa free program, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Belarus Fionna Gibb told BelTA.
- Ambassador Fionna Gibb is visiting Gomel Oblast as part of the twoday information tour around Polesie. The trip is aimed at developing tourism in the south-eastern region, diversifying the export of tourism services and improving the image of Gomel Oblast in the international tourism community.
- George Psyllides, “Delays at Airport as Stricter Passport Checks Enforced”, Cyprus Mail, October 9, 2017
- Larnaca airport experienced long queues and other minor problems on Monday at as authorities enforced a European directive that provides for stricter passport checks. The Cyprus News Agency reported that the main reason for the problems was the lack of police staff at the immigration booths.
- The police said they were working together with airports operator Hermes to resolve the problems created by the enforcement of the new directive. The force said “considers it necessary to follow the example adopted in all European countries where technology is utilised to replace a large number of human resources.”
- Hermes had announced earlier this month that implementation of the tighter checks on October 9 will increase the required times for passport control. Directive 458/2017 reinforces checks against relevant databases for stolen, misappropriated, lost and invalidated travel documents at external borders, to ensure that people do not hide their real identity.
- “Georgia, Montenegro Plan to Abolish Visa Requirements Bilaterally”, Agenda, October 10, 2017
- Georgia and Montenegro are considering abolishing visa requirements for each other’s citizens. Georgian Ambassador Zaza Kandelaki discussed this issue as he met with the leadership from Montenegro’s Foreign Ministry today, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.
- It added that Montenegro is planning to open an office of an Honorary Council in Tbilisi, which will help the economic and cultural relations deepen between the two countries.
- “Germany Extends Border Controls, Citing Terrorism and Migration”, Deutche Welle, October 12, 2017
- Germany extended temporary passport controls on its border with Austria and for flights departing from Greece for an additional six months due to the prospect of irregular migration and terrorism, the Interior Ministry said in a statement on Thursday. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Berlin notified the European Commission, the EU Council, the European Parliament president and interior ministers of the EUSchengen states about its decision.
- "We are working hard on this, all member states, the EU Commission and the EU Council, but there is still a long way to go," said de Maiziere.
- Michael Barrett, “Norway’s Government Wants to Allow Dual Citizenship”, The Local, October 12, 2017
- Norway’s government is to pave the way towards allowing dual citizenship in the Scandinavian country, with a proposal to be put to parliament this autumn. The proposal will give new rights to thousands of people with connections to both Norway and a second country. “We will notify in the state budget that there will be a hearing on the proposal to allow dual citizenship,” immigration minister Sylvi Listhaug told NRK.
- Norway is currently the only Nordic country and one of only a small handful of European nations that does not allow dual citizenship, although exceptions to citizenship rules do provide for it in some cases. Parliament has previously requested the issue be assessed by the government, although further movement had been on hold since last year.
- Daniel Boffey, “Brexit: Dutch Nationals Living in Britain Will Be Allowed Dual Citizenship”, The Guardian, October 10, 2017
- The new Dutch government will allow its citizens living in the UK to take up dual citizenship, according to a coalition agreement announced on Tuesday, which pledges to prioritise both its people and EU unity in the Brexit negotiations.
- The document says: “The cabinet will prepare proposals for the modernisation of nationality law. It concerns an extension of the possibility of possession of multiple nationalities for prospective first generation emigrants and immigrants.”
- Alan Travis, “Number of Romanians and Bulgarians in UK Rises to 413,000”, The Guardian, October 11, 2017
- The number of Romanians and Bulgarians living in Britain has risen by nearly 80% from 230,000 in 2014 to 413,000 last year, according to the Office for National Statistics. The surge in numbers coming to live in Britain from the two countries that joined the European Union in 2007 reflects the removal of restrictions on their rights to work in the UK in 2014. The number of people coming may also reflect the outcome of the EU referendum last year.
- The ONS says nearly 80% of Romanians and Bulgarians of working age in Britain are in jobs and only 11,500 are unemployed. The remainder work in the home, study or have taken early retirement.
- Pamela Duncan & Jon Henley, “Brexit Vote Creates Surge in EU Citizenship Applications”, The Guardian, October 13, 2017
- At least 17,000 Britons sought the citizenship of another EU member state in the year after the Brexit vote, a Guardian analysis shows. While comprehensive figures for the previous year are not available, the larger countries surveyed all reported a jump in applications, suggesting a significant overall increase.
- Responses received from 20 countries showed the greatest number of applications were for Irish citizenship with almost 9,000 applications from UK residents and Britons living in Ireland in the 12 months from July 2016, the month after the referendum took place.
- David Scutt, “Immigration Boom: A Record 28% if Australians Were Born Overseas”, Business Insider, October 11, 2017
- According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), a record 28.5%, or 6.9 million, of Australia’s total population was born overseas as at the end of June last year, driven largely by strong immigration levels from China and India in particular.
- In overall terms, the ABS says that United Kingdom remains the largest group of overseasborn residents, accounting for 5% of Australia’s total population at the end of June last year. That cohort was followed by persons born in New Zealand (2.5%), China (2.2%), India (1.9%) and the Philippines and Vietnam, both at 1.0%.
- Lincoln Tan, “Immigration NZ Waives Visa Requirements for Peruvian Football Fans”, New Zealand Herald, October 16, 2017
- Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will waive visa requirements to allow Peruvian football fans to visit New Zealand for their World Cup football playoff in Wellington next month. INZ Area Manager Marcelle Foley said the agency will waive the requirement for Peruvian nationals to send their passport to our Washington office as part of the online visitor visa application process.
- "The streamlined process will be in place until the day of the match for online applications only." Peru is not part of the visa waiver program that allows citizens of many countries to travel freely to New Zealand without having to apply for a visa.
- Ben Moshinsky, “You Can Now Buy Full Citizenship of the Pacific Nation of Vanuatu for Less Than 44 Bitcoin”, Business Insider, October 9, 2017
- The South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu will accept payments in Bitcoin for its $200,000 citizenship program, becoming the first country to accept the cryptocurrency in return for citizen status. Bitcoin is trading at $4,581 at current market rates, meaning Vanuatu's citizenship by investment program would cost around 43.64 bitcoin.
- Vanuatu is a member of the Commonwealth and citizenship provides visafree travel to 113 countries including the UK, Russia and European Union states. Vanuatu also advertises its low taxes for citizenship buyers, offering a second passport in a country that levies no capital gains or income taxes. Potential citizens don't need to live in Vanuatu, or even visit the country once.
- “Vanuatu Seeks Closer Ties to Bangkok, Visa-Free Access for its Citizens”, The Nation, October 9, 2017
- The Republic of Vanuatu sent a government delegation to Bangkok on September 2529 to conduct a series of briefings covering trade, tourism and citizenship-by-investment in the South Pacific island nation. A focal point of the visit was to support the launch of a global network of government approved offices under the “Vanuatu Information Centre” (VIC) brand.
- A key service of the VIC network is to act as a marketing channel for Vanuatu’s “citizenship by investment” programme. The program offers individuals the opportunity to obtain an “honourary second citizenship” in the taxfree British Commonwealth member state, in exchange for a contribution to Vanuatu government development funds.
- Termed the Vanuatu “development support programme”, this citizenship programme is a vital source of development funds for the country. Vanuatu passportholders enjoy significant benefits, such as visa-free travel to 125 countries – including the UK, Schengen Europe and Russia – with more countries added each year.
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