HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 14.05.2018

Jun 04,2018



Equatorial Guinea


  1. Guinea Equatorial Ratifies Visa Waiver Agreement on Passports”, EIN News Desk, May 11, 2018
  • Equatorial Guinea has ratified visa waiver agreement on diplomatic and service passports to allow the citizens from Angola and Equatorial Guinea to move freely within their respective territories, under the strengthening of bilateral cooperation. The Central Africa's minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Simeon Oyono Esono Angue released the information Friday in Luanda.
  • Simeon Angue delivered a message from Guinean President Teodoro Nguema to the Angolan Head of State, João Lourenço. In his message, Teodoro Nguema, defends the strengthening of relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.






  1. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, “Memorandum of Understanding Will Give Young Canadians the Opportunity to Live and Work in Portugal Through the International Experience Canada Program”, Government of Canada, May 3, 2018
  • The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and José Luís Carneiro, Secretary of State of Portuguese Communities Abroad, today signed a new bilateral Youth Mobility Arrangement between Canada and Portugal.
  • This new arrangement on youth mobility will open further channels of exchange between Canadian and Portuguese young people. It will allow Canadian and Portuguese youth aged 18 to 35 to work and travel through the Working Holiday, International Coop, and Young Professional streams of the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program.






  1. Charles Liu, “Overseas Tourists Now Eligible for Tax Refunds in Beijing’s New Satellite City, Xiong’an”, The Beijinger, May 11, 2018
  • Beginning last week, foreign passport holders are eligible for tax refunds at 46 Xiong'anarea stores and malls. The policy will cover 324 different products over 21 categories that include clothes, shoes, and electric appliances. However, products like food, beverages, fruits, tobacco, alcohol, automobiles, and motorcycles are exempt from the policy.
  • As Xinhua reports, tourists may claim their refunds at Shijiazhuang Airport or at either one of Qinhuangdao's port or airport. Located approximately 100 kilometers south of the capital, Xiong'an has recently been targeted as a future hightech industrial center that will help alleviate overcrowding in the capital.




  1. E-Gates to Give Immigration Clearance in Seconds to Citizens of Select Countries”, The Economic Times, May 13, 2018
  • Lowrisk travellers from select countries from January 2019 can enter India without standing in long queues at immigration counters as the government has plans to install these automated kiosks, officials said today.
  • The foreigners division of the ministry is working on the plan and putting up all logistics before its formal launch sometime later this year, the official said. However, a final decision is yet to be taken on the countries whose citizens the facility would be offered.




  1. Indonesia and Brazil Agreed on Visa Free Regime”, Indonesia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, May 11, 2018
  • Indonesian Foreign Minister, Retno L.P. Marsudi, has conducted a bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister of Federative Republic of Brazil, Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, in Bogor (11/5). This visit to Indonesia is the first time for Foreign Minister Ferreira. Indonesia and Brazil have established a strategic partnership since 2008.
  • During the meeting, both Foreign Ministers discussed the efforts on increasing partnerships on commerce, agriculture, and peopleto-people contacts via visa free entry for tourism visits.
  • By doing the exchanges of notes on Visa Free Entry for Regular Passports Holders, Indonesian citizens will receive a free visa entry facility to Brazil for 30 days.




  1. Iranian Arrivals to Russia on Rise”, Tehran Times, May 12, 2018
  • Some 100,000 Iranians visited Russia in 2017, according to the official. According to Russian media, the country hosted roughly 67,000 Iranian nationals in 2016 that indicates a solid growth of 72 percent year on year.
  • Russia anticipates tourist influx from Iran to increase during the FIFA World Cup in June and July. “In 2018, we expect a significant number of both Iranian fans and Iranian tourists,” TASS quoted Oleg Safonov, the director of Russia’s Tourism Agency, as saying in April.
  • On March 28, Iran and Russia inked a visafree agreement for tourist groups, as the two countries are taking steps towards broadening bilateral tourism ties.




  1. This Year’s First Group of Japanese Visa-Free Travelers Heads to Russia’s Kurils”, TASS, May 11, 2018
  • A group of 60 Japanese citizens, the first this year, embarked on a visafree journey to Russia’s South Kuril Islands on Friday under the bilateral travel exchange program, the Kyodo news agency reported.
  • The visit will continue until May 14. The Japanese group is expected to return to the port of Nemuro in Japan’s Hokkaido province after visiting their relatives’ graves on the Kunashir Island.
  • Visafree travels between Russia’s South Kuril Islands and Japan began in 1992 in accordance with an intergovernmental agreement aimed to improve mutual understanding between the two countries’ people. Since then, more than 8,000 residents of Russia’s Iturup, Kunashir and Shikotan islands visited Japan, and more than 18,000 Japanese citizens visited Southern Kurils.




  1. Ei Ei Thu, “India’s Visa-Free Policy Lures Myanmar Tourists”, Myanmar Times, May 9, 2018
  • Myanmar travellers to India increased by more than 10 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, apparently boosted by India’s new visafree policy for all Myanmar visitors starting in September 2017. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the free visas for all Myanmar citizens during a visit to Myanmar last September 6.
  • “More than 10pc growth was recorded since visafree travel began,” Rashmi Verma secretary of India’s Ministry of Tourism said on Monday. “Most visitors from Myanmar are going to Bodh Gaya.” Myanmar travellers are going to India not only for the purpose of pilgrimages but also for medical tours and adventure trips to Himalayas Mountain, according to the ministry.




  1. Oman Eases Visa Requirements for Russia, Iran, China – Police”, Sputnik News, May 7, 2018
  • Oman on Monday eased the visa regime with Russia, Iran and China, allowing their citizens to get tourist visas without having an Omani sponsor, Royal Oman Police (ROP) said.
  • Moreover, starting Monday, citizens of the three countries are not required to have a US, Schengen, Canadian, or Australian visa to enter Oman, as it has been necessary before, the newspaper stressed, citing a ROP official.
  • With Russia, China and Iran, the total number of countries whose citizens can get a visa at the border control has reached 71, the official added.


  1. You Could Soon Travel Visa-Free to Kazakhstan from Oman”, Times of Oman, May 8, 2018
  • Visafree travel and the multimodal Ashgabat Agreement promise to take the Sultanate's strong ties to Kazakhstan to even greater heights according to the Central Asian giant's Ambassador to Oman Yerzhan Mukash.
  • The Ashgabat Agreement envisages facilitation of transit and transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Gulf region. Accession to the Agreement is helping to diversify Oman's links with Central Asia and provides it with access to the massive emerging markets of the region.
  • Ambassador Mukash also highlighted the important role that visafree travel will play in boosting bilateral ties and people-to-people links. Currently, the parties are ready to sign an agreement exempting holders of diplomatic and service passports from visa requirements. In the future, the ambassador added, there are hopes a bilateral visa-free agreement for citizens travelling either direction will be signed.




  1. A Passport to the Caribbean: Making Memories, Growing Investments”, Bangkok Post, May 8, 2018
  • To propel their economic growth, several Caribbean island nations adopted a citizenshipby-investment program, which gives citizenship to any of the five countries--The Commonwealth of Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts & Nevis--in exchange for investments in government bonds, contributions into a government-approved fund or in licensed real estate projects.
  • For expats and Thais who yearn for a taste of the Caribbean vibe, the program presents a tempting opportunity to acquire a second citizenship and reap the benefits that come with it, such as tax benefits and visafree travel to other parts of the world. "Demand for the programs has been picking up among nationals of other countries, including China, Vietnam, and Thailand, due to the Caribbean's promising investment opportunities, and the quality of life that the region offers," said Bastien Trelcat, Managing Partner of multinational immigration and business law firm Harvey Law Group (HLG).




  1. Turkey Considers Opening Up Citizenship to Lure Foreign Property Investors”, Global Property Guide, May 10, 2018
  • Turkey's government has decided to offer Turkish citizenship to foreigners in exchange for an investment of only $300,000 in the property sector, down from the current $1 million investment required to buy Turkish citizenship.
  • The $1 million incentive came into effect in January last year. Foreigners can buy real estate worth $1 million, or make a capital investment of $2m, or keep at least $3m in a bank account for at least three years, or create at least 100 jobs in the country. The government also exempted foreign buyers from paying 18% value added tax (VAT) when investing in real estate. The exemption is also applicable to Turks who have lived and worked abroad for more than six months.
  • The government is now planning to submit an omnibus bill to parliament to lower the citizenship bar. Citizens of Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait make up the biggest group of foreign buyers in Turkey, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute.






  1. Belarus, China to Sign 30-Day Visa-Free Agreement”, Xinhua, May 8, 2018
  • Belarus and China are going to sign an agreement on 30day visa-free regime, Belarusian parliament speaker Mikhail Myasnikovich said here on Monday in a joint interview with visiting Chinese journalists. The signing of a visa-free agreement for the period of up to 30 days will be one of the main event of the Year of Tourism of Belarus in China, greatly promoting the development of tourism, the official said.
  • More than 20,000 tourists from China visited Belarus in 2017. With the development of medical tourism, the number of Chinese visitors to Belarus may increase, Myasnikovich said.
  • On February 13, 2018, Belarus and China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) waived visas and started visafree regime.




  1. New Trend: From Emigration to Immigration Foreigners are Welcome – Portugal”, Portuguese American Journal, May 13, 2018
  • To respond to the pressures of an ageing population, Portugal is considering new policies to attracting more immigrants, including highly qualified managers for fundamental sectors of the economy.
  • To attract foreigners, Portugal has also eased the law of naturalization by allowing children born in Portugal of foreign parents, to acquire Portuguese citizenship at the time of birth if their parents have been in the country for at least two years. Minors born outside Portugal to foreign parents but residing in Portugal with a parent/parents, for at least five years, are also allow to petition for Portuguese naturalization.
  • For the parents, once their children acquire the Portuguese citizenship/naturalization, the same provision allows the parent/parents to petition for Portuguese naturalization after they have resided in Portugal for at least five years.




  1. Half a Million Ukrainians Have Already Taken Advantage of Visa-Free Travel to the EU Countries”, Ukrinform, May 12, 2018
  • Half a million Ukrainians have already taken advantage of visafree travel to the EU countries. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko informed this on Twitter. "Since June 2017 half a million Ukrainians have already taken advantage of the visa-free regime with the countries of the European Union," he wrote.
  • On June 11, 2017, the decision of the Council of the European Union to introduce a visafree regime for short trips of Ukrainian citizens to 30 countries of the European Union and the Schengen zone came into force.


  1. Konstyantyn Chernichkin, “MFA: Ukrainians to Travel Without Visas to 4 Latin American Countries Soon”, Kyiv Post, May 13, 2018
  • Ukraine can conclude agreements on the abolition of visas with four Latin American countries in the near future, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has said.
  • “The possibility of drawing up agreements on the abolition of the visa regime in the near future was discussed with the four countries of the region of (Latin America) in detail. These are Uruguay, Peru, and Colombia. There were substantive discussions in Mexico,” [Deputy Head of the Consular Service Department of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Serhiy Miniaylo] explained.


United Kingdom


  1. Banks in UK To Call for ‘Special Visa Waiver for Workers’”, Independent.ie, May 13, 2018
  • The finance industry is demanding a new system where international staff posted to Britain for less than six months will be able to come and go freely without having to apply for a work visa before they travel, the sources said. The report has been shared with the Home Office and Treasury and is the most detailed request yet by Britain's finance industry to the government about how it wants immigration policy to look after Brexit.
  • The document is due to be formally unveiled in 10 days' time at an event where the immigration minister Caroline Nokes is due to give a keynote speech. The government is expected to outline its future immigration rules later this year.






  1. Mosiqi Acharya, “Immigration: Australia’s Migration Ceiling to Remain Unchanged in 2018-19”, SBS, May 8, 2018
  • Despite much recent media coverage of the discussions and political statements around Australia’s burgeoning population, Australia’s migration program ceiling has not been reduced. The Department of Home Affairs has confirmed to SBS Hindi that the migration program ceiling of 190,000 remains unchanged for 201819.
  • “The Migration Program is set annually through the Australian Government’s Budget process. In 201718, the Program was set at a ceiling of 190,000. This number remains unchanged for 2018-19,” a spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs told SBS Hindi.


  1. David Scutt, “Here’s What’s Driving Population Growth Across Australia”, Business Insider, May 14, 2018
  • Australia’s population is quickly closing in on 25 million, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) population clock. In the year to September 2017, the ABS said Australia’s population increased by 395,600, or 1.63%, largely reflecting strong growth in net overseas migration.
  • Strong net interstate migration from New South Wales is also fueling population growth in other parts of the country, especially in Victoria. “The droves of people leaving… have benefited Victoria, supporting jobs growth, and are a sign of economic success,” it says.




  1. Migration and Remittances Factbook 2016”, World Bank, December 15, 2015
  • In a demonstration of their economic footprint, international migrants will send $601 billion to their families in their home countries this year, with developing countries receiving $441 billion, says the Migration and Remittances Factbook 2016, produced by the World Bank Group’s Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) initiative.
  • The United States was the largest remittance source country, with an estimated $56 billion in outward flows in 2014, followed by Saudi Arabia ($37 billion), and Russia ($33 billion). India was the largest remittance receiving country, with an estimated $72 billion in 2015, followed by China ($64 billion), and the Philippines ($30 billion).
  • The top 10 migrant destination countries were the United States, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Russia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom, France, Canada, Spain and Australia. The top 10 migrant source countries were India, Mexico, Russia, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and United Kingdom.





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.