HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 16.07.2018

Jul 16,2018





  1. Hend El-Behary, “South Korea Abolishes Free-Visa Entry for Egyptians Starting October”, Egypt Independent, July 13, 2018
  • South Korea’s Ministry of Justice has stopped freevisa entry for Egyptians, issuing a new policy starting from October 2018 requiring Egyptians get a pre-visa to enter the country, according to South Korean newspaper DONG-A ILBO.
  • The news report said that the decision was taken due to the rising number of Egyptians seeking Korean asylum. The Korean Ministry of Justice has stated that between January and May at least 276 people have filed asylum applications in South Korea with 112 of them being Egyptians.
  • “This year, around half of the refugee applicants were Egyptians. If this trend continues, things will get out of control, so we’ve decided to change the current policy,” said a government official of South Korea to DONGA ILBO.






  1. Alecia Smith, “Barbados to Remove Visa Requirements for Haitians”, Government of Jamaica, July 6, 2018
  • The Barbadian Government has indicated that it will remove the visa requirements for Haitians travelling to that country as it seeks to be more inclusive in its treatment of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) national
  • According to Prime Minister of Barbados, Hon. Mia Mottley, “Those tenets relate to nondiscrimination and relate to not treating anyone outside of the community in a more favorable manner than we treat each other in the community.”
  • Among the objectives are improved standard of living and work in member countries; accelerated, coordinated and sustained economic development; and an organization for increased production and productivity.


United States


  1. Andy J. Semotiuk, “Quickest Visas for Investors to Immigrate to the U.S.”, Forbes, July 12, 2018
  • L1 and E-2 visas can be obtained within a few months - they are therefore the best to use for investors who want to immigrate quickly to the U.S.
  • The L1 classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.
  • The E2 visa allows a national of a treaty country to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. The requirements of the E2 investor visa do not establish a minimum amount of investment. However, the amount must be “substantial” relative to the total cost of either purchasing an established company or creating a new one.






  1. “Azerbaijan Grants Work Visas Online to Foreigners, Stateless Persons”, Azer News, July 9, 2018
  • Foreigners and stateless persons arriving in Azerbaijan can obtain a work visa through the ASAN Visa system starting from July 6, Azerbaijan’s State Migration Service informed on July 9.
  • Azerbaijan applied electronic visa in order to make the process of obtaining the entry documents cheaper and quicker. Today foreigners can get evisas just in three days.
  • This can be done on the ASAN Visa website to submit an application, fill in the necessary information and pay the state fee online. After that, the evisa will be sent to the email of the applicant in three days, and in case of urgent need – in three hours.


Hong Kong


  1. David Tweed, “Same-Sex Visa Win in Hong Kong Pressures Other Asia Finance Hubs”, Bloomberg, July 5, 2018
  • A landmark Hong Kong court ruling granting visas to spouses of gay expatriate workers will help fuel LGBT groups pressuring Singapore and Japan to change their policies as the global financial hubs vie for business and talent.
  • Law firms and banks cheered the ruling after long arguing that discrimination against gay and lesbian workers hindered their recruiting. Financial institutions and foreign chambers of commerce have lobbied Hong Kong’s government to grant visas for spouses of expatriate gay employees. Hong Kong in 2016 began allowing samesex spouses or civil partners of consular officials to stay in the city.
  • “This ruling strengthens Hong Kong’s ability to attract global talent and its competitiveness as Asia’s preeminent global center for commerce,” according to a joint statement issued by 32 financial institutions and law firms supported the plaintiff. “The ruling paves the way for greater LGBT equality in Hong Kong.”


  1. Bharti Jain, “Govt to Allow Spouses of Indian Nationals to Convert Visa Category Even If Married Abroad”, The Times of India, July 9, 2018
  • Indian nationals who get married to foreign nationals outside the country can have their valid visa converted to ‘entry’ or X2 visa as part of changes to rules that presently allow such conversion only for marriages conducted within India.
  • With the amendment of the visa rules and streamlining the process, the conversion of tourist visa to X2 would be allowed even if the marriage takes place on foreign soil.
  • However, the facility will not be offered to the nationals of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan and Iraw and citizens of Pakistani, origin and stateless persons.


  1. E-Visa Scheme for More Countries”, The Hindu Times, July 6, 2018
  • The twin process of immigration and visa for Indian citizens and foreigners will be strengthened and streamlined on a mission mode, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said.
  •  “We need to facilitate safe and convenient entry to the country for legitimate international travelers. We also need to provide all visarelated and consular services to foreigners staying in India in a faster and convenient mode,” a release issued here quoted Mr. Singh as saying.
  • “It is expected that within a few years the number of evisas issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Bureau of Immigration (BoI) would be more than the number of regular visas issued by all the Indian missions abroad,” Mr. Singh observed.




  1. Japan is Finally Starting to Admit More Foreign Workers”, The Economist, July 5, 2018
  • Acceptance of foreign labour is gradually increasing in Japan, one of the world’s most homogenous countries; 2% of residents are foreigners, compared with 16% in France and 4% in South Korea.
  • Pressure from business lies behind the change in attitudes, both societal and official. Over the past 20 years the number of workers below 30 has shrunk by a quarter. In addition, the ageing population is creating jobs that few Japanese want at the wages on offer, most notably as carers.
  • Accepting mainly skilled workers has allowed Japan to get away without any integration policy until now, says Mr Chiavacci. But as the number of immigrants rises, and especially as more lowskilled workers are admitted, this omission threatens to bring about some of the very concerns that prompted the government to restrict immigration in the first place, such as ghettoisation and poverty. “With the right policies, we could transform ourselves from the weirdest nation in the world on immigration to a model for how to do it,” muses Mr Sakanaka.




  1. Philippines Seeks Fast Visa Processing for Chinese Tourists”, The Straits Times, July 8, 2018
  • The Philippines is exploring ways to shorten the processing of visa on arrivals for Chinese tourists, making their entry into the country faster and hasslefree, local media reported on Sunday (July 8).
  • Department of Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon said the Department of Justice has already agreed to look into the proposal. He said talks are underway between the two departments to "gradually make easier" the visa processing, especially for Chinese tourists.
  • Department of Tourism data showed that Chinese tourists are the second top foreign visitors to the Philippines, next to South Korea. Aside from Chinese and South Korean tourists, the Department of Tourism is also targeting tourists from India and Japan.


United Arab Emirates


  1. Rohma Sadaqat, “New Visa Rules a Boon for UAE Hospitality Sector”, Khaleej Times, July 8, 2018
  • The decision exempts transit passengers from paying an entry fee for the first 48 hours in the UAE. A transit visa can also be extended for up to 96 hours for a fee of Dh50, and can be obtained from several express counters at passport control halls in UAE airports.
  • "The latest move by the UAE Cabinet to exempt transit passengers from all entry fees, for the first 48 hours, comes as a boon for the travel and tourism industry," said Mamoun Hmedan, managing director for the Middle East and India at Wego.


  1. Sam Bridge, “UAE Approves VAT Refund Scheme for Tourists”, Arabian Business, July 11, 2018
  • The UAE Cabinet has adopted a decision to implement the value added tax (VAT) refund system for tourists, and it will be introduced later this year.
  • "The system will be implemented beginning the fourth quarter of 2018 in cooperation with an international specialised company in tax recovery services," the statement said. It added that nonresident tourists may refund VAT on purchases made at participating retailers, provided that such goods are not exempt from the tax system, through designated refund outlets.


  1. Dhanusha Gokulan, “UAE Announces New Rules for Tourist Visas”, Khaleej Times, July 16, 2018
  • Tourists travelling to the UAE during the summer won't need to pay visa fees for dependents aged 18 years or below, the UAE Cabinet announced on Sunday. The fee exemption will be applicable between July 15 and September 15 every year and is expected to boost tourist numbers during the off peak season.
  • The decision follows the exemption of transit tourists from visa fees for the first 48 hours. Travel agents in the UAE have welcome


  1. UAE and Russia Sign Visa Exemption Pact”, Khaleej Times, July 8, 2018

- A number of agreements and memoranda of understanding between the UAE and Russia were signed, including the mutual exemption of visa requirements for citizens of the UAE and Russia in a bid to encourage bilateral tourism, investment and trade.

- The agreements were part of the eighth session of the UAE-Russian Federation Joint Committee held in Kazan where Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, led the UAE delegation and Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation heading the Russian delegation.




  1. Catherine Putz, “Uzbekistan Set to Introduce E-Visas”, The Diplomat, July 11, 2018

- On July 15, Uzbekistan will introduce an electronic visa system as well as a scheme allowing visa-free entry for up to five days while in transit for citizens of 101 countries. Foreigners will be able to apply for 30-day visas online, dramatically cutting the time and effort needed to acquire an Uzbek visa — no need to travel to the closest embassy or consulate and wait. The visa will cost $20.

- The second part of the decree introduces visa-free entry for foreigners from 101 countries transiting through Uzbekistan for up to five days. Travelers from the approved list of countries holding tickets to a third destination will be able to stay in Uzbekistan for up to five days without a visa.







  1. Moldova Hopes ‘Golden Visa’ Program Will Bring in £1.3 Billion”, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, July 12, 2018
  • The Moldovan government said on Wednesday it wants to strengthen its economy by offering foreigners citizenship in exchange for investments. Their goal is to attract 1.3 billion euros (US$ 1.5 billion) over the next five years.
  • The Economics and Infrastructure Ministry said in a statement that Moldova’s Citizenship-by-Investment Program would be provided only to applicants who meet the best international standards.
  • To ensure those standards, applicants will be subjected to a four-stage verification of their economic and financial reputation, including checks by Interpol, the Moldovan Intelligence and Security Service, Interior Ministry (MAI), National Anticorruption Centre (CNA) and international diligence companies going through their case history and validating information contained in application form.




  1. Portugal’s Golden Visa Investment Up 35 Percent in June Year on Year”, Xinhua, July 6, 2018
  • Portugal's investment through the golden visa program for foreign investors from outside the European Union totaled 52.8 million euros (61.8 million U.S. dollars) in June, up 34.6 percent from the previous year, the Foreigners and Borders Service announced Thursday.
  • Authorization for Investment (ARI)s are available to nonEuropean Union residents who either buy real estate in Portugal worth 500,000 euros (585,000 dollars), or 350,000 euros (409,000 dollars) if the property is 30 years old, or make a capital transfer of 1 million euros (1.2 million dollars), less if certain cultural or commercial investment criteria is fulfilled.
  • Since the golden visa program was introduced in October 2012, Portugal has obtained a total investment of 3.895 billion euros (4.556 billion dollars), of which 3.529 billion euros (4.128 billion dollars) is for property purchases. Chinese investors have been granted 3,890 golden visas so far. That is followed by Brazil with 561, South Africa with 254, Turkey with 224 and Russia with 222.




  1. Russia, Jamaica to sign deal extending visa-free stay for Russian nationals to 90 days”, TASS, July 10, 2018
  • Russia and Jamaica are looking at signing an agreement to extend visafree stay in Jamaica for Russian nationals from 30 to 90 days.
  • A draft agreement to this effect was posted on the official website of legal information on Tuesday. The draft was approved by the Russian government and preliminary agreed with the Jamaican side to be signed upon final agreement.
  • Under the wouldbe agreement, Russian nationals will need no entry visas to stay in Jamaica for up to 90 days within one year. All types of trips will be covered by this agreement.


United Kingdom


  1. UK Visas and Immigration, “New Scheme for Overseas Researchers to Come to the UK”, Government of the United Kingdom, July 6, 2018
  • The new ‘UKRI Science, Research and Academia’ scheme, which allows nonEEA researchers, scientists and academics to come to the UK for up to 2 years, opens today (Friday 6 July), the Immigration Minister has announced.
  • The new scheme, which is being added to the Tier 5 (Temporary Worker Government Authorised Exchange (GAE)) visa route, has been introduced to reflect and encourage the ongoing growth of the research sector in the UK.


  1. Ivana Kottasova, “Brits are Changing their Tune on Immigrant Workers”, CNN, July 10, 2018
  • The number of people in the United Kingdom who say that migrants are good for the economy has risen sharply to 47%, according to the British Social Attitudes survey. Just over a third of Brits said the same in 2015, and only 21% in 2013.
  • The results suggest that attitudes toward immigrants have softened since the 2016 Brexit vote, which the official Vote Leave campaign framed as an opportunity to reduce the number of migrants coming to Britain from the European Union
  • Attitudes toward immigration also shifted on another front: The survey showed that 44% of Brits think immigration has a positive impact on cultural life, up from from 31% in 2015.


  1. Anne Morris, “U.K. Set to Welcome More Foreign Entrepreneurs Thanks to New Start Up Visa”, Entrepreneur Europe, July 11, 2018
  • The recent government announcement that a new U.K. Start Up Visa is to be introduced next spring comes as welcome news for the U.K. economy. The new visa is designed to entice more nonEuropean individuals to come and set up enterprises in the U.K. through relaxed eligibility criteria.
  • Start Up Visa applicants will first have to be endorsed by an approved body before they can apply to the Home Office for their visa. The list of approved endorsers will include business sponsors and accelerators, as well as universities. It's a more pragmatic approach to ensuring applications and business plans are being considered by qualified parties, and based on the credibility of the individual applicants and their business ideas, rather than arbitrary requirements.




New Zealand


  1. Provincial Visa Idea Well Received”, New Zealand Herald, July 11, 2018
  • A plan to extend ''provincial visas'' within New Zealand will help regional businesses to retain skilled workers, Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash says.
  • At the meeting, hosted by Southland Chamber of Commerce, Mr Nash said the plan was to ''limit'' immigration to places like Auckland, which was placing ''massive constraints on infrastructure''. ''What we want to be able to do is to give out, literally, provincial visas, which will allow someone to come into a place like Invercargill and work here, without them being here for three months and then hightailing it off to Auckland.''


  1.  “New Zealand Work Visas Hit Record High Despite Immigration Changes”, Radio New Zealand, July 12, 2018
  • Work visa numbers have hit a record high despite changes to control immigration numbers. More than 228,000 work visas were approved in the last year, up 4000 on the previous financial year.
  • Under changes introduced last August, immigrants earning below a salary threshold of $49,000 or $73,000 depending on their skills have to leave New Zealand after three years and cannot reapply for a year.
  • The highest increase in work visas in the financial year to July was from the Philippines.




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