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HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 03.07.2019

Jul 03,2019

AFRICA

 

Namibia

  1.  Tiri Masawi, “Namibia launches free visa entry for more African countries”, Southern Times, June 28, 2019
  • Namibia will now be issuing free visa on arrival to more African countries outside the SADC region on a pilot project meant to promote free movement of people in line with the African Union plan to promote interregional trade.
  • Namibian Minister of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), Stanley Simataa, said the Namibian cabinet took the decision to widen the number of African citizens that can now freely come to his country on a tourist or visitors’ visas without application as part of showing commitment to a united Africa where goods and services can move freely.
  • Countries that will benefit from the free visa entry will include holders of diplomatic passports from Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Congo Republic, Guinea, Liberia, Senegal, Madagascar, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Tunisia, and Saharawi.
  • Countries that will benefit from the initiative outside the African continent include Kazakhstan, Luxemburg, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Macau, Iceland, India, France Germany and Japan.

 

South Africa

 

  1. Sara-Jayne King, “Constitutional Court gives state two years to amend foreign spousal visa laws”, Cape Talk, July 1, 2019
  • Laws requiring foreigners married to South African citizens to leave the country to renew their visas have been declared constitutionally invalid.
  • On Friday the Constitutional Court said the state has 24 months to fix the legislation which has the impact of separating foreign spouses from their families.

 

  1.  “New South African e-visas expected to launch in October”, Business Tech, June 25, 2019
  • South Africa’s new evisa system is expected to launch in October 2019.
  • Home Affairs acting directorgeneral Thulani Mavuso said that the system will better enable investment in the country and make it more efficient to admit people with sought after skills.
  • Home Affairs is also planning to pilot new egates at a number of South African airports in 2019.
  • A spokesperson told BusinessTech that the gates will first be piloted at Cape Town International Airport and will form part of the implementation of the Biometric Movement Control System (BMCS).


 

AMERICA

 

Brazil

  1. Katherine Parker-Magyar, “American Tourists No Longer Need Visas To Visit Brazil- Here's Where To Celebrate”, Forbes, June 30, 2019
  • American travelers, rejoice: As of June 17th, you no longer need to apply for a tourist visa to visit the largest country in South America.
  • When Brazil first relaxed its visa policy in 2018, the Ministry of Tourism reported an immediate increase in US travelers. This uptick is sure to repeat itself in 2019, since the government has eliminated the visa requirement entirely for tourists in the US, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

 

 

United States

 

  1. Nomura, “H-1B visa: Probability of cap low in the near term”, Financial Express, July 1, 2019
  • In what has been widely viewed as a retaliatory measure, the US plans to impose a 1015% cap on the annual quota of 85k H-1B visas on countries with a data localisation policy.
  • The US is considering caps on H1B work visas for nations that force foreign companies to store data locally.

 

  1. Laura Zhou, “We want more Chinese students’: Donald Trump says US looking for new ways to keep scholars in the country”, South China Morning Post, June 30, 2019
  • US President Donald Trump said he wanted more Chinese students to go to the United States as concern grows about Chinese scholars in American academia.
  • “We want to have Chinese students [go] to our great schools and great universities. They are great students and tremendous assets,” Trump said on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on Saturday.
  • He said his administration was looking for a new way – a “smart person’s waiver” – to allow successful overseas university students to remain in the United States more easily after graduation.
  • “So they can not only stay but maybe they have access to a green card. We want to keep these people here,” Trump said.

 

ASIA

 

India

  1. Efforts being made to issue visas to 5,000 to 10,000 Sikh pilgrims on daily basis: Sarwar”, International The News, June 30, 2019
  • Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar on Saturday said Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf (PTI) government had taken comprehensive measures for providing all facilities to Sikh yatrees.
  • Efforts are also being made to issue visas to 5,000 to 10,000 Sikh pilgrims on a daily basis so that they could visit Kartarpur, he maintained.

 

Japan

 

  1. Japan, Vietnam to bolster labor condition monitoring”, Kyodo News Plus, July 1, 2019
  • Japan and Vietnam agreed Monday to tighten up the monitoring of labor conditions for Vietnamese workers, as Tokyo opens the door to more foreigners amid a staffing shortage.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed in their meeting close cooperation in tackling problems such as the issue of unscrupulous brokers.
  • The Japanese government has stepped up efforts to eliminate the involvement of brokers who charge extortionate fees for processing visas and other services to facilitate workers' entry into Japan.
  • The government launched a visa system in April to bring in more foreign labor to tackle the shortage. Additionally, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and four Japanese private banks will extend joint financing worth $200 million to promote renewable energy in the Southeast Asian country.

 

South Korea

 

  1. South Korea now offering groups of Indonesians e-visas”, Warsaw Business Journal, June 30, 2019
  • From July 1, it will be possible to to enter Russia's Kaliningrad region via a free electronic visa.
  • The new rules are relevant not only for Poles but also for citizens of over 50 other countries.
  • The application should be submitted at least four days before entering the country. It can be completed in English or Russian on the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

Thailand

 

  1. Free on-arrival visas to woo tourists”, Sunday Observer, June 30, 2019
  • The government will issue free onarrival visas to Thai travellers to Sri Lanka, shortly, in a push to woo visitors from Thailand, Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga told journalists at a media briefing in Colombo, when welcoming a Thai travel delegation to the country last week.
  • The Minister at a media briefing last month, said that steps will be taken to grant visas on arrival free for multiple countries from May 1 to boost tourism during the lean period.

 

EUROPE

 

Belarus

 

  1. Lukashenko: Belarus is absolutely open to the world”, Belarus News, June 30, 2019
  • Tourism promotion is very high on Belarus' agenda, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili on 30 June, BelTA has learned.
  • “[T]ourism industry is one of our biggest areas of focus. Belarus is an absolutely open country and we have things to show to the world. Those who want to experience other climatic conditions and ways of life are always welcome in Belarus,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
  • The head of state noted that citizens of more than 80 countries can enter Belarus visafree via Minsk National Airport and stay here up to 30 days. Apart from that, foreign tourists do not need visas to Belarus if they have tickets to the events of the 2nd European Games. If needed, they can also use the visa-free entry to Russia. “We have no border, therefore, tourists can take advantage of it,” the president said.

 

 

Greece

 

  1. Golden Visa Reform in Greece Postponed Until After Elections”, GTP Headlines, July 1, 2019
  • The Ratification of a revised investor visa scheme in Greece – to have been completed on July 1 – has now been pushed back to later this year due to snap elections in the country scheduled for July 7.
  • Currently, Greece’s investor visa program grants fiveyear residency rights for third country nationals who purchase, individually or through a legal entity, property in Greece valued at a minimum of 250,000 euros, or who have taken out a minimum 10year lease in hotel, accommodation, or tourism facilities. The visa also provides instant access to the Schengen Area.
  • Once the revised legal framework covering the visa program is passed, investors will be able to gain residency rights with investments in shares and bonds as well.

 

Russia

 

  1. Russia introduces free visas to Kaliningrad region”, The Jakarta Post, June 27, 2019
  • Starting June 28, Indonesian citizens who plan to travel to South Korea for a definite purpose, such as for meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE), are able to apply for evisas, according to a statement released by the South Korean Embassy in Jakarta on Thursday.
  • These visa applications are only applicable to those traveling to South Korea in groups of at least five people and can be accessed online.
  • Group applicants need to indicate that they plan to go to South Korea together for the same purpose and on the same date, flying with the same airline.

 

Ukraine

 

  1. Ukrainian visa centre opens in Sydney”, Menafn, July 1, 2019
  • Ukraine's Visa Centre in Sydney has started operating from July 1, 2019, the Embassy of Ukraine in Australia reports.
  • "Starting from 01 July 2019 nationals of Australia as well as nationals of other countries and stateless persons residing in Australia will be able to apply for their Ukrainian visas through Ukraine's Visa Centre in Sydney," the report says.
  • The visa centre will be operated by "VF Worldwide Holding Ltd" and will receive visa applications, render assistance in filling in and registering visa application forms, as well as offer additional services upon request, including taking applicants' photos, translation and making copies of supporting documents, providing medical/travel insurance options, courier services, text messaging, premium lounge services etc.

 

United Kingdom

 

  1. Helen Warrell, “Javid open to regional salary thresholds for visas”, Financial Times, June 25, 2019
  • Home secretary Sajid Javid on Monday asked the government’s migration advisers to examine the case for having discrete visa rules for skilled overseas workers in different UK regions after Brexit.
  • Mr Javid has raised the prospect of geographical variation in the minimum salary threshold for migrants seeking work in the UK after Brexit in a letter to the Home Office’s Migration Advisory Committee. The floor is currently set at £30,000. His intervention comes amid a push by the Scottish National party government in Edinburgh for powers to have its own work visa system because of concerns that Brexit could hurt the country’s economy.
  • Mr Javid added he had asked the Migration Advisory Committee “to consider what the future salary thresholds should be for workers coming into the UK [and] whether there should be different thresholds for different regions of the UK”. The committee is due to respond to Mr Javid’s request by January. After Brexit, EU nationals seeking work in the UK will be subject to the same restrictions as those from outside the bloc.

 

MIDDLE EAST

 

Iran

 

  1. Iran approves visa-free entry for tourists from China”, News.am, July 1, 2019
  • Iranian government has approved the introduction of a visafree regime upon entry into the country for tourists from China, Xinhua reported referring to a statement by Vali Teymouri, deputy head of Iran Cultural Heritage, Handcraft and Tourism Organization.
  • "As per the policy, Chinese tourists visiting Iran will no longer need to obtain visas,” he said.
  • Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered the country's interior ministry to work on the issue of refusing to put a mark on entry in the passports of foreigners arriving in the republic. This step was aimed at facilitating the visits of foreign citizens to Iran without fear of imposing any sanctions against them by the US.
  • Last year, the US authorities issued a warning that certain restrictions may be imposed on persons visiting certain states, in particular Iran, when entering the US.

 

Kuwait

  1. Kuwait- 14,148 visas, work permits granted by PAM to 'small business owners'”, Menafn, June 30, 2019
  • The Minister of State for Economic Affairs Mariam AlAqeel has revealed that a total of 14,148 visas and work permits have been granted by the Public Manpower Authority (PAM) to small business owners (SMEs) between 2016 and 2018, reports Al-Qabas daily.

 

 

Oman

  1. Visa ban extended for certain professions in Oman”, Zawya, June 30, 2019
  • The Ministry of Manpower has extended the temporary ban on hiring expats for four jobs in the private sector.
  • The ban will be extended for another six months starting from July 3, 2019, the Ministry announced.
  • According to a statement issued online on Sunday, the Ministry said: “The period of ban, on permits to bring temporary expatriate manpower in the private sector establishments for the professions specified in Ministerial Decision No. 122/2014, shall continue for a period of six months from 3 July 2018."
  • Visas will be banned for carpentry workshops workers, aluminum workshops, blacksmith workshops, and brick factories.

 

United Arab Emirates

 

  1. Anwar Ahmad & Ashely Hammond, “UAE starts issuing visas to dependents”, Gulf News, June 26, 2019
  • The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) yesterday said it has begun issuing oneyear renewable visas to parent-sponsored dependents who have completed their high school or university education, or crossed the age of 18 from June 15.
  • In a statement, the FAIC clarified that this type of visa can only be obtained as of the date of graduation from school/university, or when reaching the legal age, whichever is earlier.
  • Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, directorgeneral of Foreigners Affairs and Ports at FAIC, said all residents in this category can obtain the visa after submitting applications along with supporting documents, including attested high school or university certificates and documents where the student received his/her education, be it inside or outside the UAE.

 

  1. Zainab Fattah, “U.A.E. Expands Long-Term Visas to High Earners, Gulf News Says”, Bloomberg, June 26, 2019
  • Longterm residency program in the United Arab Emirates will now include executive directors who earn a monthly salary of 30,000 dirhams ($8,167) or more, Gulf News reports, citing Mohammed Al Marri, head of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.
  • Executives applying for the socalled Golden Card, which entitles holders to 10-year residency, must also have a bachelor degree and show that they have worked for five years in the country
  • Executives will be included under the special talent category.

 

  1. Ali Al Shouk et al, “400 Gold Card UAE visas issued so far: GDRFA”, Bloomberg, June 26, 2019
  • A total of four hundred golden visas have been handed out in the UAE so far with a target of 6,800 by the end of the year, Major General Mohammad Al Marri, directorgeneral of General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), said on Tuesday.
  • This was announced during a press conference to explain the new Gold Card visa process, which started on May 21 this year, and applies to investors and talented individuals. The 6,800 identified as eligible in the first year of this initiative are from 70 countries and can make a combined investment estimated at Dh100 billion.
  • Al Marri also added that there was no age restriction. "Here in the UAE we never look at age, height, colour, nationality or any other social circumstances, we are dealing with people as humans and not nationalities, we are all equal with no differentiation," he said.

 

OCEANIA

 

Australia

 

  1. Work and Holiday Visa agreement between Greece and Australia swings into effect”, Neos Kosmos, July 2, 2019
  • The Work and Holiday Visa agreement between Greece and Australia came into effect on 1 July 2019. The agreement makes it easier for young Australians to work and study in Greece and for young Greeks to do the same in Australia.
  • The agreement takes the number of countries participating in the Working Holiday Maker programme to 43, and makes 500 places available in each country for Greek and Australian citizens between 18 and 31 years to live abroad for 12 months.

 

New Zealand

 

  1. Simon Calder, “New Zealand Now Charges Visitors And Tourists 'Admission Fee' of £19”, Independent, July 1, 2019
  • New Zealand has started charging an “admission fee” of NZ$35 (£19) to overseas visitors.
  • The International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) came into effect on 1 July 2019.
  • The tax applies to most foreign visitors. Citizens of Australia and some small Pacific nations are exempt, as are transit passengers. Crews on ships and aircraft will also dodge the levy.
  • Tourism contributes one10th of New Zealand’s GDP and employs over 230,000 people.

 

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.