MEDIA

HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 26.06.2017

Jun 26,2017

AMERICA

 

Cayman Islands

 

  1. Brent Fuller, “Residency cases from 2013 ready for hearings”, Cayman Compass, June 21st, 2017
  • Cayman Islands residents who applied to live in the British territory permanently nearly four years ago were advised this week that their applications would soon be reviewed.
  • The Immigration Department advised applicants who are updating their permanent residence documents to wait until they are contacted by government representatives. If the updates are filed too early, the information may be out of date by the time the application is considered by the board, officials said.
  • The government was under pressure from at least one local law firm representing a number of permanent residenceseekers, as it sought to organize a class action claim against government on behalf of a number of applicants who’ve been waiting years for their cases to be heard. Thus far, the only two long-time Cayman residents to have been granted PR under the current law have filed legal actions against the government.

 

  1. Brent Fuller, “Residence for the rich gets more costly”, Cayman Compass, June 21st, 2017
  • Regulations to the Immigration Law approved last month set higher requirements for values of property wealthy residence applicants must hold in order to stay in Cayman.
  • There are two types of residential certificates for persons of independent means. The first is a 25year residency certificate that can be renewed once it is expired, as long as the person remains in good financial and physical health.
  • The new regulations require those applicants to have invested at least $1 million in real estate on Grand Cayman. Previously, the investment threshold required was $500,000. Those individuals also must have an annual income of $120,000 or have at least $400,000 held in a financial institution in the islands.
  • The second type of residence for wealthy individuals is called a certificate of permanent residence for persons of independent means. The financial thresholds for those individuals have also been increased.

 

Canada

 

  1. Vikas Shukla, “Bill C-6 Becomes Law; Makes The Path to Canadian Citizenship Smoother”, ValueWalk, June 20th, 2017
  • The bill will make it easier for thousands of immigrants and their families to obtain Canadian citizenship. The new legislation allows permanent residents to apply for Canadian citizenship sooner than previously.
  • Under the new law, immigrants are required to have lived a minimum of 1,095 days in Canada within a fiveyear period to be eligible for the Canadian citizenship. The previous law required them to have lived in the country for 1,460 days within a six-year period.
  • The Bill C6 allows permanent residents who had spent time in the country on temporary status such as on study or work permit to count up to 365 days of the temporary stay towards citizenship requirements. The legislation has done away with the “intent to reside” provision, which required new citizens to mention that they intended to live in the country.
  • The Bill C6 has also repealed a provision that allowed the government to revoke citizenship of dual citizens on national security grounds. It means if someone with dual citizenship is convicted of terrorism, espionage or treason, the Canadian government will not strip them of their Canadian citizenship. The new law also permits children aged below 18 to apply for citizenship even without the consent or support of their parents.

 

Caribbean Islands

 

  1. OECS convenes citizenship by investment” Caribbean News Now, June 21st, 2017
  • Representatives from the region’s five citizenship by investment programmes (CIP) met in Saint Lucia last Friday to explore opportunities for increased collaboration and harmonisation of due diligence processes.
  • Among other agenda items, the establishment of an equal standard for vetting of candidates and the implementation of an information sharing mechanism were outlined as areas for deeper cooperation.
  • “If an applicant applies in St Lucia and is rejected, mechanisms must be in place to ensure that this person does not surface elsewhere in the region as a citizen through another CIP,” Chastanet said.
  • The maintenance of international credibility and integrity for the region's citizenship by investment programmes was outlined as a priority.

 

St. Kitts and Nevis

 

  1. PM Harris ‘encouraged’ by large Toronto turnout”, St Kitts & Nevis Observer, June 19th, 2017
  • The prime minister, the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, says he has “been inspired to serve the people of the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis with even greater distinction after a highly successful engagement with a broad cross section of citizens residing in Ontario, Canada.”
  • He addressed issues relating to the management of the economy, the record level of employment in the country quoted by Social Security and the accolades the federation has received from the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the “outstanding fiscal and economic performance” of St. Kitts and Nevis.
  • Harris went on to encourage the nationals living abroad to invest in their homeland and to “help build a federation of which we could all be proud.”
  • Brantley spoke on matters relating to the unprecedented level of cooperation that exists between the Dr. Harrisled Team Unity government and the Vance Amory-led Nevis Island Administration (NIA), St. Kitts and Nevis’ diplomatic outreach, the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI) and the rationale for the opening of the federation’s high commission in Canada.

 

United States

 

  1. Lawrence Hurley, “Supreme Court sets higher bar for stripping citizenship”, Reuters, June 22nd, 2017
  • The Supreme Court handed a setback to the Trump administration on Thursday by making it harder for the government to strip immigrants of U.S. citizenship in a case involving an ethnic Serb woman who lied about her husband's military service after Yugoslavia's collapse.
  • The justices ruled 90 that a naturalized American citizen cannot be stripped of citizenship if a lie or omission on immigration forms was irrelevant to the government's original decision to grant entry into the United States.
  • “This decision will ensure that lawful permanent residents who take the next step by becoming U.S. citizens do not have to live in fear that their rights may be revoked at any time," said Arturo Vargas, executive director of National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund.

 

  1. Victoria Macchi, “New Trump Executive Order May Increase US Visa Wait Times”, VOA, June 22nd, 2017
  • White House and State Department officials said Thursday that a new executive order revoking an Obamaera guideline on processing times at consulates was made in the interest of "vetting" and national security.
  • The brief order, which was issued without comment from the White House or State Department, deletes a subsection of a 2012 order that sought to expedite the processing time for nonimmigrant visas, including those needed by students and tourists.
  • The new order comes amid months of efforts by the Trump administration to wield executive powers over certain immigration policies and implement what officials refer to as "extreme vetting."
  • The administration recently expanded the visa application process to include social media handles used during the last five years, and additional biographical information for the last 15 years – meaning the consular officials can ask for a wouldbe visitor's Facebook profile, and a list of everywhere they've traveled for more than a decade.

 

  1. Leslie Hanson, “Justices strike down gender differences in citizenship law”, Newburgh Gazette, June 26th, 2017
  • But while the court struck down the gender differences in the law, Ginsburg said the longer fiveyear period should continue apply to both mothers and fathers until Congress decides on a different length of time.
  • The decision struck down a law imposing drastically different residency requirements for foreignborn single mothers who had become US citizens and sought to pass citizenship on to their children than for single fathers or married citizens seeking to do the same. But because his parents were not married and his father was the USA citizen, Morales-Santana was entitled to US citizenship only if his father had lived in the United States for at least 10 years before his birth, with five of those years coming after the age of 14.
  • A fiveyear US presence is required for USA citizen parents if the parent is married or the father is unwed.

 

ASIA

 

Cambodia

 

  1. Yon Sineat and Leonie Kijewski, “Costly passport fees vex migrants”, The Phnom Penh Post, June 22nd, 2017
  • Cambodian migrant workers in Malaysia are being saddled with exorbitant fees of up to $1,000 by travel agencies to renew their passports and to apply for visas, The Post has discovered – a practice that leaves them vulnerable to exploitation and potential runins with the law.
  • Sern Ith, an airplane equipment factory worker, said he renewed his passport in 2015 for about $700 with Malaysian agency Mashita Jaya, who he said claimed that they “did not charge any extra fees”.
  • Numerous reports have shown that undocumented migrants in Malaysia are prone to abuse. The Cambodian government this year lifted a sixyear-old ban on travelling to the country to work as maids, which was imposed because of a raft of abuse and trafficking cases.

 

Japan

 

  1. “Permanent residency in Japan to be easier for foreigners with anime-related jobs”, Inquirer.Net, June 22nd, 2017
  • The changes would be implemented in 2018 and it will loosen the requirements for permanent residency for people working in animerelated fields, according to a report in Nihon Keizai Shimbun via SoraNews24.
  • These changes also extend to professionals who work in the field of fashion and other pop culture sectors of the economy. Apparently, the goal is to help promote Japanese culture to the international community through Japanbased foreigners.
  • Earlier in the year, the bureau unveiled a new pointsbased system that gave highly skilled foreign workers better opportunities to become permanent residents. Through various criteria such as educational attainment, experience in their chosen field and specialization, foreign workers would be awarded points that will be tallied.
  • The number of points accumulated will then determine what requirement a foreign worker would need to accomplish permanent residency. A highlyskilled individual who scores 80 points will only need to stay in Japan for a year to become eligible for permanent residency, while 70 points will require three years, and so on.

 

Kuwait

 

  1. Jamal Saidi, “Parents cannot sponsor the visa of children above 24yrs in Kuwait”, Zawya, June 21st, 2017
  • While Ministry of Interior is determined to continue with its decision not to grant new residence permits to parents and siblings of expatriates in Kuwait, the General Department for Residency Affairs has issued executive bylaws concerning the medical insurances for expatriates, estimated to be about 12,000 individuals, who are residing in Kuwait as dependents of their children under Article 22 visa.
  • The bylaws further stipulate that expatriates cannot stay in Kuwait under family visa sponsored by their siblings if they are 24 years of age and above. They can transfer the residency to work visa if they want to avoid cancellation of their residency.

 

United Arab Emirates

 

  1. Wam, “UAE citizens to get visa-free entry in Japan”, Emirates 24/7, June 19th, 2017
  • Ahmed Saeed Elham Al Dhaheri, Assistant UnderSecretary for Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has said the UAE and Japan signed the two Memorandums of Understanding, MoU, on easing travel for the UAE citizens to Japan without a pre-entry visa requirement.
  • He added that the first MoU exempts UAE citizens with the diplomatic and special passports, on official mission in Japan, without specifying a time period for their stay, from obtaining a preentry visa to enter the country. The same passport holders who wish to travel to Japan for tourism and business purposes can also enter without a pre-entry visa, and stay for a maximum period of 90 days from their date of entry, Al Dhaheri said.
  • The UAE official noted the ministry continues efforts to make the UAE's passport among the powerful five passports in the world to match the country's international stature.

 

Vietnam

 

  1. Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit, “Vietnam extends visa-free”, TTR Weekly, June 20th, 2017
  • Travellers from five European countries can continue to enjoy visafree travel to Vietnam through to June 2018. The five nationalities eligible for visa-free travel are: the United Kingdom; France; Germany; Italy and Spain.
  • The visafree provision is up and running and embassies have been notified so they can make announcements in the five nations to potential travellers and tour operators.
  • Travel companies were hoping the government would extend the stay to 30 days to attract more visitors as well as including reentry to allow visitors to explore a neighbouring country and then return to continue their holiday in Vietnam.
  • Vietnam offers visafree travel for citizens of seven countries; Japan, South Korea, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and Russia.

 

  1. Investment abroad for eventual settlement abroad: new trend for the rich” Vietnam Net, 25th June, 2017
  • A survey of Vietnam’s top 500 businesses (the 500 largest businesses) conducted by Vietnam Report showed that 45 percent of businesses want to invest overseas in the next five years, mostly in the US, Australia, Canada, India, Thailand and China.
  • Other businessmen, who asked to be anonymous, said after tens of years of doing business, they have saved a large amount of money and want to settle in a suitable country to prepare for their son’s study overseas.
  • The US and Australia are two of the most interested markets for Vietnamese, though the countries set very strict requirements, including high investment capital.

 

EUROPE

 

Denmark

 

  1. Beata Stur, “Council of Europe slams Denmark’s immigration rules”, New Europe, June 20th, 2017
  • Denmark has some of the toughest immigration laws in Europe and has put up too many barriers for refugees to secure family reunification, according to a new report released by the Council of Europe.
  • According to The Copenhagen Post, the report noted Denmark’s long case processing times and financial barriers as being issues problematic to family reunification. It can take up to 14 months for applications to be reviewed.
  • “The Danish authorities used to finance the transportation of family members who were to be reunited with family members living in Denmark,” the report found. “But that financing was cut as part of a number of new restrictive measures.”
  • “Member states have a legal and moral obligation to ensure family reunification,” said Nils Muižnieks, the commissioner for human rights at the Council of Europe.

 

Ireland

 

  1. Lisa O’ Carroll, “How does the Irish border affect the Brexit talks?”, The Guardian, June 21st, 2017
  • Post Brexit, the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will become the only land border between Britain and the European Union, raising the possibility – technically – of passport checks, customs checks and tariffs.
  • Passport checks are highly unlikely: the EU signalled in its negotiation guidelines that it would like to see a codified version of the 1920s common travel agreement – which means passportfree travel for Irish and British citizens between the two islands – included in a final deal.
  • However, it will be argued that if there are no passport checks, Ireland could become a back door for EU immigrants wishing to come to the UK. David Davis, the UK’s Brexit secretary, will have to find a way to guard against that.

 

Netherlands

 

  1. “The Latest: Dutch to Oblige New Migrants to Sign Plege”, U.S. News, June 20th, 2017
  • The Dutch Senate has approved legislation that obliges all new migrants to sign a declaration pledging to respect "the values and rules of Dutch society" as part of a civic integration test to help them gain citizenship or residency.
  • Minister of Social Affairs Lodwijk Asscher says the declaration is intended to "familiarize newcomers with the unnegotiable rights and obligations and the fundamental values of Dutch society."
  • Municipalities can issue fines of up to 340 euros ($380) to new migrants who refuse to sign the declaration, and deny them a permanent residency permit and citizenship.

 

Portugal

 

  1. Hugo Cox, “Lisbon’s ‘golden visa’ age: residency scheme boosts home market”, Financial Times, June 21st, 2017
  • Costa is now Portugal’s prime minister and his socialist government is welcoming foreigners to the country’s property market. The “golden visa” programme, introduced in 2012, has meant that as Lisbon has become more attractive to developers, it has also become more appealing to buyers from abroad.
  • Government data show that more than €1bn has been invested in property via the golden visa scheme in the past year and almost €3bn since its launch.
  • Tax breaks compound the appeal of the golden visa. Under Portugal’s “nonhabitual resident” scheme, second-home owners from abroad who spend 183 days or more in the country per year may get considerable tax perks. These include, for the first 10 years, exemption from any tax on foreign-sourced pensions, dividends or employment income. For many foreign retirees and entrepreneurs, this means the majority of their income is tax free.

 

United Kingdom

 

  1. Alice Foster, “What is in the Queen’s Speech? Bills on Brexit, immigration, letting fees and more”, Express, June 21st, 2017
  • The Queen's Speech included new legislation related to trade and customs, fisheries, agriculture, immigration and fisheries after the EU exit.
  • Immigration Bill: to allow the UK to end the free movement of EU citizens into the UK but still allow the country to attract "the brightest and the best". EU nationals and family members will be "subject to relevant UK law" after Brexit.

 

  1. David Maddox, “BREXIT BARGAINING CHIP: Theresa May offers EU citizens living in Britain FULL residency”, Express, June 23rd, 2017
  • Theresa May has made a generous offer to the EU to allow all 3 million of its citizens currently living in the UK to have full residency status.
  • She said: “This position represents a fair and serious offer – and one aimed at giving as much certainty as possible to citizens who have settled in the UK, building careers and lives, and contributing so much to our society.”
  • Any EU citizen in the UK with five years residence, at the cut off date no earlier than the trigger of Article 50, and no later than the UK’s exit from the EU, will be granted UK settled status.
  • Mrs May also promised to ditch a complicated 85 page residency document which EU citizen’s currently have to complete and replace it with a “streamlined” online alternative.

 

  1. Andreas Exarheas, “Softer UK Immigration Stance Welcomed by Industry”, Rigzone, June 22nd, 2017
  • A ‘softer’ stance on immigration in the UK will be welcomed by the oil and gas industry, according to Peter Searle, CEO of Airswift.
  • The Immigration Bill announced in the Queen’s speech enables the government to end the free movement of EU nationals into the UK, but still allows the country to attract "the brightest and the best" talent.
  • “This softer stance on immigration will be welcomed by many sectors, including oil and gas, which rely on an international workforce and need this expertise to successfully deliver projects safely, on time and on budget,” Searle said in a statement sent to Rigzone.
  • If this action isn’t completed, Searle warned that it could lead to a reluctance from global operators to invest into North Sea exploration projects or delay those already planned.

 

 

OCEANIA

 

Australia

 

  1. “Reforms to Australian citizen law slammed”, Bangkok Post, June 20th, 2017
  • The government’s plans to raise the standards for attaining Australian citizenship were condemned by the opposition party on Tuesday as a fundamental change that would create a large underclass of residents who do not fully belong.
  • The bill introduced to Parliament last week would require immigrants who want to apply for citizenship to have better Englishlanguage skills and to hold permanent resident visas for four years rather than one.
  • The new English test would “introduce permanently in Australia a large group of people, an increasingly large group of people, who will always live here, will never be asked to take allegiance to this country and will always be told by the Australian government they don't completely belong,” Tony Burke said.

 

  1. Mosiqi Acharya, “Skilled Occupations List slashed from 178 to 18”, SBS, 21st June, 2017
  • Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan announced today that the West Australian Skilled Migration Occupations List (WASMOL) used for state nomination has been slashed.
  • Premier McGowan says he is making sure local tradespeople "get West Australian jobs first" after slashing the number of occupations on the skilled migration list from 178 to 18.
  • Among those removed from the list, which fast tracks overseas workers into the state, are various types of engineers, which were in massive demand during the mining boom.
  • Applicants are required to provide evidence of a minimum one year fulltime employment contract for all occupations on the WASMOL.

 

New Zealand

 

  1. Chris Hutching, “Businesses alarmed at proposed new immigration rules”, Stuff, June 23rd, 2017
  • Changes to immigration policies were being proposed just when more aged care workers were needed, according to New Zealand Aged Care Association chief executive Simon Wallace.
  • National is proposing tighter rules in August setting a maximum three years for essential skills visa holders earning up to $49,000 when they will be sent back to their country for a standdown period.
  • “They’re doing a good job and have built their lives here and we think the proposed changes are unfair to them," MacLeod said.
  • Wallace said the planned changes would also hinder migrant workers' ability to achieve NZQA Health and Wellbeing Certificates before they are required to leave the country.

 

 

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