- Vera Samuel Anyagafu, “Nigerians’ll Now Experience Fast, Stress-Free Visa Processing to China – Envoy”, Vanguard, October 5, 2017
- The Peoples Republic of China’s Consul General (CG) to Nigeria, Mr. Chao Xiaoliang, has declared that henceforth, Nigerians seeking various categories of visa to China will experience improve and stressfree visa processing, following the inauguration of China Visa Application Centre in cooperation with Visa Facilitation Service (VFS) in Lagos.
- He also said that “the Consulate General will surely improve in efficiency and quality of services and henceforth, all ordinary passport holders intending visiting China are requested to apply for visas at the Lagos China Visa Application Centre located at Church gate building, while, diplomats and official passport holders, or applicants applying for Hong Kong/Macao Special Administrative Region visa/entry permits are to submit their applications directly at the Chinese embassy.”
- Kathleen Harris, “More Flexible Citizenship Rules on Language, Residency to Kick In Oct. 11”, CBC News, October 4, 2017
- Relaxed rules for obtaining Canadian citizenship will take effect on Oct. 11, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen announced Wednesday.
- The new rules include: The required duration of a physical presence in Canada is reduced to three out of five years, from four out of six years; a portion of time spent in Canada before permanent resident status will count toward residency requirements, which will give credit to temporary workers and students; and the age range for language and knowledge requirements is reduced to 18 to 54 years old, from the previous requirement of 14 to 64.
- More information on the citizenship application process is on the Immigration website, and new forms will be available on Oct. 11.
St. Kitts & Nevis
- “Khan: St. Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment Programme is ‘Cut Above the Rest’”, The St. Kitts & Nevis Observer, October 4, 2017
- Les Khan, chief executive officer of the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), appeared on Wednesday’s edition of “Working for You” and noted that the St. Kitts and Nevis CBI Programme has been in operation since 1984, making it the oldest and “the one that has set the mode and has set itself up as a leader for all other programmes” that came after.
- He reiterated that people should choose St. Kitts and Nevis because its CBI Programme is unique because the federation’s passport has ranked No. 1 in the Eastern Caribbean, No. 2 in the Caribbean, just behind Bahamas, and St. Kitts and Nevis is “No. 1 for doing business.”
- “CBI Programme Attracts Applicants From Three Main Areas of the Globe”, The St. Kitts & Nevis Observer, October 5, 2017
- Chief Executive Officer Les Khan said on Wednesday’s “Working for You” that the St. Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI) has been flourishing, with applicants coming mainly from China, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
- He noted that the Chinese investors usually have a demand for travelling and seek out real estate options in different islands to ensure that they receive returns on their investments. Conversely, the Middle Eastern investors look more for stability with their investment options due to the instability of their region.
- “United States Starts Accepting Applications for 2019 Diversity Visa Program”, Voice of America Zimbabwe, October 3, 2017
- At 1600 hours Universal Time on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017, the United States will begin accepting applications for the 2019 Diversity Visa Program. Applications will be accepted until 1600 hours Universal Time on Tuesday, November 7th, 2017.
- Through this program, the United States Government makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas to citizens of countries that traditionally have a low rate of immigration to the United States.
- Entries for the Diversity Visa Program are accepted online only, no exceptions. All winners are chosen by a random drawing. It is very important that entrants save their unique confirmation number.
- “H-1B Visa Premium Processing Service for Stay Petitions Has Been Resumed”, The America Bazaar, October 4, 2017
- Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on Tuesday that it has again made available the premium processing facility for the extended H1B visa stay petitions. According to the statement, “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing today for all H-1B visa extension of stay petitions. Premium processing is now available for all types of H-1B petitions.”
- When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15calendar day processing time,” the USCIS statement said. “If that time is not met, the agency will refund the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continue with expedited processing of the application.”
- Amy La Porte, “United States and Turkey Mutually Suspend Visa Services”, CNN, October 9, 2017
- Both the United States and Turkey have suspended all nonimmigrant visa services for travel between the two countries, after last week's arrest of a US consulate employee in Istanbul. With some exceptions, the move effectively blocks Turks from travel to the United States, and vice versa, indefinitely.
- The Turkish embassy said the measure, effective immediately, would "apply to visas in passports as well as eVisas and visas acquired at the border." The US move, meanwhile, means that Turks will not be issued visas to visit the United States unless they plan to move there.
- Leakhena Khat, “Axe Falls on Endless Cambodia Visa Extensions”, AEC News Today, October 2, 2017
- After long being the easiest destination in Asean for foreigners to obtain a long stay visa, the Cambodia government has brought the axe down on the practice with new regulations governing the issuance of six and 12-month business (EB) visa extensions.
- Although not applicable to the first application for a one, three-, six- or 12-month EB visa extension, the new rules apply to applications for all visa extensions if the applicant has previously held a six- or 12-month EB extension. Also not affected by the new rules is Cambodia’s new ER (retirement) visa, or the EG (general) visa, both of which prohibit employment.
- The new rules state that if a foreigner wishes to apply for a subsequent six or 12-month visa extension and do not have the required documents they can change to an EG (general) visa for six months while they gather the necessary paperwork.
- John Le Fevre, “Cambodia to Target Foreigners with Irregular Documents”, AEC News Today, October 4, 2017
- [Department of Immigration] chief General Sok Pohal is reported as saying the concerted action to root out foreigners staying in the Kingdom with “irregular documents” follows a meeting at the Ministry of Interior (MOI) this morning, October 4, to discuss implementation of subdecree 129 dated August 15, 2017 on the ‘cancellation and revoking of irregular documents used by foreigners living in Cambodia’.
- In the report General Sok is cited as say that depending on what the ‘irregularity’ was, the foreigner concerned would have two choices: “Go back to their countries or apply for the legal and proper documents if they want to stay in Cambodia. So far we have deported 19,000 illegal foreigners back to their country”, he added.
- According to the report, General Sok said authorities will begin enforcing the new subdecree later this month.
- “Southeast Asia Top Choice for Chinese Outbound Tourists During Holiday”, Xinhua, October 7, 2017
- Southeast Asian countries remain top destinations for Chinese outbound tourists during the National Day holiday, according to the China Tourism Academy. Monitoring data from the academy showed that Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines are among the 10 most popular destinations for outbound travelers during the holiday from Oct. 1 to 8, said Dai Bin, head of the academy.
- Over 45 percent of the travelers chose Southeast Asian countries, Dai said. He attributed the boom to a rapidly increasing number of flights between China and its southeastern neighbors and the latter's favorable visa policies for Chinese tourists.
- Among the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members, nine offer visafree or visa-on-arrival policies for Chinese tourists. More than 2,700 flights fly between China and ASEAN countries every week.
- Bikash Singh, “Tibetans Are Not Seeking Citizenship in Arunachal Pradesh: Kiren Rijiju”, The Economic Times, Otober 5, 2017
- Union minister of state for home affairs, Kiren Rijiju on Thursday said that Tibetans are not seeking citizenship in Arunachal Pradesh. Rijiju, while speaking at fifth BJP State Executive Meeting in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, said, "Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy policy is yet to be implemented in Arunachal."
- He said Tibetans are not seeking citizenship and Government of India has brought out policy only to extend certain welfare measures in their settlement areas. In this matter, Arunachal is yet to bring out its own policy, which will be implemented only after consultation from all community bodies and student union of the state.
- Jessica Fenol and Michelle Ong, “Philippines a World ‘Model’ for Migrant Worker Support: World Bank”, ABS-CBN News, Oct 9, 2017
- "The highlydeveloped support system for migrant labor in the Philippines can serve as a model for other countries," the World Bank said. Migration procedures in Southeast Asia are "restrictive," the World Bank said, adding governments should exercise "more oversight" on recruitment agencies.
- "Barriers such as costly and lengthy recruitment processes, restrictive quotas on the number of foreign workers allowed in a country and rigid employment policies constrain workers' employment options and impact their welfare," the bank said.
- In Malaysia a 10percent increase in migrant workers for low-skilled jobs boosted real gross domestic product by 1.1 percent. In Thailand, GDP would fall by 0.7 percent without migrant workers, it said.
- Carlos Fuitzer, “Thailand Tops Chinese’s Favourite Destinations During the 8-Day Golden Week”, Thailand Business News, October 5, 2017
- Initial estimate by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports is 260,000 Chinese tourists arriving during the golden week period, and 21 billion baht in earnings. According to survey by Ctrip, a Chinese provider of travel services including accommodation reservation, transportation ticketing, packaged tours, Thailand will be the Chinese’s top destination during the 8day golden week. Second popular destination is Japan.
- China continues to dominate Thailand’s inbound tourist arrivals with August ending up with 3,133,411 visits, up 8.6% yearon-year. August was the fourth month, this year, that saw arrivals exceed 3 million, the second highest after January when visits reached 3,197,053.
- Penchan Charooensuthipan, “Expats Get App to Apply for Work Permits”, Bangkok Post, October 7, 2017
- The country launched its first smartphone app on Friday allowing expats to lodge requests for work permits and have them approved, though applicants will still need to make at least two "offline" trips to specially set up centres to complete the procedure. The app, Thailand Digital Work Permit, was introduced to companies and foreign employees on Friday.
- The app resulted from a project jointly launched by the BoI, the Labour Ministry and the Immigration Bureau called Single Window. It is currently available for use by foreign employees of firms promoted by the BoI to bolster trade and investment in the country.
- To register, foreign employees must first obtain a username and password at a work permit centre at the BoI's branch at Chamchuri Square in Bangkok. They can then submit their request via the app.
- “Visa-Free Aspirations: EU Urges Armenia To Do ‘Homework’”, EU Bulletin, October 4, 2017
- The European Union urged Armenia to do some preparatory work for visa liberalization, the process, which could be started at a November summit.
- Armenia had been working on its Association Agreement with Brussels before opting for the alternative of joining the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) in September 2013. The country’s longserving president Serzh Sargsyan signed the EEU in late 2014 and Armenia became its full member state in January 2015.
- Armenia abolished its own visafree travel scheme for EU nationals in 2013, the same year when a readmission agreement for illegal immigrants was finalized.
- Madeline Chambers, “First Chambers Immigration law on Agenda as Merkel Seeks Coalition”, Reuters, October 5, 2017
- Some senior members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc and potential coalition partners have backed the idea of an immigration law as a possible way to help solve Germany’s migrant policy jigsaw.
- The other parties argue that a cap would breach the constitution, which guarantees asylum to people persecuted on political grounds. Concerns about immigration run especially high in Bavaria, the main entry point for refugees in 2015 when close to 1 million many fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa - cascaded into the country.
- John Micklethwait et al., “Top Banker Says Hungary May Adopt the Euro Sooner Than Expected”, Bloomberg, October 5, 2017
- Leaders in Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic - the four biggest economies in the European Union’s eastern wing -- have refused to set target dates for adoption despite largely meeting accession criteria and being obliged to swap their currencies.
- While countries like Hungary won’t rush it, they also won’t want to be left out from deeper integration, said Sandor Csanyi, Hungary’s richest man and chief executive officer of its largest lender OTP Bank.
- Euro adoption “can happen,” said Attila Chikan, a professor of economics at Corvinus University in Budapest and a former economy minister in Orban’s first cabinet before EU accession. “Orban is at once very pragmatic and impulsive, he can make decisions very fast and sometimes on unexpected grounds,” Chikan said.
- Tamara Zieve, “Social Affairs Ministry Ends Special French Services for Immigrants”, The Jerusalem Post, October 8, 2017
- French speakingimmigrants will no longer be entitled to social services in their native language after the end of this year, the umbrella organization for French immigrants Qualita announced on Sunday. The NGO appealed to Labor and Social Services Minister Haim Katz after receiving notification that a French-speaking service operated by the ministry will be terminated.
- The project was implemented by the ministry in 2015, in accordance with government decision 2446, but thus far the necessary funds have not been allocated for its continuation past the end of this year.
- Alison Little, “Amber Rudd Promises New Immigration System to ‘Delivery on Brexit Referendum Result’”, Express UK, October 6, 2017
- THE Government is focused on securing a new immigration system for Britain that reflects referendum voters’ concerns, Home Secretary Amber Rudd vowed today. At the same time, she promised to seek to avoid “damaging” workforce shortages or unnecessary red tape for firms.
- Ms Rudd promised in a newspaper article backing Theresa May against calls to quit: “I’m committed to working with business to make sure we don’t impose unnecessary burdens or create damaging labour shortages.”
- “Australia Admits More Migrants Than Any Other Big Western Country”, The Economist, October 5, 2017
- The number of children the average Australian woman has fell below two in the 1970s and has stayed there. Yet since then Australia’s population has grown by 70%, thanks almost entirely to immigration. Over 28% of today’s residents were born overseas—a higher share than in Canada or New Zealand, let alone Britain or America.
- The number of newcomers continues to grow. Net overseas migration (a measure of immigrants minus departing Aussies) has nearly doubled since 2000.
- Overall, however, Australia’s Productivity Commission finds no evidence that migrants suppress wages or displace locals from jobs. They help raise GDP per person, not lower it, in part by making Australia’s population more youthful, thus offsetting the ageing of its baby boomers.
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