- “Angola and Mozambique on Visa Waiver”, EIN News, November 18, 2017
- Angolan and Mozambican governments signed on Friday in Luanda a deal on visa waiver on ordinary passports. , Signed the agreement Angolan Interior minister Ângelo da Veiga Tavares and his counterpart from Mozambique, Jaime Basílio Monteiro.
- The accord boosts the mobility of citizens and the flow of investment and tourism between the two countries. The Mozambican Interior minister started on Wednesday a fourday working visit to Angola aimed to strengthening cooperation in the field of public security.
- Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban, “Rwanda Announces Global Visa Free Regime Starting January 2018”, Africa News, November 17, 2017
- Rwanda has announced what could be termed a global visa free entry for travelers from everywhere in the world starting January 1, 2018. A communique released by the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration said citizens of all countries the world over could enjoy 30 days visa on arrival under the regime. With some entrants required to pay a fee where applicable.
- The November 16, 2017 document read in part: “30 days visa upon arrival – Citizens of all countries to get visa upon arrival without prior approval, starting 01 January 2018. Before that, only African countries and few others were getting visa upon arrival.”
- The new visa regime also touched on other areas like visa reciprocity for specific countries whose citizens get free visas with 90 days validity. The countries in question are Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Haiti, Senegal, Seychelles and Sao Tome and Principe. This is in addition to the Democratic Republic of Congo, East Africa Member Community Partner States, Mauritius, Philippines and Singapore. This takes immediate effect.
- “Tourism Poised for Bounce Back – Fernandez”, Antigua Observer, November 15, 2017
- The forecast for Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism is looking good, according to information from the sector’s new minister. Charles Fernandez, who also heads foreign affairs and immigration, addressed the opening of a retreat and planning meeting which got underway at the Carlisle Bay Resort on Tuesday.
- Fernandez added that they were also looking forward to the opportunities that would be provided by businesses opening in the new year. “By 2019 it is estimated that the total number of stayover visitors will surpass 280,000 and we should be welcoming close to one million cruise passengers.”
- Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, “Important Information for Bulgarian and Romanian Citizens Travelling to Canada On or After December 1, 2017”, Government of Canada, November 14, 2017
- Starting at 4 p.m. EET (9 a.m. ET) on December 1, 2017, Canada intends to lift the visa requirements for all Romanians and Bulgarians. At that point, all citizens of Romania and Bulgaria would no longer need a visa to travel to Canada. However, similar to other visaexempt travellers, they would need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to board a flight to Canada. Applying for an eTA is a simple, inexpensive online process that takes minutes to complete.
- Romanians and Bulgarians who already have a valid Canadian visa can continue to travel to or transit through a Canadian airport with that visa until it expires. You do not need to apply for a new eTA. As well, those who already have an eTA can continue to fly to Canada with that eTA until it expires or they get a new passport.canada immigration
- Kevin Bissett, “’Help Newcomers Feel at Home’: P.E.I. Plans to Boost Population Through Immigration”, The Toronto Star, November 14, 2017
- Prince Edward Island — Canada’s smallest but fastestgrowing province — is promising measures to get more immigrants to come, and stay. The Island’s population topped 152,000 this year, and the government has set the goal of reaching 160,000 by 2022.
- The province’s immigration program is competing around the world for new immigrants, it said. The government said it will expand the WorkPEI website to help match jobseekers with employers. It said a new database will include expatriate workers and entrepreneurs in an effort to entice them to return home.
- Nathan Vanderklippe, “Canada Making Push to Increase Number of Chinese Tourists, Students”, The Globe and Mail, November 16, 2017
- Educating foreign students has become a major business in Canada, worth $11.6billion per year, Mr. Hussen said. The number of international students in Canada rose by a quarter last year. "It's good for our economy," he said, adding "Cultural exchange, when international students sit in a classroom with Canadian students – that interaction is good," he added.
- The Canadian government has sought ways to ease entry into the country for both students and tourists, streamlining visa applications for those who have held a recent visa to Canada or the U.S. It is also testing ways to speed visa approvals for older Chinese people and students who can prove they have university admission and sufficient funds to come to Canada. In China, Canada opened seven new visa application centres in September to improve service for in the country. Mr. Hussen will attend the grand opening ceremony Friday for one in Nanjing.
- “Canada’s Global Brand Ranks Fourth in Study of 50 Nations – Ties With Japan”, BusinessWire, November 16, 2017
- Canada remains number one in the world for the second consecutive year in three of six categories measured in the study – People, Governance, and Immigration/Investment.
- The data shows: […] Canada is seen as having a competent and honest government – one that has a high respect for citizens’ rights and fair treatment […]. Canada is thought to have a high quality of life and equal opportunity that strengthens its ability to attract talent and investment capital.
St. Kitts & Nevis
- “St Kitts-Nevis Citizenship by Investment Scheme Named ‘World’s Most Innovative’”, WIC News, November 15, 2017
- The citizenship by investment programme in St Kitts and Nevis has been named the most innovative investment immigration programme in the world at an awards ceremony in Russia. The Russian Global Citizen Awards, which took place today in Moscow, are designed to celebrate individuals, companies and governments “who have made significant contributions to the freedom of movement, investment and residence.”
- “This award is the culmination of many years refining and improving our processes, and adapting to the growing needs of the global citizen,” said Prime Minister Timothy Harris.
- The award comes in the same year that the federation was ranked high in the special report by Professional Wealth Management, a publication from the Financial Times newspaper.
- Ed Fuller, “Chinese Students Are a Win-Win for U.S. Tourism”, Forbes, November 13, 2017
- More than one million foreign students are matriculating in our 4,000 universities and colleges today. They represent over 5% of the more than 20 million students enrolled in these institutions and China accounts for about 370,000, or a third of these students, six times more than a decade ago.
- The NY Times reports, Chinese students contribute about $11.4 billion to the US economy in tuition fees, school supplies, housing and other personal expenses.
- A Shanghaibased research firm last year reported that 83% of China’s millionaires are planning to send their children to school abroad over the next five years. The average age, according to the report, has dropped to 16 now from 18 in 2014, reaching the high school level for the first time.
- “ASEAN, Hong Kong Sign Free Trade Agreement”, The Jakarta Post, November 13, 2017
- ASEAN and Hong Kong signed a free trade and investment agreement on Monday, hoping to strengthen economic cooperation between the two parties and stimulate development in the region. The two agreements, the ASEANHong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) and the ASEAN-Hong Kong Investment Agreement (AHKIA), were signed at the the 31st ASEAN-Hong Kong summit in Manila, Antara reported on Monday.
- “The agreements create opportunities for ASEAN because they will ensure greater access to both trade and investment,” Philippine Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
- AHKFTA is the sixth free trade agreement signed by ASEAN, having already signed free trade agreements with China, South Korea, Japan, India, Australia and New Zealand.
- Revital Hovel & Jonathan Lis, “Israel to Give U.S. Access to Biometric Database in Return for Visa-Free Entry”, Haaretz, November 13, 2017
- Israel and the United States are close to agreeing on an arrangement that would allow Israelis to enter the U.S. without obtaining a visa in advance. To receive the longsought visa waiver deal, Israel would give the United States access to an Israeli biometric database.
- As part of the agreement, U.S. authorities would gain access to an Israeli biometric database in the event that an Israeli citizen is suspected of a crime punishable by more than ten years. This is a shift in the position of the U.S., which had been demanding unfettered access to the database in connection with any crime.
- The United States however will not be given access to Israel's current biometric database, but to a new database that would be established which will only include the biometric information of Israelis who were convicted of a serious crime.
United Arab Emirates
- Cleofe Maceda, “UAE Passport Holders to Get Visa-Free Entry to Tajikistan”, Gulf News, November 14, 2017
- The UAE has added another country to the list of destinations where its citizens can travel to without applying for a visa in advance. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced on Tuesday that UAE nationals holding diplomatic, private and regular passports can make visafree visits to the Republic of Tajikistan.
- States news agency WAM reported that Tajikistan’s ministry of foreign affairs has sent a diplomatic memorandum that details the decision to grant UAE citizens entry visa upon arrival.
- “South Korea to Issue E-Visas for Vietnam Tourists”, VietnamNet Bridge, November 17, 2017
- Le Thi Thu Trang, marketing director of the Korea Tourism Organization in Vietnam, said there have been 303,000 Vietnamese visiting Korea so far this year and the number may reach 330,000 at the end of this year, up by 90,000 over last year.
- Korea will grant evisas for buyers of incentive tours, allow more companies to carry out e-visa procedures and offer tourists a visa-free stay in Seoul for five days if they travel to Jeju island previously.
- In July, Korea accredited 35 travel companies in Vietnam, meaning Vietnamese tourists visiting Korea via these firms could get visas faster. Normally it takes eight days to apply for a visa, but guests of the 35 accredited firms need three days for incentive tours and five days for normal tours.
- “Greece Among Top-5 Countries in the World for Tourism Perception”, Tornos News, November 18, 2017
- Greece is among top5 countries in the world for tourism perception according to the latest Anholt-GfK Nation Brands IndexSM (NBISM) studyIng the wake of a substantial drop in global perception of the USA, Germany retakes overall top ranking, while France climbs to second place.
- The UK has regained the ground it lost last year after the Brexit vote to hold onto third place, while Japan jumps into the top five for the first time since 2011, standing equal with Canada.
- Valentina Romei, “Italian Emigration Continues Despite Strong Economic Recovery”, Financial Times, November 13, 2017
- Italy’s economy is doing its best for years, but Italians are still pouring out of the country. Gross domestic product is growing faster than at any point since 2010, employment is back to precrisis levels and the labour inactivity rate is close to an all-time low.
- The data highlight a story of a dysfunctional labour market, a society in which young, ambitious people often feel unfairly treated, and an economic recovery from which, in large part, they have yet to benefit. Overall, the official figures show that 1.5m people have moved abroad since the crisis broke in 2008.
- Yannick Pace, “Second IIP Programme to be ‘More Exclusive’ Than First – PM”, Malta Today, November 15, 2017
- Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has told a global residence and citizenship conference that Malta's second citizenship programme would be "more exclusive" than the first, as Malta hopes to continue attracting the "right kind of people" to it's shores.
- "We are open to innovative ideas to make our programme even more successful and better," said Muscat. The Prime Minister stressed that despite the success of Malta's programme, the country's economy did not solely depend on it, "given that it is one of the most successful countries, with the highest rate of economic growth, lowest unemployment rates and a diversified economy."
- "In effect, there realities put us in a position to make our process even more rigorous and choose participants carefully," he added, stressing that Malta was not pitching to applicants looking for an easy way to get citizenship.
- Arno Maierbrugger, “Malta Positions Itself as New Centre for Islamic Finance in EU”, Gulf Times, November 14, 2017
- The small European island of Malta in the recent past quietly opened its doors to Islamic banking and finance in an attempt to take on established hubs in Europe, namely London and Luxembourg. With the move, Malta aims to benefit from both its international reputation as a financial centre with not overly complex and suppressing regulations, as well as from its relative proximity to Muslim countries in North Africa which can be reached in less than an hour’s flight, and the Gulf, which can be easily accessed on midhaul flights via Istanbul or Cyprus.
- Other Islamic economyrelated fields being promoted on the island are halal consumer, health and lifestyle products, as well as maritime and aviation registration and financing. For the latter, sukuk has become increasingly popular as strong interests from financiers for Shariah-compliant investment and financing instruments in the maritime and aviation industry is now fuelling demand for Islamic structures that could be set up in Malta in the form of funds, special purpose vehicles and sukuk.
- “Britain Targets Tech Talent by Doubling Visa Numbers”, Reuters, November 15, 2017
- Britain is to double the number of visas available to exceptional workers in areas like digital technology and science to 2,000 to help retain an edge after Brexit.
- Prime Minister Theresa May said the digital sector had the full backing of the British government after she met digital entrepreneurs and innovators on Tuesday.
- The extra visas were in a package of measures that also included a 20 million pound ($26 million) fund to help public services take advantage of British developments in technologies like artificial intelligence.
- Sarah Butler, “Weak Pound Brings Record Number of Tourists to UK in August”, The Guardian, November 17, 2017
- Brexit Britain is proving a big visitor attraction: a record number of tourists arrived in the UK in August and they splashed out £2.8bn, the highest monthly tourist spend ever. The number of visitors from the EU climbed 6% to 2.4m, helping to push the total number of overseas visitors arriving in the UK in August to 3.9m – up 5% on last year’s levels.
- VisitBritain, the tourism body, now forecasts that inbound visits to the UK will reach 39.7m by the end of this year, up nearly 6% on last year. They are expected to spend £25.7bn, up 14% to a new high. Both numbers have been revised up since January.
- The tourism minister, John Glen, said: “These recordbreaking figures for August reaffirm the UK’s position as a global go-to destination and show the continued strength of the sector.”
- “New Zealand Customs Opens eGates to Chinese Tourists”, Xinhua, November 17, 2017
- "It has been an absolute pleasure to be here to open this," New Zealand Minister of Customs Meka Whaitiri said during an official opening of the Customs eGates to Chinese e-passport holders on Friday. New Zealand Customs e-Gates, formerly known as the SmartGate, is a system to facilitate travellers to pass the Customs easier. The system uses biometrics to match the picture in e-passport with the picture it takes of the passport holder at the gate.
- EGates were introduced at New Zealand airports in 2009, and China is the sixth country that the service opens to, after New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Britain and Canada.
- Earlier this year, the New Zealand government announced to launch facilitation procedures for Chinese citizens' customs clearance in New Zealand airports and offer multientry visas valid for up to five years. One of the main aims of those measures is to attract more Chinese tourists to New Zealand.
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