- Daniel Mumbere, “Tanzania Introduces Electronic Passports”, Africa News, February 1, 2018
- Tanzania has rolled out the new electronic East African Community passports to replace the existing national documents, set to be phased out by January 2020. The launch on Wednesday was witnessed by President John Magufuli who said the epassport would bring lasting solution to a number of challenges associated with immigration services in the country.
- Tanzania becomes the second East African Community (EAC) member country to roll out the epassports after Kenya which launched the documents in September last year, 17 years after discussions to develop the Community document began. The 35th EAC Council of Ministers meeting in last April directed member states to start issuing the regional e-passport by January 2018.
Antigua & Barbuda
- “CIP 2017: Almost $300m in Direct Revenue, Investments”, The Antigua Observer, January 29, 2018
- Almost $300 million was raised in direct revenue and investment capital from the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) last year, according to Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
- The figures were spelt out in the budget speech he presented in the parliament on Thursday. “In 2017, the Citizenship by Investment Unit, processed a total of 321 applications, which should yield an estimated $64 million in direct revenue to the central government and capital injection of $198.7 million into hotels, residential developments and other business interests,” the PM reported.
- He stated that some 1,269 applications have been received and processed through the CIP’s three investment options from the inception of the programme to December 31, 2017.
- Nicholas Keung, “Immigrants Are Largely Behind Canada’s Status as One of the Best-Educated Countries”, The Toronto Star, February 1, 2018
- The Immigration Department report, obtained through an access to information request, found 36 per cent of the children of immigrants aged 25 to 35 held university degrees, compared to 24 per cent of their peers with Canadianborn parents.
- Among the top immigration source countries, more than 50 per cent of the children of immigrants from China and India graduated from university, while onethird of those born to Filipino immigrant parents finished their degrees.
- “The educational attainment of the parents matters; children with highly educated parents are more likely to be highly educated themselves. And immigrant parents in Canada tend to have higher levels of educational attainment than Canadianborn parents,” said the report by researcher Garnett Picot for the department’s research and evaluation unit.
- “New OECS Tourism Project Earmarked to Upgrade Castries City”, St. Lucia News, January 30, 2018
- Sections of the capital city of Castries should expect a facelift, as one part of a new tourism enhancement project funded by the World Bank. The Project is funded to the tune of 26 million US dollars, with three (3) beneficiary countries. Of this total budget, Saint Lucia is allotted 15 million US dollars, Grenada 6 million and St Vincent and Grenadines 5 million.
- Speaking on behalf of the World Bank, Senior Economist and Task Team Leader for the Project, Mr John Anderson outlined the importance of the project to tourism development in the three islands. He said “the WBG invests heavily in the tourism sector – with a substantial portfolio of lending, technical assistance, and investments totaling nearly $4 billion USD globally – of which the OECS Regional Tourism Competitiveness Project is an important part”.
- Subhayan Chakraborty, “India’s Demand for EB-5 Visa Applications to Jump Despite Stricter Norms”, Business Standard, January 31, 2018
- Indians have invested upwards of $120 million in the United States through the EB5 visa programme which offers foreign residents the chance to become permanent residents, provided they invest a minimum $500,000 (more than Rs 31 million) in a government-approved EB-5 business or create 10 full-time jobs in the country.
- […] The number of Indian applicants have grown 140 per cent since 2014, currently ranking just behind China and Vietnam. There were more than 500 visa applications from India in 201617 and higher numbers were expected once the official data for the current financial year rolls in.
- Yeganeh Torbati, “U.S. Immigration Agency to Review Newest Asylum Cases First in Bid to Deter Fraud”, Reuters, February 1, 2018
- The U.S. immigration agency has changed its handling of asylum cases so more recent claims are judged first, officials said on Wednesday, a shift they said would improve the system by deterring frivolous claims and increasing efficiency.
- Asylum seekers regularly wait five years or more for their cases to be heard, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had a backlog of 311,000 pending asylum cases as of Jan. 21. The agency will now schedule asylum interviews for more recent applicants ahead of older applications, returning to the system in place until December 2014, when the Obama administration decided to prioritize the oldest cases first.
- Trump administration officials contend that the yearslong waits encourage fraudulent claims. By judging new claims first, officials want to discourage applications by people who have no legitimate claim but hope to take advantage of the backlog to work legally in the United States for a few years while their applications work their way through the system.
- Mandy Zuo & Danny Lee, “Chinese Skilled Workers Hope Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan Will Cut Wait for Green Cards”, South China Morning Post, February 1, 2018
- Trump announced in his stateof-the-union address on Tuesday evening US time that he planned to end the US visa lottery system as well as “chain migration”, where immigrants can sponsor relatives to live in the United States.
- “Trump’s new policy also mirrors the reality of fierce competition for skilled talent worldwide, and this could be a challenge to China,” said Wang Huiyao, founder and president of Beijingbased think tank the Centre for China and Globalisation. He added that the policy changes outlined by Trump would be very appealing for professionals around the world.
- “Azerbaijan Simplifies Procedures for Obtaining Entry Visas”, JAM News, February 3, 2018
- Nationals of 13 countries will be able to obtain visas for Azerbaijan on arrival at the country’s international airports. Visas can be obtained via the ASAN Visa electronic system rather than through the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s consular department, as was formerly the case.
- Nationals of Bahrain, Israel, Malaysia, Oman, Japan, China, Qatar, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, as well as stateless persons residing in those countries, will be able to obtain visas on arrival through the simplified scheme within three hours.
- Nationals of more than 100 countries, including the USA and EU countries, can obtain visas within three days through the simplified procedure. The visa costs USD 20 (about AZN 34) and allows one to stay in Azerbaijan for 30 days.
- Nationals of Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Tajikistan can travel to Azerbaijan visafree.
- Kwon Ho & Song Seung-Hwan, “Chinese Will Be Allowed to Attend Games Without Visa”, Korea JoongAng Daily, January 30, 2018
- Citizens of China and some Southeast Asian countries will not need a visa to travel to South Korea during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the government announced Monday.
- The visa waiver program will apply to Chinese nationals who purchase at least 200,000 won ($187) worth of tickets for the Games, which last from Feb. 9 to 25, as well as Indonesian, Vietnamese and Philippine nationals who arrive in the country in groups of five or more people. They will be allowed to stay for 15 days without a visa.
- Rosie Perper, “China is Offering Long-Term Visas to Select Foreigners to Boost its Economy”, Business Insider, January 30, 2018
- China's Ministry of Public Security announced last week that it would begin offering longerterm visas for foreigners of ethnic Chinese descent that would allow them to stay in the country for up to five years. These visas would be issued to ethnic Chinese people who live overseas, who need to visit family or conduct business among other things, according to the ministry.
- Successful applicants would later be able to apply for a fiveyear residency permit if they needed to stay for longer periods because of work or study, the South China Morning Post reported. The applications for the program will open on February 1. According to SCMP, a person would need to prove their Chinese ancestry through a parent or a grandparent.
- Also this month, China announced it would trial fasttracked work visas for what it calls "high-end foreign talent." According to the visa requirements set out by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, foreigners who excel in the fields of science, technology, business or sport can apply for an extended work visa for up to 10 years.
- “MEA Decides Against Move to Issue Orange Colour Passport, Do Away With Last Page”, Times of India, January 31, 2018
- The Modi government has decided to reverse two illconceived passport decisions. In a statement on Tuesday, the ministry of external affairs spokesperson said the government would not issue orange-coloured passports to Indian nationals who needed an emigration clearance certificate. It has also decided not to discontinue printing the last page of the passport, which is used as a valid proof of address.
- "After comprehensive discussions with the various stakeholders, the foreign ministry has decided to continue with the current practice of printing of the last page of the passport and not to issue a separate passport with orange colour jacket to ECR passport holders," MEA spokeperson Raveesh Kumar said in a statement.
- Roderick T. dela Cruz, “Law Firm Helps Filipinos Obtain Global Citizenship”, The Standard, February 3, 2018
- “Global citizenship is all about freedom of movement. That’s what it is. It is to permit people pretty much to go to where they want, when they want and how they want,” says Jean Francois Harvey, the founder and worldwide managing director of Harvey Law Group, an immigration and business law firm […]. The company is present in several Asian cities where they offer residence and citizenshipby-investment programs in over 20 jurisdictions.
- HLG says not all passports are created equal, with a Philippine passport having an access to only 62 countries, compared to 150 countries within the reach of a Cyprus citizen or 127 countries of St. Kitts and Nevis citizen. “Philippine passport is not an easy passport to travel with. Of course, by getting a second citizenship, it gives you a full freedom of movement. By example, St. Kitts and Nevis will give you a free access to over 120 countries without visa. You can do a lot of business. That is the biggest advantage. There is of course a big advantage taxwise, because it permits you to divide a few of your assets into tax jurisdictions that will give you advantage,” Harvey says […].
United Arab Emirates
- “UAE Citizens Exempt from Pre-Entry Visa to Burkina Faso”, The Gulf Today, January 31, 2018
- UAE nationals holding diplomatic, regular, private, and VIP passports can now travel to the Republic of Burkina Faso without prior entry visa requirements, under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on mutual visa waiver inked by Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Alpha Barry Minister of Foreign Affairs of Burkina Faso.
- Citizens from Burkina Faso holding diplomatic passport can also travel to the UAE without preentry visa.
- “Uzbekistan Introduces Visa-Free Regime for Several Countries”, Trend News Agency, February 4, 2018
- Uzbekistan has introduced a visafree regime for 30 days from the date of entry into the country for citizens of seven countries and a simplified procedure for issuing tourist visas for citizens of 39 states, Uzdaily reported.
- Under the decree, from Feb.10 2018, citizens of Israel, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey and Japan can visit Uzbekistan without visas for the period of 30 days. From Feb.1 2018, Uzbekistan introduced a simplified procedure for issuing tourist visas for citizens of 39 countries. The list includes countries of the European Union, East Asia and the Middle East, as well as India, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.
- “Major Brexit Supporter Obtains Maltese Passport”, Times of Malta, January 29, 2018
- One of the biggest advocates of a hard Brexit has obtained a Maltese passport, the Financial Times reported. New Zealandborn billionaire Christopher Chandler is behind Legatum, the London based think-tank that emerged as one of the most vocal advocates for Britain’s departure from the single market and the customs union.
- The names of Mr Chandler, as well as Legatum's chief executive Mark Stoleson, and several of his family members appear on a list of individuals who became naturalised citizens of Malta in 2016, FT reported.
- Individuals can obtain Maltese passports in return for a €650,000 contribution to the national development fund and the purchase or lease of property, as well as well as investments of at least €150,000 in stocks and bonds.
- “Chinese Account for 60 Percent of All ‘Golden Visa’ Investment to 2017”, The Portugal News, February 1, 2018
- Cumulative investment in Portugal by citizens of China who have applied for ‘golden visas’ – fasttrack residence permits for major investors – totalled €2.06 billion at the end of last year, official figures show. This represents 60% of the total for the programme as a whole, according to the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).
- In all 3,588 permits were issued to Chinese applicants from 2013 to the end of last year. In total, since the Residence Authorisations for Investment (ARI) programme was launched in October 2012, it has attracted investment of €3,411,265,842.39.
- Citizens of Brazil, meanwhile, have invested a cumulative total of €400 million, with 473 permits being issued between 2013 and 2017. Brazil is the second country, after China, in terms of permits issued. Last year, investors from Brazil put in almost €179 million, making it the best year ever on that measure.
- Kostyantyn Chernichkin, “Almost 400,000 Ukrainians Get Use of Visa-Free Regime with EU”, Kyiv Post, January 30, 2018
- About 400,000 Ukrainian citizens have used the simplified procedure for travel to European countries (since June 2017), and 57,000 foreigners, including 42,000 Russian citizens, have passed control over the system of recording biometric data since the beginning of this year, head of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine Petro Tsyhykal has said.
- Since the introduction of the visafree regime with the EU, about 400,000 Ukrainians have used the simplified procedure for traveling to Europe, the head of the frontier department at the visiting session of the board at the Main Training Center of the State Border Service (the village of Orshanets, Cherkasy region) said.
- “Cost of British Passport to Increase”, BBC News, January 29, 2018
- Currently, an adult's passport costs £72.50 regardless of how you apply for it but under government plans this would rise by 17% up to £85. The cost of online applications will also go up but only by £3 to £75.50. Children's passport applications will also increase by £12.50 (27%) from £46 to £58.50 for anyone under the age of 16, but will be £49 online.
- It will be the first time ordering a passport by post will cost more than doing so online. Despite the price hike, the government maintains it will still cost less than it would have nine years ago due to fees being reduced in 2012.
- The Home Office said: "These reforms are part of plans by the Home Office to invest £100m on border security and infrastructure next year." It aims to "create a selfsustainable immigration and borders system".
- Chris Baynes, “Brexit: Cost of Reduced EU Migration Far Greater Than Benefits of US Trade Deal, Leaked Analysis Shows”, The Independent, January 31, 2018
- The cost to the UK economy of cutting migration from the EU would swallow up the benefits of a US trade deal, according to the Government’s leaked impact assessment. The impact of replacing free movement with stricter immigration controls similar to those for nonEU citizens would far exceed the expected boost of a US deal, Whitehall officials calculated.
- It emerged this week that analysis conducted for the Department for Exiting the EU (DexEU) concluded Britain would be worse off after Brexit regardless of the terms of the country’s departure from the EU.
- The analysis – compiled secretly by officials across Whitehall – also forecasts impact of several potential immigration policies after the UK leaves the EU. It concluded that even a more flexible policy that led to a smaller drop in migration from the EU would outweigh the 0.2 per cent increase in economic growth that a US trade deal is expected to bring.
- Robert Wright, “UK Hits Cap on Letting in Skilled Non-EU Migrants”, Financial Times, January 31, 2018
- The UK has hit its cap on skilled visas for nonEU workers for two months in a row for the first time as companies were forced to look further afield to make up for falling numbers of European immigrants. Home Office data show Britain reached the official limit in both December and January, contributing to the National Health Service’s difficulty in recruiting doctors from overseas.
- The spike in applicants for socalled Tier 2 visas — granted according to a points system that measures a worker’s qualifications — has forced up the threshold for acquiring the work permit. The minimum salary needed to qualify, which used to be £30,000, hit £55,000 in December and £50,000 in January.
- The sharp increase in demand for skilled nonEU workers has come as net immigration from the EU has fallen dramatically since the 2016 Brexit referendum. The most recent data available showed a net figure of just 9,000 EU migrants arriving in the second quarter, a number the Office for National Statistics said was not statistically different from zero. Overall net immigration in the year to June dropped by almost a third to 230,000.
- Jessica Elgot, “Theresa May Softens Stance on Migration and Foreign Students”, The Guardian, February 2, 2018
- International students do not have a longterm impact on migration numbers, Theresa May has admitted, in a marked softening of tone from her previous hardline position on the issue.
- A study from the Office for National Statistics which examined the exit data last year found there were no longterm issues with students overstaying their visas. Cabinet ministers are understood to believe the government could face defeat if the forthcoming immigration bill is amended to exclude student numbers from official figures.
- However, May held firm that students should not be taken out of the official migration statistics, a view that is at odds with many in her cabinet.
- May said it was essential students continued to be included. “The reason students have been in the numbers is because it’s an international definition of a migrant,” she said.
- Jamie Smyth, “British and US Migrants Flock to New Zealand”, Financial Times, February 2, 2018
- The number of US and UK residents choosing to live in farflung New Zealand has risen sharply since the election of Donald Trump and the UK’s Brexit vote, according to new migration figures.
- The upsurge in net migration from the two countries is based on a relatively small numbers of skilled migrants, with roughly 20,000 new migrants from the UK and US arriving in New Zealand in 2017. “Migrants have been attracted by New Zealand’s strong economic run over recent years, with growth averaging 34 per cent,” said Satish Ranchhod, economist at Westpac.
- Statistics New Zealand said at least a quarter of US and UK migrant arrivals were New Zealand citizens returning to the country. But the figures appear to confirm a jump in interest among US residents in moving to New Zealand following the 2016 presidential election.
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