MEDIA

HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 30.07.2018

Jul 30,2018

AFRICA

 

Egypt

 

  1. Mostafa Mohie & Rania al-Abd, “LE7 Million Price Tag for Egyptian Citizenship”, Mada Masr, July 25, 2018
  • On July 16, the House of Representatives approved a bill submitted by the government to amend provisions on Law 89/1960 on the entry and residency of foreigners in Egypt, and Law 26/1975 on Egyptian citizenship.
  • Under the new law, foreigners who deposit at least LE7 million, or the equivalent in foreign currency, are granted a fiveyear residency. The foreign national must reside in Egypt for five consecutive years after which they can apply for citizenship. Under Law 26/1975, foreigners previously had to live in Egypt for at least ten years before being able to apply for naturalization. The final decision to grant citizenship is made by the Minister of Interior. If the naturalization request is approved, the value of the deposit is transferred to the state treasury.

 

Nigeria

 

  1. Immigration to Issue Audit Passport with 10-Year Validity”, Channels TV, July 26, 2018
  • The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced plans to increase the validity of passports issued to adults from five to 10 years. ComptrollerGeneral of NIS, Mr Mohammed Babandede, disclosed this to reporters on Thursday at the Passport Office in Ikoyi area of Lagos State. “The idea is to reform the old passport booklet, the booklet will change. 10-year validity will reduce the burden on applicants and on the system,” he said.
  • He was also confident that the issuance of the new passport, which would commence before the end of the year, would reduce the burden on Nigerians to acquire passports every five years.

 

AMERICA

 

Antigua and Barbuda

 

  1. Samuel Haig, “You Can Become a Citizen of Antigua and Barbuda for Less Than 13 BTC”, Bitcoin News, July 27, 2018
  • With Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship by way of investment into its National Development Fund having been reduced to a cost of $100,000 USD last year, the price of citizenship in the independent Commonwealth country is less than 13 BTC at current prices.
  • Antigua and Barbuda’s parliament has amended the country’s citizenship by investment programme (CIP) to allow payments in the form of cryptocurrencies.
  • Gaston Browne, Antigua and Barbuda’s prime minister and minister of finance, stated: “So not only are we providing the capacity for payment in Euros, but we are also proving for payments using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”

 

Canada

 

  1. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, “Minister Hussen Meets with European Partners to Discuss Canada’s Immigration Advantage”, Government of Canada, July 24, 2018
  • The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, completed a successful weeklong visit to the United Kingdom (U.K.), Belgium and Germany, where he met with key European partners and stakeholders to discuss global migration trends and speak to how Canada is growing our economy through diversity and immigration.
  • […] The Minister outlined how Canada’s multiyear levels plan and economic programs work to attract top talent to help grow Canada’s economy and meet labour shortages, which are a result of our aging population. The Minister encouraged European leaders and employers to look to immigrants for their innovative perspectives, entrepreneurial spirit, global experience and unique skill sets.

 

Jamaica

 

  1. Office of the Prime Minister, “Jamaica and Namibia Agree Visa Waiver Programme”, Government of Jamaica, July 23, 2018
  • Jamaicans traveling to the Republic of Namibia for business or tourism will not be required to obtain a visa. The Governments of Jamaica and Namibia this morning (July 23) agreed to a visa waiver programme.
  • Previously, Jamaica unilaterally waived visa requirements for Namibians entering the country as an expression of solidarity and support during Namibia’s liberation struggle. Namibia today reciprocated this action. Speaking at a joint press conference with President Geingob in the Namibian capital Windhoek, Prime Minister Holness said both countries have now cemented a deeper bond.

 

St. Kitts & Nevis

 

  1. Les Khan, “Saint Kitts and Nevis Continues to Prove an Alluring Choice for Second Citizenship”, World Finance, July 25, 2018
  • A twinisland nation located in the Caribbean Sea, Saint Kitts and Nevis launched its citizenship by investment programme in 1984 – one year after obtaining full independence from the UK. Since then, it has refined its offering, providing a second citizenship that is widely recognised as the platinum standard by investors around the world.
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis has been leading the economic citizenship segment for more than 30 years, yet at no time has its citizenship process been more appealing than it is today. Previously, aspiring Kittitians and Nevisians could donate to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation – with donations starting at $250,000 for a single applicant – or invest $400,000 in preapproved real estate to be held for a minimum of five years.
  • As of March 29, however, these programme staples have been surpassed in popularity by two new options: a $150,000 contribution to the recently established Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) or a $200,000 joint investment in preapproved real estate valued at $400,000 or more.
  • Unlike any other jurisdiction, Saint Kitts and Nevis also offers the Accelerated Application Process (AAP), which ensures all steps for the acquisition of citizenship – including the issuance of a passport – are completed in 60 days or under. Furthermore, there is no need for investors to reside in the Federation or speak English, and applicants are not required to be familiar with the local history, traditions or customs.

 

  1. Six Senses St. Kitts Resort and Spa Provides Global Mobility and a Second Citizenship for Life”, Markets Insider, July 26, 2018
  • Six Senses St. Kitts is a project by Range Developments, which specializes in developing luxury Caribbean resorts, together with design creativity, management and marketing by Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. The resort is scheduled to be completed over three years.
  • On announcing the project, Six Senses President Bernhard Bohnenberger said, "We are thrilled to add St. Kitts to the Six Senses portfolio of resorts in incredible settings. And working in partnership with Range Developments, who have exceptional expertise and experience in the Caribbean, Six Senses St. Kitts will be a remarkable resort." Six Senses St. Kitts will be the 16th hotel of the Six Senses Group which is now present in 11 different countries.
  • Mr. Bastien Trelcat, Managing Partner of the leading investment immigration firm Harvey Law Group for Southeast Asia added, "Harvey Law Group is honored to collaborate one more time with Range Developments and the Government of St. Kitts & Nevis for the Six Senses project as the exclusive service provider for Southeast Asia of 100 shares coming with a financing option. St. Kitts boasts the longest established Citizenship by Investment program in the world presenting opportunities to obtain a wellrecognized passport for you and your family."

 

ASIA

 

Brunei

 

  1. Taiwan Extends Visa-Free Entry for Bruneians”, Borneo Bulletin, July 26, 2018
  • Taiwan has announced a oneyear extension to its 14 days visa-free entry programme trial for Brunei nationals and permanent residents holding a Brunei certificate of identity, effective from August 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019.
  • The maximum stay is 14 days for shortterm tourism, business, visiting and cultural exchanges. However, visa-free entry programme for Brunei nationals is for a maximum stay of 30 days. All passengers are advised to have a passport or certificate of identity, with validity period of more than six months and other confirmed travel documents upon arrival.
  • All passengers are advised to have a passport or certificate of identity, with validity period of more than six months and other confirmed travel documents upon arrival.

 

China

 

  1. Chengdu Offers 144-Hours Visa-Free Transit”, Khmer Times, July 26, 2018
  • Chengdu in southwest China is preparing to offer 144hour visa-free transit to the holders of certain foreign passports as part of the city’s plan to boost Chengdu’s development as an international destination for tourists.
  • The municipal government,which has submitted a request to China’s State Council for approval, say it also plans to expand the list of countries allowed 72hour visa-free transit.

 

India

 

  1. Indian Passport Holders No Longer Require Airport Transit Visa: France”, The New Indian Express, July 27, 2018
  • France has announced that Indian passport holders will no longer require an airport transit visa while transiting through the country.
  • "I'm pleased to announce that, with effect from 23rd July 2018, holders of Indian passports will no longer require an Airport Transit Visa (ATV) while transiting through the international zone of any airport in France #ChooseFrance," France's Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler said on Twitter last week.

 

Myanmar

 

  1. Kang Wan Chern, “Myanmar Grants Free Visa Allowances to Asian Visitors”, Myanmar Times, July 26, 2018
  • Myanmar will grant free visa allowances to Chinese, South Korean and Japanese nationals from August 1 onwards in a bid to promote ecotourism, according to U Ohn Maung, Minister of Hotel and Tourism, during an economic seminar organised last week by the Thai embassy in Yangon and the Thai Business Association in Myanmar.
  • The developments comes after local tourism has taken a hit from dwindling visitors from the West, who have scaled down travel to Myanmar in view of the refugee crisis in Rakhine. It also coincides with the enforcement of the new Myanmar Companies Law on August 1, which will enable foreign investors to own up to 30 percent in the shares of local companies and grant investors up to 7 years of tax free operations.

 

Taiwan

 

  1. Yeh Su-ping & Ko Lin, “Taiwan, Marshall Islands Ink Deals on Visa-Free Entry, Patrols”, Focus Taiwan News Channel, July 27, 2018
  • Taiwan and the Marshall Islands on Friday signed bilateral agreements on visafree entry and maritime patrol collaboration to boost exchanges.
  • The agreement was inked by the foreign ministers of the two countries - Joseph Wu and John M. Silk, and witnessed by President Tsai Ing-wen and Marshall Islands President Hilda C. Heine at the Presidential Office in Taipei.
  • Speaking at the event, Tsai said she hoped that the bilateral agreement will help strengthen joint maritime security and facilitate peopleto-people interaction.

 

United Arab Emirates

 

  1. Now, Visa-Free Travel for UAE Residents to Azerbaijan”, Khaleej Times, July 28, 2018
  • As of Thursday, July 26, UAE residents i.e. anyone with valid residency in the country can avail of the tourist visa to Azerbaijan. The UAE Embassy in Baku made the announcement on their Twitter handle.
  • The visa on arrival will be valid for one month at Azerbaijan's airports.

 

EUROPE

 

Belarus

 

  1. Belarus Extends Visa-Free Entry to 30 Days”, Belarusian Telegraph Agency, July 24, 2018
  • Belarus has extended the visafree entry period to 30 days provided foreign nationals cross the border at the Minsk National Airport. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed the corresponding decree on 24 July, BelTA learned from the presidential press service.
  • A valid passport or other document permitting foreign travels, money (equivalent to at least two base amounts for each day of stay in the foreign currency or Belarusian rubles), medical insurance in the amount of at least €10,000 operational in Belarus will be needed for the visafree entry.
  • Citizens of Vietnam, Haiti, Gambia, India, Lebanon, Namibia and Samoa should also have a valid multivisa to the EU states or the Schengen Area with a mark confirming the entry to their territory, plane tickets with a confirmation of the departure from the Minsk National Airport within 30 days after the date of the entry.
  •  Regarding Chinese citizens these visa rules will apply till 10 August 2018 when the BelarusChina bilateral agreement on mutual visa abolition for holders of regular passports comes into force.

 

Malta

 

  1. Only ‘The Best’ Need Apply for a Maltese Passport, Muscat Tells LA Conference”, Times of Malta, July 25, 2018
  • Malta’s citizenshipby-investment programme is the “most expensive in the world” and only “the best” applicants need apply, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told a migration conference in Los Angeles.
  • To receive a Maltese passport, IIP applicants must fork out €650,000 and provide a €150,000 investment in government stocks or bonds, as well as satisfy property requirements and pass Identity Malta due diligence procedures. “If your clients have failed other programmes, do not even bother since our due diligence is the toughest in the industry. Actually, we are aware that some of our new citizens are using the fact that they successfully completed our process as a sign of their clean bill of health”, the Prime Minister said.

 

Montenegro

 

  1. Misha Savic, “Newest NATO State Montenegro Offers Passports for Investment”, Bloomberg, July 27, 2018
  • Montenegro, the newest NATO entrant, wants to boost its economy by offering citizenship to as many as 2,000 people willing to invest at least 250,000 euros ($291,000) for holding its passport.
  • The program will start in October. The country, which also aspires to join the European Union, will ask individuals to invest between 250,000 euros to 450,000 euros in one of the government’s development projects and pay a fee of as much as 100,000 euros per application. Some EU states also offer similar programs.

 

Russia

 

  1. Russia, China to Sign Visa-Free Travel Agreement Soon – Official”, TASS, July 26, 2018
  • Russia and China plan to sign a visafree travel agreement in the near future, which will make it possible to substantially increase the tourist flow in both directions, Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism Nikolai Korolyov informed TASS on Thursday.
  • "We have reached an understanding with China, and we will hold a few more working meetings on the issue, the more so since this is related to the activities of tourism regulators, and we will soon agree on the final document, which will be signed," the official went on to say.

 

  1. Upper House of Parliament Approves Visa-Free Entry for Fan-ID Holders Until Year End”, TASS, July 28, 2018
  • Football fans from other countries holding the socalled Fan-IDs from the FIFA World Cup will be able to enter Russia without visa until the end of 2018 as the Federation Council (upper house) has passed a respective bill at a plenary session on Saturday.
  • After the final match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow on July 15, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that foreigners with FanIDs should be granted the right for a multiple entry into Russia throughout this year without obtaining the required visas.
  • According to Chairman of State Duma’s Committee for Physical Culture, Sports, Tourism and Youth Affairs Mikhail Degtyarev, "around 80% of fans would like to return back to Russia, get familiar with the Russian culture, see the Russian hinterlands, nature, smaller towns."

 

United Kingdom

 

  1. Ben Chapman, “UK Firms Paying Up to £100,000 Extra to Lure Skilled EU Workers as Net Migration Falls, Survey Finds”, The Independent, July 26, 2018
  • Six in 10 companies have forked out extra incentives – including pay rises, extra bonuses and private school fees – in order to lure European Union workers since the Brexit referendum, as they attempt to retain the skills they need, new research has found.
  • Some firms have paid an additional £100,000 in order to secure talent, as EU workers become more reluctant to commit to the UK due to uncertainty about their future immigration status, among a host of other concerns.
  • Research published earlier this year by the British Chambers of Commerce showed that a skills shortage in the UK was reaching critical levels, with almost threequarters of services businesses struggling to make the hires they need. The figures come as the UK unemployment sits at a 42 year low of 4.2 per cent, leaving little room for manoeuvre.

 

  1. Robert Wright, “Demand for High-Skilled Migrants Overtakes New UK Limits”, The Financial Times, July 26, 2018
  • A UK government move that allowed companies to bring more skilled foreign workers into the country has already been overtaken by demand just a month after it was introduced.
  • Demand to bring in professionals from outside the EEA has been growing as the number of people arriving in the UK from other EEA countries has declined following the Brexit vote. The spike has meant demand to bring in workers has exceeded the supply of available visas every month since December. Before that, the cap had been exceeded in only one month since the system was set up in 2011.
  • Visas are allocated on a points system weighted heavily towards salary when the system is oversubscribed. When the system is not over-subscribed, skilled professionals earning more than £30,000 a year can be admitted.

 

OCEANIA

 

New Zealand

 

  1. Madison Reidy, “Immigration NZ Plans to Raise Cost of Work Visa to Stem $43M Deficit”, Radio New Zealand, July 25, 2018
  • The plan to increase visa fees comes as Immigration NZ's accounts show an unprecedented deficit of $43m. Immigration NZ is a mostly userpays system, but lost $20m from work visas alone last year, suggesting the price paid for them no longer covered the cost of processing them.
  • Under the changes, work visas would cost $580 each, up from $370. Along with other changes, such as increasing the cost for employers to gain an accreditation from Immigration by 20 percent, that would balance Immigration NZ's account within three years. Ministry spokesperson Ruth Isaac said the increased prices would remain low on an international scale.
  • Parliament will vote next month on whether to spread out the changes over three or five years. Visa fees were typically reviewed every three years.

 

  1. NZ To Review Pacific Migration”, Radio New Zealand, July 25, 2018
  • Share this Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via email Share on Google Plus Share on Reddit Share on Linked In New Zealand will review its approach to Pacific migration from next year. Immigration policy towards the Pacific, including the quota system which is drawn by random ballot, has been criticised for being outdated and discriminatory.
  • Immigration Minister Iain LeesGalloway said New Zealand is expected to carry out a review over 2019 and 2020.

 

  1. Jane Patterson, “Government Signals More Changes to Foreign Student Work Rights”, Radio New Zealand, July 27, 2018
  • Earlier this year Iain LeesGalloway said he was "holding fire" on any changes to in-study work rights, as student numbers were falling due to changes made by the previous government.
  • Mr LeesGalloway has already unveiled a number of changes to the work rules for students once they've finished, in response to concerns about exploitation and the visa being used as a pathway to residency.
  • He will announce the final changes to post study work rights at a big international education conference in August, after what he described as a "robust" consultation with the sector. Once that is done, attention will turn to instudy work rights.

 

 

 

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.