MEDIA

HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 12.11.2018

Nov 12,2018

AFRICA

 

Egypt

 

  1. Granting residence to foreigners buying property to be applied next week”, Egypt Today, November 6, 2018
  • The decision to grant a temporary residence to foreigners in return for buying a property will be put into effect starting next week, Deputy Minister of Housing Khaled Abbas stated.
  • He further explained that the residence will be granted to foreigners in return for purchasing a property, where a $100,000 property will grant foreigners a 1year residence, a $200,000 property will grant them a 3-year residence and a $400,000 will grant them a 5-year residence. This decision also applies to housing units under construction.
  • As for the procedures, a preliminary contract between an owner and a foreigner signed by any authority, such as the New Urban Communities Authority, the Tourism Development Authority and the governorate should be provided along with a letter from the owner's bank confirming money transfer from abroad. The passport administration will determine the period of residence.
  • Under the new law, foreigners who make a deposit of LE 7 million could be granted the Egyptian citizenship. The deposit will be transferred to the public treasury. “The minister of interior may grant the Egyptian citizenship to all foreigners that have resided in Egypt for a period of at least 5 consecutive years prior to applying for naturalization,” the amendment said.

 

Kenya

 

  1. Hadassah Egbedi, “Kenyans Travelling to South Africa Will Now Be Issued Multiple Entry Visas for Up to 10 Years”, Ventures Africa, November 6, 2018
  • From December 1, 2018, Kenyans travelling to South Africa will be issued multiple entry visas valid for up to 10 years. This is in line with South Africa’s latest decision to scrap shortterm visa requirements for Kenyans.
  • According to the new directive, Kenyan government officials travelling on official business to South Africa will be granted a threemonth free visa, effective as at the time the announcement was made. Kenyans studying in South Africa will be issued study visas based on the duration of the subjects studied, subject to renewal if and when the need arises. While frequent travellers will be eligible for a 3-year multiple entry visa.
  • According to the Kenyan government, the agreement reflects the doctrine of reciprocity after Kenya set up a more responsive and straightforward online application process for shortterm visas for visitors from all African countries, in a bid to foster Pan-African brotherhood and fraternity.

 

AMERICA

 

Bahamas

 

  1. Bahamas Developers Blast Oecd's 'Cynical' Targeting”, Tribune 242, November 5, 2018
  • The newlyformed Bahamas Developers Association (BDA), in a recent statement, argued that the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) was wrong to list this nation's economic permanent residency regime offering among 21 incentive regimes it claims jeopardise "the integrity" of automatic tax information exchange.
  • "It's unclear to us why the OECD would seek to undermine The Bahamas' permanent residency programme when thousands of foreign investors are approved annually for economic citizenship across the globe," said the BDA. "It's incorrect to assume those who choose economic residence in The Bahamas pose a high risk to the integrity of the OECD's Common Reporting Standard (CRS), as ours is a legal, structured programme which does not confer citizenship and requires the individual to comply with the tax laws of their birth nation," the BDA continued.
  • "This cynical approach taken by the OECD seeks to disadvantage The Bahamas and other jurisdictions as viable options to socalled developed nations. It's time for the OECD to place the blame for fleeing citizens where it belongs," said the BDA.

 

Canada

 

  1. Emma Hinchliffe, “Canada's Advantage Over the United States? Immigration, Says Justin Trudeau”, Fortune, November 6, 2018
  • Canada has a big advantage over the United States in one major way: immigration, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says. “We’re a country that is open to immigration right now,” Trudeau said at Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women International Summit in Montreal Monday night, responding to a question about how Canada is competing with the United States on attracting business. “[That’s a] hell of a competitive advantage I don’t see the U.S. matching anytime soon,” he added.
  • “Canadians are positively inclined toward immigration,” Trudeau said, mentioning the attitudes of Canada’s citizens that allow the country to issue visas to top talent within two weeks and admit 1% of its total population in immigrants each year. It’s an advantage that he says places Canada ahead in the business world despite the United States’ recent lowering of corporate tax rates.

 

  1. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, “Immigration Minister announces key initiatives to promote Francophone immigration from pre-arrival to citizenship”, Government of Canada, November 7, 2018
  • Reinforcing Francophone settlement services from prearrival to citizenship will ensure the successful integration and retention of French-speaking newcomers to Canada. To achieve this, IRCC is creating an $11 million 5-year collaborative partnership with la Cité that will provide pre-arrival services to French-speaking newcomers.
  • Immigrants proficient in one of Canada’s official languages are more likely to successfully establish economically in Canada. Demonstrating those skills are required to become an economic immigrant. Today, Minister Hussen announced that the Centre international d’études pédagogiques has been designated as a second Frenchlanguage tester for economic immigrants, starting in December 2018. Having a second French-language tester should help make the tests more accessible and affordable.

 

  1. New Canada Visa Application Centre Open in Barbados”, St. Kitts & Nevis Observer, November 9, 2018
  • A new Canada Visa Application Centre (VAC) is now open in Barbados. The office is located at DHL Barbados LTD, Airport Commercial Centre, Pilgrim Road, Christ Church, Barbados. Its days of operation are Monday to Friday 08:00 to 16:00.
  • Canada’s VACs are privately owned, thirdparty service providers located around the world that are authorized to provide Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) visa applicants with specific administrative support.

 

Cuba

 

  1. Cuban entrepreneurs excited about visa-free access to Panama”, Al Dia, November 9, 2018
  • News that Panama is creating a card allowing Cubans to enter the Central American country without a visa has been greeted with enthusiasm on the island, especially among entrepreneurs struggling with the absence of wholesale markets and suppliers in this officially socialist country. While known as the "tourism card," the permit is likely to be used by many Cubans for shopping expeditions to Panama's Colon Free Zone (ZLC).
  • For Cubans trying to get a small business off the ground, the ZLC can be a source of equipment and raw materials they can't obtain on the island.
  • Figures from the Panama Tourism Authority show that 9,063 Cubans entered the ZLC last year, nearly double the number in 2016 and three times as many who made the trip in 2013, when Havana scrapped the requirement for an exit permit.

 

United States

 

  1. The US and Bulgaria agreed for visa-free regime at certain conditions”, Finance and Markets, November 6, 2018
  • Twitter The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zakharieva in Washington. The both officials discussed the positive developments in relations between the two countries and reaffirmed their strategic nature.
  • The dropping of US visas for Bulgarian citizens was one of the key topics during the talks and both reached progress in it. In order to reach visafree travel to the US, refusals to issue visas to Bulgarians should drop to 3%. Over the past year they have fallen, but still around 14%.
  • “Mike Pompeo has made a commitment to push down the failure rate below 3%. Our job is to increase the awareness of Bulgarian citizens who submit visa documents”, said Ekaterina Zakharieva.

 

ASIA

 

India

 

  1. New On-Arrival Visa Rules for Indians from Nov 11”, Gulf Times, November 7, 2018
  • The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has updated rules for Indian citizens looking to avail of Qatar's visafree entry facility, introducing a set of new conditions. These include non-extension of the visa beyond 30 days and mandatory possession of a credit card, according to information available on the MoI's website. The new rules come into effect on November 11.
  • Under the new system, Indian nationals can obtain an onarrival tourist visa for a period of up to 30 days, which cannot be extended, provided they meet certain terms and conditions. One of the new conditions is that the applicant must possess a valid credit card. It is now mandatory to present a valid credit card in the name of the traveller or the 'paterfamilias' (male head of the family), the MoI states.
  • Also, the person concerned should have a confirmed hotel reservation along with a confirmed return ticket, while the passport must be valid for at least six months from the arrival date.

 

Myanmar

 

  1. Ei Ei Tow Lwin, “New investment-related ministry to be announced”, Myanmar Times, November 12, 2018
  • The National League for Democracyled government is going to add one more ministry soon which is likely to deal with investment matters. The name of the new ministry and its responsibilities will be explained by a union minister during the parliament session today, according to the agenda of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.
  • The government established new ministries, such as the State Counsellor’s Office Ministry, Union Government Ministry and International Cooperation Ministry, and has started to appoint deputy ministers for some ministries.

 

Thailand

 

  1. Chaiyot Pupattanapong, “Cabinet waives visa-on-arrival fee for 21 countries”, Bangkok Post, November 6, 2018
  • Government spokesman Buddhipongse Punnakanta said the cabinet agreed with a draft ministerial regulation to waive the 2,000baht fee from Dec 1 to Jan 31 for visitors staying in the country for no more than 15 days.
  • The 21 countries are Andora, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, said the government spokesman.

 

United Arab Emirates

 

  1. UAE passport now world's 3rd most powerful”, Khaleej Times, November 9, 2018
  • The UAE passport on Thursday jumped another spot to become the third most powerful passport in the world. The UAE travel document now has a visafree score of 163. Of these, UAE passport holders can enter 113 countries visa-free, while 50 countries will welcome them with a visa on arrival. Emiratis still need visas to enter 35 countries on the globe.
  • According to ranking by Passport Index, the UAE passport now shares its berth with passports from Belgium, Austria, Japan, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada.
  • "The success of UAE's initiative has become a testament to other nations, that any vision can manifest with the power of positive diplomacy," [said Armand Arton, president of Arton Capital, the inventors of Passport Index].

 

EUROPE

 

Armenia

 

  1. Armenia may achieve free visa regime with European Union in 2020, deputy acting foreign minister says”, Arka News Agency, November 6, 2018
  • Armenia may achieve a free visa regime with the EU in 2020 already, Deputy Acting Foreign Minister Karen Nazaryan said during a parliamentary discussion on the draft 2019 budget today.
  • Nazaryan said the liberalization of the visa regime between Armenia and EU is provided for by the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed by Armenia and EU. He said under the agreement, in 2020 a free visa regime with the EU is to be created for the citizens of Armenia, which is supposed to intensify contacts between them in various fields. He said the liberalization will be linked to justice and human rights reforms in Armenia, which he said are already underway.
  • The Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between Armenia and the EU partially came into force on June 1, 2018. Armenia is the first member of the Russialed Eurasian Economic Union that has signed a similar document with the European Union.

 

Cyprus

 

  1. Nigel Howarth, “Property sales up 6% in October”, Cyprus Property News, November 6, 2018
  • During October 2018, the number of property sales contracts deposited at Land Registry offices across the Republic of Cyprus rose 6% compared to October 2017 according to official figures published by the Department of Lands and Surveys. Property sales have been rising for 18 consecutive months and this October rise follows rises of 14% in September, 14% in August and 21% in July.
  • During October a total of 811 contracts for the sale of residential and commercial properties and land (building plots and fields) were deposited at Land Registry offices, compared with the 768 deposited in October 2017. Of the 768 contracts deposited, 403 (49.7%) were for properties purchased by nonCypriots.
  • Paphos remained the most popular district with the overseas market with the number of property sales contracts deposited reaching 180. Limassol recorded 113, Larnaca 70, Famagusta 21 and Nicosia 19.

 

  1. Cyprus Real Estate Sector is Looking Up”, Financial Mirror, November 11, 2018
  • A PwC report on the Cyprus Real Estate Market “First Half in Review H1 2018” showed that sale transactions reached 4,470 with the Land registry in H1, creating hopes that sales will surpass 2017’s eightyear high of 8,734. According to PwC, the messages in the report are clearly positive despite the market still being heavily depended on foreign buyers and the investment for citizenship scheme.
  • Since 2014, following revisions to the scheme for naturalisation of investors in Cyprus, demand for highend properties has been increasing continuously. During the first half of 2018, the total number of high-end residential transactions was estimated at 131, representing an 8% increase compared to the same period of 2017.
  • George Mountis of Delfi Partners said that although pressure is being exercised by the EU and other institutions for Cyprus to limit the investment for citizenship scheme, he does not see the scheme being stopped any time soon. He added that what he sees is the interest from foreign investors is increasing rather than dropping.

 

Greece

 

  1. Athena Yenko, “Golden Visa Greece: Chinese Home Buyers Flock To Athens To Purchase Property”, Business Times, November 6, 2018
  • Chinese investors are taking the largest slice of the Athens property market among foreign investors who are taking advantage of the Golden Visa Greece scheme. Greece has issued 3,404 residency permits since 2013. Of these, Chinese nearly makes up 1,700 of the property investors, Reuters reported citing data from investment agency Enterprise Greece.
  • That number is about to increase this year as inquiries about the Golden Visa Greece doubled in the first quarter of 2018 and tripled in the second quarter according to Carrie Law, chief executive of the Chinese website for global real estate, Juwai.com.
  • Chinese and foreign investors are scouting properties in the country at a rate of three times a week and this movement has pushed the real estate market in the country. From 2016, foreign investment in Greek properties increased 91 percent. At the same time, taxes from property sales climbed to 41 percent a year from January to July this year.

 

  1. Greek Ministry to Table Amendment for ‘Golden Visa’ Program”, GTP Headlines, November 8, 2018
  • As reported by Greek daily Naftemporiki, the Greek government is aiming to address the issue of transparency with regard to its “golden visa” program with a draft amendment to its current law – which expands the program – set to be tabled in parliament in the coming period by the Economy Ministry.
  • According to the changes in the law, nonEU citizens seeking residence rights can – besides purchasing property in Greece valued at a minimum of 250,000 euros as foreseen by the current “golden visa” program – also choose one of eight following alternative options.
  • Once the amendment is ratified, entrance to Greece and residence rights to third country nationals will be allowed.

 

Montenegro

 

  1. Aljosa Drobnjak, “President of Montenegro: Economic Citizenship for Credible Investors Only”, Total Montenegro News, November 6, 2018
  • The President of Montenegro, Milo Dukanovic, recently presented the bases of the Individual Investment Program at the 12th Global Residence and Citizenship Conference that is taking place in Dubai […]. “Our goal is to further enhance and generate interest of new investors who can be a candidate for Montenegrin citizenship by investing in Montenegrp. […] The program will allow applications to those persons who have proved credibility in the personal and professional sense, and will allow inflow of funds that have a legal origin,” said Dukanovic.
  • “The implementation of this Program will enable a more efficient and more transparent procedure of granting citizenship to investors. This will create tighter bonds between quality investors and Montenegro, since, as ‘goodwill ambassadors’, they will promote its economic potentials and interests,”, said President Dukanovic.

 

OCEANIA

 

Australia

 

  1. Shamsher Kainth, “No takers for thousands of Australian permanent residency visas”, SBS, November 9, 2018
  • Under the skilled stream migration, prospective migrants are required to nominate an occupation from the relevant occupation list depending upon the kind of visa they apply for. For the skilled independent visa (subclass 189) a permanent visa allowing indefinite stay and giving the freedom to live and work anywhere in Australia - all applicants file an expression of interest; and based on their points test score, the Department of Home Affairs then issues them an invite to apply for a visa.
  • This permanent visa has nearly 44,000 places reserved in Australia’s annual immigration planning. Sheet metal trade workers, cabinet makers, glaziers, panel beaters and barristers and some health diagnostic and promotion professionals – together accounting for over 5,300 visa places – saw just one applicant receiving an invite for each of the six occupations.

 

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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.