Aid workers hit by USD10,000 visas

March 13, 2017 by  
Filed under AFRICA, News

JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN, 13 March 2017: International aid agencies on Saturday slammed South Sudan’s decision to raise foreign worker visa fees to as much as USD10,000 (9,300 euros), warning it would worsen a humanitarian crisis in the famine-hit country.

“The government and the army have largely contributed to the humanitarian situation,” said Elizabeth Deng of Amnesty International.

“And now, they want to create profit from the crisis they have created.” Read more

Iran to continue to ban US tourists

March 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

BANGKOK, 9 March 2017: Despite the US president signing off on a revised travel ban, Monday, Iran’s deputy foreign minister says Iran’s “retaliatory decision” over Trump’s initial travel ban remain in place.

The semi-official ISNA news agency quoted deputy foreign Minister, Majid Takht-e Ravanchi as saying that the measures Iran implemented over the initial Trump executive order last January US entry is “still in force” and that there is “no need for a new decision.”

Iran had previously said it would reciprocate by banning Americans from getting visas to visit Iran, after the country was listed on the travel ban. Read more

Trump signs revamped ban

March 7, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

WASHINGTON, 7 March 2017: President Donald Trump’s administration issued a revised immigration ban, Monday.

It temporarily freezes US visa issuance to anyone from six mostly-Muslim countries and halts for 120 days all refugee arrivals.

What’s new in the revised order?  Here are the key points. Read more

EU demands the US eases visa rules

March 6, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, EUROPE, News

BANGKOK, 6 March 2017: A tit-for-tat policy maybe emerging between Europe and the Trump administration over a simmering dispute over visa-free travel.

In the latest round of sparring, the European Parliament says it will take a tough line with Washington demanding that the US extend visa-free travel to all 28 EU nations, rather than exclude five member nations.

Last Thursday, EU lawmakers voted in favour of ending the visa waiver for American travellers in a reaction to Trump’s tighter border control policies. Read more

Paperless visas

March 1, 2017 by  
Filed under News, South Asia, Technology

NEW DELHI, 1 March 2017: Plans are underway to eliminate the paper work involved in apply for visas in India, according to a report earlier this week in the Indian Express.

The report confirmed that the Indian government and 14 other governments including nations in the EU are studying a proposal that will end the need to fill out the same information every time Indian travellers need a visa.

BLS International, the second largest Indian outsourcing and technology company, specialising in operating visa applications is leading the move to make visas paperless for Indian travellers. Read more

Thailand extends free visa scheme

February 9, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 9 February 2017: The Thai Cabinet approved, Tuesday, an extension of its free visa concession for tourists from 21 countries for another six months.

Tourists who need a visa to visit Thailand must still apply through normal channels, but the customary THB1,000 fee to process the visa is waived. The visa is valid for a 30-day stay.

The concession applies from 1 March to 31 August this year. The current free visa concession is due to expire 28 February. Read more

Visas: US adopts extreme vetting

February 1, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

WASHINGTON, 1 February 2017: Travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries singled out for “extreme vetting” will face scrutiny of their social media footprint and phone records, the new Homeland Security secretary said Tuesday.

Secretary John Kelly sought to explain President Donald Trump’s travel ban four days after he issued it with no warning, setting off mass protests, legal challenges and confusion.

“There are many countries, seven that we are dealing with right now, that in our view and my view don’t have the kind of law enforcement, records-keeping, that kind of thing, that can convince us that one of their citizens is indeed who that citizen says they are,” Kelly said in a press conference. Read more

Trump clampdown creates chaos

January 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

HAGUE, NETHERLANDS, 30 January 2017: Protests continue at US airports, following President Donald Trump’s order to suspend refugee arrivals and impose tough controls on travellers from seven mostly Muslim countries.

The visa-restricted countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Here are some of the cases known about so far, of people stopped either before boarding flights to the United States or on arrival there. Read more

Thailand begins e-Visa migration

January 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Events, News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 25 January 2017: Thailand is exploring the world of e-Visas with the introduction phase scheduled to take place by the end of this year.

Minster of Tourism and Sports, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, confirmed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently evaluating the project.

She was commenting on ways to ease visa formalities and make travel to Thailand more convenient during a press conference, Tuesday, convened to announce the hosting of the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit, 26 to 27 April, in the Thai capital. Read more

Kazakhstan goes visa-free

January 5, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Trade Talk

ASTANA, 5 January 2016: Kazakhstan said Tuesday it had lifted visa requirements for citizens of the European Union, OECD countries and a number of other states in a bid to boost investment and tourism.

Singaporean and Malaysian tourists will benefit from the visa-free travel option, the only two ASEAN nationalities identified on the exemption list.

The move, which follows a similar measure by neighbouring Uzbekistan, comes as Central Asia’s largest economy has been battered by low oil prices and financial distress in neighbouring Russia. Read more

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