Vanuatu

Citizenship By Investment

$80,000

Development Support Fund

Mobility

129

Visa Free Travel

Vanuatu Investment Immigration Programs Overview

Vanuatu has been seeking to boost its economy through immigration investment for several years, even amending its constitution in 2012 to permit dual citizenship. The South Pacific island attracts investors and applicants for its passports from all over the world.

Vanuatu’s current CBI initiative, introduced in 2017, is the Development Support Program, which confers “honorary citizenship” on investors who cut a check to the government for $80,000 (for an individual investor) or $130,000 (for a family of four); additional fees and costs apply. Successful applicants can look forward to getting a new passport within two months, and to enjoying citizenship of a lush tropical nation with no residency requirement and a remarkably favorable tax code.

Citizenship By Investment

Vanuatu offers a straightforward path towards honorary citizenship – a donation to the government. The donation required is currently set at $80,000 for an individual applicant, or $130,000 for a family of four. There is no minimum physical presence requirement in order to maintain citizenship.

How To Apply

Speed of processing is a big selling-point for Vanuatu: applicants can expect their paperwork to be handled in a matter of weeks. The applicant first submits basic documentation — such as a police report, birth certificate, and notarized copy of the applicant’s passport — along with their due diligence fee. Once the due diligence is completed, the applicant submits 25% of the donation due to the Citizenship Commission, which convenes on a biweekly basis. After approval by the Citizenship Commission, the remaining balance of the donation (75%) is due, and the applicant must take an oath in Vanuatu or at a consulate in order to officially become a citizen.

The Vanuatuan CBI offerings have not yet been promoted especially effectively, and widely varying information has been published online. Even official government websites are frequently badly out of date, so potential investors should be cautious about trusting information they find online.

In principle, investors can seek advice and assistance from one of a number of “master agents” appointed by the Vanuatuan government, most of whom are based in Vanuatu. Caution should be exercised in dealing with people representing themselves as agents; at a minimum, legitimate agents should be able to show a letter from the Vanuatu Citizenship Commission or from one of the master agents, authorizing them to promote the Development Support Program.

The government advises applicants to obtain application forms directly from the Vanuatuan Citizenship Office. Contrary to reports in late 2017, Vanuatu is not currently accepting payments in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

Mobility

The Vanuatuan passport is a respected, mid-ranked travel document permitting visa-free travel to 130 countries, including Russia, Singapore and the Schengen Area.

Country

Long known as a tax haven, Vanuatu has been taking steps since 2008 to increase transparency; still, financial services remain an important part of the economy, and new citizens can enjoy a friendly tax regime with no income, withholding, capital gains, or inheritance tax. The South Pacific archipelago, made up of over 80 islands strewn across a distance of more than 800 miles, is known for its tropical climate, golden beaches, extraordinary scuba diving, and rumbling volcanoes. The islands’ remoteness is their major selling-point: despite its natural beauty, Vanuatu remains largely untouched by the global tourism trade.

Updated by Laszlo Kiss

Citizenship By Investment

The Development Support Program, which replaced Vanuatu’s previous CBI programs in 2017, offers “honorary citizenship” in exchange for a donation to the government. The donation required for the Development Support Program is currently pegged at $220,000 for an individual applicant, or $280,000 for a family of four. There is also a one-time due diligence fee of $6,500, which covers all applicants.

Much like the Caribbean CBI programs, Vanuatu pitches itself as a passport-for-sale program, and there is no expectation that investors will relocate to the country, and no minimum residency requirement in order to maintain citizenship.

Honorary citizenship is for almost all intents and purposes the same as regular Vanuatuan citizenship, and allows recipients to obtain the same passport received by natural-born citizens. Honorary citizens are, however, barred from voting, holding public office, or holding a post in the country’s government.

Residency By Investment

The Development Support Program, which replaced Vanuatu’s previous CBI programs in 2017, offers “honorary citizenship” in exchange for a donation to the government. The donation required for the Development Support Program is currently pegged at $80,000 for an individual applicant, or $130,000 for a family of four. There is also a one-time due diligence fee of $5,500, which covers all applicants.

Much like the Caribbean CBI programs, Vanuatu pitches itself as a passport- for-sale program, and there is no expectation that investors will relocate to the country, and no minimum residency requirement in order to maintain citizenship. Vanuatu also welcomes new citizens and hope that they will bring additional investment to the country.

Honorary citizenship is for almost all intents and purposes the same as regular Vanuatuan citizenship and allows recipients to obtain the same passport received by natural-born citizens. Honorary citizens are, however, barred from voting, holding public office, or holding a post in the country’s government.

The new Chairman of the Citizenship’s Committee, the Hon. Ronald Warsal, recently announced plans to strengthen the program by enhancing the due diligence process and improving the competitiveness of Vanuatu in the international market.

Updated by Laszlo Kiss

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