The South Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu provides an excellent opportunity to obtain citizenship for in exchange for an investment (i.e., donation) in the country’s economy. It has become a popular program due to its rapidity and affordability, as well as being one of the few notable citizenship by investment programs located outside of the Caribbean islands.
Vanuatu offers their citizenship by investment opportunity under a special Development Support Program (DSP) giving individuals and their families full Vanuatu citizenship in exchange for a donation of USD 130,000 for a single applicant (the minimum cost is USD 150,000 for a couple and USD 180,000 for a family of four).
The process is straightforward and can be completed in under two months as it takes a week for the Government KYC process and 40 days to get FIU clearance. In comparison to other popular economic citizenship programs, such as St. Kitts and Nevis, the Vanuatu program is upwards of 50,00 USD cheaper and takes only 60 days in comparison with 180 days.
Vanuatu offers a wealth of financial and investment opportunities to non-resident individuals looking to capitalize on what the island has to offer.
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The Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment program has a lot going for it and can compete with some of the most popular CBI programs in the world. However, it does also have its drawbacks. Let us have a look at each of these in turn.
It is relatively straightforward to meet the qualification criterion for the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program. In order to qualify for citizenship, the only option is to make a non-refundable donation to the local government fund in order to support the Vanuatuan economy. The amount of the donation is:
In addition, there is a $5,000 total application fee and a $400 per person administration fee (which includes the passport application, citizenship commission, and certificate fees).
Fortunately, the donation only needs to be made after you have received confirmation that you are eligible to receive citizenship. Thus, you will first need the following in order to submit your application.
The FIU has a special clearance process if there are any other requirements needed for the successful completion of the initial clearance we will be informed by the agent.
Note: (i) Translated documents also need to be notarized.
Stage 1 - A non-refundable fee of USD 5,000 paid to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) application process for an international background check to see if the applicant is eligible.
Stage 2 - Upon receipt of the clearance letter, by the FIU the client submits the full payment to the Vanuatu Master Agent. The National Bank of Vanuatu clears funds.
Stage 3 - After submission of all the documents to the Vanuatu Committee the commission issues a ''Citizenship Certificate'' and within seven working days the passport is printed and ready to be collected in Vanuatu.
Stage 4 - When the passport is printed it is available to be collected at the passport office in Port Vila, Vanuatu. Upon delivery, the Oath Commissioner and Passport Officer get the client's signature and swear the Oath of Allegiance.
The ceremony can be in Vanuatu or can take place in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Dubai, Istanbul, Beirut, or London. Other destinations can be arranged at an extra charge. If the oath is taken outside of the country, there is an extra USD 5,000 for delivery.
In the event Clearance is not granted due to KYC failure, the client is eligible for a full refund with the exception of Vanuatu Government's due diligence fee of US$2,000.
In the event the applicant decides to withdraw application on his or her accord, the initial deposit and VG fees will be forfeited.
The applicant will bear the sole responsibility in the event the application is delayed or rejected by the Vanuatu Government due to the following,
a. Falsified and/or untrue documents or b. Delayed submission of payments
Vanuatu offers one of the best economic citizenship for those looking to buy second citizenship in a short time frame at a relatively affordable price. The fact that it comes with an excellent passport, accessible tax advantages, and is by most standards an excellent place to live, you won’t be disappointed. While there is some misinformation and confusion about the program details, it is in fact a straightforward process in practice.
If you are considering applying for second citizenship in Vanuatu or need more guidance about what the best program is to suit your needs, it is worth consulting with a professional who has the experience to help you decide and take the first steps to getting your second passport.
Other Economic Citizenship opportunities are:
For more information on passports and citizenship see:
Why You Need A Plan B
Threats to Your Assets
Global Diversification Planning