Vanuatu citizenship by investment

Article Breakdown

Vanuatu Passport CoverThe fastest citizenship by investment program in the world is offered by Vanuatu. It is also one of the least expensive at a minimum investment of $130,000. Obtaining Vanuatu citizenship is a remote process that takes only 30 days: the quickest way to obtain a second passport and gain visa-free access to 96 countries.

In 2017, the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program was introduced under the Vanuatu development support program. Chapter 112 of the Vanuatu Citizenship Law and Government Order 215 of Vanuatu control the program’s terms of participation.

The candidates pay a non-refundable payment to the Vanuatu government fund in order to get Vanuatu citizenship by investment. The required minimum investment is $130,000 (donation).

The investor may also apply for Vanuatu passports on behalf of their parents, children, and spouse.

There are no additional requirements for Vanuatu citizenship by investment program, including a requirement to live in Vanuatu or even just to travel there.

Benefits of Vanuatu Citizenship

Several benefits of obtaining citizenship in Vanuatu are:

1 No-visa immigration into the UK

Vanuatu citizenship gives you visa free access to 96 nations. For stays of up to 180 days per year in the UK, the passport takes the place of a visa. Singapore and Hong Kong are also accessible without a visa. With more than 96 countries in Asia, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Oceania, and the Caribbean offering visa-free travel or visa on arrival. Application for a long-term or online visa for Australia is possible with Vanuatu citizenship.

2 US visa access

Citizens of Vanuatu are eligible for 5-year B-1/B-2 tourist visas. The visa entitles the holder to up to 180 days of annual travel to the USA.

The holders of the visas are permitted to attend business meetings, visit Vanuatu, receive medical care, and register for courses that do not lead to a diploma or degree.

3 Tax planning

In Vanuatu, investors may set up an international business company (IBC). Even though these businesses cannot make money in Vanuatu, they are eligible for tax breaks.

4 Family members

The Vanuatu citizenship by investment program includes parents, partners, and dependent children who are younger than 25.

Additional benefits are:

  • French and English as its official languages
  • The only Citizenship-by-Investment initiative in Asia and the Pacific
  • There are no linguistic requirements for citizenship or residency.

Vanuatu is a tax haven with numerous tax advantages:

  • No corporate or personal income tax.
  • There is no capital gains tax or withholding tax.
  • No wealth, estate, or gift taxes.
  • Taxes on business profits, individual income, capital gains, inheritance, and donations are not paid by the corporation or its shareholders. Instead, there is a $300 yearly flat cost. The favorable tax regime has been in effect for 20 years.

Requirements for Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment

Rounded Vanuatu Flag IconIn the South Pacific area, the only program in operation is the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program. The Vanuatu government must receive at least USD 130,000 in funding in its national development fund for this initiative.

These investments in the Vanuatu contribution program are intended to encourage regional economic development and infrastructure improvement.

The amount invested varies according on the quantity of candidates.

For a single applicant, the minimum investment is $130,000, and for a family of four, it is $180,000. Applicants must show proof of finances totalling at least $250,000 to demonstrate that this criteria can be met.

  • A $130,000 contribution that is not refundable
  • $150,000 for a married couple’s application; $130,000 for a single applicant
  • $165,000 for a married couple with one child, and $180,000 for a couple with two kids

Additional conditions

  • Applicants must present evidence of finances totalling at least $250,000.
  • Candidates must be free of any felony convictions.
  • Nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria, North Korea, or Yemen are not eligible for the Vanuatu program unless they have a permanent residence outside of those nations and have done so for more than five years.
Main Applicant Married Couple Family of 3 Family of 4+
Contribution to the fund (donation) $130,000 $150,000 $165,000 $180,000

$15,000 for each additional family member, starting from the fifth
Due diligence fees $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000
Other fees $129 $215 $301 $385+

To enrol in the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program, applicants make contributions to the National Development Fund. The money from the fund is used to grow Vanuatu’s economy and combat natural calamities, such as helping the country recover from the tropical storm Harold.

The donation does not generate income and is not refundable.

The Vanuatu Citizenship Office will give a final Approval once the donation has been made and the application has been turned in. The applicant may then go to a ceremony to take the oath of Vanuatu citizenship. (Oath ceremony may take place overseas; restrictions apply.)

Vanuatu Country Landscape Photo

Vanuatu citizenship by investment process

  • Due diligence clearance in 14 days with a passport, police and medical records, cv, and initial fees
  • Payment of donation and remaining fees
  • Full application submission
  • Within 1-2 months, approval is received.
  • Oath of Allegiance taken by the main applicant for a passport in Vanuatu or abroad

Vanuatu’s visa-free entry is permanently suspended by the EU

One of the perks of a Vanuatu passport used to be the possibility to enter the EU visa free. As Brussels continues to crack down on investor citizenship programs, the suspension will go into force in February 2023. Due to Vanuatu’s “golden passports” program, the European Union has ordered a complete suspension of visa-free travel for Vanuatu citizens.

The European Council, which speaks for the EU’s 27 member states, announced on Tuesday that the suspension will take effect in February 2023.

The action expanded a temporary suspension for Europe that had been in effect since March of this year after negotiations fell apart.

The statement claimed that “the country has failed to engage in any meaningful way” and that “the conditions that led to the temporary suspension still exist.”

As well as against non-EU nations whose people are permitted to join the bloc for transitory stays without visas, Brussels has been attempting to tighten down on so-called “golden passport” programs.

It has seen the measures as posing a threat to EU internal security. There are essentially no passport checks between EU member countries after a traveler enters the union.

FAQS

To apply for Vanuatu citizenship, the applicant is required to donate (make a one-time, non-refundable contribution) as follows to the Vanuatu government:

  • One applicant will pay USD 130,000, while a married pair will pay USD 150,000.
  • USD 165,000 for a couple with one child who are married.
  • USD 180,000 for a four-person family
  • For each extra dependent, add USD 25,000.

Yes, applicants from the following nationalities are ineligible unless they can provide proof of more than five years of residence abroad (this is appreciated at the applicant's discretion):

  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Syria
  • Yemen
  • North Korea

Yes, Vanuatu allows dual citizenship, so you can obtain this as a second passport.

There is no upper age limit for applicants; however, the primary candidate must be at least 18 years old.

Yes, a medical certificate attesting to the primary applicant's and dependents' excellent health is required. The medical report does not require a form; it only has to be signed by a licensed physician. There is no blood test either.

You may include your parents, spouse, and dependent children under 25 who are related to the primary applicant.

Yes, citizenship can be passed down through ancestry (conditions apply; it is not automatic).

More than 90 countries in Asia, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Oceania, and the Caribbean offer visa-free travel or visa on arrival.

  • No personal or corporate income taxes
  • No capital gains tax and no withholding
  • No wealth, estate, or gift taxes
  • 12.5% locally imposed vat

The ability to register a company, alter one's name, obtain a driver's license, and obtain a local address.

  • No personal or corporate income taxes
  • No capital gains tax and no withholding
  • No wealth, estate, or gift taxes
  • 12.5% locally imposed vat

The ability to register a company, alter one's name, obtain a driver's license, and obtain a local address.

The financial intelligence unit (FIU) department performs a due diligence examination as the first step in the process for the Vanuatu citizenship program. A clearance certificate is often issued by FIU in two to three weeks.

After the FIU issues a clearance certificate, the remainder of the file and the gift money must be presented to gain the final approval. Normally, it takes one (1) month for the Vanuatuan central bank to clear the cash. The file is moved to the following Vanuatu citizenship Commission meeting for final approval after the funds have been cleared (the committee sits every 2 weeks).

After the meeting of the citizenship commission, letters of approval, naturalization certificates, and passports are issued.

Typically, three weeks following the final clearance you obtain Vanuatu citizenship and passports are issued.

The entire Vanuatu citizenship process, from application, to required documents to passport delivery, takes about two to three months. Usually the process of obtaining the citizenship certificate takes 1 month. The complexity of the case may affect the processing time.

The government conducts a background investigation known as a "due diligence check" to ensure that the applicant has no negative information on their record and is not someone with political ties, before they can obtain citizenship.

  • The processing cost is $1,500.

  • Due diligence fees and government fees: To acquire due diligence clearance, the applicant must pay a non-refundable initial payment of USD 5,000 for the government's financial intelligence unit (FIU) division to conduct due diligence inspections.

  • Oath swearing ceremony costs: if ceremony is held in Vanuatu, approximately $1,000–1,500 USD.

  • USD 5,000 if the event is held in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, or Bangkok.

 

Before submitting the application, you must pay the processing fees and the due diligence fee.

After final clearance, the cost of the oath swearing ceremony may be paid.

Once FIU has granted due diligence clearance, the applicant must make the donation to receive final permission and be granted citizenship.

The full donation amount will be reimbursed if the application is rejected. Additional fees are not refundable.

The citizenship commission will give a final permission following the payment of the donation and submission of the application. The applicant then has two options:

  • Attend a ceremony to take the oath of Vanuatu Citizenship.

  • Organize for a Vanuatu passport official to see the primary applicant (dependents do not need to travel and will also obtain a Vanuatu passport)

The following currencies can be used to make the donation for the Vanuatu citizenship program:

  • USD

  • EUR

  • Cryptocurrencies (To be verified on an individual basis.)

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