Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment Program

Vanuatu passport

Vanuatu has one of the interesting citizenship by investment schemes attractive for investors seeking a commonwealth passport. It is also only country in the pacific that offers fast track citizenship and passport at an affordable price.

The Vanuatu Development Support Program (DSP) offers honorary citizenship to foreign investors against one time contribution of USD 150,000 to a fund. Investors in the scheme will qualify for citizenship and passport in Vanuatu.

Vanuatu is the only country that has the fastest passport processing times among all CBI schemes, under Development support program and Contribution program (DSP/VCP). Applications are processed within 1 month.

Currently Vanuatu has two types of citizenship program with the same contribution amount

  • Development Support program (DSP) – USD 130,000 (honorary citizenship)
  • Vanuatu Citizenship contribution program (VCP) – USD 130,000 (ordinary citizenship)

The DSP program is the most popular program widely promoted and marketed by agents. The Key difference between the two schemes is DSP scheme offers honorary citizenship while the VCP scheme grants ordinary citizenship with right to vote.

New Amendments 2019

On 24th April 2019, the Citizenship (Development Support Program) Regulations Order NO.33 of 2019 came into effect with new changes to the citizenship schemes

  • New threshold USD 130,000 established for DSP/VCP schemes
  • Passport validity increased to 10 years from five years and new design of passports issued from June 2019 with more security features. This means investors dont have to go through hassle of renewing passports every five years. New design of passports also announced since June 2019
  •  More agents appointed for DSP (more than 30 agents ) and VCP (1 agent)
  • Contracts of agents have been extended to 8 years.
  • “Honorary” terminology is canceled and removed from citizenship certificates allowing either the Chairman of the Commission or the Prime Minister himself to sign the required documents canceling out the “honorary” terminology as both passport schemes are the same.
  • Applications of persons with criminal records will not be considered.
  • Application Processing times significantly increased to less than a month.

The Honorary Citizenship Development Support Program is launched by the Government of Republic of Vanuatu in March 2017.

In 2018, The Government reduced the prices by 50% to $150,000 (single persons) and $200,000 for families. Further in april 2018, the government reduced to $130,000 requiring all agents not sell under this minimum investment.

Vanuatu has the best fast track citizenship by investment (CBI) scheme in the pacific. The Vanuatu CBI program has fast processing times and easy application process. No requirement to visit the country and passports collected through agent or at embassies.

Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment

The benefits of economic citizenship in Vanuatu are

  • Second passport in a tax friendly country.
  • Right to live, work and do business in Vanuatu as a citizen.
  • Visa free travel to 113 countries including Russia, United Kingdom and EU Schengen states.
  • Citizenship in a commonwealth country.
  • Citizenship for spouse, children and parents.
  • Processing time is 2 months.
  • No residence requirements for citizenship.
  • No requirement to visit Vanuatu for citizenship.
  • Opportunity to Invest or trade in Vanuatu business or enterprise projects
  • Real estate investment in resorts and hotels.
  • No income tax for individuals/ companies.
  • No death duty levied. No capital gains tax. No estate taxes.
  • English is official language
  • Dual citizenship not restricted freely allowed
  • Citizenship for family and children
  • Vanuatu has no foreign currency controls.
  • Invest in Vanuatu real estate.

DSP/VCP Prices

Vanuatu citizenship by investment

Both the development support program (DSP ) and Citizenship contribution program (VCP) have the same prices and investment requirements.

Vanuatu requires one time contribution of USD 130,000 plus Due diligence fee  plus Government fee as per the Development support program (DSP) rules. The total costs listed below includes due diligence and Government fees.  The DSP scheme replaces the existing Vanuatu Economic Rehabilitation Program (VERP).

Single applicant $135,000
Applicant + Spouse$165,000
Applicant + Spouse + 1 Children under 18 years$180,000
Applicant + Spouse + 2 Children under 18 years$190,000
Additional dependents$15,000 / person
FIU Due diligence fee$2000 / person

* Additional processing fee, agent fee included

FIU background check

Citizenship is only approved after initial vetting of applicants for criminal background. The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of vanuatu does a background due diligence check on applicants against criminal checks, international police checks, sanctions check and interpol databases and source of origins funds.  The decisions are made within 7-14 days. Successful applicants will be granted Vanuatu passport.

Oaths

Oath is required before being approved passport. Applicants can visit Vanuatu in person or can be done at consulates or at registered agent offices in front of the passport office. If you cannot travel to Vanuatu, you have to pay additional $5000 fee for the travel expenses of the passport officer.  Taking the oath is short 30 minutes.

Bitcoin

Vanuatu Government has made it clear that it will not accept Bitcoin for the citizenship by investment programme. But some authorized agents do accept Bitcoin for Vanuatu citizenship.

Vanuatu Passport

Vanuatu has the best travel passports in the world. Vanuatu passport holders can travel to EU schengen, United Kingdom, Israel, Ireland and Russia without visas.  As of mid 2019, Vanuatu had visa free access to 129 countries. Please note visa required to visit US, Canada etc.

Citizens of Vanuatu can visit Australia through Online Visitor e600 visa

In 2019, Vanuatu increased the validity of passports from five years to ten years, making the citizenship scheme more attractive.

Citizenship Revenues

Since 2017, Vanuatu has issued over 4000 passports to 1200 applicants under the investment citizenship scheme. Vt 17.7 billion (USD 160 million) since 2017.  Vanuatu collected $45m in CIP revenues during first six months of 2019 alone.

The Citizenship by investment schemes in Vanuatu over the years has played an important role for government revenues and development of Vanuatu.

Vanuatu Residency Program

Vanuatu offers three types of residence visas to foreigners (no citizenship)

  • Self funded visa
  • Land owner visa
  • Investor visa

Permanent Residency is possible in Vanuatu upon buying a property for USD 100,000 or proving a monthly income of USD 2500.  Citizenship possible after 10 years of living in Vanuatu under this option under the naturalisation process. Permanent residency card (PR card) can be obtained for additional fee $10,000 for individuals and $12,000 for family.

Vanuatu citizenship

Vanuatu Real Estate

Foreigners can freely invest in Vanuatu real estate without any need for license. There is no freehold land in Vanuatu, and buying a property is actually a transfer of lease for 50 years or 75 years.

Please note real estate does not qualify under DSP/VCP program which offers only donation option. 

According to Global Property Guide, Residential property prices are around US$800 – US$970 per sq. m. (VUV 92,250 to VUV 111,850).  A 100 sq. m. property could be bought for VUV 11.2 million (US$97,000). Rental yields are of 8.3%.

Property transactions are done in several currencies, including the Vanuatu Vatu (VUV).

According to Island Property, the best places to buy properties in Vanuatu are:

  • Residential – In Port Vila, Tassiriki, Elluk, the Harbourfront, First Lagoon, Second Lagoon, Bellevue, Malapoa and the oceanfront subdivisions near town such as Dream Cove, Angelfish Bay, Paradise Cove, Bukura, Narpow Point and Havannah Harbour
  • Commercial – the CBD and main street and central harbourfront
  • Agricultural – Efate & Santo islands

Typical Buyer costs:

  • 2% Stamp Duty (4%  through existing company)
  • 5% Title Transfer Registration
  • 0.5% – 1.0% Legal costs

 

FAQs

1. Under the DSP program of Vanuatu what kind of citizenship the applicant receives?

All applicants are eligible for the Honorary Citizenship of Vanuatu.

2. How long the passport, received under the DSP program, is valid?

Passports are valid for a period of 10 years renewable for the same period without any special fees.

3. How many countries are in the visa-free list for the citizens of Vanuatu?

Currently there are 129 visa-free or visa on arrival countries for the holders of Vanuatu citizenship, including EU Schengen area, Russia, United Kingdom and Singapore.

4. The advertised 1 month time period for the whole process is real?

Yes, the process from the start of the application till the day when actual passports are issued normally takes up to 4 weeks, but we prefer to reserve a time period of up to 6 weeks to be sure. This only if all the files in correct order, or it will cause delays.

5.  No income tax in Vanuatu (or any other taxes except VAT). Is it true that income tax will be implemented in Vanuatu soon?

There is an initiative by the current government to enforce the income tax in the middle of 2018, but it hasn’t been approved, and most likely won’t be.

6. Are there any reports of the Vanuatu Honorary citizenship holders having problems with visa-free entry to EU or any other countries from the list?

There are no reports of Vanuatu citizenship holders having any problems with entry and stay in EU, U.K., Singapore, UAE and other visa-free countries.

7. Citizens of how many countries currently are banned from participation in Vanuatu’s DSP program?

There are still five countries in the list: Iran, Iraq, Syria, North Korea and Yemen. However the citizenship unit may accept applicants from these countries, who have lived abroad for more than five years.

8. Is it true that the Vanuatu Government have already revoked some designated agents’ licenses?

Yes, some agents’ licenses have been canceled or will be canceled soon as a result of violations.

9. Is it possible to register an offshore company with Vanuatu citizenship under DSP?

Offshore company is not part of the standard package, but our company can register one for its clients.

10. Are there options to get Vanuatu citizenship by real estate investments?

There are no such options under the official government’s programs, but our company offers such packages for those clients interested in both Vanuatu citizenship and our real estate project Rainbow City.

11. Is it still possible to pay for Vanuatu citizenship with Bitcoins?

Yes, some agents do accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The Vanuatu government or citizenship commission do not accept bitcoin or cryptocurrencies. The legal accepted currency is US dollars.

12. Do you provide any guarantees that the client will not lose his money if his application is not approved?

Yes, we can guarantee that the only amount the client can potentially loose is an initial non-refundable deposit of $5,000

13. What are the taxes applicable in Vanuatu?

Vanuatu has zero corporate tax, no income tax, no capital gains tax, no estate tax, no wealth tax, no withholding tax, no gift tax and no other personal income taxes.

14. Can i vote or hold positions in Government offices as a investment citizen?

No

15. Has Vanuatu revoked citizenship or passports of foreign nationals?

Vanuatu has revoked more than 35 persons for involving in financial fraud and wanted by interpol. Vanuatu can also revoke citizenship for concealment of information or bringing disrepute to the country.

15. Has Vanuatu revoked citizenship in past?

Yes there have been over 30 persons revoked of citizenship, and recently 6 chinese were stripped of citizenship and deported for crypto currency fraud. The most common reasons for losing citizenship is fraud, concealment of information, wanted persons etc.

16. Does Vanuatu have visa waiver with China?

No, but it will come soon, in the pipeline.

17. Can stateless persons apply for vanuatu citizenship through investments?

Yes

We have compiled a complete list of questions available here

About Vanuatu

Vanuatu, an archipelago of approximately 83 islands, situated in the South-western Pacific Ocean East of Australia and North of New Zealand and a part of Commonwealth. Vanuatu is known as the ‘Isles of Contrast’ and ‘Paradise Islands’. Vanuatu is also popular for offshore financial center and a famous tropical holiday destination for travelers . Vanuatu also voted as fourth happiest country in the world. Major economic activities in Vanuatu are agriculture, tourism, offshore financial services, fishing and cattle farming.

Vanuatu map

  • Capital and largest city: Port Vila
  • Official languages: Bislama, French, English
  • Total Area: 12,189 km2 (4,706 sq mi)
  • Population: 286,429 (2016 estimate)
  • GDP (PPP) 2017 estimate  Total $723 million
  • GDP (nominal) 2017 estimate Total $773 million
  • Currency Vanuatu vatu (VUV)
  • Time zone VUT (Vanuatu Time) (UTC+11)
  • Drives on the right
  • Calling code +678
  • ISO 3166 code VU
  • Internet TLD .vu




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