Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment Program

overview

The Vanuatu Development Support Program was launched by the Vanuatu Government in 2017 is unique as it is the only current citizenship by investment program in the Asia-Pacific. It is also one of the quickest and least expensive programs by comparison, being granted in as little as two months and starting at an investment requirement of US$130,000. This makes it one of the most efficient (and most popular!) programs, globally. 

Historically, the program only had one option available for investors: donation. However, the Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment Commission announced that it would accept approved real estate projects as investment for citizenship, in 2021. This means that the investment is not a sunk cost, as the property can be resold after seven years. 

Citizenship by investment in Vanuatu offers full Vanuatuan rights, with no restrictions on dual citizenship. Some of the main advantages to this program include no taxation, and no physical presence requirements, as the Oath of Allegiance can take place in any convenient location around the world. A Vanuatu passport also provides visa-free travel to a surprising number of countries. 

Summary of Main Advantages for Turkey Citizenship Program

Citizenship Benefits

VISA FREE TRAVEL

BUSINESS ADVANTAGES

FAMILY ADVANTAGES

PERSONAL FREEDOM

Vanuatuan Citizenship Requirements for Application

  1. Must be 18 years or older
  2. Must have a clean criminal record with no sanctions worldwide 
  3. Must have proof of funds for investment (proof of net assets of at least US$500,000, of which US$250,000 must be banking assets)
  4. Must be in good health (proved with medical certificate)
  5. Children from the age of 18 to 25 must be financially dependent on the applicant and full-time students at a university. Parents of the applicant must be aged 50 or over. 
  6. The Vanuatu citizenship program is not open to citizens of Iran, Syria, North Korea, or Yemen (unless they have permanent residence and have lived outside of these countries for a minimum of five years)

 

Routes to Vanuatu Citizenship

There are different routes to becoming a Vanuatuan citizen under the citizenship by investment program. Qualified investors can choose one of the following options to do passport by investment: 

Option 1: Government Development Fund

The single applicant must invest at least US$130,000 in a Vanuatu Government National Fund. This donation is non-refundable one-time payment to the local government fund meant to invest in the local economy. 

If you are applying with other family members, the investment price is: 

  • Main applicant + spouse: US$150,000
  • Main applicant + spouse + one child: US$165,000
  • Main applicant + spouse + two children: US$180,000
  • For each additional child: US$25,000

Additional application fees apply. Processing fees, including the government fee and diligence fee total US$5,400.

Option 2: Real Estate

The applicant must purchase a Vanuatu government-approved property with a minimum value of US$200,000 for a full unit, or US$100,000 for half ownership. The property can be resold after a seven year holding period.

 

Procedure for Citizenship by Investment Application

One can expect that the application process for citizenship by investment in Vanuatu to include the following: 

  1. Clients contact JH Marlin 
  2. Initial due diligence check and criminal background check are performed to determine eligibility 
  3. Client agreement is signed, and retainer is paid
  4. Files are prepared and required documents are collected
  5. Initial documents submitted to the Finance Intelligence Unit 
  6. Application submission to the Finance Intelligence Unit, along with remaining documents
  7. The Finance Intelligence Unit will perform the due diligence process
  8. Pending the due diligence process, the application is approved in principle and the applicant transfers 25% of the investment to the government
  9. Screening Committee and the Citizenship Commission reviews the application
  10. The Citizenship Commission will notify of the application approval
  11. The applicant will fulfill their requirement by making the remaining 75% of their investment within 90 days of approval
  12. Once investment is received, the Citizenship Commission issues a Letter of Approval and Naturalization Certificate (citizenship certificate) and submits a passport application
  13. The applicant takes an Oath of Allegiance in front of a passport officer either in Vanuatu or a preferred location that is convenient for the applicant 
  14. Official passport issuance

 

Documents Required for Vanuatuan Citizenship Application

  • Certified copy of birth certificate 
  • Certified copy of original passport
  • Certified copy of national ID
  • Six photographs 
  • Citizenship application form
  • Copy of spouse’s and child’s passport (if applicable)
  • Certified copy of marriage certificate (if applicable) 
  • Police certificate from your home country
  • Resume (including education and employment history)
  • Medical certificate
  • Proof of investment
  • Proof of paid application fees

 

A detailed list of documents will be provided depending on your unique case including sample documents and further instructions. 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Vanuatu’s citizenship by investment program costs $130,000 for single applicant, $150,000 for a couple and $165,000 for a family with one child, and $180,000 for a family of four. 

The processing time typically takes 1-2 months,.

Vanuatu has no income, wealth or inheritance tax.

The Vanuatu passport has visa-free access to several countries. 

Vanuatu is the only country in the Pacific that has an official citizenship by investment program, which offers unique benefits such as privacy for investors. 

No. Currently, the only route to citizenship is through making a donation. 

No. You do not need to travel to Vanuatu at any point during the application process. You can collect your citizenship certificate and passport from your authorized agent or at Vanuatu consulates anywhere in the world.

Currently Vanuatu has the fastest average processing time among all citizenship by investment programs, at an average length of 1-2 months.

Only in part. The first 10% of the investment is paid, with the remaining 90% of the donation only being paid after the letter of approval is issued by the Vanuatu citizenship commission.

Yes. However, the oath can be taken either in Vanuatu, or at any Vanuatu consulate worldwide. Additionally, an immigration officer can come visit your authorized agent’s office at your convenience (for a $5,000 fee), so no travelling is required on your behalf. 

Yes. Citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, North Korea and Yemen cannot apply for Vanuatu’s citizenship by investment program. However, the Vanuatu Citizenship commission may make exceptions and accept applications from restricted countries. This is given that the applicant shows that they have permanent residency abroad and have not resided in the restricted country for the last 5 years. 

The Vanuatu passport is valid for 10 years.  You can renew your passport for $60. Citizenship is issued for your entire lifetime.

Yes, Vanuatu is a commonwealth country and all citizens are commonwealth citizens.  

Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, has an international airport which has flights directly from Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.

No. Privacy is guaranteed to investors and names not published in Gazette or reported to other countries

No. There is no requirement to visit or live in Vanuatu after receiving your passport.

  • Certified copy of birth certificate 
  • Certified copy of original passport
  • Certified copy of national ID
  • Six photographs 
  • Citizenship application form
  • Copy of spouse’s and child’s passport (if applicable)
  • Certified copy of marriage certificate (if applicable) 
  • Police certificate from your home country
  • Resume (including education and employment history)
  • Medical certificate
  • Proof of investment
  • Proof of paid application fees

Yes, if found to be involved in fraud, concealment, or other similar illegal activity, Vanuatu can revoke the citizenship of investors.

The three most popular banks in Vanuatu include: ANZ, BSP (Bank of South Pacific) and BRED.

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. 

Vanuatu: General Information

Originally inhabited by Melanesian peoples, Vanuatu is a South Pacific island nation with a rich history and influence by Spanish, French, and English expeditions. However, Vanuatu became independent in 1980 and has since become a member of the United Nations and the Commonwealth. 

Vanuatu is a chain of eighty islands in the Southwestern Pacific that is near Australia. Vanuatu boasts beautiful scenery, whether standing at the rim of an active volcano, hiking in its untouched rainforests, lounging on its tropical beaches, or sailing between each Pacific island. 

Espiritu Santo, its largest island, boasts modern facilities, including hospitals, schools, hotels, businesses, luxury residential properties. Vanuatu is one of the most popular citizenship by investment programs, as its remoteness provides the perfect private haven for high-net-worth individuals to spend their time. Although tempting, there is also no physical presence requirement for residency. 

 

Fast Facts:

Location: 17° S & 168° E | Southwestern Pacific Ocean Islands

Capital: Port Vila

Size: 12,199 km2

Population: 320 k

Official Currency: Vanuatu Vatu (VUV)

Government: Parliamentary Republic

Economy: Offshore Financial Services | Agriculture | Tourism

Official Language: English | French | Bislama

Religion: Christianity | Multi-Denominational