Feb 6, 2020

Citizenship by investment in Vanuatu in 2020: a complete guide

The comparatively low cost of Vanuatu citizenship, the numerous advantages of the passport, and the high speed of application processing make a growing number of people from all around the world purchase citizenship of this Pacific country. The price of this ‘product’ is US$ 150,000. If you would like to learn more about this attractive opportunity, please keep on reading.

 Second Passport of Vanuatu

Vanuatu is the only country in the Pacific Ocean that offers citizenship for money at an affordable price. A foreigner can become a citizen of Vanuatu by donating US$ 145,000 to the state fund. The applications for citizenship are processed very fast. Currently, there are two economic citizenship programs in Vanuatu each requiting a donation of the same amount: 

  • Development Support Program or DSP and
  • Vanuatu Contribution Program or VCP

The difference between these programs is in their respective target audiences. The VCP is aimed at Chinese immigrants while the DSP serves the citizens of all other world countries.

The DSP is promoted actively in all parts of the planet and its popularity is growing thanks to these efforts. More and more wealthy people from different countries acquire Vanuatu citizenship in exchange for a donation.  

What benefits does the Vanuatu passport bring?

As things stand for now, over a dozen states in the world offer their citizenship to foreign nationals in exchange for a donation or an investment. There are five such states in the Caribbean basin including St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St Lucia. They have to compete in this market with Malta, Cyprus, Montenegro, and Moldova in Europe and Turkey and Jordan in Asia. Vanuatu is their only competitor in the Pacific region.

If you wish to obtain a second passport and if you can afford it, you can use the services of a team of experienced lawyers and consultants and acquire citizenship of any of the countries listed above. However, many experts believe that Vanuatu is the best choice for a number of reasons. What are the benefits of the Vanuatu passport? The main advantages of acquiring citizenship of Vanuatu are the following ones:

  • The fastest acquisition of citizenship: You can obtain a second passport and citizenship of Vanuatu for money within six to eight weeks. There is only one more citizenship program in the world that boasts the same speed of application processing. It is the St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment Government program. However, there are extra charges for express application processing with this Caribbean country.
  • Citizenship for cryptocurrency: Unlike most other national states granting citizenship for donations, Vanuatu accepts payments towards its citizenship in cryptocurrencies. This certainly makes the local citizenship program very attractive for crypto investors.  
  • The simplest acquisition of citizenship: The Government of Vanuatu does conduct stringent due diligence checks when it comes to accepting new citizens. The authorities are eager to filter applicants with a criminal past and combat money laundering intentions. At the same time, the Government adheres to zero discrimination policy when accepting applications for citizenship from people of different national origins, races, and religions. If the applicant has a clean criminal record and he or she is able to prove the legality and the sufficiency of their personal capital, the chance that the application may be rejected is close to zero. Besides, there is no local residence requirement to those who want to become Vanuatu citizens. They do not even have to visit the country to be handed the passport!  
  • Citizenship for the whole family: Both individual and collective (or family) applications for Vanuatu citizenship by donation are accepted. The main applicant can include his or her spouse, children, and parents in the application. Thus, you can provide for a better future not only for yourself but for your loved ones too.
  • Citizenship of a politically neutral and well-respected independent state: The Government of Vanuatu does not have any political enemies nor disputes. The country is located far away from the United States as well as Europe. Vanuatu is a fully independent state comprised of around eighty islands. It became independent from Great Britain and France in the 70s of the last century and since that time, no national state in the world has made any attempts to colonize Vanuatu again. The country authorities protect its citizens from all threats, as freedom and security are valued in the country more than anything else is.
  • Visa-free travel around the world: If you hold a Vanuatu passport, you can travel all over the globe without spending time and money on obtaining visas. Citizens of Vanuatu enjoy visa-free access to over 140 countries including the EU states, Schengen states, Great Britain, and Russia. They can also count on easily obtaining visas to the member countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Citizens of Vanuatu are entitled for an Australian guest visa (subclass 600) and US tourist visa. Negotiations are underway with China about visa-free entry to this country too.  
  • Life in a tropical paradise: Vanuatu is a perfect place for living, working, or retiring. As a matter of fact, it is one of the less known paradise corners of the world. Locals have easy access to higher education of top quality, the freshest air, the cleanest water, and most various food products at affordable prices.  
  • Access to an advanced banking system: Vanuatu citizens have unlimited access to the local banks that are characterized by high level of financial information confidentiality and high quality of banking services that they provide. Legal and accounting services in Vanuatu are at the same high level as well. Vanuatu is the country where super high net worth individuals prefer to keep their money. The Republic of Vanuatu that guarantees banking and commercial confidentiality is sometimes referred to as the “Bahamas of the Pacific Ocean”. It is also important to bear in mind that Vanuatu does not rush to sign fiscal information exchange agreements with other national states.
  • Physical safety: The country is located thousands of miles away from all the world problems. The violent crime rate there is close to zero. The police officers do not carry guns. The authorities do not watch the people closely. The Prime Minister can talk to common people at lunch sitting in a café. The judicial system based on British law is a fully independent branch of power in Vanuatu. The system of tribe chiefs’ governance greatly contributes to strengthening democracy in the country and protecting people’s rights.  
  • Minimal fiscal burden: There is no personal income tax in Vanuatu, nor wealth tax, nor inheritance tax, nor gift tax, nor many other taxes found in other jurisdictions. There are virtually no taxes at all in Vanuatu, which certainly makes its people happy. The Government came up with a proposal to introduce an income tax in 2018 but this initiative has not been approved by the Parliament. And it is unlikely that it will be in the future.  
  • A new business investment platform: The successful applicants for citizenship will have the right to live, work, and do business in Vanuatu. They are free to make investments and launch business and corporate projects in the country.
  • Large choice of real property to buy: Foreign nationals are allowed to purchase real estate in Vanuatu regardless of whether they are citizens of the country or not. Please mind, however, that purchase of residential accommodations or commercial property is de facto its rent for fifty or seventy-five years in Vanuatu. Besides, unlike in the countries that grant citizenship for investment into real property, you cannot use purchase of real estate in Vanuatu as the grounds for obtaining its citizenship. The DSP / VCP programs require that the applicant make a non-refundable donation to the state fund in order to obtain a Vanuatu passport.
  • A back up option: In today’s world with its instability, riots, wars, and crises, Vanuatu is a perfect ‘Plan B’ location. The South Pacific region is regarded as the most secure region in the world. You can escape to Vanuatu from the problems so acute in Europe, the USA, and the Middle East. Buying citizenship of this country for yourself, you are also buying its citizenship for your children, the children of your children, and so on. Freedom and security forever cannot be overestimated.

New amendments to the immigration legislation in Vanuatu

Some new amendments to the Law on Citizenship went into effect in April 2019. The following are the newly applied DSP / VCP regulations:

  • The required donation amount for all DSP / VCP schemes is US$ 145,000;
  • The term of the passport validity has been extended from five to ten years. This means that the citizens of Vanuatu have to renew their passports twice as seldom as they did before;
  • Beginning June 2019, passports of a new format with improved protection mechanisms are issued;
  • The phrase ‘honorable citizen’ is no longer used in the citizenship certificates that successful DSP applicants receive.

In addition to that, the authorities have issued licenses to a greater number of DSP agents. There are currently thirty licensed DSP agents and only one licensed VCP agent. The licenses are now issued for up to eight years.

The requirements to the DSP participants and the list of application documents

Apart from making the donation, the Development Support Program participants have to meet the following requirements to be able to apply for citizenship of Vanuatu:

  • The main applicant has to be older than 18 and younger than 65 years of age. All applicants have to be in good health and have clean criminal records.
  • The applicant has to have at least US$ 500,000 in personal assets of which at least US$ 250,000 has to be in his or her bank account(s).
  • At the start of the application process (that is, at the moment of filing the application for citizenship) the applicant has to make a payment of US$ 10,000. When the Financial Intelligence Unit or FIU approves the application, the rest of the donation amount (US$ 135,000) has to be paid.

Citizenship of Vanuatu can be granted only if the due diligence check results are positive. The applicants shall have no criminal past. The Financial Intelligence Unit will use Interpol and other police databases to ascertain that the applicant has not been legally prosecuted. In addition to that, the legality of the capital sources will be inspected.

Residents of several countries are not eligible to apply for Vanuatu citizenship. The ‘black list’ includes the following countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and North Korea. However, citizens of these countries can still apply on the condition that they have been residing somewhere else for the last five years.  

List of documents required to apply for Vanuatu citizenship with the Development Support Program:

  1. Completed application forms (for the main applicant, the spouse, the children, and the parents).
  2. A notarized color copy of the passports including their covers, the first three pages, and the last three pages (seven pages in total). The pages shall be visible in full. Passport copies of the main applicant, the spouse, the children, and the parents are required.
  3. A notarized color copy of the Identification Card, obverse and reverse on one page (for the main applicant, the spouse, the children, and the parents).
  4. Certificates of kindred relationships between the main applicant and his or her dependent applicants (marriage license, birth certificates, etc.).
  5. Confirmations of the dependence of the main applicant’s children and parents (tuition agreement with school or university, confirmation of the shared residence with parents, etc.).
  6. Notarized birth certificates for all applicants.
  7. Originals of police clearance certificates from the home country and from the country of residence where the family has lived over the last twelve month in case this country is different from their home country (for the main applicant as well as all other applicants above 18 years of age).
  8. Copies of university diplomas (if available) or school certificates (for the main applicant, the spouse, the children, and the parents).
  9. Medical examination certificates for all applicants above 18 years of age from a licensed medical doctor in the home country or country of residence.
  10. Proof of possession of assets that are worth at least US$ 500,000; a bank statement for the last six months.
  11. Main applicant’s résumé; if the applicant is employed, the employment certificate is required.
  12. High quality photographs 40 by 50 millimeters in size, against white background, two photographs per each applicant included in the application.


(i)           All the copies shall be made in color. The documents translated into English have to be notarized and apostilled in most cases.

(ii)          All the document copies (for the main applicant, the spouse, the children, and the parents) shall be signed by the main applicant before submission.

The procedure of applying for Vanuatu citizenship with the Development Support Program:

  1. The applicant submits the passport copies and the police clearance certificates and makes the initial payment of US$ 10,000.
  2. The FIU conducts the initial due diligence procedures and requests additional information if necessary.
  3. The FIU approves the application and issues the corresponding certificate.
  4. The applicant pays the rest of the donation and submits the full document package to the immigration authorities of Vanuatu.
  5. The application is passed on to the Citizenship Committee for approval.
  6. The Committee may request some additional documents in certain cases. If it is satisfied, the Committee approves the application for citizenship.
  7. The Committee issues the citizenship certificates signed by the Prime Minister of Vanuatu.
  8. The applicants above 18 years of age make oaths of allegiance to Vanuatu. The oaths can be made in Vanuatu, in the country’s embassy or consulate or wherever there are government officials of Vanuatu.

Citizenship by investment in Vanuatu in 2020: a few details about the country

Vanuatu is an archipelago consisting of approximately eighty islands located in the southwestern part of the Pacific Ocean to the east of Australia and to the north of New Zealand. The country is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Vanuatu is a popular offshore center and a famous tourist destination in the tropics. The main industries in Vanuatu are agriculture, tourism, offshore financial services, fishery and animal farming.

The capital if Vanuatu and its largest city is Port-Vila. The official languages in the country are bislama, English, and French. The total area of Vanuatu is 12,189 square kilometers (4,706 sq. miles). The population is 286,429 people (2016 census). The GDP was 723 million US dollars is 2017. The national currency of Vanuatu is called vatu (VUV). The telephone code of the country is +678 and its top level domain is .vu.

Citizenship by investment in Vanuatu in 2020: why you should choose the immigration agency that you use with great care

Before you can apply for citizenship and a second passport of Vanuatu, you have to find an immigration agent who holds a Government license and sign an agreement with the agency. You cannot possibly avoid using the agent’s services as filing an application for citizenship and a second passport of Vanuatu directly is not allowed. When choosing the agent, you will be well advised to pay attention to the following factors:

  • Agent’s specialization: Preference should be given to licensed immigration agents who specialize in economic citizenship acquisition and have offices in Vanuatu, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, and other jurisdictions that grant citizenship in exchange for investment. These agents are not intermediaries nor resellers but they are direct service providers.
  • Agent’s knowledge and experience: Please make certain that the agent that you are going to hire has profound experience in organizing the citizenship by investment application process. The agent also should have stable connections with the Vanuatu immigration authorities and other relevant state bodies. It is important to realize that the economic citizenship regulations constantly change and its acquisition is becoming more and more problematic each year. Thus, you should involve a team of legal and administrative experts into the application process who have enough experience in the matter and who will give you a helping hand should the need arise.  
  • Additional services that the agent provides: Prior to signing the contract with the agency, find out if it provides any additional services. Can they help with establishing an escrow or a trust account? Can they facilitate the acquisition of tax residency in Vanuatu? Can they assist in opening a bank account for you with your new passport details? Some agents provide ‘all inclusive’ services and give consultations on tax burden and finance management, among other things.
  • Guarantees: Please bear in mind that some agents provide legally certified refund guarantees in case your application for citizenship has been rejected after receiving a provisional approval. They will help you recover almost all of your money excluding a small processing fee that is agreed upon in every individual case.

The chance to acquire citizenship and a second passport of Vanuatu is quite realistic as the requirements are not too hard and the authorities welcome foreign donators. This status can dramatically increase your level of freedom and security. But you have to act and act now!

If you would like to have prompt answers to the questions related to citizenship by investment in Vanuatu, please contact our economic migration experts at [email protected]. We will be happy to assist you in improving your lifestyle.