Vanuatu Citizenship Law
Vanuatu is known as an ‘offshore financial center,’ and financial services are among the largest slices of the nation’s economy. Appropriately 5,000 registered agencies offer a wide range of banking, investment, legal, and trust services. With no corporate, or personal, income tax, no capital gains tax and no estate or withholding tax, Vanuatu is rapidly ascending the mountain of Citizenship by Investment programs being provided globally.
The procedures, cost, and the process of becoming a citizen of Vanuatu can appear confusing. Since 2015 when the protocols were first in place, numerous get-rich-quick types jumped on the opportunity and threw up websites hoping to tap into the market. However, as rules, prices, and procedures changed, the information on a variety of websites was never updated.
So, nailing down precisely what is required and when can be a little like nailing jello to the wall. Bukh Global has our finger on the pulse regarding the latest governmental changes and modifications. Contact us today for the most recent, up-to-date information.
Citizenship by Investment in Vanuatu
Presently, under the Honorary Citizenship Act (CAP 112) of Vanuatu citizenship may be acquired by a donation to the country through the Development Support Program, which replaces the former Economic Citizenship Program. Tropical Cyclone Pam, the largest natural disaster in Vanuatu’s long history, was the catalyst for change.
January 1, 2017, saw Regulation Order No. 215 come into effect. The order establishes the citizenship program.
- USD 260,000 non-refundable contribution to the Government of Vanuatu. The amount includes spouse and two children under 18 years.
- US$ 19,250 (extra child less than 18 years, IF included)
- US$ 44,250 (a dependent aged 18 to 25, or +65, IF included)
- Investment amounts include due diligence costs, background check, VIPA fees, processing fees, passport fees and agent handling charges.
The main requirements for obtaining the citizenship by investment in Vanuatu under the Development Support Program are:
- Proof of the ownership of assets with a minimum total value of USD 450,000, in established businesses, real estate, shares, bank deposits, among others.
- Completed nomination forms for the lead applicant and dependents.
- Proof of identity by a certified copy of the passport and a certified copy of the identity card of the applicant and his / her dependents.
- Notarization of marriage certificate, evidence documents showing the relationship with the parents (if applicable).
- Notarization of clean criminal background or police clearance certificate (for applicant and dependents over 16)
- Notarization of the birth certificate of the applicant and dependents.
- Basic Health Check and Health Statement of the applicant and dependents over 16 years of age.
- Personal profile, employment certification (original) and academic certification (copy) of the applicant
- Bank reference letter (original) and professional reference (original) of the applicant
- School certification for dependents aged 18-25 (original in English or with certified translation)
- Passport photo on a white background of applicant and dependents.
The procedures are found elsewhere (INSERT LINK HERE) on this site and an important item to remember here is the documentation must be submitted to 50-percent of the total cost. The payment is not refundable, but if the documentation is delivered and the remaining payment is made, Citizenship is granted unless proof of fraud is shown.
Applications are generally approved within 60-days and often quicker.
Besides the citizenship by investment, there are other options to obtain residency and citizenship.
- Self-funded Visa: it is required a monthly income received in Vanuatu and certified by a bank operating in Vanuatu of at least VUV 250,000 (≈ USD 2,300) or VUV 500,000 (≈ USD 4,600) if it includes the spouse. Children or other dependents are not covered. Renewable annually if the requirements are still met. It applies an annual fee of VUV 20,000 (≈ USD 180).
- Land Owner Visa: Leasehold ownership of a property in Vanuatu with a value of at least VUV 10m (≈ USD 90,000) and a monthly income received in Vanuatu of at least VUV 250,000 (≈ USD 2,300) per person included in the application. Renewable annually if the requirements are still met. Annual fee of VUV 20,000 (≈ USD 180).
- Investor Visa: Invest in a project approved by the Vanuatu Investment and Promotion Authority (VIPA) and have a certificate as a Foreign Investor. The required investment amounts are VUV 5m (≈ USD 45,000) for a 3-year residence visa, VUV 50m (≈ USD 450,000) for ten years, and VUV 100m (≈ USD 900,000) for 15 years. An application fee is VUV 50,000 (≈ USD 450), including the first annual fee. For the following years, it applies an annual fee of VUV 20,000 (≈ USD 180), paid in advance. Other fees for due diligence, background check, VIPA fees may apply, and fees are non-refundable.
After ten years of legal residence in the country, a resident alien may apply for citizenship by naturalization.
Contact Bukh Global today for the latest, accurate information regarding Vanuatu’s Citizenship by Investment program.