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What benefits does a Vanuatu passport give?

Wealthy people get Vanuatu citizenship by investment as it provides various benefits. Vanuatu passport holders can:

  • travel visa-free to Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, and ninety-one other countries;
  • get a long-term visa to the USA;
  • study at British universities on preferential terms;
  • optimise taxes for themselves and their business.
Vanuatu citizenship benefits: how to get cheap second citizenship and benefit from it

A foreigner gets a right to become a Vanuatu citizen if they have lived on the island for at least 10 years, married a country citizen, or rendered an essential service to the state. At the same time, the easiest and fastest way to get a passport is to take part in the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program.

The Vanuatu citizenship program is the fastest in the world. Investors get their passports within 1 or 2 months after applying. There are not any investment options to choose from. All applicants need to make a non-refundable contribution of at least $130,000 to the National Development Fund.

Visa-free countries with the Vanuatu passport 

The Vanuatu passport allows visa-free entry to 95 countries.

The EU and the Schengen Agreement countries have partially suspended the visa-free regimes with Vanuatu. After May 25th, 2015, those who obtained Vanuatu citizenship now have to get a visa to enter the EU and Schengen countries. The term of the suspension is yet unknown.

Ireland is the only EU country that can still be visited without a visa on a Vanuatu passport, as it is not part of the Schengen Agreement and has its own agreement with Vanuatu.

Asia. Vanuatu сitizens are also exempt from visa requirements for travel to popular business destinations in Asia, namely Hong Kong and Singapore. In Singapore, they may stay up to 30 days, whereas in Hong Kong, a 90-day stay is permitted.

Complete list of visa-free countries for Vanuatu passport holders

Country Entry conditions Time of stay
1 Andorra Visa-free 90 days
2 Belarus Visa-free 30 days
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina Visa-free 90 days out of 180
4 Gibraltar Visa-free 180 days
5 Ireland Visa-free 90 days
6 Kosovo Visa-free 90 days
7 Moldova Visa-free 90 days out of 180
8 Monaco Visa-free 90 days out of 180
9 Montenegro Visa-free 90 days
10 Russian Federation Visa-free 90 days out of 180
11 San Marino Visa-free 10 days
1 Armenia Visa on arrival 120 days
2 Bangladesh Visa on arrival 30 days
3 Cambodia Visa on arrival 30 days
4 Hong Kong Visa-free 90 days
5 Indonesia Visa-free 30 days
6 Iran Visa on arrival 30 days
7 Israel Visa-free 90 days
8 Jordan Visa on arrival 30 days
9 Laos Visa on arrival 30 days
10 Macau Visa on arrival 14 to 180 days
11 Malaysia Visa-free 30 days
12 Maldives Visa on arrival 30 days
13 Nepal Visa on arrival 90 days
14 Palestinian Territory Visa-free 21 day
15 Philippines Visa-free 30 days
16 Singapore Visa-free 30 days
17 Sri Lanka Electronic travel authorization 30 days
18 Thailand Visa on arrival 15 days
19 Timor-Leste Visa on arrival 30 days
1 Botswana Visa-free 90 days a year
2 Burundi Visa on arrival 30 days
3 Cape Verde Islands Visa on arrival 30 days
4 Comoro Islands Visa on arrival 45 days
5 Egypt Visa on arrival 30 days
6 Eswatini Visa-free 30 days
7 Gambia Visa-free 90 days
8 Guinea-Bissau Visa on arrival 90 days
9 Kenya Visa-free 90 days
10 Lesotho Visa-free 90 days
11 Madagascar Visa on arrival 30, 60 or 90 days
12 Malawi Visa on arrival 90 days
13 Mauritania Visa on arrival 30 days
14 Mauritius Visa-free 90 days
15 Mozambique Visa on arrival 30 days
16 Rwanda Visa on arrival 90 days
17 Saint Helena Visa on arrival 183 days
18 Senegal Visa-free 90 days
19 Seychelles Visa on arrival 90 days
20 Sierra Leone Visa on arrival 30 days
21 Somalia Visa on arrival 30 days
22 Tanzania Visa-free 90 days
23 Togo Visa on arrival 7 days
24 Uganda Visa-free 90 days
25 Zambia Visa-free 90 days
26 Zimbabwe Visa-free 90 days
North America
1 Anguilla Visa-free 90 days
2 Antigua and Barbuda Visa-free 30 days
3 Bahamas Visa-free 30 days
4 Barbados Visa-free 180 days
5 Bermuda Visa-free 21 days
6 British Virgin Islands Visa-free 180 days
7 Cayman islands Visa-free 180 days
8 Costa Rica Visa-free 30 days
9 Dominica Visa-free 182 days
10 Dominican Republic Visa-free 90 days
11 Grenada Visa-free 90 days
12 Guatemala Visa-free 90 days
13 Haiti Visa-free 90 days
14 Honduras Visa-free 90 days
15 Jamaica Visa-free 180 days
16 Montserrat Visa-free 180 days
17 Nicaragua Visa-free 90 days
18 Panama Visa-free 180 days
19 Saint Kitts and Nevis Visa-free 90 days
20 Saint Lucia Visa-free 42 days
21 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Visa-free 30 days
22 Salvador Visa-free 90 days
23 Trinidad and Tobago Visa-free 90 days out of 180
South America
1 Bolivia Visa on arrival 90 days
2 Ecuador Visa-free 90 days
3 Peru Visa-free 180 days
1 Cook Islands Visa-free 31 days
2 Fiji Visa-free 120 days
3 Kiribati Visa-free 120 days a year
4 Marshall Islands Visa on arrival 90 days
5 Micronesia Visa-free 30 days
6 Nauru Visa on arrival N/D
7 Niue Visa-free 30 days
8 Palau Islands Visa on arrival 30 days
9 Papua New Guinea Visa on arrival 60 days
10 Samoa Visa on arrival 60 days
11 Solomon Islands Visa on arrival 90 days
12 Tonga Visa on arrival 31 days
13 Tuvalu Visa on arrival 30 days
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Long-term visas to the USA

Vanuatu citizens are eligible to apply for a 5-year multiple-entry tourist visa to the USA. The visa allows spending up to 180 days a year in the USA. This type of visa suits those who would like to hold business meetings, travel around the country, receive medical treatment and sign up for educational courses that do not lead to a diploma or a degree.

Learn the benefits, conditions and specifics of the Vanuatu investment program

Scholarships at British universities

Commonwealth Scholarships are available for citizens of Vanuatu who would like to study at British universities. Children of investors that received Vanuatu passports under the citizenship program are also eligible for certain scholarships. For example, to the Commonwealth Rutherford Fellowships.

Tax optimisation

In Vanuatu, there are no taxes on wealth, capital gains and inheritance, and dividends, interest, stock and global income. To optimise taxation, a citizen needs to become a tax resident of the country. To obtain tax residence, citizens must spend at least 183 days per year in Vanuatu.

There is another option that may help reduce the tax burden. Investors can register an International Business Company (IBC) in Vanuatu, which is exempt from taxes for 20 years. Instead of taxes, such companies annually pay $300 to the budget of Vanuatu.

Freedom of movement and a new business with the Vanuatu passport

Narong found political asylum in Germany but could not get a residence permit in the country for a long time. He lived under the threat of deportation and had no right to travel or start his own business.

With the help of Immigrant Invest lawyers, the investor got Vanuatu citizenship without leaving Germany. Now Narong’s company is registered in Vanuatu and entitled to preferential tax treatment.

Case study

Benefits of the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program

Investors are attracted by the advantages of the Vanuatu citizenship program. Issuance of passports is fast and easy while their cost is relatively low. Statistics confirm the interest in the program: investors received 6,500 Vanuatu passports from 2014 to 2019.

1. Fast issuance of passports. Vanuatu is a fast-track second citizenship program. Obtaining a Vanuatu passport takes only 1 to 2 months. The procedure is faster than under the alternative programs in Caribbean countries, where foreigners may receive passports on average within 3 to 6 months.

2. Citizenship for the family. Besides investors themselves, passports can also be obtained by family members: a spouse, children under 25 and parents over 50 years old. Children 18 to 25 years old cannot be married when issuing passports. Yet, filing citizenship for the whole family increases participation costs in the CBI program.

3. Relatively low cost. The Vanuatu citizenship program offers the only investment option of contributing to a state fund. The investor alone needs to pay $130,000, whereas an applicant with a spouse donates $150,000. An additional $15,000 must be paid for each child or parent.

In addition, each applicant pays $5,000 for Due Diligence. The cost does not depend on the number of family members included in the application. There are also fees for filing an application and issuing certificates of naturalisation. Expenses for each family member are about $130.

4. Remote obtaining of citizenship. Investors do not need to visit the country to take part in the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program and submit an application. Applicants may get their passports without a single visit to Vanuatu.

To get a Vanuatu passport, one needs to take an oath of allegiance. Investors can either come to Vanuatu and do it there or pay an additional fee and invite the commissioner for Oaths and migration officers to a convenient place. 

The oath is to be taken by the investor and their spouse. Having taken the oath, applicants obtain their passports.

Frequently asked questions

How strong is a Vanuatu passport?

A Vanuatu passport was lowered to 55th in the passport ranking on May 4th, 2022. It happened due to the restrictions imposed by the EU: now, Vanuatu citizens have to obtain a visa to enter EU countries.

Popular business destinations such as Singapore and Hong Kong are still on the visa-free list for Vanuatu citizens. In total, Vanuatu passport holders can visit 95 countries without visas.

How many countries can Vanuatu passport holders enter without visas?

95 countries can be entered on a Vanuatu passport visa-free. The popular destinations are Ireland, Singapore and Hong Kong. Visa-free entry to the Schengen Area has been suspended since May 4th, 2022.

Can I visit the US visa-free on a Vanuatu passport?

No, to enter the USA, Vanuatu citizens apply for a visa. Yet, Vanuatu passport holders can get a long-term visa. It is a 5-year multiple-entry tourist visa that allows spending up to 180 days a year in the USA.

Does Vanuatu allow dual citizenship?

Yes, Vanuatu does not impose any restrictions on multiple citizenship. When foreigners get a Vanuatu passport, they do not have to renounce their first citizenship.

Is the Vanuatu citizenship process complex?

Issuance of Vanuatu passports is fast and easy while their cost is relatively low. Obtaining Vanuatu citizenship takes only 1—2 months. The minimum investment under the program is $130,000.

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What benefits does a Vanuatu passport give?