A foreigner gets a right to become a Vanuatu citizen if they have lived on the island for at least 10 years, married a citizen of the country, or rendered an important service to the state. While 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 travels with a Vanuatu passport
The main advantage of Vanuatu citizenship is visa-free entry to more than 90 countries. Investors get a right to go on vacation and for business meetings without applying for a visa.
Vanuatu is part of the Commonwealth of Nations and thus its citizens may enter the UK without a visa and spend up to 180 days in a row. Investors use this opportunity to come on holidays and for business meetings, to choose a prestigious college or university for their children and visit them often.
Vanuatu сitizens are 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.
Long-term U.S. visa
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.
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.
In Vanuatu, there are no taxes on wealth, capital gains and inheritance, as well as dividend, interest, stock and global income. To optimize taxation, a citizen needs to become a tax resident of the country. To obtain tax residence, citizens are obliged to 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.
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: from 2014 to 2019, investors received 6,500 Vanuatu passports.
1. Fast issuance of passports. Obtaining Vanuatu citizenship takes only 1 to 2 months. The procedure is faster than the ones of the alternative programs of 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 members of their family: a spouse, children under 25 and parents over 50 years old. Children 18 to 25 years old cannot be married at the time of issuing passports.
3. Relatively low cost. The Vanuatu citizenship program offers the only investment option that is a contribution to the state fund. 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 naturalization. Expenses for each family member are about $130.
4. Remote acquisition of citizenship. To take part in the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program and submit an application, investors do not need to visit the country. Applicants may obtain their passports without a single visit to Vanuatu.
To get a Vanuatu passport, one needs to take an oath of allegiance to the country. Investors can either come to Vanuatu and do it there or pay an additional fee and invite the commissioner for Oaths and migration officer to a place convenient for them. The oath is to be taken by the investor and their spouse. Having taken the oath, applicants obtain their passports.
Immigrant Invest helps investors and their families obtain Vanuatu citizenship by investment. If you would like to enjoy the benefits of a Vanuatu passport, answer a few questions and we will calculate the cost of participating in the Vanuatu citizenship program for you.