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Second citizenship

Vanuatu passport renewal is a citizen's obligation

In addition to the fact that Vanuatu passport holders can travel around the world without a visa, they must observe the Vanuatu citizenship law, including renewing the passport as required by law and using it only for its intended purpose. We discuss the rights and obligations that arise after you obtain a Vanuatu passport by investment.

Vanuatu passport renewal

Vanuatu passport renewal

Vanuatu Ministry of Home Affairs has increased the validity of a Vanuatu passport from 5 to 10 years from 2019. By extending the validity of the passport, Vanuatu citizens will be able to apply for a 10-year visa to the US and Canada at once. Previously, a five-year visa could be opened on a five-year passport, and now this period will be doubled.

The validity period of the passport. A Vanuatu passport needs to be renewed every 10 years. If a Vanuatu passport has expired, the passport holder applies for a new Vanuatu passport through the normal procedure. The requirements are the same as for a new Vanuatu passport.  

You do not have to visit Vanuatu for this, as an application for the renewal of your passport can be submitted at any Vanuatu consulate.

Vanuatu passport renewal
Vanuatu passports have to be renewed after 10 years

Passport application. A passport may be applied for either by the passport holder himself or by an authorised person under the power of attorney. The applicant must submit an application form and enclose the necessary documents.

Documents required to renew a passport

  1. Completed application form for renewal of your passport.
  2. Original certificate of citizenship.
  3. Two recent 5.1 x 5.1 cm passport photographs (less than 6 months).
  4. Your latest Vanuatu passport.
  5. Original birth certificate
  6. Relevant fee for the service required.

A witness must verify two photos of the applicant for a new passport. The witness must write the applicant's full name on the back of one photo and sign and date the back of the photo.

The applicant signs an application form and submits biometrics.

The processing time for passport renewal. A Vanuatu passport can normally be obtained in 21 days. There is an urgent passport service in 3 days or an express service in 14 days. 

The cost of renewing a Vanuatu passport for an adult depends on the processing period.

Processing timeCategoryFees
21 daysNormal10,000VT (≈ $89)
14 daysExpress20,000VT (≈ $178)
3 daysUrgent25,000VT (≈ $222)

The cost of renewing a passport for a child depends on the age of the child:

  • child (0 - 5 years): 5,000VT (≈ $44);
  • child (6 - 17 years): 7,000VT (≈ $62).

Why Vanuatu passport holders should renew their passports

The consequences for violating the Vanuatu citizenship law are enshrined in the Passport Act. Misuse of a Vanuatu passport is punishable by up to 5 years in prison or a fine of $45,000.

The following actions are considered an offence:

  • travelling with an expired Vanuatu passport;
  • preparing or buying a fake Vanuatu passport;
  • intentionally using a fake Vanuatu passport;
  • making unauthorised changes, additions or marks in a Vanuatu passport;
  • selling a Vanuatu passport;
  • using someone else’s Vanuatu passport.
$45,000
Fine may be charged if the owner has not renewed their Vanuatu passport

To avoid problems with Vanuatu's laws, Vanuatu passport holders need to renew their passports within the period stipulated in the Passport Act. Immigrant Invest's lawyers recommend starting the passport renewal procedure two months before its expiration date.

Investors who have participated in the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program do not have to deal with renewing their passports on their own. Immigrant Invest’s lawyers will prepare the necessary documents and deliver them to the address given by the investor.

Benefits of a Vanuatu passport: rights and opportunities

Travelling worldwide without a visa. Vanuatu passport holders can travel visa-free to 96 countries, including the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The maximum length of stay without a visa with a Vanuatu passport:

  • Up to 180 days per annum in the UK
  • Up to 90 days per annum in Hong Kong
  • Up to 30 days per annum in Singapore

Vanuatu citizens can also easily apply for a 5-year US tourist visa. For comparison, this type of visa is issued, if at all, for just 3 years to citizens of many other countries. 

With a Vanuatu passport, you can also apply for a 1-year Australian electronic visa, which is processed within a fortnight.

Safe haven. Having a second passport means you can change your residence without applying for any additional permission. For example, with a second Vanuatu passport, you can move to Vanuatu immediately whenever you want or are required to unexpectedly leave your country of origin for health, safety, political or economic reasons.  

Moreover, as a Vanuatu passport holder, you can travel to Vanuatu at any time, even during a pandemic, when tourists with valid visas are not allowed to enter, and those present have to leave.

Favourable taxation system. Individuals do not pay most taxes in Vanuatu: personal income, real estate ownership, and other assets are not taxed.

Vanuatu has no taxes on wealth, capital gains, inheritance, dividends, interest, global income, or stock gains.

The rate of VAT for international companies is 12.5%. International Business Companies (IBC) established in the country are exempt from tax for 20 years. Instead of taxes, they make an annual payment of $300 to $1000 to the Government of Vanuatu.

A Vanuatu citizen must become a tax resident in Vanuatu to legally reduce their tax liability. They must prove they spend at least 183 days a year in Vanuatu to qualify.

Reliable banking system. Vanuatu’s citizens and residents have access to the international payment system: international transfers are available at every bank.

All banks offer similar services: branch banking, cash withdrawals from ATMs in Vanuatu and free internet banking. Some banks have also developed mobile applications for their customers. 

Monthly bank account maintenance fees range from $2 to $8.

Family reunification. The government allows Vanuatu passports to be issued to relatives of its citizens in the following cases.

Relatives of Vanuatu citizens can also be granted citizenship

If the applicant has a relative who is a Vanuatu citizensThey can apply for Vanuatu citizenship by submitting the relevant documents
1. A parent or grandparent of the applicant was a native inhabitant of Vanuatu or a Vanuatu citizen by birth or naturalisation when the applicant was born.1. Original birth certificate.
2. Original birth certificate or certificate of Vanuatu citizenship of the parent or grandparent.
2. The applicant is the spouse of a Vanuatu citizen and had lived in Vanuatu for at least 2 years when they applied for citizenship.1. Marriage certificate.
2. Proof of residence in Vanuatu for at least two years.
3. The applicant is the spouse, child or parent of a Vanuatu citizen who obtained citizenship by investment.1. Investor’s naturalization certificate.
2. Proof of kinship, such as a birth certificate.

Adding a family member under the citizenship by investment program is the easiest option. Investors can add their close relatives to the application when they apply for citizenship, or investors can add the relatives to the application after receiving Vanuatu passports.

An investor can add the following family members to their Vanuatu citizenship application

  • Spouse;
  • Children of the investor or spouse under 25 years of age and adopted children. Only unmarried children over 18 years old can be included;
  • Parents over 50 years old.

Adding an eligible relative to the citizenship by investment application costs at least $15,000 per additional family member. Vanuatu citizenship by investment costs $135,129 when only the investor is included in the application.

The cost of adding eligible family members to the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program

Family memberIncluded together with the investor when the application was submittedAdded to the application at a later date by the investor
Spouse$20,000$45,000
Children$15,000 per child$15,000 per child
Parents$15,000 per parent$15,000 per parent

Name change. Vanuatu law allows you to change your name on your passport. However, in this case, you must also change your name in your passport issued by your country of origin. Vanuatu does not issue passports in different names for the same person.

I am studying fashion design at Saint Martin’s at the University of the Arts London. I changed my name on my original passport and my Vanuatu passport so that it was a better match with my brand name.

Dominica passport — can Dominica citizens work in the UK
Max
student at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London

Documents required to change your name in a Vanuatu passport:

  • name change application; 
  • a copy of the Vanuatu citizenship certificate;
  • a copy of your passport issued by your country of origin;
  • copy of your Vanuatu passport;
  • a copy of the no criminal record certificate in countries where you have been granted citizenship;
  • copy of the birth certificate.

The cost of changing the name in the passport of an investor or a member of their family is $10,000.

Frequently asked questions

How often do I need to renew my Vanuatu passport?

Every 10 years. Passports can be renewed at any Vanuatu consulate or embassy in any country or the passport office in Vanuatu.

Apply for renewing a Vanuatu passport no later than two months before its expiry.

What are the rights of Vanuatu passport holders?

Vanuatu citizens can travel without a visa to 96 countries around the world, including the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore.

A Vanuatu passport holder can also easily apply for a 5-year U.S. tourist visa. They can also apply for an electronic 1-year Australian visa for up to 12 months.

What are the obligations of Vanuatu passport holders?

A Vanuatu passport needs to be renewed every 10 years. Vanuatu passport holders also need to comply with the requirements of the Vanuatu Passport Act, which states that the passport should be used only for its intended purpose, the passport holder should not let another person use their passport, and they should not be involved in any fraudulent activity.

How do I renew my passport in Vanuatu?

Vanuatu passport needs to be renewed every 10 years. You do not have to visit Vanuatu for this, as an application for the renewal of your passport can be submitted at any Vanuatu consulate.

The cost of renewing a Vanuatu passport for an adult ranges from $89 to $222, depending on how quickly you need it. For a child, renewing a passport ranges from $44 to $62, depending on the child’s age. 

How long is the Vanuatu passport valid?

A Vanuatu passport is valid for 10 years, after which it must be renewed. 

The Passport Act sets out the consequences of a breach of the Vanuatu Citizenship Act. Under this Act, using an expired Vanuatu passport is an offence that may lead to imprisonment for up to 5 years or a fine of US$45,000.     

To avoid problems with Vanuatu’s laws, Vanuatu passport holders need to renew their passports within the period stipulated in the Passport Act.

How much does a Vanuatu passport cost?

To obtain Vanuatu citizenship by investment, applicants make a non-refundable contribution to a government fund. The minimum investment amount is $130,000.

The investor may also include their spouse, children and parents in the citizenship application.

Applicants for Vanuatu citizenship by investment do not have to take language or history tests, live in Vanuatu or even visit the country.

Is Vanuatu a good passport?

Vanuatu passport holders can travel visa-free to 96 countries, including the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore.

A Vanuatu passport holder can also easily apply for a 5-year US tourist visa. They can also apply for an electronic 1-year Australian visa for up to 12 months.

How do I apply for a new passport for my child (under 18 years)?

To apply for a new passport for your child, you need to fill in an application form with your child’s details.  You also need to fill in the consent section and sign at the bottom of the form.

If the child is between 10 and 17 years old, they must sign the form in the top right-hand corner.

If the child is under 10 years old, the signature box in the top right-hand corner of the form can be left blank.

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Vanuatu passport renewal is a citizen's obligation