Case Studies

Vanuatu passport or Grenadian passport: speed as the decisive factor

Gregory wanted his son to be educated in the UK. Together with his wife, they decided to send the child to a private school and submitted documents for consideration. In order to freely visit their son in the future, the couple thought of acquiring Caribbean citizenship by investment.

Vanuatu citizenship to travel around the world

However, the response from the school came much earlier than expected. The couple had to travel to the UK and prepare for the start of the school year. They had no more than 2 months to get a second passport. We helped Gregory and his family find a solution.  

Our clients

  • Grigory, 34 years old - a citizen of the Russian Federation, the owner of a large construction company.
  • Natalia, 32 years old - a citizen of the Russian Federation, Grigory’s wife.
  • Artem, 6 years old - a citizen of the Russian Federation, Grigory and Natalia’s son.

The spouses’ initial plans 

Grigory and Natalia wanted to give their son Artem a school education at high British standards. In March 2019, the boy turned 6 years old, so in early May, the spouses queued up for admission to a private school in the UK. The couple expected to receive an answer within a year. Thus, Artem was supposed to start his studies in September 2020.

Gregory and Natalia understood that they would need a long-term travel document in order to visit their son often in the UK. In search of an optimal solution, the spouses turned to Immigrant Invest.

Our lawyers studied the situation of the family and advised them to apply for investment citizenship of one of the Caribbean countries or Vanuatu. 

All proposed programs require relatively small investments and are several times cheaper than European programs. A passport from any country would allow spouses to spend up to 180 days a year in the UK without a visa.

Grigory and Natalia discussed each of the programs with us. All other things being equal, the Grenada program seemed attractive to them for two reasons: 

  1. Grenada citizenship by investment allows visitation to China without a visa. Gregory had business partners in China, about once a year he flew there for negotiations. Therefore, the passport of Grenada is convenient for Gregory.
  2. Grenada's passport makes it possible to apply for an E-2 investment visa. Gregory thought about settling in the United States in the future. The E-2 visa allows you to live and conduct business in the United States without restrictions on entry and exit. The investor's family members will also be able to live, work and study in the United States.

Both reasons were not decisive for the spouses. Rather, it was an addition to the possibilities compared to the main task of providing the son with a better education.

New circumstances

With our help, Grigory and Natalia began to prepare for obtaining Grenada citizenship by investment. The couple had enough time as the passport of Grenada was issued in 3-4 months.

For the summer, the family had planned a trip to Europe. In early June 2019, they hit the road on regular Schengen visas. At the time of their departure, they had just begun to collect documents for the Grenada program.

Two weeks after departure from Russia, the couple were in France, traveling to the castles of the Loire Valley. At that moment, they unexpectedly received an answer from a private school, after 1.5 months instead of the planned expectation of a year. Someone refused a place, and the spouses had the opportunity to send their son to school a year earlier.

The school management invited Grigory, Natalia and Artem to the UK: the parents, as an acquaintance and Artem, for an interview. According to the school's rules, the family must visit the educational institution within 2 months after accepting the invitation. In case of a successful interview, Artem would go to study in September 2019.

Grigory and Natalia were delighted with this opportunity and decided to make every effort to take advantage of it.

Changing the program and Vanuatu passport requirements 

Grigory immediately contacted us: he told us about the changed circumstances and the tight deadlines. We offered the couple to change the program and obtain Vanuatu citizenship in 1.5–2 months.

The only investment option under the Vanuatu program was a contribution to the National Development Fund. Gregory was quite happy with that option. Moreover, the size of the contribution for his family was $165,000 instead of $200,000 for a similar option of the Grenada program.

But the Vanuatu passport does not give the opportunity to freely enter China and obtain a business visa to the United States.

Grigory reasoned that he did not visit China so often that visa processing would become a problem for him. And plans to bring the business to the American market and move to live in the United States were very distant.

Gregory and Natalia decided that the most important thing was the education of their son. The couple agreed to change the program: they abandoned Grenada in favor of a faster registration of a Vanuatu passport. 

An additional plus was the fact that the family did not have to interrupt their journey across Europe. All missing documents for applying for participation in the Vanuatu program could be collected remotely.

Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment Program

Participants

  • Investor and spouse 
  • Children under 25
  • Parents over 50

Stages

  1. Preliminary Due Diligence at Immigrant Invest.
  2. Preparation and submission of a basic package of documents to the Vanuatu Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), payment of the fee for Due Diligence.
  3. FIU preliminary check.
  4. Preparation and submission of a full package of documents to the Vanuatu CBI Unit, 25% payment of the investment.
  5. Investor application approval.
  6. Payment of the remaining 75% of the investment.
  7. Taking the oath, obtaining a certificate of naturalization and a passport.

Investment option $130,000 – a non-refundable contribution to the National Development Fund. Expenses $5,000 – Due Diligence fee.  Personal visit to Vanuatu Not required Term 1-2 months

All stages of the Vanuatu investment program 

Our lawyers helped the couple to quickly collect the documents. They did not have to return to Russia. For example, our lawyers received a certificate of no criminal record under the accelerated procedure, in just 4 days.

The first phase of the program is an investor screening by the Vanuatu Finance Department (FIU). We submitted documents for preliminary verification 5 days after Gregory’s urgent call. The department completed the preliminary check in 3 days and reported a positive result.

3 days
preliminary FIU check took

We proceeded to the next stage - preparation of application for citizenship. Gregory needed to confirm his solvency. Under the terms of the program, the investor's bank account balance must be at least $250,000. Gregory had more than $300,000 in his account, he easily confirmed the availability of the required amount with a bank statement.

We translated the papers into English and helped the couple fill out government forms, certify and apostille documents. Gregory made a mandatory contribution of 25% of the investment amount, after which we applied for participation in the program.

The approval of the application came in 1.5 months – in the first week of August. After that, Gregory contributed the rest of the investment. All that remained was to take the oath and obtain passports.

53 days
to obtain citizenship of Vanuatu

We discussed in advance that in order to take the oath, the couple would take the opportunity to invite the consul of Vanuatu to any country convenient for them. By this time, the family was planning to come to Austria, so we agreed to meet in Vienna.

The result of cooperation

On August 12th, 2019, the couple took the oath at the Vienna office of Immigrant Invest. The Honorary Consul of Vanuatu was sworn in. In a solemn atmosphere, he presented the new citizens with certificates of naturalization and passports.

The family flew to the UK the next day. Two days after receiving the Vanuatu passport, the parents met personally with the school management, and Artem successfully passed the interview.

As a result, the family has more than 2 weeks left before the start of the school year. without haste they issued a residence permit for a year for Artyom, so that the boy could go to school. Gregory and Natalia also picked and rented an apartment near the school in order to visit their son as often as possible.

New opportunities and Vanuatu citizenship benefits 

The Vanuatu citizenship by investment program helped the family to resolve the situation without time and financial losses. Moreover, the second passport gave Grigory and Natalia new opportunities. Such as:

  • Stay in the UK for up to 180 consecutive days.
  • Travel to 135 countries without visas. Vanuatu visa free countries include the UK, the Schengen area, Singapore and Hong Kong.
  • Get long-term visas to the USA, Canada and Australia.
  • Use the services of European banks.
  • Develop international business.
  • Take advantage of Vanuatu's beneficial taxation system.

Natalia has been in the UK with a Vanuatu passport for three consecutive months. She often sees her son and takes him to her place for the weekend. She arrives in Russia for 1-2 weeks to visit her parents, spouse, friends, and returns to her son in the UK.

Artem is studying in a closed private school. Gregory regularly flies to them: on weekends and certainly on Christmas and New Years. 

Gregory plans to visit Vanuatu with his family when Artem grows up. They want to go diving, admire tropical nature and relax in an exotic co er of the world.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

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Let’s discuss the details

Schedule a meeting at one of the offices or online. A lawyer will analyze the situation, calculate the cost and help you find a solution based on your goals.

Zlata Erlach
Caribbean Investment Program Expert
Schedule a meeting
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