Ngala from Lusaka became a Vanuatu citizen to get a tourist US visa for 5 years in two weeks.
Ngala is a professional investor who has been working in the real estate market for 20 years, investing in real estate in South Africa, UAE and Turkey. In May, the investor drew up his first project in the United States, an apartment in Boston. Property prices grow by 8% per year there.
Immigrant Invest will explain how the Vanuatu passport helped the family solve all their problems in the USA regarding investment in real estate, travel and getting an education.
Why did a family from Zambia need visas to the United States
For Ngala, buying real estate in the USA was a good deal and an investment in the family's future. His wife dreamt of travelling to the United States, and the eldest son wanted to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the end, owning housing in the States would cover all the family's needs. Therefore, the investor decided to visit the apartment before buying.
Ngala urgently needed a US visa to visit Boston. The demand for apartments was so high that it was impossible to hesitate.
Since 2020, visas to the United States have taken a long time to be issued. In some cases, you need to apply in another country, wait around a year for a decision and then go for an interview at the US Consulate. For example, interviews were held in Mauritius and Oman. But Ngala didn't have that much time.
The investor came across an article on how Caribbean and Vanuatu citizenship helps obtain a US visa. On May 31st, 2021, he turned to Immigrant Invest for advice.
Choosing a citizenship program
Immigrant Invest lawyers have assessed the rejection risks under the citizenship programs. Ngala earned income from renting out real estate; he had a clean tax history and had no previous convictions or visa refusals. Ngala could participate in any state citizenship program for investors.
Due Diligence is a standard first step for citizenship programs. At Immigrant Invest, the check is carried out by a certified Anti Money Laundering Compliance Officer. We study the situation of each investor and thus reduce the risk of rejections to almost zero.
The head of the Legal Department
Ngala's requirements for a second passport:
- Opportunity to travel to the USA and stay there for up to four months in a row.
- The term of receipt is two months.
- The budget is $200,000.
A US visa can be obtained in two to three weeks with the Vanuatu passport of five Caribbean countries or Vanuatu.
Ngala chose Vanuatu citizenship because the country's program was the fastest to obtain a second passport. The process usually takes two months in Vanuatu. Considering the three weeks for the US visa application, it met the deadline.
The Immigrant Invest team calculated the cost of participation in the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program for Ngala’s family.
$185,287 — the cost of participation in the Vanuatu citizenship program for a family of four
Procedure for obtaining a second passport
The first step is sending documents and paying 25% of the contribution. Immigrant Invest lawyers prepared all the necessary documents in two weeks and submitted them to the Vanuatu program department.
Documents required for participation in the Vanuatu CBI program
- Copies of passports.
- Police clearance certificates.
- Medical insurance.
- Bank statement.
- Investor’s CV.
Ngala paid for Due Diligence and transferred 25% of the investment amount simultaneously with submitting documents. After payment, the department began to process the investor's application.
Second step: approval of the application and transfer of 75% of the contribution. The Vanuatu CBI Unit reviewed Ngala's application in two weeks. When the investor was approved, he transferred the remaining 75% of the contribution.
Taking an oath is the next requirement of the program. But investors who have received approval to participate in the citizenship program before August 25th, 2021, are exempted from taking the oath. This is due to the special working hours of the department and Consulate of Vanuatu during the pandemic. Therefore, Ngala and his wife did not take the oath.
The last step is obtaining a passport. Ngala could choose to receive a passport from the Vanuatu CBI unit through Immigrant Invest or immediately to a convenient address.
Ngala chose home delivery to save time. When an investor receives a Vanuatu passport from a licensed agent, it takes four weeks: the CBI unit first sends the documents to the agent, and the agent hands them over to the investor. If directly, documents will be delivered in 10 to 14 days.
The investor filled out a special form to obtain passports for home delivery. In the form, he indicated which address to send the documents to. Ngala received the passports on July 26th.
Stages of obtaining Vanuatu passports for Ngala’s family
Vanuatu citizenship benefits and results of cooperation
Ngala received a B-1/B-2 nonimmigrant visa for 5 years at the end of July. Vanuatu citizens obtain US visas at the Consulate in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. Ngala applied and signed up for an interview remotely.
On July 26th, Ngala flew to Port Moresby and was interviewed; he was issued a visa the next day. He flew in from Lusaka with two transit stops in Dubai and Sydney. The trip took about a day.
Until recently, I had doubts. Everything turned out somehow too smooth and straightforward: the second passport in a month, a US visa in three weeks. But when I flew to Boston, I believed it. My wife and daughter are planning a trip along the East coast, and the son wants to go on a tour to MIT.
Has been investing in real estate for 20 years
The visa allows Ngala to stay in the USA for up to 180 days in half a year. He can travel around the States and go to the country for treatment or negotiations.
Ngala's visa allowed him to visit the United States to examine apartments, assess their location and conclude a sale and purchase agreement.
The visa-free countries list for Vanuatu citizens includes the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Vanuatu citizens can stay in the UK for up to 180 days. The stay in Singapore can last for 30 days a year, and 90 days a year is the allowed stay in Hong Kong.
To visit Australia, Vanuatu citizens get an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) in 1 to 2 weeks. The eTA is valid for a year.