Samar, 57 years old, owner of a business selling medical equipment, divorced
Tara, 35 years old, Eduard’s daughter, lives in the UK with her husband and two children
Advik, 32 years old, Eduard’s son, works as a logistics director at his father’s company. Lives with his family in New Delhi, father of two children
Samar needed heart surgery. On the advice of his British partner, he decided to have the operation in London. The surgery turned out to be more complex than the doctors had initially expected.
During the operation, amongst other things, the surgeons implanted a pacemaker in him. The surgery was successful and Samar’s life was no longer in danger. However, his doctors told him that he was not allowed to travel by air until he had made a complete recovery, which would take time. This meant that Samar could not return to India in the next few months.
Meanwhile, his Private Medical Treatment Visitor visa was expiring in two months’ time. He did not know what to do. It was extremely important for Samar to comply with all the formalities of the UK visa legislation as his company worked with British firms. In addition, it was quite likely that he would need to return to the United Kingdom in the future on business.
Therefore, Samar tried to extend his Private Medical Treatment Visitor visa, but the British authorities were not willing to do that.
He then considered the possibility of visiting his daughter in the UK. However, his UK visa was almost expired and he could only have a new one issued in India.
Finding a solution
Samar had heard that getting a second citizenship in some countries allows the holder to visit the United Kingdom without a visa. He started looking for information on the Internet and came across our site, which he found useful and informative. He was also delighted that the company’s head office was located in Vienna and he could just take a train to get there.
We examined Samar’s situation and agreed to meet him on December 13, 2019. He was interested in the possibility of obtaining a second citizenship in one of the Caribbean countries. His main requirement was that he should be able to register for the program remotely from Austria.
We initially proposed that Samar apply for St Lucia citizenship. This is the least expensive option for one person, costing $100,000. Its passport allows the holder to visit 146 countries without a visa, including the Schengen countries and the UK. However, the registration process takes 3‑4 months. Eduard did not have that much time.
We then advised him to consider applying for Vanuatu citizenship by investment. Eduard had not heard about this small island state in Melanesia. However, its citizenship by investment program is one of the fastest. A Vanuatu passport allows the holder to visit 95 countries without a visa, including the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore. Getting a Vanuatu passport is $30,000 more expensive than obtaining a St. Lucia passport, but it can be obtained faster in only 1‑2 months.
Investor’s spouse, children under 25, parents of the investor and spouse over 50
Preliminary Due Diligence by Immigrant Invest.
Payment of agreed investment amount.
Receiving a naturalization certificate and passport.
$130,000: non-refundable contribution to the National Development Fund.
At least $5,000, depending on the number of family members and the place where the oath of allegiance is taken.
Personal presence in Vanuatu during registration process
Oath of allegiance can be taken in any place convenient for the investor
At the time when Samar contacted us, we had already agreed that a consul of Vanuatu would take the oath of allegiance for some of our other clients and issue their naturalization certificates on January 27 at our office in Vienna. We therefore arranged for Samar to also participate in this meeting. In this way he would receive a second passport in 1.5 months.
This was fortunate for Samar, as it usually costs about $15,000 to invite a consul to come to Vienna to administer the oath and deliver the required documents there. However, since several of our clients, including Eduard, were getting Vanuatu citizenship at the same time in our office in Vienna, each applicant paid $5,000 for this service instead of the usual $15,000.
Of course, it is possible to take the oath for free in Vanuatu; however, in Samar’s case, this would have required him to fly there with two transfers, via Hong Kong and Fiji or Dubai and Australia. This was not realistic for Samar after his operation.
Collecting and processing the documents
As soon as it became clear that Samar could get his second citizenship within two months, we signed an agreement and started the registration process. The package of documents required for the Vanuatu program is much smaller than for the programs of the Caribbean countries. Samar was able to collect all the necessary documents without leaving the UK.
A police clearance certificate usually takes the longest to process. However, through our partners, we were able to get it urgently in five days.
We collected the rest of the documents in three days.
Birth certificate, divorce certificate and company documents. The originals of these documents were sent to Vienna by Samar’s son Advik.
Samar received a bank statement showing a balance of at least $250,000 and a recommendation from the bank remotely.
He underwent and passed the required medical examination in Vienna.
We prepared a package of the documents required for the application, notarized them and translated them into English. Samar’s application to participate in the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program was submitted on the sixth day after our meeting.
In early January, Samar’s application for citizenship was approved. He was able to celebrate this with his children and grandchildren, who had come to visit him in London.
The result of our cooperation
We helped Samar get Vanuatu citizenship in 1.5 months, even after taking into account the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. On January 27, 2020, Samar came to Immigrant Invest’s office in Vienna and received his second passport.
Thanks to his Vanuatu passport, he can spend up to six months continuously in England without a visa.
He is not planning to return to India yet. Samar intends to visit Vanuatu as soon as his doctors allow him to travel by air. The consul had pointed out the attractions of visiting Vanuatu and advised the new citizens to visit the island, enjoy the tropical nature and volcanoes, swim in the blue ocean and go diving. Samar decided to follow the consul’s advice.
In 1.5 months
A Vanuatu passport not only resolved the immediate issues facing Samar but also offered him new opportunities.
Visa-free travel to 95 countries, including Britain, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Simplified and quick registration of long-term investor visas for visiting the USA, Australia and Canada.
The possibility of opening bank accounts in European banks.
The opportunity to register a business in Vanuatu and take advantage of the preferential tax regime.
Samar plans to use all these opportunities to forge new partnerships, expand his business and ensure the safety of his and his company’s assets.
Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.
This case was provided by our expert
Investment programs expert
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