Vanuatu passport to visit Europe and the UK

Eduard was “stuck” in Germany after heart surgery: his doctors had banned him from flying until he made a complete recovery, which would take some time. However, his Schengen visa was expiring in two months’ time. The German authorities were not prepared to extend his visa, arguing that Eduard could leave by train or car. He himself wanted to spend the recovery period visiting his daughter in the UK. We quickly found the right solution for him.

Vanuatu passport for visa-free travel to the UK and the Schengen area
 
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Our clients

  • Eduard, 57 years old, owner of a business selling medical equipment, divorced
  • Eleanor, 35 years old, Eduard's daughter, lives in the UK with her husband and two children
  • Victor, 32 years old, Eduard's son, works as a logistics director at his father's company. Lives with his family in Russia, father of two children

Situation

Eduard needed heart surgery. On the advice of his German partner, he decided to have the operation in Munich. 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 Eduard'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 Eduard could not return to Russia in the next few months.

Meanwhile, his Schengen visa was expiring in two months’ time. He did not know what to do. It was extremely important for Eduard to comply with all the formalities of the EU visa legislation as his company worked with European firms. In addition, it was quite likely that he would need to return to Germany in the future on business. 

Therefore, Eduard tried to extend his Schengen visa, but the German authorities were not willing to do that, arguing that he could leave Germany by train or by car. However, such a trip would have taken almost two days, and Eduard had not recovered sufficiently to undertake such a journey so soon after the operation.

He then considered the possibility of visiting his daughter in the UK. However, his UK visa had expired and he could only have a new one issued in Russia.

Finding a solution

Eduard had heard that getting a second citizenship in some countries allows the holder to visit the Schengen countries 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 just three hours from Munich, in Vienna.

We examined Eduard'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 Eduard 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 130 countries without a visa, including the Schengen area and the UK. 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.

Vanuatu citizenship by investment program

Participants
Investor’s spouse, children under 25, parents of the investor and spouse over 50

Stages

  1. Preliminary Due Diligence by Immigrant Invest.
  2. Due Diligence.
  3. Payment of agreed investment amount.
  4. Receiving a naturalization certificate and passport.

Investment option
$130,000: non-refundable contribution to the National Development Fund.

Cost
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
Not required

Processing period
1-2 months

Oath of allegiance can be taken in any place convenient for the investor

At the time when Eduard 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 Eduard to also participate in this meeting. In this way he would receive a second passport in 1.5 months.

This was fortunate for Eduard, 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 Eduard’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 Eduard after his operation.

Collecting and processing the documents

As soon as it became clear that Eduard 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. Eduard was able to collect all the necessary documents without leaving Germany.

  • 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 Eduard's son Victor.
  • Eduard 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. Eduard’s application to participate in the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program was submitted on the sixth day after our meeting.

26 days 
to process the application

In early January, Eduard’s application for citizenship was approved. He was able to celebrate this with his children and grandchildren, who had come to visit him in Munich.

The result of our cooperation

We helped Eduard get Vanuatu citizenship in 1.5 months, even after taking into account the Christmas and New Year's holidays. On January 27, 2020, Eduard came to Immigrant Invest’s office in Vienna and received his second passport.

Then he drove to the Netherlands, and took the ferry to the UK  to visit his daughter near London. 

Thanks to his Vanuatu passport, he can spend up to three months continuously in England without a visa. After that, Eduard plans to return to Munich for another examination.

He is not planning to return to Russia yet. Eduard 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. Eduard decided to follow the consul’s advice.

In 1.5 months
Eduard received a second passport

New opportunities

A Vanuatu passport not only resolved the immediate issues facing Eduard but also offered him new opportunities.

  1. Visa-free travel to 130 countries, including Britain, the Schengen countries, Singapore and Hong Kong.
  1. Simplified and quick registration of long-term investor visas for visiting the USA, Australia and Canada.
  1. The possibility of opening bank accounts in European banks.
  1. The opportunity to register a business in Vanuatu and take advantage of the preferential tax regime.

Eduard 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.

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Zlata Erlach

Caribbean Investment Program Expert

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Zlata Erlach

Caribbean Investment Program Expert

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