Vanuatu passports for bloggers: visa-free travel, business and career from anywhere in the world

Andrey is the owner of an IT company developing highly specialized software. The company receives more than 50% of orders from Singapore. His wife Elena is a successful travel blogger who writes about life in different countries.

Vanuatu citizenship for opening an international bank account and free travel
 
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The couple work remotely and continuously travel around the world with their daughters Veronica and Maria. The girls are homeschooled and go to Russia once a year to take exams.

Andrey and Elena’s eldest son Yaroslav is studying journalism full-time at one of the Russian universities. The young man also loves to travel and tries to meet with his family during the holidays.

Our clients

  • Andrey, 47 years old - a citizen of the Russian Federation, owner of an IT company for software development, works remotely.
  • Elena, 45 years old - a citizen of the Russian Federation, remote travel blogger and Andrey's wife. 
  • Veronica, 12 years old - a citizen of the Russian Federation, Andrey and Elena’s daughter. Homeschooled. 
  • Maria, 10 years old - a citizen of the Russian Federation, Andrey and Elena’s daughter. Homeschooled. 
  • Yaroslav, 23 years old - a citizen of the Russian Federation, Andrey and Elena’s son. A full-time student at a Russian university.

Situation

Andrey and Elena had been traveling constantly for 4 years and did not want to change their way of life. But the visas of the family members expired at different times, and the couple got tired of adjusting their plans for the sake of going back to Russia to apply for new visas. They understood that a family could not do without long-term travel documents. 

There was also another problem. Payments from Andrey's Singapore customers were sent to a Russian bank account and were often delayed due to currency control procedures. This made it difficult for Andrey to plan his budget and develop his business. An account in a Singapore bank was required, which is difficult to open for a citizen of the Russian Federation.

On September 2nd, 2019, the couple applied to Immigrant Invest in order to obtain second passports and get access to the services of international banks. We helped find a solution within the budget and tight deadlines.

Search for a solution

At this time, Andrey and Elena were in Europe and made an appointment with our lawyers in the Vienna office of Immigrant Invest. Initially, the couple had three conditions to participate in the citizenship by investment program:

  1. The second passport provides freedom of visa-free travel around the world.
  2. Estimated budget for a second citizenship for the whole family is $200,000.
  3. It is easier to open a Singapore bank account with a country passport.

Our lawyers carefully analyzed the situation of the heroes and conducted a preliminary Due Diligence check. This allowed us to determine which programs would be best suited for spouses and what documents might be required to participate. 

Budget restrictions immediately ruled out European programs, where a second passport for a family of 5 would require about 1 million euros of investment. We offered the couple 6 programs according to which they could obtain citizenship by investment from one of the Caribbean countries or Vanuatu, a state in Melanesia. 

The cheapest option for Caribbean programs is a contribution to a government fund. The Vanuatu program only offers a non-refundable contribution to the government fund. Andrey and Elena were happy with this option.

We calculated family costs for each of the 6 programs to help the couple decide. In the costs we included investment and government fees, duties and bank commissions.

Expenses for a family of 5: spouses, one child of 23 years old and two children under 18 years old

CountryExpenses with a contribution to a state fundTiming2 months expedited processing
Saint Lucia$189,5003 to 4 months
Antigua and Barbuda$194,0004 to 6 months
Vanuatu$200,0001.5 to 2 months
Dominica$219,7004 to 6 months+ $6,000
Saint Kitts and Nevis$224,0004 to 6 months+ $66,500
Grenada$253,0003 to 4 months

Comparison of the programs showed that three programs were suitable for the couple, that of Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda and Vanuatu. Andrey and Elena took a break for several days to make a final decision.

Choosing a program

After two days, the couple chose the Vanuatu program. The decision was influenced by an important circumstance; the Schengen visa of one of the daughters expired in just over 2 months. Therefore, the Vanuatu program was most suitable as the registration procedure takes only 1.5 to 2 months.

Another advantage of the Vanuatu program over the other Caribbean programs is the smaller package of documents that can be prepared remotely. 

Thus, the heroes managed to get passports before the expiration of their daughters Schengen visa and without the need to go to Russia. On the same day, we signed an agreement with the couple and began collecting documents.

Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment Program

Participants

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

Stages

  1. Pre-screening of the investor for reliability in Immigrant Invest.
  2. Preparation and submission of documents to the Vanuatu Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
  3. FIU preliminary check.
  4. Submission of documents for Due Diligence in the department of the Vanuatu citizenship program and payment of 25% of the investment.
  5. Investor application approval.
  6. Payment of the remaining 75% of the investment.
  7. Taking the oath and obtaining a certificate of naturalization and a passport.

Investment option

From $130,000 – non-refundable contribution to the National Development Fund.

Expenses

$5,000 – Due Diligence fee. 

Personal attendance

Required to take the oath

Terms

1.5–2 months

Fulfillment of the program conditions

The first stage is preliminary Due Diligence r by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Vanuatu. To pass it, copies of passports and a police clearance certificate are required.

We immediately ordered a certificate. According to the standard procedure, a criminal record can be prepared for up to 30 days. We were able to speed up the process and received a certificate within 5 days.

Andrey paid for the preliminary check - its cost does not change from the number of applicants and is $5,000. After that, we sent the documents to the FIU. 

FIU verification is carried out within 96 hours. After 3 days, we received a positive response and started preparing to apply for Vanuatu citizenship.

Now Andrey and Elena had to confirm their solvency. To participate in the Vanuatu citizenship program, the investor’s account must have at least $250,000. The couple had the required amount, so they were able to get a statement and a recommendation from the bank without any problems.

$250,000+
on the investor's account

Our lawyers helped Andrey and Elena to collect all the missing papers remotely, without leaving Europe. After that, we took up notarization, apostilization and translation of papers into English. Our lawyers have completed questionnaires and government forms. 

Thus, we formed a complete package of documents in 1.5 weeks and handed it over to the program department. Andrey contributed 25% of the investment amount.

After 3 weeks, Andrey's application was considered. On October 17th, 2019, we received a notification that the investor candidacy was approved to obtain Vanuatu citizenship.

The next day Andrey transferred 75% of the investment. The last stage remained - taking the oath and obtaining passports. The program provides for the opportunity to take an oath in Vanuatu or in a country convenient for the investor.

We helped arrange a meeting with the Consul of Vanuatu in Austria, at the Vienna office of Immigrant Invest. Andrey and Elena happily agreed as it was easier and cheaper than organizing a trip to Oceania for the whole family. Yaroslav also came up with this option and he only missed 1 day of school.

New circumstances

Not long before the meeting at the Vienna office of Immigrant Invest, Andrey announced good news. Elena was contacted by a major travel company seeking a series of travel materials for Melanesia, Australia and New Zealand. The customer was ready to pay for all the family's flights and provide them with rented accommodation along the route.

It was a great opportunity for Elena. Andrey did not counter his wife's plans. Therefore, Elena immediately confirmed her consent and agreed to sign the contract.

According to the terms of the agreement, the trip was to begin in mid-November 2019. In total, the family had to live in the region for about two years. The heroes were glad that they managed to get their second passports before leaving for Australia. 

The result of cooperation

The solemn ceremony took place in Vienna on October 30th, 2019. The family took the oath in the presence of the consul of Vanuatu, after which they were presented with certificates of naturalization and new passports.

In 60 days
the couple obtained second passports

Elena was happy to talk to the consul - as a blogger and traveler, she wanted to learn more about Vanuatu. The couple were very impressed by the story about nature reserves and the national parks of Vanuatu with the volcanoes, the underwater world and colorful traditional festivals. The heroes decided to definitely visit Oceania.

The family had two weeks left to prepare for the big trip. When the customer of the articles found out about Elena's second citizenship, he proposed to supplement the series with materials about life in Vanuatu and Kiribati. So the family's distant plans to visit Vanuatu turned into the nearest ones, to which Andrey and Elena were glad.

New opportunities with a Vanuatu passport

The Vanuatu Citizenship Investment Program is a relatively inexpensive and quick solution. The passport of the country opens up new opportunities for the owner. Such as:

  • Vanuatu visa-free countries to travel to: free entry to 135 countries, including the Schengen area, the UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
  • Simplified procedure for obtaining long-term tourist visas to the USA, Canada and Australia for 10 years.
  • Opening an account in Asian and European banks, which allows you to save savings and simplify foreign exchange transactions.
  • The opportunity to register a business in Vanuatu and receive tax exemption for 20 years, subject to the payment of an annual fee of $300.

Having received Vanuatu passports, Andrey and Elena issued electronic visas to Australia for themselves and their daughters using a simplified procedure. On the 20th of November 2019, they flew out of Europe. The family has no plans to visit Russia in the next few years.

Even before departure, Andrey opened a bank account in Singapore; already as a citizen of Vanuatu. He reorganized foreign exchange settlements with partners so that they would not interfere with business.

Andrey and Elena transferred their daughters to an international school. The girls are now receiving distance based education on British standards. They will not have to take long flights to pass the annual exams in Russia.

The family will spend the next two years in Melanesia and Oceania. In February 2021, they all vacationed in Vanuatu together - the eldest son Yaroslav joined the family. Then the family moved to Singapore as Andrey was thinking about expanding his business there over time.

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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