The first citizenship program for investment appeared in Vanuatu in 2014. Since then, income from the program has been growing rapidly. From 2014 to 2019, the Citizenship for Investment Program has brought Vanuatu a total of $297 million.
Income from Vanuatu citizenship program, for investment,
Source: Vanuatu Citizenship Programme Department
As can be seen from the graph, interest in the Vanuatu citizenship program began to grow rapidly in 2017. The reason is that the legislation that regulates the sphere of investment citizenship has been improved.
In 2019, the citizenship program attracted $107.4 million of investment to Vanuatu. The statistics of the last 3 months suggest that there will be no recession in 2020 – the income from the program will grow again.
The steady growth of the Vanuatu citizenship program is the result of its advantages: fast processing of documents and a large number of visa-free countries available for investors. Elena Ruda, Honorary Consul of Vanuatu in Russia, told about the opportunities offered by this country’s passport at the webinar “Citizenship of Vanuatu: what gives and what tasks are solved?
Ronald Warsal noted that the country’s economy was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and tropical cyclone Harold. The Citizenship for Investment Program supports the people of Vanuatu and strengthens the economy.
Changes in Vanuatu citizenship programme
The Vanuatu government has tightened Due Diligence on the back of increased demand for passports. Particular attention is paid to the lack of criminal records of applicants.
Also Ronald Worsal said that the government instructed the Citizenship Commission to develop 2 additional citizenship programs for investments. Details are not yet available.
Earlier we told that the Vanuatu citizenship program for investment is planned to be revised. Work is underway to strengthen Due Diligence and transparency of the program.
In January 2020, the Vanuatu Government prepared a review of the Citizenship for Investment Program. It contains statistics and proposals that will help make the country’s passports even more attractive to wealthy people.
New citizenship programs in Oceania
The success of the Vanuatu citizenship program has attracted the attention of other countries in Oceania. As a result, 8 new programs may appear. This will give investors the opportunity to choose from more options.
Earlier we said that Tuvalu, Tonga, Samoa, Micronesia, Palau, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands are considering opening their own citizenship programs.
The passports of these countries allow visiting the Schengen area and Great Britain without visas, and the passport of Tonga – also China. The cost of citizenship of Oceania states may be about $ 100 thousand.
It is noteworthy that no cases of COVID-19 were reported in Vanuatu or in any of the 8 countries listed. One of the advantages of their passports is the possibility to provide safety to wealthy people and their families if the situation repeats.