All citizens of Vanuatu now receive green passports. According to an independent expert on citizenship and residence permit programmes for investment, the division of documents into categories may have negative consequences for investors.
In an analysis of the situation, he shared his fears that investors would be deprived of some of their rights and privileges. The expert also noted possible problems in passing through customs controls while travelling around the world.
However, the government has stated that the new documents format will not affect the rights and opportunities of the investors in any way.
Ronald Worsal, Chairman of the Vanuatu Programme Department, gave an official press release to investors. In the press release, he stressed that owners of citizenship for investment are equal rights to indigenous persons of Vanuatu.
Official press release from the Programme Department
Vanuatu plans to review its citizenship programme in 2020
In January 2020, the Programme Department assessed the current procedures and prospects with the help of independent experts.
As a result of the audit, the Government of Vanuatu has identified 3 growth points in the Citizenship for Investment Programme. The list included safety and transparency, improvement of the legal framework and the image of the programme among the indigenous population of Vanuatu. We detailed the changes of the programme in “Vanuatu: Citizenship for Investment Programme to be Revisited”.
The gradual modernisation of the programme began of the basis of expert advice. All possible discrepancies and inaccuracies are eliminated in the programme review process. The Government pays special attention to the rights and privileges of investors.
What changes have been made to the Vanuatu citizenship programme of the first half of 2020
The Vanuatu Government has strengthened investor due diligence – this is a major innovation. The vetting is now carried out with third- party agents: companies licensed in the area of Due Diligence.
The change affected the time, cost and list of required documents. The innovations reflect a worldwide trend: governments are seeking to increase the transparency of programmes for foreign investors.
Due Diligence for the Vanuatu Citizenship Programme
|Condition||Until April 2020||Since 2020|
|Validation deadlines at the Vanuatu Finance department||48 hours||96 hours|
|Costs||2000 $||5000 $|
|Documents||Passport and certificate of no criminal record||The Department may request an additional set of documents|
|Who provides documents||Investor||Investor and all family members who participate in the programme|
The changes in the Due Diligence procedure has not affected the main benefits of the Vanuatu citizenship programme for investment. The country passport can be obtained for 1-2 months. The whole process of registration and submission of documents remains remote.
Elena Ruda, Honorary Consul of Vanuatu in Russia, told about all possibilities of an investor with the passport of this country at a webinar: “Citizenship of Vanuatu: What gives and what tasks solves”.
Earlier, we said that the Vanuatu citizenship programme is performing well despite closed borders and financial crises. The government expects the income of the programme to continue to grow. Between June and august 2020 alone, the programme bought the country $84 million.