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22 September, 2020

The Vanuatu Government will issue special passports to investors

The Vanuatu Government plans to issue yellow passports to investors who acquire citizenship through investments. It is not yet clear when the innovation will come into effect.

The Vanuatu Government will issue yellow passports to investors
Photo: Adobe Stock

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.

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 arearnof 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 department48 hours96 hours
Costs2000 $5000 $

Passport and certificate of no criminal recordThe Department may request an additional set of documents

Who provides documents
InvestorInvestor 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.

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.

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The Vanuatu Government will issue special passports to investors