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06 September, 2022

Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment: program results from January to June 2022

The Citizenship by Investment program brought $40,5 million to Vanuatu from January to June.

The program's financial results are lower than in 2020 and 2021. The income was affected by the decision of the European Council: up until May 2023, there will be a temporary ban on visa-free entry to the Schengen countries with a Vanuatu passport.

We explain why foreigners continue to receive a Vanuatu passport by investment.

Citizenship of Vanuatu by investment: program statistics for the first six months of 2022
Photo: Adobe Stock

Vanuatu's Department of Finance and Treasury has released an economic and financial report for the January—June 2022 period. Vanuatu's total revenue for the six months was about 13,9 billion vatus, or about $120 million. This is 18,6% less than for the same period in 2021.

Vanuatu's budget is largely made of income from the Citizenship by Investment program. In the first half of 2022, the program brought in $40,5 million — a third of the country's total revenue.

On May 4, 2022, the European Council partially suspended the agreement on visa-free travel to EU countries for Vanuatu citizens. The decision will be revisited in May 2023, when the government strengthens due diligence checks for investors.

The temporary decision of the European Council negatively affected the budget of Vanuatu. Income from the investment program during the January—June 2022 period was 16,8% less than in 2021.

What benefits do investors receive along with a Vanuatu passport?

Investments from the Vanuatu citizenship program are directed to infrastructure construction, agricultural and tourism development, and disaster recovery. Since 2020, money from the program is also used to fight the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic crisis.

The Government of Vanuatu established the National Development Fund in 2018. The Fund helps to control the income from the citizenship program, and investors' contributions are transferred to a single government account. This makes auditing and budget management easier.

In the first quarter of 2022, the Government of Vanuatu distributed the money received from investment programs in seven areas. Among them are a hydroelectric power station construction, as well as the restoration and development of the capital of Vanuatu, Port Vila.

What benefits do investors receive along with a Vanuatu passport?

Vanuatu citizenship allows visa-free entry to 95 countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Israel.

Visa-free entry to the Schengen countries, as well as to Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway is temporarily closed. The restriction applies to investors who received their passports after May 25, 2015.

Opportunity to get a long-term visa to the United States. Investors with a Vanuatu passport can obtain a B-1/B-2 tourist visa to the United States for up to 5 years. It allows one to spend up to 180 days a year in the US.

Opportunity to open an international company and optimize taxation. Vanuatu citizenship allows the opening of an international company in the country. Investors are exempt from income and capital gain taxes for 20 years since the company incorporation date. Instead, an annual fee of $300 is paid.

How to get Vanuatu citizenship by investment

Getting a Vanuatu passport is possible for foreigners who invest more than $130,000 in the country’s economy. Together with the investor, citizenship can be granted to their:

  • spouse;
  • children under 18 years of age;
  • children from 18 to 25 years of age, if they are financially dependent on the investor or study at a university;
  • parents over 50 years of age.

The investment amount depends on the family structure: the more people there are, the greater the amount of investment and additional costs.

Vanuatu citizenship by Investment costs

Expense itemInvestorMarried coupleFamily of 4
Contribution to the fund$130,000$165,000$180,000 
Due Diligence check$5,000$5,000 $5,000
Other fees and charges$129$215From $385
Total$135,129$170,215From $185,385

The obtainment procedure is remote: applicants don't need to come to the country to receive citizenship. Participants of the program — the investor and their spouse — must take an oath. To do this, they can fly to Vanuatu or invite a Commissioner for Oaths and a migration officer to a location convenient for the investor.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent of the Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment Program. If you want to get a second passport for visa-free travel around the world, please contact investment program experts for advice.

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Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment: program results from January to June 2022