April 5, 2021
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New option in Vanuatu citizenship program 一 buying real estate

The Vanuatu Department of Citizenship Program has drafted the law with the conditions of the new investment option — the purchase of the real estate. If the parliament of the country approves the proposed rules, they will come into force in 2021.

Lyle Julien
Lyle Julien

Investment programs expert

Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment: New program option coming in 2021

New option in Vanuatu citizenship program 一 buying real estate

Vanuatu is an island nation in Oceania. The current citizenship-by-investment program has been in place since 2017. Now the program offers only one investment option — a non-refundable contribution of $130,000 or more to the National Development Fund.

The program department is proposing to add another option to attract more investment to the state’s economy. In 2020, revenue from the citizenship program helped offset losses in the tourism industry, on which about 50% of the state’s GDP depends. The new option would further increase investor demand for participation in the program.

When and what real estate will be allowed to buy investors

A bill amending Vanuatu’s citizenship law has already been laid before Parliament. This was announced by the chairman of the Citizenship Commission, Ronald Worsal.

A meeting of Parliament to consider the terms of the new option is scheduled for April 20, 2021. If parliament approves the changes, the government will publish the text of the amendments with an effective date.

What kind of real estate will be allowed to buy investors and what will be the minimum amount of investment — is unknown. Vanuatu government notes that drawing up the conditions were based on the experience of other countries with the citizenship program by investment.

Expert analysts at Immigrant Invest believe that comparable programs operate in five Caribbean countries: St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and St. Lucia. Investors often choose between the Caribbean and Vanuatu because the passports of these countries provide similar opportunities. For example, citizens of Caribbean countries, like citizens of Vanuatu, visit visa-free Schengen states and Great Britain.

Programs of all Caribbean countries offer to invest in tourist properties. Importantly, investments in real estate can be returned in 5一7 years.

The possibility of getting back the money invested attracts investors. In addition, governments protect investors from fraud: construction is carried out by developers with state accreditation, and all projects are approved by the departments of citizenship programs. Therefore, the demand for the option has been growing since 2018.

The citizenship programs involve five-star hotels and resort complexes from international developers. The amount of investment in real estate in the Caribbean programs is 1.5 times the amount of non-refundable contribution and starts at $ 200,000.

From 200 000 $

Investors invest in Caribbean real estate

If the real estate option under the Vanuatu program will be similar to the Caribbean programs, investors will be able to purchase shares, apartments or villas in hotels. The minimum investment amount will be about $200,000.

Why Investors Get Vanuatu Citizenship in 2021

Vanuatu’s citizenship program remains in demand despite the crisis and the pandemic. According to the department’s statistics, investors added $106 million to the country’s budget in 2020, twice the amount forecasted by the government.

There are two reasons for the popularity of the program: the speed of processing and the opportunities offered by the Vanuatu passport.

The time to participate in the program is from 1 month, which makes the Vanuatu citizenship program the fastest in the world. By comparison, it takes an average of 2 months to 6 months to obtain a second passport under the Caribbean programs. And the cost of participating in the Vanuatu citizenship program is comparable to the Caribbean.

Vanuatu passport options. Citizens of Vanuatu travel visa-free to 130 countries. For example, in the Schengen area, it is allowed to stay without a visa for up to 90 days in half a year. Vanuatu is also a member of the British Commonwealth, so citizens are free to travel to the UK for 180 days a year.

The Vanuatu passport also helps optimize taxation. There are no taxes on income, wealth, inheritance, capital gains, or exports. International companies registered in Vanuatu are exempt from taxes for 20 years. Instead, they pay only an annual fee of $300.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment program agent. If you would like to obtain a second passport, seek advice from investment program experts.