Vanuatu is a small island country in the Pacific. It has a tropical climate and levies no tax on income. Vanuatu has a history of citizenship by investment programs (CBIs), with its first program being launched in the ‘90s and discontinued a few years later. The Capital Investment Immigration Plan (CIIP) was introduced in 2014 but suspended in 2015. In 2016 it relaunched under 2 new investment programs: Vanuatu Contribution Program (VCP) and the Vanuatu Development Support Program (DSP). Applicants cannot apply on their own; both programs are attributed to accredited agents depending on your region, and investment amounts can differ for that reason. In both cases spouses and children under 25 years can qualify as dependents; so can parents over 50 years of age. The process usually takes 3–4 months to complete.
When marketing the program in China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan:
STEP 1: Determine that you are eligible
Prior to collecting a citizenship application form, you will be advised on whether or not you are eligible to become a Vanuatu citizen. Upon eligibility, you will be advised and provided the correct application form depending on the nature of your eligibility.
STEP 2: Gather all required documents as per the checklist of each application form
Each application form has a checklist (see final page of form) which requires certain documentation that must be submitted together with your completed form. Providing all of the required documentation will enable us to process your application promptly.
Your application may be returned to you if the required documents are not provided with your application.
Use the related checklist as a guide to the documentation required.
STEP 3: Complete and lodge your application
Complete and lodge your application together with all the legally required documents (as per checklist). Upon lodging of your application, you shall pay the Application Fee (please refer to Citizenship Fees and Charges under Citizenship) prior to further processing of your application.
STEP 4: Examination of your application by responsible officers
Your application will then be perused by the responsible officers and forwarded to the compliance officer for a second examination to ensure that you:
STEP 5: Assessment of your application by the Citizenship Internal Screening Committee
Your completed application form including all required documentation will then be forwarded to the Citizenship Internal Screening Committee for further review to ensure that you meet all the requirements prior to further processing.
STEP 6: Consideration and approval of your application by the Citizenship Commission
If the Internal Screening Committee is satisfied with your application, it will then forward it to the Citizenship Commission which is the body responsible for approving citizenship applications. Hence, the approval of your application rests with the Commission.
The Commission may defer or reject your application if you fail to provide a required and valid document or information, or to satisfy some specific requirement.
STEP 7: Issuance of a letter concerning the decision of the Commission on your application
One week after the Commission’s meeting, you shall receive a letter from the Secretary General of the Citizenship Office concerning the decision of the Commission on your application.
Upon being instructed that the Commission has approved your application, you will also be advised on the final requirements prior to the issuance of your citizenship certificate, such as:
iii. Payment of the citizenship fee
STEP 8: Completion of an oath
The completion of your oath can only be made if your application has been approved. This requires you to collect an oath form and the authorization letter to the Commissioner of Oath from the Citizenship Office and complete it in the presence of a Commissioner of Oath.
Note that completion of the oath can only be made in Vanuatu’s court. This means that an applicant who is based in Santo, for example, can complete his oath in the court in Luganville. However, applicants who live in a foreign country must travel to Vanuatu to complete their oath.
STEP 9: Payment of citizenship fee
Upon completion of your oath, you are finally required to pay your citizenship fee (please refer to Citizenship Fees and Charges under Citizenship) to enable the printing of your Vanuatu Citizenship Certificate.