The possibility of obtaining a second passport and citizenship by investment in real estate in Vanuatu has become available in 2021, as local legislators permitted relevant amendments to the law. But even without this new financial incentive Vanuatu economic citizenship enjoys extremely high popularity. Read on to learn more!
In the spring of 2021, investors who intend to obtain a second passport through the purchase of some foreign real estate, are encouraged to look at the Republic of Vanuatu. This attractive Pacific jurisdiction has strengthened the position of the South Pacific jurisdiction in the global market of investment immigration by launching this new program.
Record popularity of Vanuatu passports with investors
The Vanuatu Investor Passport is considered one of the most valuable identification documents in the market of economic citizenship programs and is popular among investors wishing to receive a fast-track access to visa-free travel to the European Union, United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong, and many other countries.
Investors’ advantages of Vanuatu Citizenship:
- The speed of processing
- Mobility: visa-free access to more than 140 countries
- No residency requirements for applicants
- Application may cover a family of four (the principal applicant, his/her spouse, and one child under 18 years), and very small fees are required for other dependents.
- No income, wealth, and inheritance taxes in Vanuatu.
You are not required to have an extensive travel in order to obtain citizenship and a passport in Vanuatu. The local authorities have long ago got rid of unnecessary bureaucracy and thus enabled applicants to apply for citizenship and a second passport without visiting the host country. The high-speed processing applications and a modest minimum investment starting from USD 130,000 make this Vanuatu offer one of the most attractive on the market.
Noteworthy, the demand for Vanuatu investor passports is at an all-time high even during the pandemic. Despite the lockdown, Vanuatu government revenue from citizenship by investment programs VDSP and VCP were reported in the amount of USD132.6 million in 2020. At this level, the program was the largest source of revenue for the local government.
Funds generated from economic citizenship programs in 2020 exceeded in Vanuatu by 25.8% the amount raised in 2019 (which was 20.3% higher than in 2018).
|Year||Government earnings from the economic citizenship program, millions of U.S. dollars|
As you can see from the table above, the increase in revenue from Vanuatu economic citizenship programs has been a steady remarkable achievement for five years. It is fair to say that today’s economic citizenship programs are the lifeblood of the Vanuatu economy.
42% of all government revenues in 2020 were from two investment-based citizenship programs: the VCP/Vanuatu Contribution Program (for the Chinese) and the DSP/Development Support Program (for everyone). The previous record was set in 2019 when economic citizenship programs accounted for 37% of state revenues.
By comparison, the value-added tax (VAT), the largest source of tax revenues for the government and the second-largest source of all budget receipts, generated only 18.9% of total budget proceeds in 2020. Excise duties and import/export duties accounted for 17%, while 9% of budget revenues came from foreign partners financing the development of the South Pacific jurisdiction.
New horizons of the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program in 2021
The pandemic has suspended virtually all commercial flights to the country, and shrunk the turnover of the tourism sector to almost zero since April 2020.
To support the national budget, local authorities simplified the process of granting Vanuatu citizenship for investment, in particular by offering candidates the opportunity to take the oath of allegiance to the new homeland via videoconference (previously, a personal meeting with Vanuatian officials outside the new homeland or a personal visit to Vanuatian territory was required).
After more than four years since the launch of the Development Support Program (DSP), the Vanuatu Investment Migration Bureau announced the introduction of a CBI Real Estate Option (REO) to Parliament at the beginning of April 2021, and at the next Parliament session the long-waited legislation was finally approved.
Ronald Warsal, chairman of the Vanuatu National Citizenship Commission, made the following statement on the matter: “One crucial aspect of our efforts to develop the Program is with the explicit aim of generating greater benefits for our wider economy, by developing opportunities for attracting investment into Vanuatu that will result in jobs and tangible improvements for all in our community.”
The details of the new option are yet to be specified. In particular, the following questions are left unanswered:
- Will the ability to obtain citizenship for Vanuatu real estate apply to both DSPs and VCPs?
- When should we expect the new product to enter the market?
- What investment size will qualify?
- By what criteria will the state select and approve the real estate projects that can participate in the new track of the economic citizenship program?
As we’ve said, the answers are expected quite soon. Just follow our news and updates.
Expert support to applicants for citizenship by real estate investment in Vanuatu
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Do I have to visit Vanuatu to apply for economic citizenship?
It is possible to obtain a certificate of citizenship along with the passport remotely through a hired authorized immigration agent. The formalities are performed during visits to Vanuatu diplomatic missions (embassies/consulates) or remotely. The relevant diplomatic representations are located in many parts of the world.
Can I travel to Schengen countries with a Vanuatu passport?
In 2015, the Vanuatu authorities signed a visa waiver agreement with the European Union, ratified in December 2015. This agreement allows holders of Vanuatu citizenship to visit Schengen Agreement signatory states without a visa, staying a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period. Please note: The EU is introducing the ETIAS (electronic travel authorization) system, developed along the lines of the U.S./Canada analogs. The innovation will also affect holders of Vanuatu citizenship. The latter will have to apply for entry online and pay 7 euros before traveling to the EU.
Is any Vanuatu passport holder allowed to visit the UK without a visa?
Vanuatu passport and citizenship allow visa-free entry to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for up to six months without a visa. If you need to reside in the UK for more than six months, you should apply for a British residency permit.