A small country but our country!

Port Vila Bay in Vanuatu - a beautiful country for a citizenship

The Citizenship by Investment program is not just a catalyst for the development of Vanuatu, it’s nothing less than the expression of our sovereignty.

At only 4700 km2, Vanuatu makes up a miniscule 131690th of the earth’s surface.

At $934M, it accounts for less than one 87552nd of world GDP (2019).

By most known scales of measure, our country is an insignificant speck.

By most, save for one: national sovereignty. In this category we occupy a glorious 195th of the spotlight!

Vanuatu Citizenship program

That means something: we are a full member of the chorus of nations, with all the prerogatives of an independent state. Like Canada, like Australia, we have the unalterable right to self- determination. Like France, like Japan, we enjoy the freedom to occupy our territory, establish our government, make our laws. The only restrictions other nations impose on us are those we accept of our own freewill – in theory at least – within the framework of international agreements.

We still need to overcome multiple challenges when it comes to our development. We need to invest in infrastructure and education so that our people can move on to a brighter future. But how do we pay for it?

Our lands, waters and soils feed us but do not make us rich. There’s tourism of course, but even that’s limited by our great distance from major markets, and has been obliterated by Covid. The Internet can free us from our isolation and, who knows, propel us one day into the knowledge economy, but for that to happen we will need an educated workforce and motivated investors.

For the time being, Vanuatu continues to receive development aid; but if we want to fully assume our independence, we cannot remain reliant forever on the generosity of others.

So how do sustain growth in an autonomous fashion? We are hardly spoiled when it comes to natural resources, location, climate, earthquake activity, and additional factors that contribute to the success of other states. On the other hand, we are exactly as independent.

Like them, we enjoy the privilege of accepting funds from other countries in exchange for sovereign deeds. We express this privilege every time we register a vessel, domicile a business, grant a financial license or bestow citizenship. Territories that belong to other countries, like New Caledonia or French Polynesia, or federated states or provinces like Victoria or Ontario, do not have this freedom, however rich they may be.

Among the 195 nations in our select club, 77 of us offer an immigrant investor program. And among these, 13 offer citizenship while the others offer residency (which often leads to citizenship after a few years).

The programs vary; there’s a world of difference between a U.S. EB-5 visa (minimum 1.8M USD) designed to create jobs, and a Vanuatu passport ($130,000). But what they all have in common is they cherry-pick their candidates to make sure they make a positive contribution to their host country.

And contribute they do. Under our two current programs (VCP and DSP), from 2017 to 2019, 5,515 Vanuatu passports were issued generating 26.8 BVt. The money went to pay down loans, subsidize essential industries, develop infrastructure, provide disaster relief, establish study grants and even finance the Pacific Mini Games. In 2019, it accounted for over one third of state budget revenue!

Add to that the 100% green nature of the program, and citizenship via investment is emerging as an essential catalyst for attaining the goals under the 2030 National Sustainable Development Plan (The People’s Plan).

For their part, we can’t say that our new compatriots abuse their status; the vast majority have never set foot in the country and probably have no intention of doing so. They can’t even vote here as long as they maintain citizenship elsewhere. What they mostly like are our legal and financial regimes, visa-free access to 129 countries, and in the case of the Chinese, the chance to get out from under Beijing’s thumb.

You would think there’s something in it for everyone. But this is far from the case.

In a detailed report recently commissioned by the Vanuatu Citizenship Office we’ve learned that the program suffers from two serious perception problems. And the main criticism isn’t an economic one but moral:

“Vanuatu is still a young country and for many people, the struggle for independence is still very much alive in their memories. From that point of view, giving citizenship to outsiders is often associated with giving away national identity, even if it results in significant social contributions.”

This position was expressed by many of our politicians, especially in the opposition parties. A lot would no doubt like to see the program abolished as soon as another source of revenue can be found to replace it.

Certainly, improvements to the program are needed, especially to strengthen oversight of candidates to meet the demands of the European Union. Vanuatu must continue to honour its commitments against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, which were recognized and applauded by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) three years ago (even if the European Commission is slow to recognize these efforts themselves). It is not in our interest for our passport to become a liability at Schengen customs, as it would lose value. As such, the Citizenship Office’s report made excellent recommendations for administrative and legal adjustments, many of which were quickly implemented soon after its publication.

But it is wrong to assert as opponents of the program do, again according to the report, that it is a “very real threat to the sovereignty of the country.” On the contrary, it is a celebration of our sovereignty, directly resulting from our independence 40 years ago. If we were still a condominium, our citizenship and immigration politics would probably be inspired by those of France and the United Kingdom, where the situation is different. But we are sovereign and have decided to provide ourselves with a means of sustainable development using the resources available to us.

Look at it another way. Imagine if the program would continue at its current pace, or an average of 1800 passports per year (VSP and DSP combined). That would represent 0.6% of the population, less than the present rate of population growth of 1.73%. It would not risk upsetting our national identity, especially since most visa-holders never set foot in the country (so they never actually live here), don’t vote (so do not influence our choices as a society) and are selected for their upstanding character (so there’s little risk in them committing a crime). On the other hand, the 20 billion vatus they inject into the economy each year let us improve in a very significant way our health and education systems, so we can collectively take better care of our children and seniors.

Vanuatu Citizenship program

Meanwhile, another source of revenue, international aid, potentially gives others leverage over our politics, which truly compromises our sovereignty. Investment citizenship simply reduces this threat by earning foreign exchange in a way we see fit, as is our prerogative as an independent state.


Other articles on the same subject


Find us on :


How much does Vanuatu Citizenship Cost

Vanuatu Citizenship Cost and Calculations:

We are an advisory and accounting firm established in Vanuatu since 2003. AJC offer a wide range of company services such as Audit and Accounting services, incorporation of local and offshore companies, corporate secretariat and support to investors seeking to obtain different kinds of licences issued by Vanuatu administration. We also help individual applying for Vanuatu Citizenship under the Development Support Program (DSP). Find below the cost and Calculations of Vanuatu Citizenship:

Vanuatu Citizenship Cost and Calculations

AJC Vanuatu: Trusted Partner

The procedure to apply for citizenship under the DSP requires a designated agent who receive and forward your money and your application to the citizenship commission. In other words, to successfully obtain your Vanuatu citizenship, you fully rely on an unknown agent to manage your application and fund transfer.

At AJC, our experienced multilingual staff can process your application faster than any other service provider. In addition, we make sure you are helped and informed along the way.

AJC has partnered with a local designated agent to offer a better, more trusted and professional service than any other Vanuatu Citizenship service provider.

In order to guarantee you a maximum protection, we manage the money transfer with our locally based trust company which receive the money and transfer it directly to the government. We are the only entity that can guarantee oversight of your money transfer directly to the Vanuatu Government.

As a well established and renowned local business since 2003. We are a trusted partner you can count on.


Ready to start your application process?


More information

For more information about the process and a list our required documents, you can download our Development Support Program (DSP) brochure.

You can also consult our page: Vanuatu Citizenship

or go directly through the government website citizenship section.

Other articles on the same subject


Find us on:


FAQ about Vanuatu Citizenship

FAQ about Vanuatu Citizenship

As a trusted local partner and through our years of experience,

we have compiled for you a list of FAQ about Vanuatu Citizenship.

Can I keep my current Citizenship and become a Vanuatu Citizen?

Yes, Vanuatu accept double citizenship.

What are the requirements to become a Vanuatu Citizen?

The main requirements are as follows. Firstly, the main applicant must demonstrate assets in his or her name of over US$250,000. Secondly, you must be at least 18 years old and at most 65 years old. Thirdly, you must pay the contribution of $130,000 USD for a single applicant. Moreover, you must have no criminal record.

Other requirements may apply.

Can I fill the application myself?

No, only designated agents can submit an application on your behalf.

Can I fill the application online?

No. You will need to send original certified copies of your documents physically. However, most of the process can be done online.

How long is the application process?

The application process may take 4 to 8 weeks. After that, we will keep you informed when your application reaches specific milestones.

Do I need to submit my application in English?

Yes, the only accepted language by the Citizenship Commission is English. Therefore, if your required documents are not in English, you must provide certified translations (translated copies that are notarised or certified by a recognised authority).

How many members of my family can be included in my application?

All, as long as they are dependents. Your family application contains 4 persons. Consequently, any additional dependent member will require an additional fee as described in the costs section of this document.

Do I have to go to Vanuatu to apply for citizenship?

No. You can apply simply by contacting us.

However, the final step of the process, the ceremony, requires a physical presence of a Commissioner for Oaths approved by the Citizenship Commission and a Vanuatu passport Officer. Thus, you can either fly to Vanuatu at your own expenses or meet the travelling costs of the Agents to the country of your choice, anywhere in the world. This extra fee includes air tickets, accommodation and agents’ fees”.

What is a police certificate?

A police certificate is a document stating that you do not have a criminal record. It can be named “Certificate of no criminal record” or “Police clearance report” or other names depending on where you live.

Does Vanuatu Citizenship expire?

No. You and your family will have citizenship for life and it will be passed on to your kids and their kids. However, you will have to renew your passport every 10 years.

How much will it cost to renew my passport in 10 years?

Each individual passport renewal cost about 250 USD (25,000 vatu).

Can I change my name?

Yes. Once you have obtained citizenship, you can change your name. All you need to do is send us a letter explaining your motivation to change your name. Following this, your passport will be issued with your new name. This request will take time and additional costs before your passport is issued.

Are there countries excluded from the program?

Yes. Any citizen of the following countries are excluded from the program :

  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • North Korea
  • Syria
  • Yemen

This country list is subjet to change.

Exemptions: The commission may accept applications from restricted countries if the applicant shows that he or she has not resided in the restricted country for the past 5 years; and provides evidence of permanent residency abroad.


Ready to start your application process?


More information

For more information about the process and a list our required documents, you can download our Development Support Program (DSP) brochure.

You can also consult our page: Vanuatu Citizenship

or go directly through the government website citizenship section.

Other articles on the same subject


Find us on:


Become a Citizen of Vanuatu

The Development Support Program (DSP) to become a Citizen of Vanuatu

From January 2017, the government of the Republic of Vanuatu launched the Development Support Program (DSP). The aim is to raise funds to support infrastructure and promote economic development in Vanuatu.

The DSP is a new provision enacted by the Vanuatu Government under the Citizenship Act with the powers conferred on the Prime Minister. Applicants can apply for Vanuatu citizenship by contributing to the Vanuatu government of USD 130,000 for a single applicant. The cost can be up to $ 180,000 per application for a family of up to four (4) members.

The citizenship acquired under the DSP program is fully recognised by the Government of Vanuatu and the nationality is regarded as Ni-Vanuatu (Vanuatu citizen).

Those applying for and receiving Vanuatu Citizenship under the DSP have the full right to reside in Vanuatu at all times and the passport is renewable upon expiry. Moreover, Citizenship is hereditary.

The applicant must not have any criminal record. Further, he must be of high standing in his or her community, organisation, society or country.

About Vanuatu

Vanuatu is a South Pacific Ocean nation made of an archipelago of 83 islands. The islands extend over 1,300 kilometers with a Y shape.

Multiple waves of colonisers, each speaking a distinct language, migrated to the Melanesian islands in the millennia preceding European exploration.

This settlement patterns accounts for the complex linguistic diversity found on the archipelago to this day. The British and French settled on the islands in the 19th century and called the newly formed country “New Hebrides”.

In 1906 they agreed to an Anglo-French Condominium, which administered the islands until independence in 1980. On that date, the new name Vanuatu was adopted.

Population

285,784 (April 2016 estimate). Population growth rate 1.95%.

Economy

Primarily based on small-scale agriculture, which provides a living for about two thirds of the population. Fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism, with an estimated 111,000 visitors in 2015, are other mainstays of the economy.

Australia and New Zealand are the main source of tourists and aid.

A small light industry sector caters to the local market. Tax revenues come mainly from import duties and VAT.

Since 2002, the government has stepped up efforts to boost tourism through improved air connections, resort development, and cruise ships facilities.

Agriculture, especially livestock farming is the second target for growth.

The islands offer scuba diving at coral reefs, underwater caverns and wrecks such as the WWII-era troopship SS President Coolidge. Hiking trails ascend active volcanoes such as Mt. Yasur.

Other popular activities include rainforest ecotours, kayaking and deep-sea fishing, plus relaxing at resorts and spas.

Travelling to Vanuatu

You can fly to Port Vila’s Bauerfield International airport (VLI) directly from, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Solomon.

New direct flights to China are coming soon.

Citizen of Vanuatu. Map AJC Vanuatu

Ready to start your application process?


More information

For more information about the process and a list our required documents, you can download our Development Support Program (DSP) brochure.

You can also consult our page: Vanuatu Citizenship

or go directly through the government website citizenship section

Other articles on the same subject


Find us on:


Who can apply for Vanuatu Citizenship

Who can apply for Vanuatu Citizenship

The Development Support Program (DSP) was initiated by the government of Vanuatu and starting in January 2017.

The goal of this program is to raise funds to support infrastructure and promote economic development in Vanuatu.

Who can apply for Vanuatu Citizenship:

  • Any person with a clean criminal record.
  • Business Person or Investor
  • Perpetual traveler and offshore maverick
  • Person renouncing their citizenship*

*On the other hand, Vanuatu recognizes dual and multiple nationality, so you won’t have to relinquish your current nationality if you don’t want to.

Documents required to apply for Vanuatu Citizenship:

Additional documents may be required or requested.

Principal candidate’s required documents

  • Signed Nomination Form
  • Birth certificate / or approved option
  • Medical certificate
  • 1 Color photograph (40mm x 50mm) – JPEG file
  • Asset report confirming assets > US$250,000 in the Candidate’ name
  • Bank reference / letter of Good Standing
  • Employment letter
  • Marriage certificate (for couple or family application only)
  • 3 professional referees to confirm the good character of the Candidate
  • Degree / Diploma where available
  • Proof of current residential address dated less than 3 months (utility bill, bank statement etc.)

Principal candidate’s asset proof (if applicable)

  • Employment certification
  • Bank reference
  • Professional reference
  • Academic certification
  • Others

Required documents for Spouse

  • Signed Nomination Form
  • Birth certificate / or approved option
  • Medical certificate
  • 1 Color photograph (40mm x 50mm) – JPEG file
  • Proof of current residential address dated less than 3 months (utility bill, bank statement etc.)

Required documents for dependent children under 18-year-old

  • Signed Nomination Form
  • 1 Color photograph (40mm x 50mm) – JPEG file
  • Birth certificate
  • Medical certificate

Required documents for dependent resident over 18 years old

  • Signed Nomination Form
  • 1 Color photograph (40mm x 50mm) – JPEG file
  • Birth certificate
  • Medical certificate
  • Degree or Education certificate – if available

Required if applicable

  • Change of name documents

Ready to start your application process?


More information

For more information about the process and a list our required documents, you can download our Development Support Program (DSP) brochure.

You can also consult our page: Vanuatu Citizenship

or go directly through the government website citizenship section.

Other articles on the same subject


Find us on:


Benefits of Obtaining Vanuatu Citizenship

You may be wondering what are the Benefits of Obtaining Vanuatu Citizenship?

We give you 3 main reasons to convince you.

TRAVEL

The Vanuatu passport gives access to 113 countries with visa-free or visa on arrival. These countries include the United Kingdom, the European Union and Singapore. Vanuatu also has a mutual visa waiver agreement with Schengen Area and Russia.

You can stay up to 90 days within any 180 period in a Schengen country and 6 months in a year in the United Kingdom.

Passport are valid for a period of 10 years renewable for the same period.

Vanuatu Citizenship-Travel-Visa. AJC Vanuatu

Click here for complete list of Visa requirement for Vanuatu Passport

BUSINESS AND INVESTMENTS

Vanuatu has zero corporate tax, it also has no income tax, no capital gains tax, no estate tax, no wealth tax, no withholding tax, no gift tax and no other personal income taxes. Aside from a locally applied 15% VAT, there are almost no taxes at all.

In conclusion, Vanuatu is business-friendly.

BONUS

Vanuatu is a member of the Commonwealth and therefore its citizens are considered Commonwealth citizens. This recognition thus grants the citizen of Vanuatu additional rights in the United Kingdom and in certain Commonwealth countries.

You can add most of your family to your application (children under 25 years old, parents aged 50 and above).


Ready to start your application process?


More information

For more information about the process and a list our required documents. You can download our Development Support Program (DSP) brochure.

You can also consult our page: Vanuatu Citizenship

or go directly through the government website citizenship section.


Other articles on the same subject


Find us on:


How to Obtain Vanuatu Citizenship

The process to obtain Vanuatu Citizenship is relatively simple and straight. Once all requirement documents are in our possession, it takes about 4 to 8 weeks to complete the full process.

Please note that the VFIU fee of US$5,500” and 25% of the prescribed fee are non-refundable if the Citizenship Commission declines the application. You are required to submit a proof of the source of funds for due diligence.

Process Vanuatu Citizenship with AJC Vanuatu

The DSP citizenship application process requires a designated agent. He is responsible for receiving and forwarding your money and your application.

In order to successfully obtain your Vanuatu citizenship, you fully rely on an unknown agent to manage your application and fund transfer. At AJC, our experienced multilingual staff can process your application faster than any other service provider. In addition, we make sure you are helped and informed along the way.

AJC Vanuatu has partnered with a local designated agent to offer a better, more trusted and professional service than any other Vanuatu Citizenship service provider.

In order to guarantee you maximum protection, we manage the money transfer with our locally based trust company. It receives the money and transfers it directly to the government. We are the only entity that can guarantee oversight of your money transfer directly to the government of Vanuatu.

As a well established and renowned local business since 2003. We are a trusted partner you can count on.


Ready to start your application process?

More information

For more information about the process and a list our required documents, you can download our Development Support Program (DSP) brochure.

You can also consult our page: Vanuatu Citizenship

or go directly through the government website citizenship section


Other articles on the same subject


Find us on:


Becoming a Vanuatu Citizen

As a general rule, you may apply for Vanuatu ordinary citizenship – for yourself and on behalf of your spouse and children – when you have been a resident of Vanuatu for 10 consecutive years. Citizenship can also be granted to you if you marry a citizen of Vanuatu, or if your parents are Ni-Vanuatu.

Since 21 January 2014, the Constitution of Vanuatu allows dual citizenship. This means that a person becoming a Vanuatu citizen does not have to renounce their previous citizenship, and also that Vanuatu citizens may now acquire the citizenship of other countries without losing their Vanuatu citizenship.

In January 2017, the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu has launched the Development Support Program (DSP) for the purpose of raising funds to support infrastructure and promoting economic development. The DSP is a new provision enacted by the Vanuatu Government under the Citizenship Act with the powers conferred on the Prime Minister. Candidates may apply for Vanuatu Honorary Citizenship by contributions to the Government of Vanuatu of $130,000 USD for a single person or $180,000 USD for a family of up to four (4) members*. The citizenship acquired under the DSP program is fully recognised by the Government of Vanuatu and the nationality is regarded as Ni-Vanuatu (Vanuatu citizen). Those applying for and receiving Vanuatu Citizenship under the DSP have the full right to reside in Vanuatu at all times and the passport is renewable upon expiry. Moreover, Citizenship is hereditary.

The time it takes for you to receive a decision depends on various factors (whether you can provide the required evidence and supporting documents, when the Citizenship Commission holds their next meeting, your availability to pass the citizenship test and provide finger prints, etc.)

If you are applying for Vanuatu citizenship and need help to prepare and review your application, please feel free to contact us.


More information

For more information about the process and a list our required documents, you can download our Development Support Program (DSP) brochure.

Chinese Version of the DSP brochure (not up to date)


Consult our articles on Vanuatu Citizenship


Vivre au Vanuatu

Le Vanuatu offre à la fois des expériences exaltantes et des possibilités infinies, tant par sa nature que sa pluralité culturelle.

Le Vanuatu est considéré comme l’un des pays les plus préservés et les plus diversifiés du monde. Il n’est pas éton­nant que tant de gens rêvent d’immigrer dans cet archipel du Pacifique. Chaque année, le Vanuatu accueille une communauté de citoyens d’origines di­verses. Qu’il s’agisse de venir au Vanuatu pour travailler, créer une entreprise, rejoin­dre un partenaire ou encore chercher à faire du Vanuatu sa résidence permanente. Cela reste pour la plupart, une démarche nou­velle et parfois laborieuse. AJC permet de comprendre l’ensemble du processus d’inté­gration administrative et l’obtention du visa adéquat pour cette immigration.

Mais le rêve n’est pas suffisant et la réalité mérite attention

Notre cabinet est représenté par plusieurs professionnels, dont l’une des vocations est l’assistance aux immigrants et inves­tisseurs, et ce à travers tous les aspects et questions relatives à la délocalisation vers le Vanuatu.

Les consultations de prise de contact sont gratuites et toutes facturations donnent lieu à une information préalable

Autorisations administratives, étude de marché, mise en contact, accompagnement dans diverses démarches, Ieurs conseils et leur connaissance du Vanuatu vous seront indispensables. Après un premier entretien informatif et l’exposé de vos intentions, nous évaluons le type de visa qui corres­pond à la situation qui nous est présen­tée. Immigrer vers le Vanuatu ! Des questions sur la faisabilité du projet ? Le type de visa ? Le plus simple est d’adresser un courriel à contact@ajc-vanuatu.com.