How to Obtain Vanuatu Citizenship

Last update : April 2023

The process to obtain Vanuatu Citizenship is relatively simple and straight. Once all requirement documents are in our possession, it takes about 8 to 10 weeks to complete the full process.

Please note that the initial fee of US$5,500 (VFIU / due diligence checks fees and AJC admin fee) 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.

Vanuatu Citizenship process

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.

EC HOLDINGS, a branch of AJC, is an Approved DSP Agent appointed by the Government, with a vast experience of Citizenship application management.

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:

Important Changes to VAT Return Penalties

VAT Return Penalties - AJC Vanuatu

Recent law changes came into effect that will result in significant penalties should you fail to lodge your VAT return on time.

From now on, even if you are due a VAT refund or are lodging a nil VAT return, you will be fined VT30,000 (if an individual) or VT50,000 (if an entity) if you lodge your VAT return late. In addition, for each day that the VAT return remains outstanding, a further VT3,000 (for individuals) and VT5,000 (for entities) will apply.

It is therefore extremely important that your VAT return is lodged by the due date, even if you are lodging a nil return or expecting a VAT refund. If AJC prepares and lodges your VAT return for you, it is imperative that all information and documentation is provided to us well before the due date for lodgement.

The penalties for late payment of VAT have also changed. From now on a 5% late payment penalty will apply, and for each day until payment is made additional interest calculated at the rate of 20%p.a. will also apply.

The above changes will apply to January 2020 VAT returns which are due for lodgement by 27th February.

Should you have any questions regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Find us on:

Recent changes to work permits in Vanuatu

As you may have heard; on 30 November 2018, the Parliament adopted a series of amendments to the law governing work permits. The amended law was subsequently published in the official gazette on 15 January. As such, it has now entered into force and is hence fully applicable.

The key amendments which were adopted are as follow:

1. Recruitment of foreign workers

Employees wishing to recruit non-residents will from now on have to submit to the Labour Department a much more detailed file justifying the selection and recruitment of a non-resident candidate.

If AJC is already supporting you with your recruitment and work permits, you do not have to worry about this, as we will adapt our procedures according to the revised law.

If AJC is not supporting you with your work permits, please feel free to contact us to get more information on this service that we are offering.

2. Work permits and VIPA

People holding a VIPA foreign investment approval will no longer be able to work as an employee (with a work permit) in a business different from the one for which they have a VIPA certificate. The opposite is also forbidden, an employee that holds a work permit cannot become a foreign investor unless he has left his foreign employee status to become only an investor with a VIPA.

If you are in this situation, please feel free to contact us so that we can review together the possible alternatives.

3. Cost of work permit

The cost for a work permit will increase from Vt210,000 to Vt330,000.

4. Renewal of work permit

From now on, no work permit will be renewed beyond 4 years.

Please note that from the discussion that we held with the Department of Labour, we understand that the 4 year period commences from January 2019, i.e. at the date the law entered into force, NOT at the date that the first work permit was issued.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

5. Cancellation of work permit:

The Department of Labour will be empowered to cancel a work permit if it considers that the holder of the work permit did not comply with the terms of this work permit (this includes the obligation for all employees to train a local counterpart, prohibition of mistreatment of staff (such as verbal or physical abuse, etc. )

The Department of Labour has decided to tighten its controls over possible abuse by non-resident workers and managers and strictly enforce the work permit cancellation provisions. This gives more flexibility to the Labour office to not renew the work permit of a foreigner that does not strictly follow the Act. 

6. Appeal of decisions by the Department of Labour

In order to contest a decision by the Department of Labour, the appeal will no longer be with the Minister, but with a special committee created by the revised law.

If you are in such case and you need assistance, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.

We hope that this email provides some clarification on these recent developments. If you still have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you want more information on Work Permits in Vanuatu, please contact us.

Work permits in Vanuatu - AJC Vanuatu

Find us on:

Changes to the Partnership Act in Vanuatu

Partnership (Amendment) Act n°26 of 2018, as published in the Official Gazette dated January 9 2019, has made some significant changes to the Partnership Act.

In short, partnership is the relation which subsists between persons carrying on a business (ie. every trade, occupation or profession) in common with a view of profit (this definition does not apply to companies or associations which are registered under the Companies Act n°25 of 2012 or any other Act).

You may have, in the course of your business, entered into an agreement, to share the profits of a business, which might characterize a partnership.

Whereas the Partnership Act did not require the registration of partnerships, the Act n°26 now set forth the obligation to register partnerships and to fulfil all annual requirements (renewal, annual report).

According to the information that you may provide, we will be glad to help you determine if some of your businesses can be seen as partnerships.

When appropriate, we can propose to organize your registration and to take in charge your annual obligations.

If you need more information, please contact us.

Changes to the Partnership Act in Vanuatu - AJC Vanuatu

Find us on:

DFK Promotional Video 2018

Check out DFK Promotional Video 2018.

Leading the financial technological revolution for SMEs in Vanuatu

Business Link Pacific (BLP) has partnered with AJC Chartered Professional Accountants & Business Advisors to offer SMEs affordable service for the setup, migration and training component of Xero accounting software.

Damien Mullins, Senior Manager Accounting and Audit at AJC explains how SMEs in Vanuatu can benefit from migrating to cloud-based accounting.  

Learn more on Business Link Pacific Blog :

AJC in partnership with BLP is offering XERO for FREE

This offer is no longer available since June 2019. For any inquiries, do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

AJC, in partnership with BLP is offering XERO FREE for a year to every qualifying Vanuatu Business.

We are proud to announce a new program that will help small and medium size enterprises (SME) in Vanuatu to move their accounting to XERO at zero cost for one year. This program will help qualifying SMEs to take advantage of simplified and streamlined accounting that XERO offers. AJC will help participating SMEs in the transition and offer necessary training to the SME’s employees.

Xero is a cloud base accounting software, created in New Zealand, it is currently used by more than 500,000 Small and Medium business in Australia and it is spreading fast across the Asia Pacific region. XERO is helping business to grow. XERO is 2018, if you have not made yet the switch, you are still working with old desktop software, if you have not yet computerized your accounting, this might be a good opportunity to make the move and to enhance your operations.

This program is possible with financing from Business Link Pacific. Some conditions apply.

Contact us today to see if your SME is eligible in this program.

AJC will give you access to XERO free for at least 12 months from the subscription date ( if the program is successful the free access shall be extended to 24 months). Xero Access cost at normal price USD 40$/ month for multicurrency account of USD 30$/month for single currencies.

With each access we will also give you a half an hour quick tour either via phone or at our office and help you out with really basic stuff such as setting up Vat within the system and setting up your company ID.

If you need further services from AJC such as setting up your trial balance, conversion dealing when moving from MYOB or other old technology accounting software, monthly help, Vat Return, VNPF return, annual account, audit, each of these are separate services that AJC can offer you, simply ask for a quote. These extra services might also qualify for an extra BLP grant, up to 50% of the professional fees involve could potentially be covered by the program.

You could also opt for other services providers for these services and still get the benefit of having your XERO access through AJC for free. With XERO you can invite an unlimited number of adviser to access you file online to help you out.

No more backup, and file corruption ever, no more lost of data, no more end of year process, no more close of year and start new year, all data available forever, everything in the cloud, all supplier invoices attached soft copies within the system, this is the beginning of AI ( Artificial Intelligence), increase productivity, increase accuracy, simple to learn, online video, etc. etc. Choose from hundred of add on apps that are seamlessly integrated/compatible with XERO, cold be for your POS, or PMS, or your ERP, or maybe managing only your stock, or your calendar. XERO and the ecosystem is evaluating every days, this new technology is a window to the future.

Mergers and Acquisitions in Vanuatu

Mergers & Acquisitions Ltd, a venture of Cessions Acquisitions based in New Caledonia is opening an office in Port Vila, Vanuatu. For that occasion, they organised an information seminar featuring AJC and other professional service providers in Vanuatu.

Here are the two presentation AJC did during this event covering the due diligence process and the costs of transferring the ownership of a company in Vanuatu. We explain why the due diligence is important, how it’s done and what the costs are. We also cover and explain the fees involved in different types of transfers of ownership in Vanuatu.


Due Diligence (English)

Real Estate and Companies (English)

Vérification diligente (French)

Immobilier et Entreprises (French)



AJC International Horse Show 2018

The 6th edition of the AJC International Horse Show is happening this Sunday 13 May at Bellevue Ranch. It’s free and exciting for the whole family. Riders will fly from New Caledonia to compete in the AJC derby, a race particularly challenging to them as they have to ride horses they are not familiar with and get to know them only briefly before the competition. It is also a great opportunity to build links with foreign riders/clubs and show the quality of the academic horse riding in Vanuatu.

This AJC competition is also a qualifier for our riders to compete in the Horse Pacific Challenge held in Nouméa every October, an event that opposes Vanuatu, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and New Caledonia.

The Caledonian team from the club l’Etrier will arrive on Thursday and take off on Sunday, which gives them time, in addition to competing, to get a feeling of what matters while touring a little on our beloved island.

This coming AJC International Horse Show will start at 9 am and will include show jumping, derby, a thrilling, high-speed event on cross-country jump and a jumping relay, from 1 pm to 3 pm with 15 teams which is highly fun and entertaining to watch.

It’s Free. Come and enjoy this great family day and breathtaking competition at Bellevue Ranch this Sunday 13 May, enjoy a burger or a nice cold drink as Kandy’s Kitchen (K2) will be catering the barbecue.

The Riders’ Club and Stéphanie would also like to thank their loyal sponsor AJC for their continuous support as well as Lionfish design and the many Riders’ Club volunteers who make this event a success. For more information, visit The Riders’ Club’s Facebook page.


Vanuatu Government increases minimum wage effective 1 January 2018

Following on from the recently announced increase in the VAT rate to 15%, the Government has also approved an increase in the minimum wage from VT170 per hour to VT200 per hour effective 1 January 2018. Employers are advised to review and adjust staff salaries if required. A summary of the impact of the increase is shown below.

Full-time employee 40 hours per week 44 hours per week
Old monthly salary (gross): VT29,467 VT32,414
New monthly salary (gross): VT34,667 VT38,134

The change represents a 17.64% wage increase to workers on the minimum wage. Employees earning more than the minimum wage are not affected.

Happy New Year to all workers!

Official Gazette No. 96 of 2017 (dated 29 December 2017)

VAT increase starting 1st January 2018

The Government of Vanuatu has officially advised that Value Added Tax rate will increase from 12.5% to 15% from next Monday 1 January 2018.

A summary of how the rate change will impact your business is as follows:

Businesses registered for VAT on a payments basis

  • Payments received or made on or after 1 January 2018 for invoices issued on or after 1 January 2018 will attract the new rate of 15%.
  • Payments received or made for invoices issued before 1 January 2018 will remain at 12.5%. However an adjustment will be required on your VAT return to correctly account for it. Details are in the Transitional Guide released by the VAT Office.

Businesses registered for VAT on an invoice basis

  • If the invoice was issued before 1 January 2018, the old rate of 12.5% applies (and will be included in that period’s VAT return).
  • If the invoice is issued after 1 January 2018, the new rate of 15% applies.

Clients are reminded that the next two VAT returns (due on 5th January and 27 January 2018) relate to the period’s November and December 2017 respectively, and therefore the old rate of 12.5% still applies when calculating VAT payable/refundable.

Businesses utilising computerised accounting systems such as Xero, MYOB, Quickbooks, Opera, RoomMaster, etc. will need to manually update the tax rate in these systems on Monday 1 January 2018 to ensure that the correct VAT rate is charged. Please contact your software support provider/preferred advisor should you require assistance with this.

Additional documentation

Official Gazette No. 95 of 2017 (dated 22 December 2017)

VAT Rate Change – Notice to retailers

VAT Rate Change – Calculations

Customs VAT Rate Change – Calculations Bislama 291217

Customs VAT Rate Change – Notice to retailers Bislama 281217

Customs VAT Rate Change – Calculations French 291217

Customs VAT Rate Change – Notice to retailers French 281217

Martin St-Hilaire Interviewed by Vila Times

Read the interview our Managing Partner Martin St-Hilaire gave to Vila Times last week. It’s about Vanuatu’s financial sector and its future, the Income Tax, and the EU “bullying” Pacific tax havens.

Read the full article on Vila Times website.

Cover photo by Phillip Capper


Vanuatu is an independent republic and is a chain of Melanesian islands lying to the north-east of Australia. Its capital, Port Vila, is only three and a half hours’ flying time from Sydney. Vanuatu boasts 83 islands with a diverse culture, custom, breathtaking scenery, world class dining and diving and above all friendly welcoming people.

With a population of approximately 257,000 Vanuatu boasts 113 distinct languages and innumerable dialects. This makes it one of the most culturally diverse countries on earth. The pre-independence era contributed a great deal to the nation’s continuing diversity. The unique system of joint administration has given Vanuatu the benefit of being the only country in the South Pacific with two official languages, English and French. There is also Bislama, the national language, which is used as a common language among Vanuatu’s many peoples.

And then, there is business … come and experience Vanuatu.

Work and Public Holidays

Sundays and public holidays are not working days in Vanuatu. In most cases, an employee is not obliged to work on Sundays or public holidays. An employee may, however, agree to work on a Sunday or a public holiday, as he or she wishes.

When an employee agrees to work on a Sunday or public holiday, his or her salary is increased by 50%, except for businesses which by nature stay open on Sundays and public holidays (resorts, restaurants, supermarkets, etc). Employees working in these industries may not be entitled to a day off or increased hourly rate of pay.

Un cabinet en croissance

Depuis sa création en 2003, notre cabinet est en croissance constante et régulière. Il crée des services nouveaux destinés à répondre aux besoins de notre clientèle. Aujourd’hui nous sommes fiers du chemin parcouru.

Sous le nom d’AJC ce sont onze personnes qui vous accueillent dans nos locaux du centre-ville de Port Vila. Que ce soit pour une courte mission, un projet d’installation pérenne, une création ou une domiciliation de sociétés locales ou internationales, un projet d’acquisition, la gestion d’un actif ou d’une entreprise, la constitution d’un trust, la tenue d’une comptabilité, une étude de marché ou la réalisation d’un audit financier, AJC est là pour vous proposer un service personnalisé. Dans le monde, l’environnement financier est incertain et la stabilité politique un souci. Le Vanuatu offre des opportunités d’investissement et un mode de vie d’une rare qualité.