Composed of a string of 80 islands, Vanuatu is the ultimate paradise for expats looking to upgrade their lifestyles. As an island nation by the South Pacific Ocean, Vanuatu is made up of mountains, lush tropical rainforests, and turquoise blue waters. To obtain Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment, you must contribute a minimum of $130,000 to the National Development Fund and provide proof of an available bank account balance of at least $250,000. The process takes just two months, and the minimum investment amount depends on the number of dependents.

In this guide, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to obtain citizenship in Vanuatu and a valuable second passport, from the cost of investment and application process to the documents needed and eligibility requirements. So, keep reading as we delve into the ins and outs of obtaining Vanuatu citizenship.

What is Vanuatu citizenship by investment?

Vanuatu citizenship by investment (CBI) is a program that awards qualifying investors with passports in exchange for an investment in the country’s economic prosperity. Launched in 2017, this is the only program of its kind in the South Pacific. Also referred to as the Vanuatu Citizenship Development Support Program (DSP) or the Vanuatu Contribution Program (VCP), it’s one of the fastest and most straightforward ways to acquire a second passport.

While Vanuatu’s citizenship program isn’t the cheapest option, it certainly is one of the easiest ways to get citizenship, with relatively few investor requirements. For example, you are not required to visit Vanuatu to obtain your second citizenship. Additionally, as mentioned above, the program offers an extremely fast processing period, allowing applicants to acquire citizenship in just two months. Owning a Vanuatu passport is particularly rewarding for private individuals looking for some peace and quiet and a good quality of life.

Vanuatu CBI Program Benefits

There are plenty of benefits to consider for obtaining Vanuatu citizenship. From the added security of having a plan B in case of a crisis like a pandemic to diversifying your assets and living in an English-speaking nation that resembles paradise, having a Vanuatu passport broadens your horizons.

Passport in two months Passport in two months
Great tax benefits Great tax benefits
Visa free travel to 96 countries Visa free travel to 96 countries
Passports for the whole family Passports for the whole family
No residency requirements No residency requirements
No tests or interviews No tests or interviews

Vanuatu citizenship benefits include:

  • Access to 96 Vanuatu passport visa free countries, including the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Russia 
  • Minimum investment from $130,000
  • Receive your passport within two months
  • No personal taxation; no wealth tax, inheritance tax, gift tax, capital gains tax, or income tax
  • No residence or interview requirements
  • The entire family is eligible for Vanuatu passports

Visa free access

Arguably, one of the best advantages of Vanuatu’s citizenship by investment program is that, as mentioned, Vanuatu passport holders have visa free access to 96 countries, including the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Russia. This can be beneficial if your passport allows for limited mobility, as well as if you travel to these locations often for business.

In addition to this, Vanuatu citizens also benefit from fast-track processing when traveling to Commonwealth countries like Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Vanuatu passport holders can stay up to six months per year in the United Kingdom without a visa.

If you have an international business to run, which requires a lot of travel, then a Vanuatu passport is definitely a worthwhile investment. 

Vanuatu tax considerations

A key benefit of the Vanuatu citizenship program for expats seeking second passports is that if you decide to live there full-time, you can take advantage of the country’s tax haven status with no personal income tax on your worldwide, plus no tax on inheritance, or gifts. This makes living in Vanuatu particularly appealing among expats, especially digital entrepreneurs who prefer tax-friendly second-citizenship countries. 

The benefits of Vanuatu taxes include the absence of withholding tax and corporate tax, adding to its appeal for entrepreneurs and owners of international companies. Corporations pay an annual fee of $300 instead of corporate income tax. 

Citizenship by Investment Eligibility Criteria

There are a couple of citizenship requirements to consider before applying.

Main applicant

As the main applicant, you must:

  • Be over 18 and under 65 years old at the time of application
  • Make a minimum non-refundable investment of $130,000
  • Provide a police clearance certificate proving a clean criminal record 
  • Have equivalent to or exceeding $250,000 in your bank account
  • The program is not open to nationals from Iran, Iraq, Syria, North Korea, or Yemen unless the individual has a permanent residence outside such countries and has lived outside of the country for more than five consecutive years.

Family requirements

The following family members qualify for Vanuatu citizenship:

  • Spouse and dependent children
  • Dependent children in education
  • Dependent parents of the main applicant, as well as dependent grandparents

Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment Requirements

To obtain Vanuatu citizenship, you must make a non-refundable contribution to Vanuatu’s local development fund. The purpose of this donation is to support the country’s infrastructure, development, and economic growth in the region. The invested sum depends on how many applicants there are.

The qualifying investment for one person is $130,000 or $180,000 for a family of four. Additional dependents can be added for an extra fee of $15,000 each. To prove that this requirement can be met, you must show proof of having no less than $250,000 in your bank account.

Document requirements

The following documents are required for application:

  • A completed citizenship application form
  • Certified copy of your passport (must be valid)
  • Certified copy of your national identity card
  • Police clearance
  • Pass the Vanuatu due diligence check
  • If married, a marriage certificate
  • Medical certificate proving you’re in good health
  • A comprehensive personal profile outlining your employment history (curriculum vitae)
  • Colored passport photograph
  • Proof of having sufficient funds, at a minimum of $250,000

Due diligence requirements

Applicants must demonstrate that they are of good character and undergo the Vanuatu government’s full due diligence checks. As you will see from the list above, applicants must provide a selection of documents to prove they satisfy the due diligence checks, such as a police clearance certificate showing evidence of a clean criminal record.

Minimum stay requirements

Vanuatu’s CBI program does not require applicants to spend a certain amount of time in the country to qualify for and maintain citizenship. Once approved, Vanuatu citizens will have the right to live, work, and study in the country if desired, but this is not a requirement to visit Vanuatu during or after the process. Furthermore, there is no interview or language test required.

Vanuatu Citizenship Cost

The following table outlines the minimum donation and additional fees required for the Vanuatu Development Support Program:

Single Applicant

Married Couple

Family of Three

Family of Four

Family of Five

Minimum donation

$130,000

$150,000

$165,000

$180,000

+$25,000 per additional applicant

Due diligence fee

$5,000

$5,000

$5,000

$5,000

$5,000

Passport processing fee

$160

$160 per person

$160 per person

$160 per person

$160 per person

Citizenship certificate

$120

$120 per person

$120 per person

$120 per person

$120 per person

Application fee

$100

$100 per person

$100 per person

$100 per person

$100 per person

Citizenship by Investment Application Process

The citizenship application processing time usually takes 45 days. You can expect to receive your passport within two months of submitting your application.

Citizenship by Investment Timeline

3-4 days

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Preparation

Consult with a specialist firm about the program requirements and prepare your required documents for submission. 

3-4 days

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Application Submission

Submit your application and wait while the Vanuatu government performs due diligence checks and goes through your application. If successful, you’ll receive a pre-approved letter.

5 days

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Investment

Make the required investment and provide proof to the citizenship commission.

30 days

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Passport Received

Take the Oath Swearing Ceremony. Congratulations, you’re now a citizen of Vanuatu!

Step-by-Step Application Process

Obtaining citizenship in Vanuatu is a straightforward, quick process.

1. Initial consultation with Global Citizen Solutions

2. Complete all application forms

3. Due diligence checks

4. Pre-approval confirmation

5. Invest & provide proof of investment

6. Oath Swearing Ceremony & passport

Step 1: Initial consultation
Our specialist advisors will walk you through the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program requirements. We can assist you in all matters related to the program.

Step 2: Complete all application forms
Collate and check the required documents, then submit your application.

Step 3: Due diligence checks
The Vanuatu government will perform due diligence checks to confirm eligibility for the scheme. After paying the Vanuatu Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) due diligence fee, it will conduct its own due diligence before issuing an Approval in Principle.

Step 4: Pre-approval confirmation
Following these checks, the government will pre-approve your application, provided you meet the investment program requirement.

Step 5: Invest and provide proof of investment
Upon receipt of a letter of approval, invest the required amount and provide proof.

Step 6: Oath-swearing ceremony and passport
Once you receive your citizenship certificate, you must take the Oath. You can arrange the Oath Swearing Ceremony at your preferred location for an extra fee. On the day of the ceremony, applicants receive their Vanuatuan passports. The passports are valid for ten years and are renewable for the same period.

As you can see, the Vanuatu Development Support Program (DSP) is a very straightforward way of obtaining citizenship in a welcoming, politically and economically stable country. Not only do you get citizenship, but your financial investment is used to develop and benefit the nation and its people, creating a mutually beneficial system that investors can feel confident in pursuing. 

Add to that the fact that your family members can be included as dependents and benefit from the advantages of being Vanuatu citizens, in addition to the affordable investment threshold (particularly compared to the investment threshold of other CBI programs), and there’s no reason not to kickstart your journey and apply to the program. 

Why work with Global Citizen Solutions?

  • Global approach by local experts. We are corporate members of the Investment Migration Council, with local expertise in Vanuatu.
  • 100 percent approval rate. We have never had a case rejected and will offer you an initial, free-of-charge, due diligence assessment before signing any contract.
  • Independent service and full transparency. We will present to you all the investment options available, and all expenses will be discussed in advance, with no hidden fees.
  • An all-encompassing solution. A multidisciplinary team of immigration lawyers, investment specialists, and tax experts will take into consideration all your and your family’s mobility, tax, and lifestyle needs.
  • Confidential service and secure data management. All private data is stored within a GDPR-compliant database on a secure SSL-encrypted server.

Frequently Asked Questions about Vanuatu's Citizenship by Investment Program

How to get citizenship in Vanuatu?

It is possible to gain Vanuatu citizenship by marriage, birth, or residence. However, the easiest and fastest way to acquire citizenship and a Vanuatu second passport is to apply for Vanuatu citizenship by investment program. It’s the only citizenship program in the Asia-Pacific region, and the minimum investment required is $130,000 for a single applicant. Once you pass the due diligence check and provide proof of your investment, you can become a Vanuatu citizen in between one to two months.

The country also offers excellent real estate investment opportunities for those interested in obtaining a second home or vacation home on this beautiful island. For more information, you can check out our article: Vanuatu Real Estate Market – A Complete Guide.

Where is Vanuatu?

Vanuatu is an island country located in Oceania. It’s approximately 1,750 kilometers (1,090 miles) east of northern Australia, 540 kilometers (340 miles) northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji. 

What are the advantages of Vanuatu citizenship?

The are numerous benefits of Vanuatu investment citizenship. Visa free travel is a huge bonus for Vanuatu passport holders since you can travel visa free to 96 destinations, including the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Russia. With citizenship, you can enjoy zero tax on your worldwide and personal income, plus you gain the right to live and work in this beautiful island nation. 

In the event of a calamity or pandemic, a second passport is extremely invaluable in giving you more freedom of options as well as enhanced personal and financial safety. Vanuatu citizens can also bank at any of Vanuatu’s banks, while foreigners are limited to certain banks. 

What is the cost of Vanuatu citizenship?

The cost of Vanuatu citizenship depends on how many applicants are included in the application. The main applicant must donate $130,000 to Vanuatu’s local fund in order to be granted citizenship. For a family of four, it costs $180,000, plus government fees, due diligence fees, and other processing fees. Benefits include visa free access to 96 countries and no personal taxation.

How does Vanuatu bitcoin citizenship work?

While Vanuatu is a crypto-friendly nation, it does not yet allow investors to pay in bitcoin for citizenship. Rather, you can process your payment via an Authorized Agent who, on your behalf, will trade the bitcoin in USD with Vanuatu’s government. 

Does Vanuatu recognize dual citizenship?

Vanuatu recognizes dual citizenship, meaning you don’t have to renounce your previous nationality to get a Vanuatu passport. Of course, you will need to check with the country of your existing citizenship whether or not it also recognizes dual citizenship.

What is the Vanuatu Citizenship Act?

The Vanuatu Citizenship Act is legislation passed by the government of Vanuatu in 1980 that permits citizenship by naturalization and renunciation of citizenship. The Act also established a Citizenship Commission.

Is Vanuatu citizenship worth it?

Obtaining Vanuatu citizenship is worth it for many reasons. It comes with several advantages, such as a fast processing period of two months, visa free travel to more than 90 countries, and an environment where you can optimize your taxes and utilize offshore financial services. The Vanuatu CBI program offers a relatively affordable investment amount of $130,000 for a single applicant and $180,000 for a family of four. 

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