Holders of a Vanuatu passport have access to one of the most beautiful islands in the South Pacific Ocean. This article will cover the countries Vanuatu passport holders can visit, including those offering visa free entries, visa on arrival, or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). We’ll also guide you through the legal framework and steps to obtain citizenship and a new passport in Vanuatu by investing.

Key Facts about the Vanuatu Passport

Schengen Privileges

Vanuatu passport holders currently do not have visa free privileges for the Schengen Area. The European Council suspended the short-stay visa waiver agreement with Vanuatu, effective from 4 May 2022, and this suspension was extended until 4 August 2024. This means that Vanuatu citizens holding ordinary passports issued after 25 May 2015, now require a Schengen visa to travel to the EU and Schengen Area. Switzerland, which is part of the Schengen Area, has also imposed border controls on Vanuatu passport holders in line with the Council’s decision.

Global Passport Index

According to the Global Passport Index, the Vanuatu passport ranks 102nd. As a Vanuatu passport holder, you have the privilege of access without a required visa, Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), visa on arrival, and options for electronic visas to 112 countries, including notable destinations like the Singapore, Hong Kong, and Russia.

This is particularly advantageous if you plan extended tourism, business, or family visits. Travels to Commonwealth countries like Australia, Canada, and New Zealand are made smoother with the possibility of fast-track processing, a perk that can significantly enhance your travel experience.

Types of passport

The Vanuatu passport system, like many countries, issues different types of passports for various purposes. Here’s an overview of passport categories:

Ordinary passports: The Ordinary Passport represents the standard general travel passport issued to Vanuatu citizens. It’s the most commonly issued passport for personal or business travel. The validity of this passport usually ranges between five to ten years, depending on current regulations. It contains the holder’s personal information, photograph, and other essential identifiers like the passport number and issuance details. Holders of an ordinary Vanuatu passport enjoy visa free or visa on arrival access to numerous countries, a feature that significantly enhances its value for international travel.

Diplomatic passports: Diplomatic passports are issued to high-ranking officials who represent Vanuatu in international affairs. This category includes diplomats, the Vanuatu prime minister, senior government officials, and sometimes their family members. The purpose of diplomatic passports is to facilitate travel for official state business. Diplomatic passport holders type are often accorded privileges and immunities under international law, reflecting their status and the sensitive nature of their travel. The design and issuance of a diplomat’s passport are typically governed by stringent criteria to ensure they are granted only to eligible individuals.

Official or service passports: Official or service passports are designated for government employees traveling abroad on official state business. This type of passport differs from a diplomatic one, as it is issued to government employees or officials who may not qualify for diplomatic status but still need to travel for government-related work. The service passport simplifies the travel process for official duties, although it does not usually come with diplomatic immunities and privileges.

Emergency or temporary passports: Vanuatu may issue Emergency or Temporary Passports in specific situations where an individual needs to travel urgently but does not have a standard passport available. This could be due to loss, theft, or damage of their original passport or when there is an immediate need to travel for an emergency. These passports are usually limited in validity and are intended only for short-term use until a regular passport can be issued or reissued.

Vanuatu Passport Benefits

Invest $130,000 and get the passport Invest $130,000 and get the passport
Fast-track processing when traveling in the Commonwealth Fast-track processing when traveling in the Commonwealth
Get a passport in one month Get a passport in one month
The entire family is eligible for the program The entire family is eligible for the program
Visa free access to 112 countries Visa free access to 112 countries
No wealth, inheritance, gift, income, or capital gains tax No wealth, inheritance, gift, income, or capital gains tax

Investment for citizenship

The Vanuatu citizenship by investment program requires a minimum of $130,000, a competitive and accessible price point compared to many other citizenship programs. This investment opens the door to obtaining Vanuatu citizenship and contributes to the nation’s development through government contribution projects. These projects can range from infrastructure improvements to social programs and investments that positively impact the local community. The program is also attractive for investors seeking to diversify their portfolios and gain access to Vanuatu’s growing economy.

Business expansion opportunities

With visa free travel to 112 countries, you can explore numerous opportunities for international business expansion. This access helps build global networks and encourages investments that can create jobs in Vanuatu and other countries.

Tax advantages

Vanuatu’s tax policies offer substantial advantages, especially to business owners and investors. The absence of several common taxes, including no income tax, wealth tax, inheritance tax, or capital gains tax, positions Vanuatu as a financially attractive destination. This tax structure benefits individuals in terms of personal wealth management and significantly enhances the appeal for international business operations. Entrepreneurs and corporations can leverage the tax benefits for more efficient capital allocation, investment growth, and risk mitigation. The lack of stringent tax regulations fosters a conducive environment for wealth accumulation and asset protection, which could be a bonus to high-net-worth individuals and those seeking to optimize their tax liabilities.

Family eligibility

The citizenship by investment program in Vanuatu is uniquely family-friendly. It allows the primary applicant’s entire family – spouse, children, and sometimes even dependent parents – to be included in the application. This inclusive approach simplifies obtaining citizenship for family members, ensuring they can stay united without needing separate applications or prolonged processes. The ease with which family members can acquire citizenship is particularly simplifies relocating, studying, or working abroad.

Dual citizenship

For many, dual citizenship is crucial in acquiring a new nationality, as it provides a balance between adopting a new identity and preserving their original heritage.

Vanuatu’s acceptance of dual citizenship allows you to enjoy the benefits of Vanuatu citizenship while retaining the rights and privileges of your original nationality. You also get increased global mobility, access to different markets for business, and the ability to reside in multiple countries.

Political stability and safety

A passport from a politically stable and safe country like Vanuatu is advantageous, especially during global unrest and natural disasters.

Passport processing time and application

The process of obtaining a Vanuatu passport involves completing the Vanuatu passport application form and submitting the necessary remaining documents, including a medical certificate and proof of a clean criminal record. The processing time is notably efficient, making it a convenient option for applicants. This efficiency in processing and the range of passport validity options make it an attractive choice if you’re seeking new Vanuatu citizenship or honorary citizenship.

Global Visa Requirements for Vanuatu Passport Holders

As a Vanuatu passport holder, you can travel to various countries with either access without a required visa, an eVisa, or a visa on arrival, depending on the country’s requirements. Before starting your journey, it’s important to check the visa conditions for your destination. Refer to the table below to see what visa requirements you need to meet for each country you plan to visit.

CountryVisa Condition
AnguillaVisa free
Antigua and BarbudaVisa free
BahamasVisa free
BarbadosVisa free
BelarusVisa free
BelizeVisa free
BermudaVisa free
Bosnia and HerzegovinaVisa free
BotswanaVisa free
British Virgin IslandsVisa free
Cayman IslandsVisa free
Cook IslandsVisa free
Costa RicaVisa free
DominicaVisa free
Dominican RepublicVisa free
EcuadorVisa free
El SalvadorVisa free
FijiVisa free
GibraltarVisa free
GrenadaVisa free
GuatemalaVisa free
HaitiVisa free
HondurasVisa free
Hong KongVisa free
IrelandVisa free
IsraelVisa free
JamaicaVisa free
KenyaVisa free
KiribatiVisa free
KosovoVisa free
LesothoVisa free
MalaysiaVisa free
MauritiusVisa free
MicronesiaVisa free
MoldovaVisa free
MontenegroVisa free
MontserratVisa free
NicaraguaVisa free
NiueVisa free
PalestineVisa free
PanamaVisa free
PeruVisa free
PhilippinesVisa free
RussiaVisa free
SingaporeVisa free
Saint Kitts and NevisVisa free
Saint LuciaVisa free
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesVisa free
TanzaniaVisa free
GambiaVisa free
Trinidad and TobagoVisa free
UgandaVisa free
ZambiaVisa free
ZimbabweVisa free
EswatiniVisa free
DjiboutieVisa
EthiopiaeVisa
GeorgiaeVisa
IndiaeVisa
KyrgyzstaneVisa
MyanmareVisa
QatareVisa
São Tomé and PríncipeeVisa
South SudaneVisa
SurinameeVisa
UkraineeVisa
United Arab EmirateseVisa
UzbekistaneVisa
VietnameVisa
ArmeniaeVisa
BeninVisa on Arrival
BoliviaVisa on Arrival
CambodiaVisa on Arrival
Cabo VerdeVisa on Arrival
ComorosVisa on Arrival
EgyptVisa on Arrival
Guinea-BissauVisa on Arrival
IranVisa on Arrival
JordanVisa on Arrival
LaosVisa on Arrival
MacauVisa on Arrival
MadagascarVisa on Arrival
MalawiVisa on Arrival
MaldivesVisa on Arrival
Marshall IslandsVisa on Arrival
MauritaniaVisa on Arrival
MozambiqueVisa on Arrival
NauruVisa on Arrival
NepalVisa on Arrival
PalauVisa on Arrival
Papua New GuineaVisa on Arrival
RwandaVisa on Arrival
SenegalVisa on Arrival
SeychellesVisa on Arrival
Sierra LeoneVisa on Arrival
Solomon IslandsVisa on Arrival
SomaliaVisa on Arrival
Sri LankaVisa on Arrival
Saint HelenaVisa on Arrival
ThailandVisa on Arrival
Timor-LesteVisa on Arrival
TogoVisa on Arrival
TongaVisa on Arrival
TuvaluVisa on Arrival

Vanuatu Passport cost

The cost of obtaining a Vanuatu passport can vary based on several factors, including the age of the applicant and the speed of processing required. Standard fees are structured as follows:

  • Child up to 5 years old: VT 5,000 (about $40)
  • Child 6 to 17 years old: VT 7,000 (about $55)
  • Normal processing (up to 21 days) : VT 10,000 (about $80)
  • Express processing (up to 10 days): VT 20,000 (about $165)
  • Urgent processing (up to 3 days): VT 25,000 (about $205)

Vanuatu Passport Requirements

To apply for a Vanuatu passport, you must have the documents listed below:

  • Two passport photos
  • A copy of the Vanuatu birth certificate
  • A copy of the marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Documentation for travel purposes, such as a medical certificate if traveling for medical treatment
  • A letter from an authorized recruiting agent for Labor Mobility (if applicable)
  • The fees vary based on the age of the applicant and the processing speed required.

How to Get a Vanuatu Passport

Obtaining a Vanuatu passport requires citizenship, which can be acquired through different means. Let’s discuss them in detail.

Citizenship by descent

Citizenship by Descent in Vanuatu is an option for individuals born either within the country or abroad to parents who are Vanuatu nationals. Applicants must provide evidence of their lineage, typically through birth certificates or other official documents, to prove their connection to Vanuatu nationals. Children who have been legally adopted by citizens of Vanuatu are also eligible for citizenship by descent.

Citizenship by naturalization

Citizenship by naturalization is a pathway for those who have made Vanuatu their home over a significant period. It’s usually pursued by individuals who have moved to Vanuatu for work, contributing to local jobs and the economy, and have subsequently decided to make it their permanent residence. Essential requirements include:

  • Proven good character and financial self-sufficiency.
  • Adequate knowledge of Vanuatu’s culture, civics, and the Bislama language.
  • A minimum residency of ten years within the country.
  • Submission of an application to the Citizenship Commission, which oversees immigration matters.

Citizen by marriage

Applicants in this category must provide valid proof of marriage, typically a marriage certificate. The process often requires a certain period of residency in Vanuatu, where the individual demonstrates their commitment to their spouse and integration into Vanuatu society. The specific duration of required residency may vary, and additional documentation, such as evidence of cohabitation and a stable marital relationship, might be needed.

Stateless persons

Vanuatu recognizes the unique challenges stateless persons face and may offer citizenship on humanitarian grounds. The applicants must meet specific criteria defined by the Vanuatu government, including background checks, proof of statelessness, and evidence of their connection or contribution to Vanuatu.

Honorary citizenship

Vanuatu may grant honorary citizenship to individuals who have rendered extraordinary service or made significant contributions to the nation. This form of citizenship is rare and highly selective, often initiated by the government. Candidates for honorary citizenship are those who have made outstanding contributions to humanitarian work, cultural advancement, economic development, or international relations.

Citizenship by investment

Citizenship by Investment in Vanuatu represents a unique and expedient route to obtaining citizenship. It is tailored for investors capable of making a significant economic contribution to the country. The key aspects of this program include:

  • A qualifying investment in the nation’s economy by contributing to the country’s development fund supporting the Vanuatu economic rehabilitation program.
  • Fulfill the program’s eligibility criteria, including background checks, and provide evidence of the investment’s legitimacy and value.
  • This investment benefits you in terms of gaining citizenship but also plays a crucial role in bolstering the economy of Vanuatu, potentially creating local jobs and promoting development.

Take a look at our Vanuatu Citizenship Ultimate Guide by local experts

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Process of Getting Vanuatu Passport by Investment

To acquire second passports in Vanuatu, candidates must apply to the Development Support Program overseeing Vanuatu’s economic citizenship scheme. The program is straightforward and time-efficient, giving you citizenship in exchange for a minimum investment of $130,000, provided that you have at least $250,000 in your bank account.

Your investment must be made to Vanuatu’s Local Development Fund — a government body aiming to boost socio-economic growth. The minimum investment requirement for one person is $130,000 or $180,000 for a family of four. In addition to the non-refundable contribution, you will need to pay a due diligence fee, processing fees, application fees, and a fee for the citizenship certificate. Furthermore, additional dependents (children, parents, and grandparents) can be added for an extra fee.

You are granted Vanuatu citizenship and a new passport once your investment is confirmed and due diligence checks are complete. This process bypasses traditional residency requirements and directly confers citizenship.

To apply for citizenship, the main applicant must:

  • Be over 18 years old when applying and under 65 years old at the time of lodging the application with the Vanuatu Citizenship Commission
  • Hold a clean criminal record
  • Have equivalent to or exceeding $250,000 in the 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 the country for more than five consecutive years.

Documents you will need

If you and your family are interested in becoming Vanuatu citizens, you must provide the Citizenship Commission with the documents below. The commission will assess your application and decide if it meets the relevant criteria provided under the Citizenship Act. In this case, you and your family will receive Vanuatu citizenship and (as mentioned previously) can travel the world as Vanuatu passport holders, having visa free travel to 112 countries.

vanuatu citizenship This is the list of documents necessary to apply for Vanuatu economic citizenship:

  • 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)
  • Color passport photograph
  • Proof of having sufficient funds, a minimum of $250,000

Is it worth getting the Vanuatu passport by investment?

If you are looking for a ‘plan B’ in life, this is an excellent option. For an affordable investment, you and your entire family can acquire a second passport, giving you visa free travel to 112 countries (including eTA, visa on arrival, and electronic visas) and six months of visa free access to the United Kingdom. On top of that, enjoy great tax benefits as Vanuatu passport holders are exempted from personal taxation, wealth tax, inheritance tax, gift tax, capital gains tax, or income tax. 

This South Pacific island is also an excellent option for those looking for a second home or holiday home to meet their lifestyle needs. Waterfront properties here are more affordable than apartments in the city, ensuring buyers enjoy great value. There are also no restrictions on foreigners buying Vanuatu real estate.

Vanuatu Passport Application

1. Consult with a specialist

2. Documentation and Application

3. Due diligence check

4. Pre-approval confirmation

5. Make the required investment

6. Take the Oath and become a citizen

Processing Time for Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment Passport

The processing time from the submission of your application to the approval of your citizenship can be as short as 1 to 2 months. This is one of the fastest citizenship by investment programs globally.

During the period, a due diligence check, which is a thorough background investigation to verify your information and ensure compliance with international regulations.

After the approval of your citizenship, it takes a few weeks for the passport to be issued and delivered to you.

Dual Passport in Vanuatu

Previously, Vanuatu had strict rules against holding citizenship in more than one country. However, recent changes in law have made it possible for individuals to hold dual citizenship and Vanuatu passport alongside another country’s passport. This change is especially helpful for those seeking second passports, as you can now enjoy the benefits of being a Vanuatu citizen without giving up your nationality.

Vanuatu Passport Renewal

A Vanuatu passport needs to be renewed every ten years for adults. For children, the frequency is shorter, usually every five years, as the appearance of minors can change significantly in a shorter period, necessitating more frequent updates of their passport photos and details.

Nonetheless, it is a straightforward process. You should submit a renewal application to the Vanuatu passport office and any required documentation, such as the existing passport, identification documents, and passport-sized photos.

The costs associated with renewing a Vanuatu passport vary depending on the type of service required. Standard passport renewal typically has a set fee ranging from VT 10,000 to VT 20,000. However, the fees can be higher for those needing an expedited service.

Documents required to renew a passport:

  • Completed application form for renewal of your passport.
  • Original certificate of citizenship.
  • Two recent 5.1 x 5.1 cm passport photographs (less than 6 months).
  • Your latest Vanuatu passport.
  • Original birth certificate.
  • Relevant fee for the service required.

How Can Global Citizen Solutions Help You?

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique migration consultancy firm with years of experience delivering bespoke residence and citizenship by investment solutions for international families. With offices worldwide and an experienced, hands-on team, we have helped hundreds of clients worldwide acquire citizenship, residence visas, or homes while diversifying their portfolios with robust investments. 

We guide you from start to finish, taking you beyond your citizenship or residency by investment application. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about the Vanuatu Passport

How to get a Vanuatu passport?

You can qualify to obtain a Vanuatu passport by descent, naturalization, or through the country’s economic citizenship program. Launched in 2017, this unique immigration scheme allows investors and their families to gain Vanuatu citizenship and second passports in exchange for a qualifying donation to the local development fund through the country’s development support program.

What is the Vanuatu passport ranking?

According to the Global Passport Index, Vanuatu’s passport ranks 102nd. Vanuatu passport holders have visa free travel to 112 countries, and the nation ranks high for sustainable development and freedom.

Can my family also apply for Vanuatu's passport by investment program?

Your family can apply for a new passport from Vanuatu through the Vanuatu Development Support Program. As the main applicant, you can include eligible family members for an additional fee. For example, to acquire Vanuatu passports for a family of four, you will need to pay $180,000 plus additional fees, including due diligence fees, passport processing fees, and application fees. Your whole family can become Vanuatu citizens in just 60 days.

How do I become a Vanuatu ctizen?

You can qualify for citizenship in Vanuatu by birth, naturalization, or investment. Arguably, the most straightforward way for you and your family to become citizens of Vanuatu is by applying for citizenship by investment. You can receive citizenship in exchange for an investment in the country, starting at $130,000.

How to buy a Vanuatu passport?

You cannot buy a Vanuatu passport; however, you can obtain a passport of Vanuatu by investing in Vanuatu’s citizenship program. This requires a contribution of $130,000 to the country’s development fund through the Development Support Program. Additionally, you must have a clean criminal record and a bank balance of at least $250,000.

How much is a Vanuatu passport?

The Vanuatu passport fees or, more specifically, the investment necessary to become a Vanuatu citizen is $130,000 for a single person, $150,000 for a couple, and from then on, $15,000 for each additional family member. Additional fees, such as due diligence fees, apply.

Does an Indian passport holder need a visa for Vanuatu?

An Indian passport holder can enter Vanuatu visa free, and is allowed to stay up to 30 days.

Which countries need a visa for Vanuatu?

Citizens of several countries need a visa to enter Vanuatu, such as Bolivia, Paraguay, Iceland, Indonesia, and Togo. We recommend checking the requirements for your country before traveling to Vanuatu.

How many countries are visa free for Vanuatu?

There are 112 Vanuatu passport visa free countries (including electronic travel authorization, visa on arrival, and electronic visas). Vanuatu has a visa waiver agreement with several countries, such as Russia, where citizens of Vanuatu can enter the country and stay for up to 90 days visa free.

How do I get a golden passport in Vanuatu?

You and your family can become Vanuatu passport holders by applying for the country’s citizenship by investment program – also called the Development Support Program (DSP) – and making an investment in the country. You must make a non-refundable contribution to the local development fund starting at $130,000 for a single applicant. The Vanuatu government uses the fund to boost the country’s socio-economic growth.

What are the Vanuatu visa requirements for US citizens?

To enter Vanuatu, US citizens must present a valid passport, return ticket, or onward ticket, and proof of enough funds for their stay. Tourist visas are not required for stays of up to 30 days.

How strong is the Vanuatu passport?

According to the Global Passport Index, it is the 102nd strongest. It ranks high for sustainable development and freedom and gives citizens of Vanuatu visa free travel access to 112 countries, including the UK, Russia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.