Vanuatu

Citizenship by Investment Program

About Vanuatu

Vanuatu is an independent Commonwealth state in the South Pacific. It has a rich Melanesian culture and heritage. Known as the New Hebrides it was settled during the 19th century by Europeans and jointly administered by the UK and France as a “Condominium” from 1906 until 1980.

Vanuatu is an archipelago spread over 83 islands and the economy is focused on agriculture. Subsistence farming is prevalent and livestock farming is a target for growth. A small light industry sector caters to the local market. Fishing, financial services and tourism are other notable sectors of the national economy.

Vanuatu is a republic, with English, French and Bislama as official languages. A unicameral parliament elects the Prime Minister in regular free and fair elections. Tax revenues derive mainly from VAT, excise and transaction taxes. In 2018, revenues from citizenship-by-investment became the single largest source of revenue for the government and overtook revenues from VAT. The currency is Vatu (VUV) which is freely convertible. There are no capital export restrictions.

Vanuatu is a member of the United Nations (UN), the British Commonwealth, the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the Francophonie among many other international organizations.

Economic Citizenship:
Development Support Program

The economic citizenship program “Development Support Program” DSP started in 2017 for the purpose of raising funds to support infrastructure and promoting economic development. Prior to that there have been other citizenship programs already.

Candidates may apply for Vanuatu citizenship by contributions to the government for USD 130’000 for a single applicant and up to USD 180’000 for a family of 4 members. Due diligence and administrative fees are not included.

The citizenship acquired is called “Ni-Vanuatu” and it is hereditary. Those receiving it have full citizens’ rights and the passport is valid for a period of 10 years (renewable upon expiry).

Program Features

Processing time: 2 months

The Vanuatu Financial Intelligence Unit carries out a preliminary verification within only one week after initial documents are submitted (passport, police clearance, CV).

After additional documents are submitted the Citizenship Commission will issue an approval-in-principle letter if the application is approved and the applicant shall transfer the contribution amount to EC Holdings (Vanuatu) Ltd as the local, government-appointed citizenship agent.

Contribution amounts are set in US Dollar, Euro and Australian Dollar. The applicant can choose their preference of currency to transfer the funds.

Benefits

Visa-free travel to 135 countries, incl. UK, Schengen, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Russia.

Right to reside in Vanuatu and visa-free transit in Australia.

No requirement of physical presence.

Direct flights from Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland and Fiji.

Key facts

Capital City

Port Vila

Currency

Vatu (VUV)

Time Zone

UTC -11 (VUT (Vanuatu Time))

Languages

Bislama, English, French

Population

307,815

Area

12,189 km2

Contact

Martin St.-Hilaire
Co-founder and Director

A dual citizen of Vanuatu and Canada, Martin St.-Hilaire is a qualified Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) and member of the Institute of Canadian Chartered Accountants. Holding a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Laval University, Quebec, Canada. Martin has extensive experience in Accounting, Audit and Financial Management. He has previously worked for the “big four” accounting firms in Canada (Arthur Andersen/Deloitte) and New Caledonia (KPMG). Martin has been living in Vanuatu since 2003, was the CEO of Pacific Private Bank and is currently the Chairman of the Vanuatu Financial Centre Association(www.fca.vu). In 2019 he became the country’s first rum distiller with his brand “83 Islands”.