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How Can I Get Citizenship In Vanuatu?

Published: 18 Jan 2023

WHAT ARE THE NEW CITIZENSHIP TRENDS AND WHO IS APPLYING? 

Affluent individuals, professionals, and many others are looking at their situation and deciding that a new passport would be beneficial to them and their families. 

The total number of people acquiring new citizenship for whatever reason is in the many millions each year – Europe and the United States each give citizenship to close to a million people per annum. 

WHY ARE PEOPLE LOOKING FOR A SECOND CITIZENSHIP?

The reasons vary enormously. Some individuals may be seeking a better quality of life for their families; some key factors they may be considering are a higher standard of living, cleaner air, better healthcare, better education or improved frequent international travel. Alternatively, they may see business opportunities for investment, employment or advancement and pay as being better overseas. For the wealthier, tax can be a big consideration, as rates vary massively between nation states.

WHERE ARE MOST APPLICANTS COMING FROM?

There are several main sources of these more prosperous applicants: IndiaTurkey and South Africa are perhaps the big three, but parts of Latin America, both northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, parts of the Middle East or Eastern Europe, and especially Ukraine more recently, also contribute significant numbers.  

Retirees, from any relatively well-off country form another special subgroup.  

Another crucial concern is how easy it is to get citizenship in a desirable jurisdiction.  Those with sufficient assets can pursue several paths.

HOW CAN I GAIN CITIZENSHIP IN OTHER COUNTRIES?

 The first pathway applicants consider is through citizenship by ancestry.  A large number of countries, including most of Europe, offer these programs. To gain citizenship by ancestry in a country, a typical requirement is that one of your grandparents has to be provably a citizen of that country, though it varies a great deal.  This makes finding a new citizenship an accident of having the right grandparents, from the right country, resulting in a lottery which leaves out most people.

CAN RESIDENCY BY INVESTMENT LEAD TO CITIZENSHIP?

A second approach is to get residency by investment and then over a period of time, often 3, 5, or 7 years, earn the right to apply for citizenship. Many southern European countries offer this route, as  do many of the most attractive first world states, including the USA, the United KingdomAustralia, and Canada.  However, this latter group can be expensive, and may require the commitment of substantial funds. 

WHAT COUNTRIES OFFER DIRECT PATHWAYS TO CITIZENSHIP? 

The third option is to apply for citizenship by investment, in which you can obtain citizenship immediately and directly. A number of countries offer affordable programs that are relatively straightforward and quick.  

Standing out among these are the 5 Caribbean locations – Saint LuciaDominicaSt. Kitts & NevisGrenada, and Antigua & Barbuda – as well the Pacific Island territory of Vanuatu, which has the only citizenship by investment program in the Asia Pacific region.

WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER VANUATU FOR A NEW PASSPORT? 

Many of those thinking of a new passport often overlook Vanuatu and often overlook the attractive features and benefits this program has to offer

Vanuatu is a beautiful tropical paradise, some distance off the coast of Australia. However, location does not matter because to gain citizenship and a new or second passport from Vanuatu, you never have to live there or even visit.  

DOES VANUATU ALLOW DUAL CITIZENSHIP? 

Yes, Vanuatu allows dual citizenship, which is often an important factor for many. Further, the official languages are English and French, so you can apply in either language, though some of the documentation will need to be in English.  

IS VANUATU CONSIDERED A TAX HAVEN?

For businesspeople, it is definitely one of the best tax havens in the world. There are no capital gains tax, no personal income tax, no corporate tax, no withholding tax, as well as no gift, wealth, or inheritance tax. That’s quite exceptional.

There are also no country-of-origin restrictions, no language, education, career, or other requirements of this sort. 

CAN I TRAVEL VISA FREE WITH A VANUATU PASSPORT? 

In terms of mobility, Vanuatu offers a strong passport granting visa free access or visa on arrival to well over 120 countries. 

HOW STRONG IS THE VANUATU PASSPORT? 

Another common question is whether Vanuatu passport holders can travel to the UK without a visa. A Vanuatu passport holder can travel visa free to the UK, another popular destination includes Australia where you can apply  for a visa online and even obtain a work permit. At the moment, approximately 300,000 Vanuatu citizens are residing in Australia. 

 HOW MUCH DOES VANUATU CITIZENSHIP COST? 

The cost of the Vanuatu program starts at USD 130,000 for a single applicant, making it one of the cheapest citizenships available. This amount rises to USD 180,000 for a family of 4.  

You can include a spouse, dependent children, and parents. If this numbers more than 4 people, you can pay an additional USD 25,000 per person. You donate your funds to the National Development Fund.  

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO OBTAIN THE CITIZENSHIP OF VANUATU?

It is a 2-step process, with first a non-refundable fee of USD 6,000 for a Due Diligence Clearance Report, which will usually take less than 2 months. If approved, the main payment will then be submitted. The final processing normally takes only another 1 to 2 months. This entire process is overall very efficient and straightforward.

 

If you have questions or would like more information, you can check it out on the Harvey Law Group (HLG) website at https://harveylawcorporation.com

This site also has information on many other citizenship and residency by investment programs.

Harvey Law Group has over 30 years of experience working in the field of immigration law and greater than 20 offices around the world. If you would like to talk to them or schedule a consultation, please email them at info@harveylawcorporation.com.

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Jean-François Harvey

Firm: Harvey Law Group (HLG)
Country: Hong Kong

Practice Area: Immigration

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