The European Council has adopted the partial suspension of the visa waiver agreement with Vanuatu, as proposed by the European Commission in January. Ni-Vanuatu citizens whose passports were issued after May 25th, 2015 – when Vanuatu’s CBI operations began in earnest – will need visas to travel to the EU once the suspension takes effect, some two months from now.
In its press release, the Council states:
Based on careful monitoring and assessment of Vanuatu’s investor citizenship schemes, the EU has concluded they present serious deficiencies which could pose a risk to the EU, notably due to:
- the extremely low rejection rate, which raises doubts as to the reliability of the security and due diligence screening
- the absence of physical presence or residence requirements, short processing periods and lack of information exchange with applicants’ countries of origin or residence
- the granting of citizenship to applicants listed in Interpol databases
- the nationalities of origin of successful applicants, which include several countries whose nationals require a visa to enter the EU
The EU will now publish the decision in its Official Journal, two months subsequent to which the suspension will take effect.
More on Vanuatu’s loss of visa-free travel to Schengen:
- 4 Ways in Which Brussels Is Unfairly Harming Vanuatu’s Citizenship by Investment Program
- How Losing Schengen-Access Would Affect Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.