Vanuatu Development Support Program Overview

Answers provided by Vanuatu DSP experts VIMB

Introduction to Vanuatu

Vanuatu is a great place to live, work or retire. In fact, it is one of the world’s last undiscovered paradises. Its residents have access to top international schooling, to the cleanest air, water, and food possible on earth and are literally thousands of miles away from the world’s troubles.

This place has been voted one of the happiest places on earth consistently for the last ten years. It is virtually free of serious crimes like assault or murder.

The Vanuatu Government has a policy of strict “non-alignment” – meaning it has no political enemies or disputes with anyone and is very far from The United States of America and Europe. Consequently, its citizens enjoy visa-free/on arrival travel to over 127+countries including to the EU (Schengen), UK, Russia, and fast track or friendly treatment from Commonwealth countries, such as Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

You will find, that it has the most streamlined and fastest processing system of all citizenship by investment programs and you can get your passport within 2-3 months.

Vanuatu is the only country to streamline its approval process in such a way that you don’t risk or tie up funds at the approval stage. For an all-inclusive fee of USD 5,000 (this covers all family members, includes legal work, government fees, etc.) you will obtain a clearance from the Government which acts as an approval. After this, you pay the remaining amount and there is almost zero chance of rejection as you have been pre-approved. No other program offers this, making Vanuatu the fastest and indeed reliable program in terms of acceptance rates, available today.

The Republic of Vanuatu imposes no income, wealth, or inheritance taxes, and guarantees banking and commercial privacy in a well-developed Vanuatu banking sector. Vanuatu is the Bahamas of the Pacific, but it does not have tax exchange treaties in place with most countries.

Legal basis

The Citizenship Act [Cap 112] basically provides for granting of Vanuatu Citizenship through different categories and other related matters.

The Citizenship Act encompasses two versions of the Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment Program – one called the Vanuatu Contribution Program (VCP), and the other the Development Support Program (DSP).   The VCP is monopolized by one single agent distributor based out of Hong Kong, with a predominantly Mainland China focus, whereas the DSP is distributed globally by a number of government appointed Master Agents and Sub-Agents.

Since the most recent Regulations update of April 2019, a degree of Program harmonization has been achieved, meaning that process, pricing and Citizenship features should be the same for both the VCP and DSP.

Requirements

  • Applicants must be over the age of 18 and below 65 when submitting their application.
  • Applicants should preferably have no less than USD 500,000 of net personal assets when submitting their application, of which at least USD 250,000 in banking assets.  There is some flexibility on this.

List of documents required

Stage One – Due Diligence:

  • Completed, signed Stage One Application form (for main applicant, spouse, children, parents).
  • Existing passport color scan (certified copy) – for main applicant, spouse, children, parents.
  • Photo ID card colour scan (certified copy), front and back, photocopied on one page (as available for main applicant, spouse, children, parents).
  • CV – for both Principal and Spouse Applicants
  • Police Clearance Report from the jurisdiction in which he/she has resided during the last 12 months and (if different) the jurisdiction of his/her principal nationality (for main applicant and dependents aged 12 (if available) and above).
  • Due Diligence Fee.

Stage Two – Submission:

  • Completed Stage Two Application Form – Signed and Witnessed.
  • Medical Checkup Certificate for all applicants.
  • Birth certificate of all applicants – where available.
  • Asset Proof of preferably no less than US$ 500,000.
  • Asset Self-Declaration (Certified Copy).
  • Bank Reference Letter.
  • Proof of Address (for Bank Clearance).
  • Proof of employment from his / her company, or self-certification if self-employed/retired.
  • 6 passport photos, 40 mm × 50 mm (for main applicant, spouse, children, parents).
  • Most recent academic certificates or reports if available (for main applicant).
  • Proof of relationship between main applicant and his/her spouse, children, parents (marriage certificate, birth certificate etc.).
  • For Dependents Applicants – most recent proof of dependency of children (e.g. education) and parents (same address as main applicant, monthly payments etc.).
  • Completed, signed and witnessed Passport Application Form.
  • Full fee is due along with Stage Two submission.


Samples of all the above documents should be available from the agent engaged to process the application.

Pricing

The cost of Vanuatu Citizenship ranges from a government mandated minimum fee of US$130,000, up to US$160,000 for a Single Applicant, and up to USD220,000 for a family of four.  

Additional fees are applicable for applications of more than four family members.  There is no limit to numbers under one application.  Siblings and “in-laws” are not eligible.

Important Notes:

  • The Citizenship Committee meets twice a month to consider applications.
  • The Committee makes its decision on granting Citizenship based on the following:
  • The result of clearance (due diligence) conducted by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
  • The complete and satisfactory submission of the Stage Two documentation.
  • The clearance of Stage Two funds through the National Bank of Vanuatu (NBV), and evidence of deposition into the Government account.
  • If all three aspects of the submission to the Citizenship Committee are satisfactorily completed, there is seldom any impediment to Citizenship being granted.
  • It is essential that the processing agent is deeply familiar with the submission requirements so as to provide correct advice on documentation.  This will minimize delays in processing – which can otherwise be significant.
  • The requirement to transfer significant sums of money to a Vanuatu-based Master Agent means that a highly reputable intermediary sub-agent should be engaged, with an unambiguous accountability for the security of the funds remitted.