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Vanuatu passport: Detailed citizenship by investment guide

Kristina Kurkuliak
10 October 2018

Vanuatu, a state in Oceania, is the only jurisdiction that allows investors to obtain citizenship by investment in record time. It’s possible to obtain a Vanuatu passport within 1.5 months. Please note! In our practice, we have had cases of obtaining Vanuatu citizenship within 6 weeks, which is faster than via any other CBI program. In this article, we will take you through a step-by-step process of applying for the citizenship of Vanuatu by investing in its state fund, and also we will point out to important details you must not miss. Reviewing the information will take 10-15 minutes of your time. However, after reading this material till the end, you will learn at what stage you will be required to take active actions and how much time each stage takes. The material below is based on the personal experience of our clients who participated in this program.

Stage 1

Preliminary check, contract signing and due diligence

Duration:2 weeks

What does the applicant do?

An applicant signs the contract with the company and pays due diligence fee - $5,000 - conducted by Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

What does the company do?

The company performs a free preliminary check of the applicant's documents BEFORE signing of the contract, in order to assess the chances and possible risks during obtaining the citizenship. The company prepares the contract.

What does the FIU do?

The FIU conducts due diligence and sends the FIU report afterwards.

Расходы на 1 этапе

$5,000  due diligence fee.

ОБРАТИТЕ ВНИМАНИЕ

Escrow agent acts as a trusted party in the transaction between a seller and a buyer, and, by means of pledges, insures them against poor fulfillment of conditions. Escrow agent is an American company and, furthermore, it is possible to pay the entire investment amount by cryptocurrency following the same scheme. The Hungarian permanent residence by investment program used to have the same escrow scheme. It was the best program in the EU that had had a lot of advantages. After all, the Escrow agent insures both parties. A Police Certificate (certificate of no criminal record) can be issued under the normal procedure (within a month) or it is possible to pay an additional fee and get this certificate within 1 day.

Result 1 of stage:

The contract is signed, due diligence is paid, the FIU report is issued.

Stage 2

Preparation of documents

Duration:3-10 business days

What does the client do?

The client provides original or notarized copies of documents, fills in the questionnaire.

What does the company do?

Translation and legalization of documents in accordance with the check-list. The company organizes medical examination. The company sends the questionnaires to investors for filling in.

ОБРАТИТЕ ВНИМАНИЕ

It is advisable to prepare medical certificates and utility bills closer to the date of filing the documents, since they are valid for 3 months only.

Result 2 of stage:

The entire package of documents according to the check-list has been prepared, translations and legalization have been made. The questionnaires for filling out the state forms have been sent to the client for completion.

Stage 3

Submission of documents and сase study

Duration:2-3 weeks

What does the client do?

The client fills in the questionnaires, which will be needed to fill in the government forms, in their native language. The client signs the government forms that were prepared by the company for submitting and pays 50% of the total amount minus $5,000 paid for the due diligence.

What does the company do?

The company's specialists fill out each government form on behalf of the client, organize and control the process of obtaining all certificates, translations and legalization. We also send the package to our office in Vanuatu and our local agent submits the case to the Citizenship by Investment Unit of Vanuatu.

What does the government do?

The government accepts the documents. Authorized persons review them and an Approval In Principle is issued.

Расходы на 3 этапе

50% of the total amount minus the $5,000 due diligence fee.

ОБРАТИТЕ ВНИМАНИЕ

In the process of preparation of a package of documents, investors often rely on work of translators who make small mistakes, which result in the necessity to redo the document, namely to have such document translated and apostilled again. Unlike competitors, we fill in the state forms and organize translation and legalization process by ourselves and this allows to exclude possible errors in spelling, for example, surnames. This allows our customers to save time and money. The contribution is paid after receipt of a positive decision from FIU and the Citizenship Commission of Vanuatu.  Unlike Caribbean programs, the amount can be transferred not only from the personal account of the investor or the company in which the investor is the beneficiary, but also from any other account of a natural person or legal entity, the transferred amount can also be in cryptocurrency, for example, in bitcoins.

Result 3 of stage:

The Approval In Principle is issued.

Stage 4

Grant of citizenship and the Oath of Allegiance

Duration:10 days

What does the client do?

The client pays the other 50% of the total amount, excluding the $5,000 due diligence fee.

What does the company do?

The company helps the client to organize the Oath of Allegiance, delivers the Certificate of Honorary Citizenship and passports to the client.

What does the government do?

After the confirmation of payment is received, the Certificate of Honorary Citizenship and passports are issued.

Расходы на 4 этапе

The other 50% of the total amount excluding the $5,000 due diligence fee.

ОБРАТИТЕ ВНИМАНИЕ

An Oath of Allegiance can be taken in Vanuatu, at its consulate in Istanbul or in the office of Migronis. Also, there is a possibility to invite a commissioner for taking an oath in the country of residence and, in this case, the client pays transportation and living expenses of the commissioner (2 days at a hotel).

Result 4 of stage:

The Certificate of Honorary Citizenship and passports are obtained.

Difficulties in obtaining citizenship of Vanuatu and solutions thereto

  • The applicant must file a certificate of no criminal record from his country of birth, as well as from any country in which the applicant has resided for more than 1 year in the past 10 years.

    Solution:

    We help to obtain certificates of no criminal record not only in home country but also in all other countries where the client has residency. In our practice, apart from the CIS countries, there have been cases of obtaining certificates from Switzerland, Israel, England, the United States, Spain, Italy, Poland, Latvia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries.

  • At the stage of filling out the government forms, translators can make minor mistakes in spelling and, as a result, the documents may need to be translated and apostilled again, and it takes time and money.

    Solution:

    We translate documents and fill out all forms ourselves. The cases prepared by our company are quickly processed by the citizenship agency as they don’t have any mistakes that need to be fixed.

  • Payment in cryptocurrency. None of the current programs accepts investment for citizenship in cryptocurrency.

    Solution:

    As the funds are transferred to a certified agent who transfers the sum to the citizenship unit, it is possible to pay with the cryptocurrency using the current exchange rate, which is noted in the contract.

  • Payment from a third party account. Payment of contribution to the government in the Caribbean countries is required only from a personal account or a company account, where the client is the beneficiary.

    Solution:

    Vanuatu does not have this requirement. Moreover, payment is carried out through an Escrow agent or an agent, who is licensed by Vanuatu government, and in their turn, they can accept funds from any account. The same scheme existed in the Hungarian program of permanent residence by investment.

  • A client wants to change the name while obtaining citizenship.

    Solution:

    There is a possibility to change a surname and first name after obtaining the citizenship. We help clients during the process. The cost is $20,000 and the term is up to 6 months.

  • Confirmation of connection to the island required while opening accounts in foreign banks.

    Solution:

    After obtaining a passport, you can also get a local driver’s license that can be requested when opening an account with a foreign bank. In order to obtain a driver’s license, it is necessary to visit the island one time.

Рекомендация эксперта

“The passport program of Vanuatu is suitable, first and foremost, for the investors who are interested in obtaining the second citizenship as soon as possible. Also, this is an ideal solution for crypto investors. Vanuatu passport opens door to visa-free travel to 129+ countries, including the UK, EU countries and Singapore. As of September 1, 2018, more than 2,600 investors have obtained a Vanuatu citizenship.”  Kristina Ruzhylo, immigration expert, member of the Investment Migration Council, and the managing partner at Migronis “While the law was still in draft stages, the government studied the negative experience of other countries and tried to make the program as investor-friendly as possible. I can now proudly say that we managed to do exactly that. The most important indicator is the application processing speed. On average, it takes 4-5 weeks. Thanks to the effectiveness of our CBI program, we were able to attract over USD 150 millions of direct investment.” — The Vanuatu  Consul to Lebanon and Special Envoy to the Middle East, H.E. Mr. Azzam Makhlouf

Выводы

By meeting all conditions, you and your family members can become citizens of Vanuatu in 4-8 weeks

  • Visa-free or visa on arrival access to more than 129 countries
  • Simple and quick due diligence check of candidates - only 7 days
  • No taxes imposed on global income, dividends, wealth and inheritance
  • Possibility to get long-term visas to USA and Canada

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