The Popularity of Economic Citizenship program (ECP) has made Republic of Vanuatu, a new haven for passports in the South Pacific.

Located geographically at at one of the riskiest locations for natural disasters, Vanuatu has been battling disaster after disaster and revenues from citizenship for sale program has been providing much needed lifeline against such potential risks.

Double Disaster

Vanuatu has been staying strong and united, amid a double disasters,  Covid-19 pandemic and a Cyclone Harold. So far the island has no coronavirus cases and managed to stop the spread of virus closing all ports of entry. At the moment Vanuatu is one of the few coronavirus free countries in the world.

Australia has pledged aid of AUD 4 million to support response efforts for families affected by cyclone Harold in Vanuatu. The country has hosted its flag for the first time the country has hosted flag since 40 years of independence to unite people and their prayers, according to Dailypost

Economic Citizenship Program

Vanuatu offers a commonwealth passport to its economic citizens who invest atleast $130,000 as an one time donation to the state through Development Support Program (DSP) or Vanuatu contribution program (VCP). Both the programs opened for public in 2015. So far Vanuatu has raised over US$200 million from the sale of passports since the launch of the scheme in 2015. Much of this money goes into disaster relief and other state expenses.

Vanuatu is not the only country selling passports for investment. Samoa opened an economic citizenship scheme in 2017 but the scheme is largely unsuccessful and Solomon islands in 2020 announced a new economic citizenship based on the Vanuatu model.

What makes Vanuatu passport unique?

– Fastest application approval times (3-4 weeks)
– Commonwealth passport with visa free access to United Kingdom, Russia, Ireland, EU schengen area.
– Passport issued within 2 months (entire process completed)
– Easy and straightforward application process (no personal visit needed)
– Very good passport from a pacific country with visa free access to UK, Schengen, Russia etc.
– Non FATCA country, may interest american expats.
– Pure tax haven, no corporate taxes or income, wealth or inheritance taxes.
– Full privacy to citizenship investors (names not disclosed to public)

ECP Revenues

Vanuatu ECP program has been a significant contributor to GDP of Vanuatu. IMF reported in 2018, the revenues of 5.7 billion Vatu revenues from the economic citizenship programs (ECPs) was used for unexpected expenses (Ambae disaster relief, and the mandated restoration of public benefit cuts) and early debt repayments (about 3.2 percent of GDP).

Vanuatu passport revenues reached its peak in 2019 exceeding $100 million in revenues for that year alone, equivalent to 11.9 of GDP. This exceeded VAT revenues and even whole year’s of operating surplus of Vanuatu.

By the end of 2019, Vanuatu has raised $230 million dollars from citizenship for sale, granting over 4000 passports to CBI citizens.

YearCBI Revenues (USD millions)

Source: Ministry of Finance report  / Note: Vanuatu Vatu exchanged to US dollars at March 12, 2020 rate.