The Vanuatu Citizenship Commission has officially opened the REO program to invest in real estate for citizenship by investment. This third option for the CBI program was launched on 26 Aug 2021
The Citizenship (Real Estate Option) Program was enacted under section 13F of the Citizenship Act [CAP. 112] and Citizenship (Real Estate Option Program) Regulation Order No. 93 of 2021.
An Applicant for Vanuatu Citizenship under the REO Program must purchase a property in a Vanuatu Government Approved Project (VGA Projects) and pay the relevant prescribed fees.
Minimum purchase price USD 200,000 plus VAT on an approved development. (in the form of shares or titled properties)
Applicants require payment of at least 10% deposit at the time of submitting the Application for Citizenship.
The FIU does global probity checks on the applicant before issuing letter of approval for citizenship. Applicants are required to produce police criminal record certificate and upfront 10% deposit plus USD$5,100 for the FIU check and bank fees paid to submit the application. Once the file is approved after two months, the rest of the investment has to be paid.
Approved Real Estate
This A number of real estate developments were also approved under the newly launched Real estate option (REO) program. There are currently four approved VGA Projects as follows:
- “Pacific Springs” situated at Rentabao on the island of Efate;
- “Narpow Point Coral Bay” situated at Narpow Point on the island of Efate;
- “FPF Rainbow City Project” situated at Narpow Point on the island of Efate;
- “Milai” situated on the island of Espiritu Santo.
Download the official approval (pdf)
Vanuatu Real Estate Background
Vanuatu property prices still remains the lowest in the world. Residential property prices average around US$800 – US$970 per sq. m.
Lands in Vanuatu are not freehold. Properties can be leased for up to 50 years for residential lots and 75 years for commercial ones. There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property.
Property prices have been steadily increasing over the years, especially due to increase in tourism, especially tourist arrivals combined with influx of chinese, australians and other expats.
What are the property taxes applicable?
- 2% Stamp Duty
- 5% Title Transfer Registration
- If the buyer is purchasing an existing company, the Stamp Duty is 4% on the Share Transfer Value, and because the shares in the lessee company are transferred, not the title itself, there is no 2% Stamp Duty fee.
- Legals costs are usually between 0.5% ‐ 1.% of the purchase price.
- VAT (currently 15%) is not payable by the purchaser on residential property. VAT is payable by a builder or property developers. VAT is payable by the purchaser on the sale of commercial property.
- Insurance will cost about 0.5% to 0.7% (cyclone, earthquake, volcano eruptions etc)
Property transfers take 2-3 months.
Port Vila, coastal and harbour locations are good areas to buy a residential property. Efate is Vanuatu’s main island, politically, economically, industrially and in terms of population and tourism.
Best areas to invest
- Residential – Port Vila, Tassiriki, Elluk, the Harbourfront, First Lagoon, Second Lagoon, Bellevue, Malapoa and the oceanfront subdivisions near town such as Dream
- Commercial – Main street and central harbour
- Agricultural land – Efate and Santo islands