The European Council has suspended the agreement between the EU and Vanuatu on the short-stay visa waiver effective from 4 May 2022. The suspension will apply to ONLY citizens of Vanuatu holding ordinary passports issued since 25 May 2015. Holders of these Vanuatu passports will now need a  schengen visa to travel to the EU and Schengen area.

The temporary suspension is expected to last until February 3, 2023 afterwards EU council will make another decision depending upon Vanuatu implementing the EU proposals.

Switzerland which is a part of schengen area has imposed border controls (visa) to Vanuatu citizens adopting the council decision. Holders of passports issued by Vanuatu having entered the EU before the date of entry into force of this Regulation may continue their stay in the EU and exit without a visa.

The European council has cited poor background checks done under Vanuatu citizenship by investment programs (DSP/VCP) led to the suspension of the visa waiver to protect internal border of EU member states. This Regulation shall enter into force on the date following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.  It shall apply from 4 May 2022 to 3 February 2023. Ireland is therefore not taking part in the adoption of this Regulation and is not bound by it or subject to its application.

The ETIAS electronic authorization will commence from May 2023  to all countries with visa waiver agreements with EU. If the council decides to lift the visa waiver suspension by 2023, ETIAS pre registration will still apply to Vanuatu nationals. If not a schengen visa will be required to all Vanuatu nationals whose passports are issued after 25 May 2015.

The Adoption of EC decision is available here