Vanuatu Development Support Programme
Vanuatu’s Development Support Programme (DSP) is one of two citizenship by investment programmes that coexist in Vanuatu. Established in 2017, the DSP originally conferred only ‘honorary’ citizenship, which afforded successful applicants far fewer rights than those held by native and naturalised citizens. However, the DSP was overhauled in 2018 and now confers ‘full’ citizenship (albeit without the right to engage in political life in Vanuatu).
Benefits of Vanuatu Citizenship
Citizenship of Vanuatu comes with a wide range of benefits, including:
- Global mobility
- Citizenship for life, with the right to live and work in Vanuatu
- Citizenship can be passed down to future generations
- Right to hold dual citizenship
DSP applicants have only one investment option – a direct contribution to the Government. Vanuatu mandates a ‘minimum selling price’, consisting of the Government contribution and an agent’s minimum professional fee. The minimum selling price for a single applicant under the DSP is US$130,000, of which US$80,000 is due to the Government.
It should be noted that 25% of the Government contribution is due prior to the approval of the application. This deposit is non-refundable should the application be subsequently declined.
- Single applicant US$130,000
- Married couple US$150,000
- Married couple plus a child under 18 US$165,000
- Married couple plus two children under 18 US$180,000
The application process in Vanuatu can be broken down into 8 steps:
- Step 1: Choose a Designated Agent
- Step 2: Submission of the application and payment of relevant fees
- Step 3: After due diligence, a first decision is made in relation to the application, known as a ‘pre-approval’ if successful
- Step 4: At this point, 25% of the contribution is due
- Step 5: A final decision is made in relation to the application
- Step 6: Upon final approval, the rest of the contribution must be made
- Step 7: Certificate of Naturalisation is issued, and passport can be obtained
- Step 8: Successful applicants must travel to take the Oath of Allegiance in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths
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Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to apply?
Main applicants must be over the age of 18, possess sufficient funds to make the contribution, and must be of good character. In Vanuatu, applicants must also have respect for the culture and the ways of life of Vanuatu and have a reasonable knowledge and understanding of the rights, privileges, responsibilities, and duties of citizens.
Which family members can I include in my application?
Main applicants can include:
- Children of the main applicant or of the spouse, if:
- Aged under 18
- Aged 18 to 25, residing with or dependent upon the applicant or his or her spouse, and attending full time education
- Parents of the main applicant or of the spouse, residing with and dependent upon the main applicant or his or her spouse, and aged over 50
What does the due diligence process in Vanuatu entail?
Applicants are vetted by multiple entities. First, Vanuatu’s Designated Agents review the applicant’s documentation and conduct KYC checks. Vanuatu’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the main body responsible for due diligence in Vanuatu, then conducts in-depth desktop due diligence using reputable databases. If an applicant is flagged by the FIU, a second check is conducted with help from an international, third-party due diligence firm.
Are citizens from certain countries barred from applying?
Citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, North Korea, Yemen, Russia and Belarus are unable to apply for citizenship by investment in Vanuatu.
Is this programme for me?
The following persons may be a good fit for the programme:
- Investors and entrepreneurs looking to diversify their assets
- Individuals and families seeking greater global mobility