Why Vanuatu's Lucrative 'Passports For Sale' Scheme Is Popular
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Why Vanuatu's Lucrative 'Passports For Sale' Scheme Is Popular

9 August 2019

Are you in the market for a second passport? one that can get you into scores of countries — including Europe, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and Russia — without needing a visa?

Or perhaps you'd like to park your money in a tax haven where there are no personal or corporate income taxes.

Maybe you'd just like to get away from the rat race and live on a picturesque tropical island in the South Pacific. Vanuatu, then, could be the place for you.

KEY POINTS

  • Applicants can become a Vanuatu citizen without needing to set foot in the country
  • It costs about $220,000 for a single application and more for couples and families
  • More than 4,000 passports have been sold under the scheme, with most to Chinese citizens

These are some of the selling points of Vanuatu's citizenship by investment scheme, or cash-for-passports as it's also known locally.

Sales have been booming in recent years, providing the Government with an unexpected but lucrative source of revenue.

SO HOW DOES IT WORK?

Many countries have citizenship by investment schemes, but often applicants are required to become permanent residents first and then only after several years do, they become eligible to become a citizen.

Under Vanuatu's scheme, successful applicants can become citizens within a matter of months, and there's no requirement to reside in the country or even set foot on Vanuatu soil at all.

It costs around $220,900 for a single application and more for couples and families.

Interested parties submit their applications through Alan and Partners which oversees the entire process.

The Government's Financial Intelligence Unit performs the job of screening an applicant's criminal and financial backgrounds.

Once approved, freshly minted citizens can then apply for the real prize, a Vanuatu passport.