What is the Process for Granting Citizenship and Passports
An Applicant (“the Applicant”) for Citizenship under the REO Program will acquire Citizenship of Vanuatu including Vanuatu passports upon complying with the requirements of the REO Program.
An Applicant can obtain citizenship under the REO Program within 4 weeks or less from the time their complete application is lodged with the Vanuatu Citizenship Commission (“the Commission”).
An Applicant must first meet the due diligence requirements of the Commission by submitting to and passing a background check with the Vanuatu Financial Investigation Unit (FIU Check).
Upon successfully passing a FIU Check the Applicant can then submit their Application for consideration by the Commission.
The Commission sits at least once per month and the Application can be approved if it is accompanied by all the required documents and the requirements of the REO Program are met.
Upon approval of the Application by the Commission, the Applicant has to pay the balance of the amounts under the REO Program and take the Oath of Allegiance to receive their Citizenship Certificates and Passports.
Requirements under the REO Program
To qualify for Citizenship under the REO Program an Applicant must
Purchase and pay for a Qualifying Property in a Vanuatu Government Approved Project (VGAP); and
Pay all the fees and charges detailed in the Regulations.
The Qualifying Property
A Qualifying Property is a Lot registered under the Community and Strata Titles Act [CAP 266] in a VGAP for the REO Program for a selling price of USD$200,000.00. The actual price of the Qualifying Property will vary depending on the purchase price set by the developer of each project.
An applicant can elect to acquire a quarter share in the Qualifying Property as tenant in common in which case they will only need to pay 25% of the selling price.
The following details the steps in processing of applications under the REO Program.
An Applicant is to enter into an Engagement Agreement with an Authorised Marketing Agent who has been appointed by VMS to process the Application under the REO Program.
The Engagement Agreement will detail the obligations of the Applicant including the obligation to enter into the Investment Contract with respect to the Qualifying Property and Payment of the Relevant Fees under the REO Program.
The second step is to obtain the Vanuatu Financial Investigation Unit approval. In order to obtain approval the Marketing-Agent must provide to the Master Agent, with respect to each applicant, the following:
Colour scan of current passport for each person listed in the application (the passport must be translated into English and the copy of the passport must be notarised by a Public Notary certifying it is a copy of the original);
Copy of Police Clearance Certificate of the Applicant and any spouse disclosing no criminal history (must not be older than 3 months) The Police Clearance Certificate must be translated into English and notarised by a Public Notary certifying it is a copy of the original. A Police clearance is required for the Main Applicant, the spouse if any and any children over 18.
Copy of the Curriculum Vitae (Resume) of the Applicant and any spouse contained in the application translated into English and notarised by a Public Notary;
USD$5,100.00 for the FIU check and bank fees paid to the Escrow Agent’s Trust Account;
On receipt of formal request for FIU check and payment to the Escrow Agent’s Trust Account of $5,100.00, the Commission Secretariat formally requests global probity checks by FIU on the applicant. FIU does global probity checks.
The Master Agent will advise the results of the FIU check to the Marketing-Agent.
On completion of FIU check, if Applicant is cleared, the Marketing-Agent must:
Submit the completed Application to VMS;
Provide a copy of the Engagement Agreement between the Marketing Agent and the Applicant to VMS;
Enter into a Service Agreement with VMS with respect to the Application by the Applicant;
Cause the Applicant to
enter into the Investment Contract to acquire the Investment Property and provide a copy of this Contract to VMS; and
remit to the Master Agent’s Trust Account:
25% of the Processing Fee);
VT5,000 application fee for the Commission;
25% Deposit for the Qualifying Property;
The Marketing-Agent must provide scanned copies of all Documents to the Master Agent for vetting to ensure that they are complete before lodging the Application. Once scanned documents are approved the originals are to be forwarded to the Port Vila office (we can arrange collection by DHL)
Once the amounts payable above have been paid and original documents received in Port Vila the Commission can meet and consider the Application.
Please note that the Marketing-Agent must make allowance for bank fees which will be deducted by the Bank from remitted funds. If the full amount stated above is not received the Marketing-Agent will need to cause the shortfall to be made up to progress the Application.
If the application is approved by the Commission, the Marketing-Agent shall cause the balance of the application fee and Qualifying Property to be paid as follows:
The balance of the price for the Qualifying Property (75%) to be paid to the Lawyers Trust Account;
the balance of the Processing Fee (75%) to the Lawyers Trust Account;
VT10,000 for each citizenship Certificate to be granted under the application to the Master Agent Trust Account.
The Passports and Citizenship Certificates are to be made available by the Commission after receipt of the balance of all amounts payable under the program.
The Master Agent reserves the right to amend this process to ensure compliance with the requirements in the Act and the Regulations