All You Need to Know About Vanuatu’s CBI Program
Are you a UAE citizen entrepreneur and would like to expand your business portfolio? If yes, you should consider investing in Vanuatu. In addition to it being a tax haven, the country also has very foreigner-friendly passports on sale. Their passports are foreigner-friendly because you don't have to live in the country to acquire the passport. If you pay the required fees, you and all your family members will be granted passports. This Vanuatu arrangement is the perfect example of a citizenship by investment scheme. Here is an in-depth look at how the system works. It will also give you an insight into the reasons that made the country sell its passports.
How it Works
The practice by most countries is before you are offered citizenship by investment; you have first to become a permanent citizen. You will have to have lived in the said country for some years for you to be eligible for citizenship. However, Vanuatu is different. Their law does not require you to live in the country for you to become a citizen. You can become a citizen without having set foot in the country.
How do you go about it? You will need to contact a government-approved agent first. The Citizen's Office Commission is the government body responsible for approving the agents. After that, you will be required to pay a fee. Single applications are the cheapest. Couples and families pay more. Thereafter, the Financial Intelligence Unit will screen the applicant's financial and criminal records. You can only apply for the passport once your application has been approved.
Why Do They Sell Passports?
The sole purpose of this is to inflate revenue. In 2014, the country amended its constitution allowing dual citizenship in a bid to draw in investors from around the world. There had been widespread criticism by locals who were against the idea. But in 2015, Cyclone Pam hit the country, and the results were devastating. It caused widespread losses, and the government reiterated their stand on selling passports. They pointed out the fact that some of the revenue from passport sales will be used to mitigate the losses caused by the cyclone.
The government insists that they do not intend to harbour criminals. There were instances where the government had deported passport holders back to their countries. A few Chinese nationals were deported after it was discovered that they were running a financial scam that targeted people back in China. The Financial Intelligence Unit clarified that the deported citizens had previous criminal records. All in all, the Vanuatu citizenship program is an investors dream.