See the most frequently asked questions about this program, along with their answers.
Mundo is often asked to identify the perfect plan B passport. Now, with the latest coronavirus
scare and the global financial meltdown, Vanuatu, while it’s still available,
scores a perfect ten out of ten on our list.
Vanuatu is not only extremely competitive on price and outbids almost all
other CBI programs, but it also has very private banking (for citizens), no tax
exchange (for citizens), no extradition (for citizens), and zero tax on
worldwide and local income (for citizens).
Apart from the above, it has no real government control or surveillance
(no government really), no armed police force (actually not much of a police
force at all), excellent banking, accounting, financial, and wealth management
services, and it’s considered to be the 4th happiest place on earth.
There are over 30 islands with some of the best beaches, diving, and
fishing in the world, as well as access to clean water, organic food, and good
value real estate.
Most importantly, there are no cases of coronavirus and no government-imposed
lockdowns or restrictions and no limitations on your freedom.
The acquisition of a second citizenship could save
your life in times of political unrest, civil war, or similar situations. In
this increasingly dangerous world, acquiring a second citizenship is a wise and
future-proofing decision. Not without reason, thousands of international
business people, wealthy individuals, and families buy an alternative, second
citizenship every year. This second citizenship is regarded as additional life
insurance or as a protective shield for the spouse and the children.
In addition, a
second citizenship can also serve to lower your taxes and protect your assets.
It allows for better protection of assets, greater financial privacy, higher
returns, greater personal and financial security, and deferred taxes on
pensions and life insurance. For example, opening a foreign bank account with a
second nationality is much easier. Such an offshore bank account would allow
you to buy securities and funds in financial markets around the world.
Ten reasons why
it’s the best program available today
1.Vanuatu is the only country to
streamline its approval process in such a way that you don’t risk or tie up
funds at the approval stage. For an all-inclusive fee of USD 10,000 (this
covers all family members, legal work, government fees, etc.), you will obtain
a clearance from the government, which acts as an approval. After this, you pay
the remaining amount and there is almost zero chance of rejection as you have
been pre-approved. No other program offers this, making Vanuatu the fastest and
indeed reliable program in terms of acceptance rates, available today.
2.The Republic of Vanuatu imposes no
income, wealth, or inheritance taxes, and guarantees banking and commercial
privacy in a well-developed banking sector. Vanuatu is the Bahamas of the
Pacific, but it does not have tax exchange treaties in place with most
countries. Vanuatu also now has tax
residency (see below under taxes).
3.Visa-free or visa on arrival access to
124 countries and territories. Granted visa-free entry to 26 Schengen Area
countries as well as UK, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and many more.
4.Vanuatu Citizenship is for a lifetime
and the main investor’s dependent family (as spouse and children) can be
5.Parents of the applicant can be
included as dependants.
6.Vanuatu citizenship can be obtained
from a minimum investment of USD 150,000 for a single applicant.
7.The program application time can be as
little as two months and, by law, even one month, which makes it the fastest
program available today.
8.Source of funds documentation allow
bitcoin as a source of funds (though not payments in bitcoin). Also, the source
of funds requirements and wealth requirements are one of the less difficult of
9.Vanuatu allows citizens to invest,
live, and open bank accounts structures in the country as citizens, including
acquiring tax residency.
10.The country does not recognize the extradition
of its citizens and has no current treaties concerning this with any other
11.There’s no residency requirement.
12.Low cost of living.
13.Officially, it’s the 4th “Happiest
Place in the World.”
14.it is the only Citizenship by
Investment (CBI) program of its kind in the Asia Pacific Hemisphere.
15.International off-shore finance center
16.Simple company and bank account
17.Stable, peaceful country – does not
even have Regular Armed Forces.
18.An English/French speaking British
Commonwealth Member Country.
19.Simple and fast application process –
as little as 30 days.
20.A stunning tropical island nation –
both for tourism and living.
21.Low cost real estate – from prime
beach front to whole islands for sale.
The program - legal foundation
The Vanuatu Development Support Program (VDSP)
was created for the purpose of raising funds to support infrastructure and
promoting the economic development of the country. The DSP was enacted by the
Vanuatu Government under the Citizenship Act (cap 112) with the powers
conferred on the Prime Minister by Section 20 of the Citizenship Act (112)
Order No. 215 of 2016.
On August 24, 2017, the Prime Minister
of Vanuatu, in the official Gazette, published that he replaced the DSP. From
this time, Honorary Citizenship will be offered. Our program experts are NTL Wealth, who have been established since 1994
in Nevis and are specialist in the Vanuatu DSP as they have their own office in
the Vanuatu Capital Estate, since the beginning of the DSP.
In January 2017, the Republic of Vanuatu launched its
Development Support Program for USD 150,000, including government and due
diligence fees. The citizenship acquired under the DSP program is fully
recognized by the Government of Vanuatu and the nationality is regarded as
Ni-Vanuatu. Those applying for and receiving Vanuatu Citizenship under the DSP
have the full right to reside in Vanuatu at all times and the passport is
renewable upon expiry. Honorary Citizenship is hereditary.
The DSP program was designed to help indigenous
(Ni-Vanuatu) obtain access to much-needed aid, including education and medical
assistance. The program grants citizenship by donation to all applicants form
the majority of countries with only a few restricted countries such as Iraq,
Iran, and Syria (but even these countries can get citizenship if they prove
they were residing overseas for a certain period).
ØApplicants must be over the age of 18 and under
65 when submitting their application.
ØApplicants should preferably have no less than
USD 500,000 of net personal assets when submitting their application, of which
at least USD 250,000 in banking assets. There is some flexibility on this.
ØThe Citizenship Committee meets twice a month
to consider applications.
ØThe Committee makes its decision on granting
Citizenship based on the following:
üThe result of clearance (due diligence)
conducted by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
üThe complete and satisfactory submission of
the Stage Two documentation.
üThe clearance of Stage Two funds through the
National Bank of Vanuatu (NBV), and evidence of deposition into the Government
ØIf all three aspects of the submission to the
Citizenship Committee are satisfactorily completed, there is rarely any
impediment to Citizenship being granted.
ØIt is essential that the processing agent is
deeply familiar with the submission requirements so as to provide the right
advice regarding documentation. This will minimize delays in processing, which
can otherwise be significant.
ØThe requirement to transfer significant sums
of money to a Vanuatu-based Master Agent means that a highly reputable
intermediary sub-agent should be engaged, with unambiguous accountability for
the security of the funds remitted.
One of the problems faced by many passport
holders and citizens of Vanuatu was establishing tax residency since Vanuatu
did not recognize personal income tax of any kind and, therefore, did not levy a
tax on local income or worldwide income. Simply speaking, they did not have and
still don’t have any tax department to collect taxes and no tax police. Consequently,
it follows that there was no opportunity or need to file tax returns and indeed
no personal Tax Identification Numbers.
As part of the newly implemented Vanuatu Tax Administration Act (TAA 37), a
system for issuance of Personal and Corporate “Tax Identification Numbers”
(TIN) has been introduced by the Vanuatu Customs and Inland Revenue Department.
As anyone who has opened or operated a
bank account in a Common Reporting Standard (CRS) signatory jurisdiction will
be aware, the provision of a TIN is mandatory in facilitating the automatic
exchange of information required under the CRS system.
Vanuatu, itself a CRS signatory
member, has struggled in the past to fully meet its obligations due to the
absence of a TIN system. This has also created some obstacles for
individuals with Vanuatu Citizenship seeking to open bank accounts around the
world where, often (in fact, almost invariably), the provision of a TIN is
stated as mandatory.
For Vanuatu citizens under the Vanuatu
Development Support Program (VDSP) and Vanuatu Contribution Program (VCP), the
introduction of a TIN is the most obviously relevant –and beneficial– of the
However, the Act itself is a little
over one hundred pages long, spanning many facets of tax administration in
Vanuatu. For those VDSP and VCP citizens engaged in business activities in
Vanuatu, it would merit further study to understand any changes and reinforcements,
and the impact these might have (TAA37 download here).
Importantly, no material changes to
existing tax rates or fees are gazetted under the Act and –for now, at least–
Vanuatu remains a largely tax-free environment.
questions - an interview
with NTL expert Alex
Q. Alex, we understand you are NTL Wealth’s manager of the passport
division and in charge of the Vanuatu Citizenship team. Tell us a little bit
more about yourself.
A. I was previously the manager for one of the top law
firms in Panama dealing with international structuring. Then, I joined NTL in
their Panama head office 3 years ago and have been heading the Vanuatu team. I
deal with all CBI, including Montenegro, Cyprus, Caribbean, and Vanuatu.
Q. What is NTL Wealth?
A. NTL Wealth is
a specialist in CBI programs and we have our head office in Panama with our own
law firm there, plus licenses for all the Caribbean passport programs (St.
Kitts, Grenada, Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia). We also have an office in St. Kitts
and Nevis with the oldest licensed trust company established in 1994, so we not
only do passports but also a whole series of support services including trusts,
wealth planning and management, corporate and banking, and tax residency.
Q. Alex, how can a second passport help in the coronavirus situation or a
A. Well, a
coronavirus is only one of a chain of things that can restrict travel and
freedom of movement in today’s times. Many of our clients, especially
Venezuelan families, have trouble getting visas, opening bank accounts, and
doing things ordinary people take for granted simply because of their passport.
With coronavirus, we are going to see massive challenges to our freedoms, and a
second passport will help.
Q. How does Vanuatu compare to other countries’ CBI?
A. Well, I can
say Vanuatu’s CBI is a very fair process. We know exactly what they require, we
collect the documents and submit them to the authorities, and get clearance so we
can guarantee our clients that they will be approved within one month and get
their passport within 3 months top. With other programs, especially some of the
Caribbean ones, I have sometimes had waits of over six months without response
and have had rejections without explanation or right of appeal.
Q. Have you ever been rejected in Vanuatu?
A. I can say that,
since we have our own office there and we know the process, we have never had a
single rejection. I think this reflects not only our own quality control but
also the fact that Vanuatu, despite its size, has a very fair and transparent
Q. How is Vanuatu processing applications in light of the coronavirus?
A. They have
issued a direction that allows them to do the interview for citizenship by Skype,
which is very innovative and solves the current situation. What I like about
Vanuatu is how flexible open and responsive they are. They care about clients
and want to make the process as smooth as possible.