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Vanuatu Citizenship By Investment Factsheet

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Vanuatu’s biodiverse and tropical islands attract retirees, investors, high-net-worth expats and professionals looking for a fast-track second citizenship option.

Passports are available in as little as a month, with an additional cost associated with expedited processing.

Vanuatu is a peaceful, small South Pacific island with untouched beaches and a clean ocean characterised by coral reefs and world-class diving. There is a huge contrast between the livelier tourist areas, such as Port Vila, and the laid-back lifestyle in villages spread across the 65 inhabited islands.

However, many choose to live in Vanuatu, with low property prices, a peaceful and safe environment and a primarily agricultural country where crime and traffic jams are non-existent.

Vanuatu is considered a tax haven since tax residents benefit from no personal tax levies, without inheritance, gift, income or wealth taxes in the country, depending on whether they fulfil minimum physical stay requirements and other criteria used by tax offices to determine tax residency status.

About Vanuatu


Vanuatu Vatu (VUV)


Gross domestic product per capita in Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is $956.3 million (£751 million), with primary industries in agriculture, tourism and offshore financial services. Exports include cocoa, fish, beef, kava, a local alcoholic drink and copra.


The capital is Port Vila, a harbourside city and primary hub of Efate, the main island within Vanuatu and the location of most of the tourist attractions and hotels. Visitors to Port Vila can access the Cultural Centre and National Museum to learn about the rich and preserved local culture.

Towns and cities

Vanuatu’s largest towns by population size are Port Vila and Luganville, with respective populations of around 51,000 and 18,000.



British expats

A sprinkling of Brits live among the 8,000 expats in Vanuatu.


The official language is Bislama, but many people also speak English and French.


Weather conditions vary across the islands, with the northern islands more tropical and with greater rainfall compared to dry, subtropical climates in the southern parts of the archipelago. Vanuatu is warm year-round, with a rainy season between December and March. In Port Vila, the winter daytime average temperature is 27°C (81°F), dropping to 26°C (79°F) in the south, with seasonal lows of 13°C (55°F).


Vanuatu shown on a globe map
Vanuatu’s location on the globe. Source Wikipedia

Vanuatu is in the South Pacific, comprising 13 primary volcanic and coral islands, with multiple smaller, often uninhabited islands. The country is around 500 miles west of Fiji and approximately 1,100 miles to the east of Australia.

Citizenship By Investment Options

The Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment scheme, launched in 2017, is officially called the Vanuatu Citizenship Development Support Program. Foreign nationals can receive a second passport by investing at least $130,000 (USD – £102,101) as follows:

  1. Making a non-refundable donation to the Vanuatu development fund of $130,000 (£102,101), increasing to $180,000 (£141,370) for a family of four. Other dependents can be added to the application for an additional contribution of $15,000 (£11,781) a person.
  2. Providing evidence of liquid funds of at least $250,000 (£196,348) and complying with other eligibility requirements, such as not being from a prohibited country and submitting a clear Police Clearance Certificate.

Foreign nationals can opt to pay processing fees from VUV 10,000 (£66.42) for a 21-day processing time, plus VUV 5,000 (£33) to VUV 7,000 (£46.50) per child or can opt for a higher fee of VUV 25,000 (£166) for urgent processing within three days.

Applications must be submitted with two witnessed passport photos, a marriage certificate copy for women, copies of birth certificates and the confirmation letter from the Vanuatu Citizenship office verifying that the application has received pre-approval.


Successful citizenship by investment applicants can travel visa-free to 100 destinations, including Hong Kong and Singapore. Note that the European Union has temporarily suspended visa-free Schengen Zone access.


Initial pre-approval is confirmed within just two days, with a 25 per cent investment balance payable along with the complete application. Once formally approved, investors must remit the 75 balance and participate in an Oath Swearing Ceremony before receiving a Vanuatuan passport. The process normally takes around one month.


British passport holders do not need an advance visa to travel to Vanuatu, provided their visit is no longer than 30 days. Arrivals must provide evidence of return travel and are granted permission to enter at the border through a tourist visa-on-arrival system.

Other visa categories, excluding citizenship by investment visa, include student, interim and special category visas, depending on the reason for travel.

Learn more about applying for a visa and entry conditions for Vanuatu.


Expats looking to take advantage of the low tax regime in Vanuatu must meet tax residency criteria, usually by living in the country for at least 183 days per year. International companies often have an office in Vanuatu to take advantage of the low 12.5 per cent corporation tax.

Tax benefits include zero taxes on dividends, interest income, investment profits, wealth, inheritances, capital gains and income from anywhere in the world.

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Cost Of Living

Living costs in Vanuatu are generally low, although a lack of official data makes it difficult to make direct comparisons. Some costs are higher, such as rental prices, which are around 16.5 per cent more expensive – although much depends on where you live since higher rents are associated with premium tourist resorts in Port Vila.

Groceries can also be expensive, with supermarkets approximately 68.3 per cent costlier than in the UK, although most of the population shops locally, avoiding imported goods which drive prices significantly higher than those available through farmer’s markets and other vendors.

Restaurant prices are 68.3 per cent cheaper in Vanuatu, and public transport is 40.7 per cent cheaper. However, utility prices can be costly, with electricity costing roughly 41.6 per cent more than in Britain. The lack of taxation balances out the differentials in living costs for many expats.


There are no restrictions against foreign nationals looking to buy property in Vanuatu, although expats may be asked for financial and professional references to purchase homes in prime areas. Property purchases do not count towards citizenship by investment but can be useful in proving tax residency.

One-bedroom city centre apartmentVUV 187,587 / £1,246
One-bedroom apartment elsewhereVUV 139,314 / £926
Three-bedroom city centre apartmentVUV 238,750 / £1,586
Three-bedroom apartment elsewhereVUV 219,617 / £1,459
Source: Numbeo

View properties in Vanuatu listed for sale on Rightmove.


Vanuatu has limited healthcare facilities, although several private clinics and doctors are located around Port Vila. The main hospital is the Vial Central Hospital, and the government provides healthcare for citizens, with some facilities funded by churches, community organisations and NGOs.

Expats are advised to take out comprehensive private healthcare insurance before travelling or relocating since some treatments are only available in Fiji or Australia.

Medications are also limited, but there are five public hospitals, 27 health centres across the islands, and over 200 aid posts in rural areas which provide basic assistance and healthcare. The water is safe to drink in Vanuatu, but international visitors should be vaccinated against meningitis, hepatitis A and B, measles, mumps and rubella.

Vanuatu Citizenship By Investment FAQ

Can the Vanuatu government take away citizenship?

Once an expat has applied for citizenship and received a passport, it would be rare and unusual for the Vanuatu government to consider revoking their status. The only potential scenarios would be discovering fraud on the paperwork or other wrongdoing, such as using funds to make a qualifying investment from an unverified source.

When is a citizenship application rejected?

Several requirements are linked with Vanuatu citizenship, and applicants may be turned down if they fail to provide evidence of their investment funds or cannot produce a clear Police Clearance Certificate.

Applicants who are citizens of Syria, Iran, North Korea, Iraq or Yemen cannot apply for citizenship unless they have been living elsewhere with permanent residency for at least five years. Citizenship investments are made after pre-approval, so it is doubtful an applicant would make an investment and subsequently find their application had been refused.

How long is the flight from Vanuatu to the UK?

Flights from London to Port Vila take around 20 hours and 30 minutes in total. There are no direct flights, but travellers can stop over in New Zealand or Australia, sometimes with another stop-off between the first leg of the journey.

What’s the currency in Vanuatu?

The currency is the Vanuatu Vatu (VUV), and visitors are advised to exchange denominations before travelling since few places outside Port Vila and Luganville accept card payments.

Do British passport holders need a visa?

UK nationals do not need a visa for short-term stays, provided they do not intend to remain in Vanuatu for more than 30 days. On arrival, travellers are assessed for permission to enter and must show proof of return travel tickets.

Below is a list of related articles you may find of interest.


  1. Government of Vanuatu –
  2. Vanuatu Financial Services Commission –
  3. Reserve Bank of Vanuatu –
  4. Vanuatu Citizenship Office –

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