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With the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020 getting around has become complicated. In order to address concerns and adjust to the new reality the Citizenship Commission & Office and the Vanuatu government issued special Regulations and Circulars which have changed certain conditions of the economic citizenship Program (Development Support Program).
However, the main issue still the delivery of passports and certificates of citizenship to the domiciles of the investors. Now they can be delivered whether to the official embassy or consulate of Vanuatu – Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong (China), Manila (Philippines), Brussels (EU), Noumea (New Caledonia), Canberra (Australia ), Suva (Fiji), Wellington, Auckland (New Zealand). Or to the offices of the honorary consuls or passport officers. Thus, there are only two options for obtaining a passport for an approved candidate: picking up from the embassy or consulate, or getting from honorary consul or passport officer. In any case the investor shall go at his own cost to the country where the embassy, consulate, honorary consul or passport officer are located.
This practice is extremely inconvenient and is subject to constant criticism – both from the Program’s agents and investors. We know about cases when clients’ passports were stored for 5-6 months in the Vanuatu Passport Office in Port Vila, simply because there was no way for them to fly to the embassy, consulate or honorary consul. Too much risks: constantly changing rules for traveling, cancelling flights, risk of quarantine and so on. Other than that, the current situation creates preconditions for various abuses in order to bypass inconvenient practices and deliver passport direct to the client. Which may negatively affect the reputation of the Program.
The legal department of our company Vanuatu Investment Solutions has repeatedly sent its proposals to the Commission and the Passport Office with the aim to improve and increase the efficiency of passport delivery.
According to our sources, in March 2021 the Prime Minister of Vanuatu instructed the Commission and the Passport Office to develop in order to make delivery of passports by international courier services direct to investors’ possible. Probably soon approved candidates will be able to obtain their Vanuatu passports direct in their domiciles – Moscow or Minsk, Cairo or Dubai, Abuja or London.
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