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The Republic of Vanuatu is a sovereign island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The country consists of a chain eighty-three volcanic islands and was jointly administered by the Anglo-French condominium of the New Hebrides from 1906 to 1980 when it gained its independence. Vanuatu achieved full independence on 30th July 1980. The name Vanuatu means “Our Land Forever” in many of the locally used Melanesian languages.
The nation’s capital city and its political and commercial centre is Port-Vila, on Éfaté Island. Population of Vanuatu is app 308,000. Most of the inhabitants (98.5%) are native Melanesian, or Ni-Vanuatu, with the remainder made up of a mix of Europeans, Asians and other identities. There are 3 official national languages – English, French and Bislama (an English-based Melanesian pidgin.) Apart from this, Vanuatu is the most multilingual nation on earth per capita with over 110 languages being spoken.
There are regular flights to Vanuatu from New Zealand, Australia and Fiji. Vanuatu is only 3.5 hours flying time from Sydney, Australia, or a little over 2 hours from Auckland, New Zealand.
Vanuatu offers one of the fastest citizenships and second passports available for investors worldwide under the Vanuatu Development Support Program (DSP), established for the purposes of Section 13E of the Citizenship Act (Cap.112.)
The Program was initiated by the Prime Minister in early 2016 after the destruction caused by Cyclone Pam with the purpose of recovering economy and encouraging investment to support infrastructure. DSP has replaced the previous version of the citizenship program (Vanuatu Economic Rehabilitation Program). In order to guarantee success Vanuatu has adopted all necessary legislation, even going so far as to change its Constitution to recognize dual citizenships. The Vanuatu DSP was fully adopted by the government in April 2017. The DSP is regulated by the Vanuatu Citizenship Commission & Office. Background and due diligence checks of the applicants are made by the Vanuatu Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in conjunction with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) approved EU company.
Vanuatu citizenship is granted to successful applicants with clean criminal records who make contribution to the Government (USD 130,000 for a single applicant, USD150,000 for a couple plus fees). Processing is quick, usually 30 days. Program regulations are clear and simple, without any excessive rules like language test or residency requirement. Even a short visit to the island is not required. Family members can be included in the main investor’s application. Child born after the person is granted citizenship under the DSP is a citizen of Vanuatu. Meaning that Vanuatu citizenship is hereditary.
The Citizenship acquired under the DSP program is fully recognized by the Government and the nationality as Ni-Vanuatu or a citizen of Vanuatu. There are some limitations such as citizens under this form of citizenship do not have voting rights or eligibility to contest in general elections of the State.
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