Vanuatu is a leading offshore financial center and tax haven in the South Pacific. It is quickly becoming a popular destination for wealthy individuals, families and corporations that require an element of monetary privacy, tax benefits and inheritance wealth preservation structures.
As a further benefit to investors, if an individual or family donates a minimum sum of $130,000 into the Vanuatu Development Support Program, they would be entitled to apply for a Vanuatu citizenship and passport. A Vanuatu passport can be issued within just 30-45 days.
CBI has been in existence since the Caribbean nation of St Kitts & Nevis established their program back in 1984. CBI is a simple method by which small countries are able to attract much needed funds to help them build up their nations infrastructure.
Funds are generally spent on public services, for example; schools, hospitals, utilities, public housing etc.
For this reason Vanuatu quickly built worldwide government relationships with the intent to provide a Vanuatu Passport holder increased Visa-free or Visa-on-arrival benefits. It currently has the privilege of accessing 140+ countries and territories worldwide.
Major nations such as; UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, Russia, EU Schengen Region, Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland), Switzerland and many, many more were quick to sign up.
Using the metric of; Visa-Free & Visa-on-Arrival, a Vanuatu passport ranks 41/203 passports worldwide (source: Henley & Partners Passport Index).
However, an interesting fact, but not widely known, is that a Vanuatu Passport, when analyzed using a mix of weighted business related metrics, ranks in the top 10 of all world passports (source: Global Passport Rank).
It is common knowledge in the CBI industry that the Vanuatu government is in negotiation with China, Canada & Australia to add them to their list of Visa-Free, Visa-on-Arrival nations.
China is expected to be on board by the end of the summer, 2021, with the other nations expected this side of the new year.
Simon Thompson of the Blog, Passport Adviser, explains “you have to appreciate, if Vanuatu manage to bring China, Canada & Australia into its stable of visa-free accessible nations, then the Vanuatu passport will be propelled into the top 3 or 5 of all worldwide passports. If it happens, then other than the USA & Brazil, a Vanuatu passport holder will have access to the most important economic trading blocks in the world”
He went on to say “It beggars belief that such a small nation, with a population of just 300,000 people, could possess such a powerful passport. It is a huge achievement and should not be discounted”
2nd passports & citizenships have now become Vanuatu’s biggest source of government revenue in recent years. Enquiries have increased most notably due to the onset of closed borders, draconian national lockdowns, and imposed travel restrictions.
A growing number of frustrated people are seeking ways to secure their freedom of movement as they have faced travel restrictions which are, typically, based on citizenship.
For these and other reasons mentioned in this article, Vanuatu has become a major and dominant player in the $25bln CBI market.