Frequently Asked Questions

The machine-readable passport has been introduced to enhance the security of the Vanuatu passport and ensure Vanuatu complies with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards.

The machine readable passport improves the integrity of the Vanuatu passport and makes it easier for Vanuatu passport holders to be processed through borders.

Photos and biographical details of the passport holder are now printed on to the passport and protected by a secure laminate, which helps to prevent fraud.

The new machine readable passport looks similar to our previous passport books.  The main changes are that:

  • the passport holder’s photo, signature, and biographical data are printed on to page 2 of the passport 
  • the passport has a machine readable zone which can be read by document readers
  • there is a map of Vanuatu on page 3
  • there is a security laminate with a UV tusk design.

The Passports Office has started producing the new passports from early September 2010.

All passports that were issued before and during the introduction of the machine-readable passport are still valid until the expiry date printed on their passport. Le handwritten passports should be phased out in 2015.

Machine readable passports cannot be renewed in the same book.  You will need to complete an application form and apply for a new passport once your current passport expires.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation requires that each person has their own passport. Children can not be endorsed on their parent’s new passports anymore , as the machine readable zone contains data for only one person.

Depending on the requirements of the country you are travelling to, if children are endorsed on their parents’ existing passport they may be able to travel on this passport until they reach 16 years old or the passport expires.

Under the Passports Act 2009, you must be a Vanuatu citizen to be eligible for a Vanuatu passport.

To apply for a new passport you will need:

  • A completed application form (available from the Passports Office)
  • Original documents as stated on the application form (e.g. birth certificate), as evidence of your identity and entitlement to a passport.  You need to first register your birth with the Civil Status Office in Port Vila, and bring a printed birth certificate to the Passport Office with your passport application.
  • Two (2) recent identical passport photos
  • Someone to act as a witness who is over 18 years of age and has known you for 1 year or more
  • The correct application fee which is based on type of services you require.
  • Your most recent passport (if you have one).

The Vanuatu passport is valid for a maximum period of 5 years.  The validity period starts from the date of issue and runs until the date of expiry.

The information you provide helps the passport office to establish your identity and determine if you are eligible for a Vanuatu passport.

You will require an identity witness to formally identify you on the application form and certify one of your photographs.

A witness will:

  • Fill in the Identity Witness section of the application form in their own handwriting, and sign the declaration.
  • Write the full name of the person applying for the passport on the back of one of the photos, write the date and sign their own name on the back of the same photo.

It is important to register your birth with the Civil Status Office, as it is the central birth registry.

The Passport Office requires a printed birth certificate from the Civil Status Office to record your details in the passport system, as part of establishing your identity and entitlement to a passport.

As evidence of your married name, you need to bring your marriage certificate as part of your passport application.

To apply for a new passport for your child, you need to complete the application form with your child’s details.  You also need to complete the consent section and sign the bottom of the form.

If the child is age 10 – 17 years of age, he or she needs to sign the box at the top right of the application form.

If the child is under 10 years of age, the signature box at the top right of the form can be left blank.

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