passport sales

Vanuatu chiefs want end to govt sale of honorary citizenship

Since its introduction in 2016 the Vanuatu honorary citizenship development support programme has grown in popularity with an estimated 1800 successful applicants in 2018 alone.

That's almost five new honorary citizenships granted each day.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reported the president of the council, Willie Grey Plasua, said he understood the government needed to generate revenue to provide services to the people of Vanuatu.

But he said that doesn't mean it has to sell the national identity.

Vanuatu founder rails against passport sales

His comment follows revelations that more than 4000 Vanuatu passports have been sold to foreigners under the citizenship program.

Under the programme, foreigners can pay to become honorary citizens of Vanuatu which entitles them to hold passports.

Mr Sokomanu called on the government to find other means of generating income, to stop passport sales and to move away from being a tax haven.


Vanuatu revenue soars from passport sales

Since 2015, the country has offered honorary citizenship to people willing to pay a $US165,000 application fee.

The figures, first reported by the Daily Post, showed revenue from the programme now made up about 25 percent of total government revenue.

In 2017, passport sales accounted for nearly 16 percent of government revenue.