Vanuatu passports

Vanuatu reviews passport sales scheme

Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu told the Financial Times that the review, which will be completed by March, would look at strengthening due diligence.

Currently, the citizenship programme allows foreign nationals to obtain a Vanuatu passport for $US150,000.

The passport sales earn Vanuatu millions of dollars each year but have been criticised by some leaders, including the president.

Vanuatu president attacks passport sales

The government's citizenship sales programme has brought in millions of dollars in revenue but public criticism of it has intensified in recent years.

Those who buy citizenship are eligible to hold passports.

"Records showed that since June 2019, 4000 passports have been sold under the Citizenship Program to foreigners who have no interest to invest in Vanuatu, thus diminishing our economic development and destroying the very status that has been given to our people by the framers of the Constitution," the president was quoted as saying by the Vanuatu Daily Post.

Vanuatu passports upgrade

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, staff will be working on submissions lodged before the date of closure.

The ministry will resume taking new passport applications after 23 July.

Technicians will upgrade the Vanuatu passports validity for a longer lifespan and they will feature upgraded security features.

The upgraded passports will have a 10 year-validity compared to the current five-year lifespan.

The current lifespan of Vanuatu Passport is valid for 5 years

Sale of Vanuatu passports ‘degrading’, says Sokomanu

“It is lowering our dignity as Ni-Vanuatu and Melanesian people,” Sokomanu told the Vanuatu Daily Post.

“It is degrading, it is totally unacceptable and non-negotiable in any way you can think. We the people of Vanuatu cannot accept this.”

Sokomanu became the first President of the Republic of Vanuatu on July 30, 1980. He stressed the country won its political independence from Britain and France through political struggle and sheer determination.

Bitcoin idea raises further questions over Vanuatu passports

Earlier this month the Vanuatu government backtracked on an announcement just days earlier that it would accept the cryptocurrency.

The media director of the Vanuatu Daily Post Dan McGarry said the government had been driving the plan, just the latest in a series of citizenship programmes.

He said it hadn't shown consistency over the years.