Concern in Vanuatu over appointment of citizenship agents

This comes after the Vanuatu Citizenship Commission reported an agent had submitted fraudulent documentation in an application.

For around $US150,000 anyone without a criminal conviction can apply for honorary Vanuatu citizenship.

The benefits of the status listed on the government citizenship website include banking and corporate access to the country's tax haven facilities and visa free travel to 125 countries.

Vanuatu MP wants stricter controls on passport sales

This comes after revelations over 4000 Vanuatu passports have been sold under the citizenship programme since 2017.

The Daily Post reported that while there has been a surge in passport sales there has apparently been no substantial increase in the numbers of Chinese visitors in the past two years.

The committee has advised the Citizenship Bureau that it must tighten regulations on passport sales when granting honorary citizenship in Vanuatu.

Napuat says Vanuatu needs to review citizenship program

Mr Napuat has confirmed that there are confirmations that some foreigners have been taking advantage of the program to enter Vanuatu and hide behind the program to do whatever they want.

He added that some foreigners arrive in Vanuatu under Tourists visa and when in Vanuatu they change their visa class in order to find a job.

He also confirmed that there were some foreigners who entered Vanuatu under the Citizenship Program as investors, but after setting up their businesses they applied for other jobs in Vanuatu and are employed to work for other companies.


New regulations for sale of Vanuatu citizenship

Introduced by Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, the Development Support Programme is hoped to increase revenue to support development projects in the country.

Applications for citizenship will cost US$130,000 for a family of four, with an additional $5,000 for every other dependent child or $10,000 for non-dependents.

There is also a $2,000 administration fee.

The change came into effect this month.


West Papuans to be granted citizenship

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Rimbink Pato said Regional Resettlement Arrangement (RRA) refugees have a different level of need because they have arrived more recently and come from a non-Melanesian background.  

He said the Citizenship Advisory Committee will be meeting soon to deliberate on more than 1,000 West Papuan refugees who have been registered in East Awin, Kiunga, and Port Moresby.

Meanwhile, Pato said that in 1986 Papua New Guinea acceded to the 1951 Convention of the Status of Refugees and its related 1967 Protocol.