Application Process For Vanuatu Citizenship

A. A guide to the application process for Vanuatu Citizenship either by naturalisation, entitlement, non-citizens married to a citizen, or regain.

STEP 1: Determine that you are eligible

Prior to collection of a citizenship application form, you shall be advised on whether or not you are eligible to become a Vanuatu citizen. Upon eligibility, you shall be advised and provided the correct Application Form depending on the nature of your eligibility.

Form AAny non-citizen may be eligible to apply to become a Vanuatu Citizen only if he or she has lived in Vanuatu for a continuous period of at least 10 years immediately prior application.

Form B. A non-citizen married to a Vanuatu Citizen is not eligible to apply for Vanuatu citizenship unless he or she meets the two following requirements: i. legally married; and ii. lived in Vanuatu for a period of at least 2 years prior application.

Form C (a). A person is eligible to apply to become a Vanuatu citizen through Entitlement if at least one of his or her parent or grandparent is a person of Ni-Vanuatu ancestry or a citizen by naturalization.

It is important to note that in the case of Entitlement through naturalization, the eligible applicant must have been born after his parent (s) became (naturalized) citizen (s). If the applicant was born prior his parent (s) became naturalized and was not included in the application by his parent (s) when applying for citizenship, he cannot be Entitled to Citizenship through naturalization. 

Form C (b). This Form applies to a person who has renounced his or her Vanuatu citizenship and who wishes to regain his or her citizenship.

Form D. Any investor under the Capital Investment Immigration Plan (CIIP) is eligible to apply for Vanuatu Citizenship if he or she meets the relevant criterias provided under the Citizenship Act. 

Form related to Honorary Citizenship: Candidates are eligible if they meet the legal requirements provided under Section 20 of the Citizenship Act [Cap 112] and Vanuatu Economic Rehabilitation Program. 

Children

Applications for children under 18 years of age must be made by a responsible parent or lawful guardian.

STEP 2: Gather all required documents as per the Checklist of each Application Form

Each application Form has a checklist (see final page of Form) which required certain documentation that must be submitted together with your completed Form. Providing all of the required documentation will enable us to process your application promptly.

Your application may be returned to you if the required documents are not provided with your application.

Use the related checklist as a guide to the documentation required.

STEP 3: Complete and lodge your application

Complete and lodge your application together with all the legal required documents (as per checklist). Upon lodging of your application, you shall pay the Application Fee (please refer to Citizenship Fees and Charges under Citizenship) prior further process of your application.

STEP 4: Examination of your application by responsible Officers

Your application will be then perused by the responsible Officers and forwarded to the Compliance Officer for a second examination to ensure that you:

  1. are eligible to become a citizen;

  2. completed your application Form correctly; and

  3. provide all required valid documents as per checklist.

STEP 5: Bislama Test requirement

This final legal requirement, prior the Commission's consideration, only applies to applicants of Forms A and B. Upon satisfaction of the completion of your application and provision of all required documentation, you shall sit a written Bislama Test which is basically about general knowledge of the Republic of Vanuatu legally, politically, historically and socially.

The time frame of the Bislama test sitting is 1 hour. The successful result of the test will be forwarded together with your application to the Citizenship Commission. Failure to pass the Bislama Test (1) will put your application on hold and require you to sit a Bislama Test 2. The latter can only be completed within 6 months or more depending on how well you are prepared.

STEP 6: Assessment of your application by the Citizenship Internal Screening Committee

Your completed Application Form including all required documentation will be then forwarded to the Citizenship Internal Screening Committee for further reviewal to ensure that you meet all the requirements prior further process.

STEP 7: Consideration and approval of your application by the Citizenship Commission

If the Internal Screening Committee is satisfied with your application, it will then forward it to the Citizenship Commission which is the body responsible to approve citizenship application. Hence, the approval of your application rests with the Commission. 

The Commission may defer or reject your application if you fail to provide a required and valid document or information or to satisfy some specific requirement.

STEP 8: Issuance of a letter concerning the decision of the Commission to your application

One week after the Commission's meeting, you shall receive a letter from the Secretary General of Citizenship Office concerning the decision of the Commission to your application.

Upong being instructed that the Commission has approved your application, you shall also be advised on the final requirements prior the issuance of your citizenship certificate, such as:

i. Completion of an oath

ii. Provide the correct spelling of your name to be printed on the Certificate ; and

iii. Payment of Citizenship Fee

STEP 9: Completion of an Oath

The completion of your oath can only be made if your application had been approved. This requires you to collect an oath form and the authorisation letter to the Commissioner of Oath from the Citizenship Office and complete it in the presence of a Commissioner of Oath.

Note that completion of oath can only be made in Vanuatu's court. This means that an application who is based in Santo can complete his oath in our Court in Luganville. However, applicants who live in a foreign country must travel to Vanuatu to complete their oath. 

STEP 10: Payment of Citizenship Fee

Upon completion of your Oath, you are finally required to pay your Citizenship Fee (please refer to Citizenship Fees and Charges under Citizenship) to enable the printing of your Vanuatu Citizenship Certificate.

B. Procedure of the application process for Vanuatu Citizenship under the Capital Investment Immigration Plan

So far as the Citizenship Program of Capital Investment Immigration Plan is concerned, Vanuatu Government had contracted Vanuatu Registry Services (VRS) Company which is currenctly based in Hongkong, as the main agent tasked to promote this Program. In other words, application forms are collected from VRS and its agents, completed by the interested applicants and lodged to the Citizenship Commission by VRS. Note that there is no difference to this particular Program and other types of citizenship so far as the remaining process of application is concerned except the fees. Please refer to the Citizenship Fees and Charges under Citizenship. 

C. Procedure of the application process for the conferring of Vanuatu Honorary Ctitizenship under the Vanuatu Economic Rehabilitation Program (VERP)

The procedures in relation to conferring Honorary Citizenship on a person under the VERP involves the Designated Agent receiving and providing to the Technical Working Group (TWG) the names of the person eligible to be conferred Honorary Citizenship; the TWG then carries out intelligence checks on a person through the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). Upon confirmation from the FIU that the person has no criminal record, the TWG submits the name of the person to the Citizenship Commission for due diligent checking. Next, the Commission submits the name of the person to the Prime Minister who then advises the President on the name of the person to be conferred Honorary Citizenship under the VERP.

The Pacific Resource Group (PRG) which is based in Hongkong, is responsible for the coordination of the Program in greater China regions including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

Citizenship Commission had engaged another designated agent to be responsible for promoting the Program in other regions. Further information can be obtained from the Secretary General of the Commission.

Upon approval of an application processed through any of the above processes by the Commission, you are given 3 months to complete Step 9 and 10 which relate to completions of an oath and citizenship fee. 

You may with reasonable excuse, in writing request the Secretary General for a further period of 2 months prior the expiry of the period mentioned above. However, if upon the expiry of the 3 months period, you have failed to do so, the approval by the Commission of your application for citizenship expires. Failure to comply with above within 3 months will require you to submit a new application to the Commission if you intend to apply again for citizenship.