FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

    Why has the machine readable passport been introduced?

    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.

    What is the benefit of the machine-readable passport?

    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.

    What does the new Passport look like?

    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.

    When did the new passports been in circulation?

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

    Can I still use my existing passport?

    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.

    Can I renew my Vanuatu passport once it expires?

    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.

    Can my children travel using my passport?

    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.

    Who can get a Vanuatu passport?

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

    How do I apply for a new 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).

    How much does the new passport cost, and how long does it take to get a passport?

    As long as all the required information and the correct payment are provided, the passport office will process your application within the following timeframes:

    Service Level Processing time Fee (VT)
    Normal Up to 21 days 7,000
    Express Up to 14 days 10,000
    Urgent Up to 3 days 15.000
    Child (0-3yrs) Up to 21 days   1.500
    Child (4-7yrs) Up to 21 days   2.000
    Child (8-17yrs) Up to 21 days   3.000
    Child Express and Urgent fee Max 14 days   7.000

    How long is the passport valid for?

    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.

    Why do I need to provide more information about myself on the application form?

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

    What does the witness need to do?

    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.

    Why do I need a Civil Status Office Birth Certificate?

    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.

    What if I want to use my married name in my passport?

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

    How do I apply for a new passport for my child (under 18 years)?

    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.