Vanuatu’s Citizenship Commission has shared elaborate data on its four Government Approved Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programmes. For six years, none of the programmes has had any stats digitally available. Industry experts and foreign governments were growing increasingly preoccupied with this non-transparency.

The incoming authorities of Vanuatu, including the CBI Chairman Ronald Warsal, undertook an all-round review of the programmes aiming to straighten out the existing procedures and bring more clarity into Vanuatu’s CBI. As part of this undertaking, Vanuatu released data on the four programmes.

According to the government’s information, The Vanuatu Development Support Programme (VDSP) launched in 2017 facilitated citizenship for 2,300+ main applicants. The greatest group by the country of origin were Chinese investors with 42% of the total number since 2017. The Chinese were followed by African, Lebanese, Libyan and Pakistani applicants.

The government also disclosed figures for the Vanuatu Contribution Program (VCP) for 2017 and 2020 (January 1 to August 14t). In 2017, 177 main applicants were approved within the VCP. 329 applicants have got their passports in 2020.

Over 1,100 main applicants obtained their citizenship under the Vanuatu Economic Rehabilitation Program (VERP) operated in 2015-2016. This programme was also dominated by Chinese investors who accounted for 58% of all applicants. The Chinese were followed by Iraqi (19%), Syrian (8%), Libyan (5%) and Turkish (3.6%) investors.

Under the Capital Investment Immigration Plan (CIIP), 93 applicants were granted citizenship in 2014. 92 of them came from China, one from Thailand.

All four programs combined have yielded over 4,000 successful applications since 2014. This number excludes the VCP approval figures for 2018-2019 – record years in terms of CBI revenues. Factoring in this period, the actual total would most likely hit the 5,000 milestone.