Yesterday was "Constitution Day" in Vanuatu. I was not ready for it, as I work from my home office most of the time. Unless I look at a calendar of public holidays I only find out when I try to ring someone.
But this holiday is a Big Deal here. It has a lot of meaning for the people, having been created within living memory for a lot of the population.
The Constitution commenced on 30th July 1980.
Yes, this country is just 41 years old.
Chapter three of the document itself makes for some very interesting reading for you on my list of email recipients, since most of you are interested in Vanuatu Citizenship.
For something different to what you are used to from me in my daily emails, let's take our daily constitutional today with a walk through the relevant parts of Chapter 3...
Originally (Article 9) citizenship was granted automatically on the day of independence to...
"(a) a person who has or had four grandparents who belong to a tribe or community
indigenous to Vanuatu ; and
"(b) a person of ni-Vanuatu ancestry who has no citizenship, nationality or the status of an optant."
...Which pretty much covered all the "locals" at that time.
Additionally (Article 11) "Anyone born after the Day of Independence, whether in Vanuatu or abroad, shall become a citizen of Vanuatu if at least one of his parents is a citizen of Vanuatu."
This will become important if you want your children to have the advantage of multiple nationalities.
And (Article 12) "A national of a foreign state or a stateless person may apply to be naturalised as a citizen of Vanuatu if he has lived continuously in Vanuatu for at least 10 years immediately before the date of the application."
So there you have it. Straightforward and easy to read and understand.
However, the original constitution had this sticking point (Article 13):
"The Republic ofVanuatu does not recognise dual nationality."
But Article 14 gave reason to hope:
"Parliament may make provision for the acquisition of citizenship of Vanuatu by persons not
covered in the preceding Articles of this Chapter"
In 2013 the government decided it wanted to introduce "Citizenship by Investment" but of course it's own Constitution forbade dual citizenship. So they put their heads together and came up with a Constutional Amendment, which after due process passed into Law in January 2014.
They completely repealed Article 13, replacing it with this...
"(1) The Republic of Vanuatu recognises dual citizenship.
"(2) A person who is a citizen of Vanuatu or of a state other than Vanuatu my be granted dual citizenship"
(3) - I won't write it all out here, but it says a person who gains Vanuatu citizenship by means other than birth or naturalisation has all the rights of other citizens except they cannot be politically involved, hold public office, or fund activities that would cause political instability in Vanuatu.
Well, recognising that people who can afford the CBI programme have a lot of money and power, the government and people cautiously wanted to protect themselves from being taken over by people buying their way in. Fair enough. There are plenty of benefits to applicants for the Vanuatu CBI without diving into local politics.
So the CBI programme of Vanuatu (the DSP or Development Support Programme) has been going for seven and a half years now.
During that time it has matured, and compares very favourably with countries in the Caribbean, some of which have longer-established CBI programmes. Here are are just three things to consider...
* The provision for children to automatically be eligible for Vanuatu citizenship is not universal in other CBI programmes, but it's important to those wanting to give their children this freedom.
* Vanuatu's CBI is cheaper than most of the Caribbean countries with a CBI programme.
* It's probably the fastest CBI in the world - we have helped clients get their Citizenship in under a month. Typically clients don't have all their paperwork ready at the start, so it usually takes from 45-60 days.
If you want to join me for the predominately idyllic lifestyle in Vanuatu, plus owning a passport that allows you visa-free access to over 125 countries, book a consultation here: https∶//in.vu/cal
Lance in (stable) Vanuatu