27 Apr 2015

Vanuatu govt defends post-Pam passport scheme

1:28 pm on 27 April 2015

The Vanuatu government has defended a new scheme giving passports to overseas investors wanting to help rehabilitate Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam.

The "Economic Rehabilitation after Pam" scheme was officially launched in Hong Kong this month by the Minister for Internal Affairs, Charlot Salwai.

The government is targeting Chinese nationals interested in doing business in the country.

The director of the government's passport unit Henry Tamashiro says all applications would be strictly scrutinised and checked before an applicant was granted honorary citizenship.

He said there would be no middle people in the arrangement, and all funds collected would go directly to the Treasury.

Applicants would pay a quarter of the approximately 120 thousand US dollar fee before undergoing scrutiny by a government committee.

Successful applications would then be submitted to the Prime Minister who would then make a recommendation to the President.

Port Vila international airport

Port Vila international airport Photo: RNZ

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