21 Jun 2019

Vanuatu MP wants stricter controls on passport sales

4:24 pm on 21 June 2019

Vanuatu's Parliamentary Committee on Economic Policies wants assurances foreigners who buy passports will invest in the country.

The coat of arms on the Vanuatu passport.

The coat of arms on the Vanuatu passport. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

This comes after revelations over 4000 Vanuatu passports have been sold under the citizenship programme since 2017.

The Daily Post reported that while there has been a surge in passport sales there has apparently been no substantial increase in the numbers of Chinese visitors in the past two years.

The committee has advised the Citizenship Bureau that it must tighten regulations on passport sales when granting honorary citizenship in Vanuatu.

Committee co-chair and MP Kalo Seule said as Vanuatu is selling passports to foreigners with no interest in investing in Vanuatu "it must include policies that will cause these people to do so".

He said while they don't want to stay in Vanuatu they have a duty to invest to create jobs for locals.

A Vanuatu passport through the Citizenship Program is sold at $US150,000.

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