2 Oct 2019

Vanuatu Govt looks to review passport sales

2:45 pm on 2 October 2019

Vanuatu's Minister of Home Affairs wants the government to review the country's citizenship programme.

Waterfront at Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu

Waterfront at Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu Photo: RNZ/Sally Round

Andrew Napuat told the Vanuatu Daily Post newspaper that given the public reaction about the sale of passports, it's time to review it.

Last week, the Secretary General of the Citizenship Commission, Samuel Garae, said more than 1000 couples had become citizens under the programme.

Their children automatically become citizens.

The Public Accounts Committee was also told by Mr Garae that the majority of the citizens who have acquired Vanuatu passports were Asian.

Mr Napuat made his announcement after complaints on social media and by Vanuatu's remaining independence struggle leaders.

The sale of citizenship has earned Vanuatu billions of vatu and Mr Garae points out that this has gone towards public utilities and helped pay the wages of public servants.

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