Vanuatu’s Development Support Program (DSP) continues to see a flood of applications going into 2018. The program has been hugely popular since its inception in 2016, and will remain largely unchanged due to its popularity with both private applicants and CBI firms.
The picturesque South Pacific island nation receives the bulk of its DSP requests from Chinese applicants, aligning with the strong trend in the CBI market worldwide. The Middle East, South East Asia, and Eastern Europe also make up a large segment of the application pool.
Amidst the DSP’s growing popularity, Vanuatu has recently applied to join Interpol. Cooperating with the international policing agency will allow for extra scrutiny regarding DSP applications and improve the program’s reputation internationally. In an interview with The Daily Post, Foreign affairs minister Ralph Regenvanu mentioned that the Financial Intelligence Unit had already discovered some financial irregularities.
One of the biggest draws to the Development Support Program is the Vanuatuan passport, which allows visa-free travel to 125 countries and earns a Passport Power Rank of 36 from the Passport Index. Applicants can receive their citizenship decision in as little as 45 days after investing a total of $280,000 USD into the DSP.
At the time of writing, the Vanuatuan government denies earlier reports that it would accept Bitcoin for the DSP application, possibly due to the instability of the cryptocurrency.
The DSP replaces the Vanuatu Economic Rehabilitation Program (VERP), which was established after Tropical Cyclone Pam devastated the island in 2015. The Vanuatuan government is continuing to use funds from the program to stimulate economic growth in the small country.