1 Oct 2015

Vanuatu making millions selling citizenship

8:25 pm on 1 October 2015

Vanuatu's Citizenship Commission Secretary General, John Enock Ware, says millions have been raised in Hong Kong through the sale of honorary citizenship.

The limited citizenships have been sold by the Hong Kong based Pacific Resources Group, raising US$5.5 million for the Vanuatu government.

43 honorary citizenships have been sold.

Mr Ware says the Pacific Resources Group, which is a Vanuatu government agency, was set up by Prime Minster Sato Kilman to raise funds after the devastation brought by Cyclone Pam.

He says representatives of the agency visit Port Vila once a month to have the Citizenship Office process the applications.

Mr Ware says once the Vanuatu Intelligence Unit has confirmed the applicants' eligibility for citizenship, the Prime Minister recommends them for approval and the applicant can get their honarary citizenship and Vanuatu passport within a month.

Our correspondent says the Prime Minister's Office has launched a Vanuatu Citizenship website so people can apply online from anywhere in the world.