Located 1750 km from northern Australia, and 540 km from New Caledonia, Vanuatu is said to be first populated by the Melanesian people some 3000 years ago, until it was discovered by a Spanish expedition in 1606.
With a population of just 300,000 the country’s economy stands on four sectors; Agriculture, offshore financial services, tourism, and cattle farming.
Residency in Vanuatu
In recent years the country has emerged as a hotspot for foreign retirees and investors alike. This has raised the real estate market and enabled the government to develop better and more advanced infrastructure. With good local assistance and a bit of luck, you can find a good place to abode within your budget.
A one-bedroom studio apartment may cost around $1,500/month and $900 away from the city. In case you are moving with your spouse and kids, a 3-bed apartment within the city and suburbs will cost roughly $2600/month.
Living in Vanuatu
Vanuatu is not cheap; however, the local produce is fresh and easily available throughout the year. Expats are never short of activities; snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, surfing, cycling, and plenty of other activities keep people busy and in shape. The food here is fresh, and organic mostly.
The breathtaking landscape and fairylike meadows and lagoons are a huge attraction, coupled with splendid weather and friendly locals making it a “too-good-to-be-true” experience.
Visa and citizenship
Surprisingly, Vanuatu is a visa-free destination. A person can just get registered at the immigration country and enjoy their stay for up to 30 days. The government encourages foreign investment, and hence the easiest and fastest way to obtain citizenship is through the Citizenship by Investment Program. Anyone can obtain citizenship in exchange for investment within one month!
All you need to do is to make a donation of USD 130,000 to the local development fund, produce a bank statement reflecting at least a USD 250,000 balance in your account and you are all set for citizenship along with your family (for some additional charge).
Among other benefits, the biggest benefit of possessing a Vanuatu passport is the freedom to travel. More than 120 countries allow visa-free entry on Vanuatu passports; including the Schengen region, the United Kingdom (UK), Russia, etc. Especially in the UK, Vanuatuans are allowed to stay for up to 180 days, and in Europe for 90 days without a visa.
A major put-off to relocating to Vanuatu is the vaguely present healthcare infrastructure. Healthcare facilities are few and far between. If you have an existing health issue or are taking medication, it is prudent to consult your physician before making any commitments.
Reason to choose Vanuatu
it is not the healthcare system or the urban amenities people choose Vanuatu. Vanuatu is a gorgeous natural landscape with a relaxed lifestyle, far away from the usual frenzy of life. It is a perfect spot to rejuvenate your spirits and become one with your true self, harmonize with nature, and recharge your batteries for the long run!
The biodiversity, scarce population, and primitive lifestyle make Vanuatu an authentic “living in nature” experience; a great environment for growing kids, as they learn to live in simplicity and gain confidence. Learn to be grateful when they have access to amenities that are often taken for granted, and best of all, communicate with people that are different from anywhere they have ever been.