A total of 149 new citizens of Vanuatu have received their citizenship certificates from the Vanuatu Citizenship Commission yesterday.
The new citizens have lived for the required number of years to be entitled to citizenship and have served the country in their various business companies and government departments.
The chairman of the Vanuatu citizenship commission, Mr Francois Batick said the office was very happy to see most of the applicants present along with their families as he welcomed them at the Au Fare yesterday afternoon to receive their awards. Not all of the applicants turned up for the ceremony.
“It was a very challenging but successful year for all the members of the Citizenship Commission, who have worked and achieved what the Vanuatu government has asked of us.
“The citizenship commission is a constitutional body and has to comply with the constitution of Vanuatu.
“We want to say a big thank you to those of you who have stayed in the country for the last 10 years and have been faithful in paying up your residence visas, work permits, VIPA- contributing to the government until today.”
A long-time resident of Vanuatu, who wished to remain anonymous, said that it was an honour to be awarded the citizenship of the country after serving in various institutions in Vanuatu.
“It’s a good feeling to be welcomed and be part of this family of wonderful people and be able to practice my rights as a citizen of Vanuatu,” she said.
At the end of the presentation, Mr Luna Tassong, who is one of the political advisors in the Prime Minister’s office said that it was another milestone achieved during the citizenship ceremony and described it as a formalised right of passage that pinpoints the moment that someone enters the Vanuatu family.
“For many it’s a realization of a dream, sometimes it marks the beginning of a new life, this award ceremony confers the rights and further acknowledges the responsibility of a citizenship described on the CAP 112 of the Citizenship Act,” he said.
“In becoming a citizen of Vanuatu, the awardees will have the right to undertake investment in Vanuatu, and the right to have access to a Vanuatu passport, the right to vote and a few more upon being granted a citizenship certificate.”
Mr Tassong stressed that the awardees will and at all times abide by the law and constitution of the Republic of Vanuatu.
“You have been screened and seen fit that you will be awarded under your required category in the citizenship Act, today we have award 149 certificates in different categories, and it is our pleasure to welcome you into the Vanuatu family.”