Restricted Privileges For Citizens Under Citizenship Program

Image: VRP Blog

Individuals who have become citizens of the Republic of Vanuatu under the Development Support Program (DSP) have restricted privileges compared to naturalised citizens.

Chairman of Vanuatu National Citizenship Commission (VNCC) Ronald Warsal told Daily Post that although these people have become citizens of Vanuatu, their privileges are limited as per the amended Constitution Act No. 27 of 2013.

Article 13 (3) states, “For the purposes of protecting the national sovereignty of Vanuatu, a holder of dual citizenship must not; (a) hold or serve in any public office; (b) be involved in Vanuatu politics; (c) fund activities that would cause political stability in Vanuatu; (d) affiliate with or form any political parties in Vanuatu; (e) stand as a candidate and vote at any of the following elections (i) general election for Members of Parliament; (ii) Provincial election for members to a provincial Government Council and (iii) municipal election for members to a Municipal Council."

These restrictions do not apply to a naturalised citizen who has gained Vanuatu citizenship and has dual citizenship. 

“Naturalised citizens have similar rights and benefits like that of indigenous citizens," Chairman Warsal said.

Anyone who has lived in Vanuatu for 10 years can apply for citizenship. The Act also provides for a non-citizen to become a citizen if he or she is married to an indigenous citizen and has lived in the country for at least two years. 

In 2017, the Passport law was amended in order to proceed with the Citizenship sale program. So far, approximately 5,000 applicants were granted citizenship by the Citizenship Commission.

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