Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA)
Approval is required from VIPA to establish or purchase an existing business in Vanuatu - a foreign investor should not commence business without VIPA approval. The Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA) Board reviews and assesses foreign investment applications.
Other Licences and Permits
Whilst the Board may entitle business licence categories/ies, the number of residency permits, work permits, investors must make application to each appropriate authority, for registration and / or issue of applicable permits / licences and comply with the requirements of other acts, as applicable, including renewal / filing of returns etc as required eg:
- Business Licence(s)
- Other specific licence(s) eg, doctors, lawyers, banks, trust companies, insurance companies, mining
- VAT (Value Added Tax)
- VNPF (Vanuatu National Provident Fund) if employing staff
(a) Persons not engaging in business or employment – self funded
Persons who wish to reside in Vanuatu without engaging in business or employment eg, retirees may qualify, if you have evidence of income to sustain living in Vanuatu.
(b) Property investor / land owner
Owners of property and / or a house or dwelling, of at least Vt10,000,000 value, in Vanuatu, with evidence of a land lease, title transfer document and valuation.
(c) Business investors
Foreign investors who have obtained Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA) approval to conduct business and if successful.
Non-citizen employees may qualify for an interim (up to 4 months) or one year (renewable) residence permit. A work permit must also be obtained and is only available for certain occupations where there are no / insufficient qualified Ni-Vanuatu available.
Documentation required to apply for a Residence Permit include : original immigration application form with statutory declaration, original police clearance certificate, prescribed medical certificate, two passport photographs, certified copies of birth certificate, passport, marriage/divorce certificate(s) and other documentation as applicable eg, employment contract (if applicable), utility bills, rent receipts or bank statements,
A repatriation bond is also required to be held a local bank equivalent to a one way airfare to the country of the applicants’ citizenship or its nearest territory.
(d) Extended visitor
A visitor visa of more than 30 days but less than 12 months may be applied, for example, where initial research is being conducted into investment opportunities and the applicant can prove the ability to sustain living in Vanuatu. (A total of no more than 18 months in 3 consecutive years may be granted). The holder of any visitor visa may not work or commence business.
A one year work permit, temporary or an exemption from the need to hold a work permit is required by all non-citizen employees.
Note: Various occupations are reserved for citizens for which work permits will not be approved. These include: bricklayer, joiner, clerical supervisor, nurse, painter, typist and waiter/waitress/bar tender, unskilled labour.
Any one year position is to be advertised locally for at least two weeks and reasons given why any application by a citizen has been refused or there are no available / qualified citizens. Generally a permit will only be granted where it is necessary to hold qualifications and / or have specific relevant experience, which is not readily available in Vanuatu.
An application for a work permit must state what type of counterpart training that will be undertaken and in addition to the completion of a work permit Application Form, the Department of Labour require the following: two passport sized photographs, copies of trade or professional qualifications, CV and reference(s, copy of the job advertisement, description and contract of service, copies of passport, police clearance and flight itinerary (plus copy of employer’s VIPA certificate and training plan).
For details of residency and work permit fees click here.
To obtain additional information, please contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org