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Ciip Agents Drafting Amendments to Vanuatu Citizenship Act

The CIIP agents Vanuatu Registry Services –VRS through Mr. Martin Fairbairn in Hong Kong is drafting amendments to the Citizenship Act. Mr. Fairbairn who represents VRS is claiming applications are slow because of some provisions in the Citizenship Act. With support from the Citizenship Commission, the proposed amendments will be provided to the State Law Office where the amendments will be prepared for Parliament.

Mr. Fairbairn has previously asked the Vanuatu Government to “stretch outside its normal procedure’s” to approve applications to which the Vanuatu Government refused and it is to this fact that VRS wants amendments to the Citizenship Act.

The Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Joe Natuman will not attend a meeting between the Vanuatu Government and the CIIP agents VRS. Mr. Natuman has refused to attend and feels it is not appropriate to meet before official renegotiations which should happen by the end of May 2015.

The VRS have promised 300 applicants in the first year 2013, and another 600 in the second year 2014. All the figures have not been provided and the Vanuatu Government has seen 35 applicants within the two years and not anymore has come in to date.

The Minister of Finance Maki Simelum and Parliamentary Secretary Edward Natapei were asked to attend on behalf of the Vanuatu Government but both have declined. The sensitivity of the visit will raise eyebrows within the Chinese Government as China has already voiced its concerns on the effects of the CIIP and how the Vanuatu Registry Services markets this product and to whom it sells this program to.

The trip arranged by Vanuatu Registry Services and the Citizenship Commission has been cancelled due to the fact that the head of Government will not be attending along with his Minister of Finance and the Parliamentary Secretary.

As stated in the first report by Yumi Toktok Stret that the issue continues, it has seen the Citizenship Commission being divided on the matter to awarding citizenship to some foreign nationals with very reputed backgrounds.

Reliable sources say “The Government needs to inject some needed revenue into its basket but still feels there should be proper checks on backgrounds as Vanuatu cannot allow any Tom, Dick and Harry to enter the country without proper checks and clearance.”

The push to allow some applicants through VRS into the country has become an issue within the Citizenship Office. The Citizenship Office operates in accordance to Vanuatu Laws. The issue most depressing at the moment as stated by facts from the Citizenship Office is the fact that the Citizenship Commission is in conflict with the Citizenship Office as the Office maintains its operations must run through “normal procedures and process.”

The Citizenship Commission must operate as mandated by the Citizenship Act. All applications must go before the Citizenship Office to be cleared and verified before being approved by the Citizenship Commission.

The Vanuatu Registry Services though is still the puppet master and seems to have influence in Vanuatu. This is visible when the Vanuatu Citizenship Commission pushes to approve applications without the Citizenship Office giving clearance.

And it remains to be seen whether Vanuatu will agree to the amendments prepared by VRS lawyer and shareholder Mr. Martin Fairbairn.

To top this all of, the Chinese Government has come forward to say it will not grant any officials from Vanuatu Visa’s for the trip.

The saga continues..