Vanuatu’s Ultimatum to Investors

Vanuatu Minister of Internal Affairs Andrew Napuat
Vanuatu Minister of Internal Affairs Andrew Napuat

All investors and foreigners who are currently residing and working in Vanuatu have three weeks to ensure they are complying with Vanuatu’s Labour and Immigration laws or they will face the full force of the law.

Minister of Internal Affairs Andrew Napuat gave the ultimatum yesterday afternoon.

“I am appealing to all investors, foreigners, who have overstayed or have issues with their residency visas and work permits to come forward within three weeks to rectify their status with the Vanuatu Immigration Services,” the minister stressed.

He said a major operation will be conducted from March, 19, 2018 through to the first week of April and will be undertaken by Department of Labour, Vanuatu Immigration Services and other enforcement agencies.

The ultimatum is applicable to those who are overstaying in the country and are residing or operating without proper documents.

According to records from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the number of overstayers currently stands at 600, however there could be more.

The ministry has stepped up compliance and will continue to stage major checks from time to time.

Border management and Labour Employment services are important services in this Ministry. Vanuatu has benefitted a great deal from two very important government policies.

 “Whilst Labour mobility is the talk of the town and communities together with citizenship investment program, our focus has shifted from our core business which is protection of our borders and protection of our national labour policies or work, the Minister said.

“Assessing the growth and influences together with issues experienced MOIA has re-aligned itself to focus more on its core functions.”

Minister Napuat said, Vanuatu has enjoyed a relaxed environment for too long and the Ministry of Internal Affairs must step up its enforcement.

The warning also extends to all business houses who have not implemented the new minimum wage rate of Vt160 to Vt200 per hour.