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European Citizenship | Malta Citizenship by Investment  |  Malta Golden Visa Residency  |  Malta Global Residency Program 

Malta Citizenship by Investment

Malta Citizenship

Malta is one of the most attractive locations in Europe not least due to its Malta Citizenship by Investment programme. For non-Maltese persons there is the possibility of acquiring Malta Residence status through an attractive and efficient citizenship programme as well as the opportunity to obtain Maltese citizenship by investment. Persons of all nationalities are eligible to apply though your are advised to consult us if you come from a country that is the subject of international sanctions.

A Maltese passport entitles its holder to reside permanently in Malta with the freedom to come and go any time. Moreover, since Malta joined the European Union in 2004 it forms part of the Schengen Area agreement immediately which means that a resident of Malta will have the possibility of travelling within the Schengen Area without the need of obtaining a visa. A permanent resident enjoys a privileged tax status while at the same time benefiting from Malta's wide network of double taxation treaties. A further advantage of this status is that as long as the resident abides by the rules of the permit, the permanent resident need not spend any particular time actually residing in Malta.

Malta Citizenship Act

The Maltese Citizenship Act has been conclusively amended to include an additional ground through which a person may acquire Maltese citizenship on the basis of investment. A certificate of naturalisation under this programme will be issued only to those persons who not only satisfy the requisites directly linked to investment but who are also of a reputable character. The beneficiary of this scheme is not limited to the main Applicant himself but may be extended to cover even his family members upon fulfillment of certain conditions.

Eligibility for Malta Citizenship by Investment

Mainly there are five essential requirements that must be adhered to by the main Applicant. These are that he: (i) is at least eighteen years of age; (ii) proposes to make the fixed contribution; (iii) fulfils the application requirements; (iv) commits himself to prove his residence in Malta and a proof of title in respect of the property in which he resides and (v) commits himself to invest in stocks, bonds, debentures and other investment vehicles or make investments which Identity Malta published from time to time in the Government Gazette.

In addition, the law also establishes other general conditions that must be met by the main Applicant as well as by any of his dependants. These conditions, known as the minimum eligibility criteria, are: (i) a proper background verification of all applicants above the age of twelve years; (b) a police certificate issued by the Malta police and another one to be issued by the competent authorities in the country of origin or countries of residence where the applicant(s) has or have resided for more than six months within the last ten years; (c) the applicant(s) is or are not individuals indicted before an International Criminal Court whether found guilty or otherwise; (d) the applicant(s) is or are not a person or persons listed with INTERPOL at the time of application; (e) the applicant(s) is or are not, or may not, be a potential threat to national security, public policy or public health; (f) the applicant(s) is or are not individuals who have been somehow involved in crimes relating to terrorism, money laundering, crimes against humanity or war crimes; (g) the applicant(s) has or have not been found guilty or has or have charges against him or them regarding crimes that affect the good order of the family such as paedophilia; rape and abduction and (h) the applicant(s) are not persons who has or have been found guilty or been interrogated and suspected of at the time of application any crime punishable with more than one year imprisonment.

Those persons who are beneficiaries of the Global Residence Programme (GRP) are also entitled to apply and acquire Maltese citizenship under the IIP. Nevertheless, such persons must not only satisfy those requirements under the GRP but must also satisfy the specific eligibility requirements of the IIP.

Those persons who (a) have provided false information within their application; or (b) have a criminal record; or (c) are subject to criminal investigation; or (d) are a potential national security threat to Malta; or (e) are, or are likely to be, involved in any activity linked to cause disrepute to Malta; or (f) have been denied a visa to a country with which Malta has visa-free travel arrangements and have not subsequently obtained a visa to the country that denied it are ineligible to benefit from the IIP.

Exceptionally, Identity Malta may approve someone’s application if it is satisfied that the Applicant is still worthy of being considered for approval. Approval may be allowed due to the special circumstances that the Applicant demonstrates. However, it is ultimately up to the Minister responsible to grant his approval following the Agency’s opinion accompanied with reasons why the Applicant should still be granted Maltese citizenship.

Beneficiaries of Malta Citizenship by Investment

Through the application under the IIP, the main Applicant may also apply on behalf of his dependant(s). All dependants may only benefit from the IIP if each has the capacity to take the oath of allegiance. The law entitles a rather wide category of persons who benefit through qualification as a dependant. The spouse of the main Applicant may also be entitled to acquire Maltese citizenship. This applies whether it is the spouse of the main Applicant by virtue of a monogamous marriage or a relationship that has gives identical or similar status to marriage. However, the Minister responsible is empowered to decide this on a case-by-case approach whether the spouse should also be granted a certificate of naturalisation or otherwise.

As regards dependants who are the children of the main Applicant, the law applies a three-tier classification depending on certain criteria. The first tier includes any child who is the son or daughter either of the main Applicant or the spouse thereof may benefit from the IIP if such is less than eighteen years of age. This category includes also adopted children. The second covers any child who is between eighteen and twenty-six years of age and who is not married. However, in this case such person shall prove satisfactorily to the Minister responsible that he is wholly dependent on the main Applicant. Lastly, the third category refers expressly to those children who are at least eighteen years of age and who are physically or mentally challenged. However, the main Applicant shall prove that such child lives with him and is fully dependent on him. Any of these children may be the son or daughter either of the main Applicant himself or the spouse thereof.

The law also envisages that main Applicant or his spouse might wish to care for their ascendants. In fact, a parent or grandparent who is above fifty-five years of age may also benefit as a dependant if it is proven to the satisfaction of the Minister that the Applicant fully supports or maintains them. However, any such person shall also form part of the main Applicant’s household.

Applying for Malta Citizenship by Investment

The application for the purpose of applying under the IIP is to be received by Identity Malta through Approved Agents or the concessionaire. The language in which the application and all other documents are to be submitted shall be in the English language. If the applicant intends to submit the necessary documentation in a foreign language, they must necessarily be accompanied by an authenticated translation in the English language.

In addition, the main applicant must provide an affidavit of support in respect of each dependant over the age of eighteen years. But he need not provide an affidavit of support for his spouse. Where the applicant is unable to complete the application himself a legal representative must do so on his behalf but shall include the signature of the applicant. Where the dependants are below eighteen years the forms must be signed by both parents on his behalf. In the case that only on parent has sole custody of or is the legal guardian of a minor, then proof of sole custody or guardianship must be made through documentation issued by a court of law or other competent authority.

Malta Citizenship Fees payable to Malta

Under the IIP, the contributory fees paid by the main Applicant and any of dependants are to be allocated into two Funds, the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF) and the Consolidated Fund (CF), which shall receive seventy per cent and thirty per cent respectively. The NDSF has been created specifically for the purpose of the IIP with the intention of using the money in the public interest. It will be used for purposes such as the advancement of education, research, innovation, social purposes, justice and the rule of law, employment initiatives, the environment and public health.

In order to qualify for Malta citizenship by investment under the IIP requires that:

(a) The main applicant is to pay €650,000, of which a non-refundable payment of €10,000 is to be remitted as a non-refundable deposit prior to the submission of the application;

(b) The spouse is to pay €25,000;

(c) Each child below 18 years is to pay €25,000;

(d) Each unmarried child between 18 years and 26 years is to pay €50,000; and

(e) Each dependant parent above 55 years is to pay €50,000.

The due diligence fees that must be paid by the main applicant is of €7,500. Spouses, dependant parents above the age of 55 and dependant unmarried children between 18 years and 26 years shall pay €5,000. And, every child between 13 years and 18 years shall pay €3,000. Every applicant must pay a fixed fee of €500 for the obtainment of the passport and a fixed fee of €200 as bank charges per application. In toto, every main Applicant shall contribute the sum of €1.5 million of which €650,000 go to the NDSF and the CF, the sum of €350,000 for the purchasing of a property in Malta and €150,000 in government investment vehicles. This total contributory sum may be decreased where the main applicant opts to rent the residential property instead.

Our Malta Citizenship Practice

Our office in Malta is authorised under the IIP Regulations to process and file applications directly with Identity Malta without the involvement of third parties.  Our Citizenship & Residency Practice boasts of the leading lawyers in Maltese residence and citizenship by investment and has assisted numerous high profile citizenship and residence cases with the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs as well as with Identity Malta.

European Citizenship | Malta Citizenship by Investment



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