• Citizenship by Investment Programme in Malta

Citizenship by Investment Programme

The Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP) was launched in 2014 and has become the world’s most successful Citizenship-by-Investment Programme. Passport holders enjoy visa-free travel to over 170 countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. As a member state within the EU since 2004, Maltese citizens have the right to move freely and reside in any other EU country and, as a member of the European Schengen Area since 2007, to travel visa free throughout the 26 member states.

Malta is a Mediterranean island with a significant historical and cultural legacy spanning over 7,000 years. The neutral country is well-respected and a member of the Commonwealth. As one of the most exceptional places to do business, Malta now has one of the fastest growing economies and top GDP growth rates in the EU, offering favourable legislation and a competitive tax system.

The MIIP allows for the granting of citizenship to individuals and their families who contribute to the social and economic development of the country. The comprehensive programme is a 12-14-month process, which includes thorough due diligence and strict background verification checks on the applicants and their families, who if successful are granted full citizenship for life. The MIIP due diligence involves a multi-tier system that is considered the most thorough in the world for a Citizenship-by-Investment Programme. This process ensures that only the most suitable of applicants are admitted into the programme.

Property

Meet one of the following criteria:

  • EUR 350,000 purchase of a residential property in Malta to be held for five years.
  • EUR 16,000 per annum of a leased residential property in Malta held for five years.

Investment

  • EUR 150,000 investment into Malta government bonds (or via approved funds) held for at least five years.

Due Diligence Fees

  • EUR 7,500 for main applicant
  • EUR 5,000 for a spouse and dependants over the age of 18 years.
  • EUR 3,000 for dependants between the age of 13 to 17 years.

Residence

  • The main applicant must have been a legal resident of Malta for one year prior to the Certificate ofNaturalization being issued and demonstrate genuine links to Malta during his/her 12 months of residence.

Requirements

To qualify for citizenship, the main applicant must be over 18 years of age, be of outstanding character, have no criminal record, be in good health and pass strict government due diligence checks. The following requirements must be met:

malta-2-good

Contribution

Make a non-refundable contribution to the National Development and Social Fund:

  • EUR 650,000 for the main applicant.
  • An additional EUR 25,000 for a spouse and each dependant under the age of 18 years.
  • An additional EUR 50,000 for each dependant between the ages of 18 to 26 years, if they are financially dependent on the main applicant and are not married.
  • An additional EUR 50,000 for each parent over the age of 55 years, if they are living with and fully supported by the main applicant.

Further Criteria

  • The Malta Citizenship Act states that any applicant who has been denied a visa to a country with which Malta has visa-free travel arrangements and has not subsequently obtained a visa to the country that issued the denial will not be eligible for the programme.
  • In addition, any applicant or dependant who is subject to a criminal investigation, considered a potential national security threat, involved in any activity likely to cause disrepute to the country or provides false information on the application shall not be approved for citizenship. Along with other naturalized citizens the names of successful applicants will be published annually.

There is a cap of 1,800 successful main applicants, after which the programme will close, making this the most exclusive programme available.

MaltaSingle ApplicantFamily of Four
Contribution to NDSF650,000725,000
Leased Property80,00080,000
Malta Government Bonds150,000150,000
*Charitable Donation10,00010,000
**Due Diligence Fees7,50018,500
Passport(s)5002,000
Bank Fee200200
Sub-TotalEUR 898,100EUR 1,135,700

*Charitable donation is optional and not mandatory.

**Due diligence fees for a family of four will vary. The quoted amount is an average.

Process Overview

Step 1 – Initial Due Diligence and Pre-ApprovalPrimary Applicant must complete the due diligence form and send it back along with scanned copies of your passports for all family members who will be included in the application.

Step 2 – Client Agreement and Residence Application.We will send the Client Agreement and request the initial retainer in the amount to be sent. The EUR 10,000 Government Contribution Deposit, EUR 200 bank fee and an advance payment of EUR 10,000 will be required in order to secure your residency lease. In addition, we will obtain two quotes for your Global Health Coverage and the price will vary depending on your age and overall health status.

A dedicated Relationship Manager will work with you on the residence application. Once we submit your application to Identity Malta (IM), the Government agency overseeing the programme, it typically takes up to 15 business days for the agency to give us an appointment for your visit to Malta in order to capture your biometrics, which is a requirement for the Malta Residence Card.

Step 3 – Secure a Residence in Malta The applicant will need to lease a property for a 12 month period or purchase a property in order to fulfil the residence stage of the application as this will help demonstrate genuine ties to the country. Most clients choose to lease a property at this stage and we are able to fully manage your property to ensure a hassle free experience.

Step 4 – Appointment with Identity Malta Wewill help coordinate your first visit to Malta and take you to your appointment with IM. Typically seven to ten days after your IM visit the residence card will be issued. However, your 12 month residence period begins immediately after your meeting with Identity Malta. Werecommends a minimum of 21 days during the 12 month residence stage but more will certainly help.

Step 5 – Citizenship Application Shortly after your visit with IM we recommend you visit our office and begin working on the actual citizenship application directly with your dedicated Our Relationship Manager (RM). Your RM will also set up an appointment with a local notary to have the required supporting documentation certified. We will also coordinate the necessary passport photos and arrange an appointment with a local doctor to facilitate the requirements of the medical form.

Step 6 – Approval in Principle Upon receiving the letter of Approval in Principle from IM you will need to pay the balance of the contribution owing to the National Development and Social Fund within 20 days. The Government bond purchase will also need to be initiated. Further, the real estate requirement will also need to be fulfilled.

STEP 7 – Oath of allegiance and passport application With all of the prerequisites fulfilled the government will issue an invitation letter for you to visit Malta and swear the Oath of Allegiance. Please note every family member 6 years of age and older must take the oath. Wewill help to organise your visit to ensure a smooth process. Shortly after a Certificate of Naturalization will be issued and we will proceed with the passport application. Upon submission of the passport application we expect you will be able to pick up your Maltese passports within one to two weeks. Please note that every family member 12 years of age and older will need to be present to pick up their passport.

Taxation

Individuals who are considered a resident of Malta but not domiciled only pay tax on income earned within or remitted to Malta. If individuals spend more than 183 days per annum in Malta or make the country their primary place of residence they are taxed on their worldwide income with a personal tax rate up to 35%. The country does not levy estate or gift taxes but does collect a capital gains tax on a variety of assets and the standard VAT in Malta is set at 18%.

While the corporate tax rate is 35%, certain exemptions do exist for non-resident companies.

Summary of Key Advantages

  • EU Citizenship of a well-respected and neutral country that is a member of the Commonwealth.
  • Citizenship is for life and affords the right to work and live in Malta or any other EU country including Switzerland.
  • Reasonable presence requirement for the main applicant only.
  • The MIIP is the only European programme endorsed by the EU Commission.
  • The lowest entry point of any EU Citizenship-by-Investment Programme.
  • Malta has one of the fastest growing economies in the EU and is a favourable place for business.
  • Visa free travel to 182 countries including the US.

Application Process

Month 1

Submit residence permit application.

Months 2-4

Prepare and submit Citizenship by Investment application.

Months 5-8

Application is processed and due diligence carried out. Applicant must fulfil residency requirements during this period.

Months 9-10

Application approved.Contribution made.

Months 11-12

Purchase/lease property. Purchase Government Bonds.

Months 13-14

Apply for and collect passport(s).