The new citizenship by investment program of Malta, the Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment replaces the original Malta Individual Investor Programme (IIP) by new Regulations (S.L. 188.05), under the Maltese Citizenship Act Cap. 188, LN437 of 2020. It will grant citizenship by a certificate of naturalization to foreign individuals and their families who contribute to the country’s economic development. But how will the new programme look like and what are the main changes?
- five-year ‘monitoring’ of new citizens
- minister’s discretion to overlook unfulfilled criteria removed
- minimum 12 months actual residence requirement
- a cap of 1,500 applicants and not more than 400 each year
Individuals who first manage to obtain a Maltese residence permit will be allowed to apply for citizenship. There are two ways to do this:
- Individuals can apply after a one-year residency period if they invest €750,000 or more
- or they can apply after a three-year residency period if they invest €600,000
Under the new system, the applicant must pay €50,000 for each dependent.
The minimum value of the property purchased is €700,000 and the applicant must retain the property in Malta for a minimum of five years. If the applicant decide to rent a property, the minimum value is €16,000 annually (also for a minimum of five years). Please note that the applicant can not sublet the property during this five-year period.
Applicants must also make a mandatory €10,000 philanthropic donation to a registered sport, cultural, scientific, philanthropic, animal welfare, or artistic non-governmental organization or society, as approved by the Community Malta Agency
The requirement to invest in Government bonds is removed altogether.
Due diligence fees
There is a slight increase in the due diligence fees (to €15,000 for main applicant and €10,000 for dependents).
Procedures and time frame
Applications must be made on the prescribed forms and be accompanied by the appropriate fees and specific documents. Highly detailed due diligence checks are carried out and an application will be declined if it turns out that it contains false information or omissions.
- Tier 1 due diligence checks completed by the Community Malta Agency passed
- Submission of the residence permit
- Submission of the eligibility application
- Further (tiers 2, 3, and 4) due diligence checks
- Relevant Maltese minister decides on the applicant’s eligibility to apply for citizenship
- Submission of the citizenship application to the Community Malta Agency after 36 months of residence (or 12 months by exception)
- Fulfil the exceptional investment, donation, and property requirements
- Take the oath of allegiance and certificate of naturalization
- Other upcoming changes to the programme relate to the number of approved applications. There will be a cap of 400 approved applications per year with an overall of 1,500.
- Community Malta Agency will handle the citizenship by investment applications, replacing the Individual Investor Programme Agency, which will be responsible for all paths leading up to Maltese citizenship. Agents will need to be professionals who are familiar with laws related to anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism.
- The Community Malta Agency will conduct continuous monitoring for five years.
- The maximum age threshold for dependents is increased from 27 to 29. Further, dependents who are deemed to meet the legal definition of disability can form part of a parent’s application, regardless of age.
- All adult dependents need to apply for residence, not just the main applicant. The non-refundable pre-payment of the contribution at this stage is €10,000. There is also a €5,000 fee for the main applicant.
Not only will we assist you in the necessary procedures, we can also help you:
- Find the right property to buy or rent.
- Deal with local insurance companies, for the necessary health and house insurance
- Accompany you to the respective offices to submit necessary applications
- Introduce you to a local bank and help you open an account
Do you have more questions about Malta Citizenship by Investment?
Contact us today and request a personalized price list tailored to your individual needs! We speak your language – our office speaks Maltese, English, Italian, French & German. We have over 15 years of experience in international taxation and relocation services. Only a registered agent can submit an application. We are licensed as an accredited agent with the license number AKM-MEJL-21 for the Residence & Citizenship Programs and may assist you with your application and with any immigration, tax and legal requirements.