What You Need to Know About Citizenship by Investment in Malta
Are you interested in acquiring a second or additional passport for more residency options? Of the citizenship by investment schemes that are available around the world, the Malta Individual Investor Programme (IIP) is one of the most attractive programmes in the investment immigration industry. Why should you consider acquiring citizenship in Malta? We’ll explain all the details here.
But first, a quick explanation of nationality vs citizenship
Before we go any further, before you go through any process to acquire citizenship in any country, you must look at the difference of nationality vs citizenship. According to Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “ ‘Everyone has the right to a nationality’ and ‘No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality’.” In contrast, The Economist explains that citizenship “...is a specific legal relationship between a state and a person. It gives that person certain rights and responsibilities. It does not have to accompany nationality.” In the United States, those from the US territories of American Samoa and Swains Island are US nationals but are not automatic American citizens. They have the right to live in any part of US territory without any restrictions.
How can I get citizenship for Malta?
Malta Individual Investor Programme (IIP)
The Malta Individual Investor Programme (IIP) is a citizenship by investment scheme that launched in 2014. Since then, it has gained a reputation of credibility around the world, with it being ranked the #2 most successful programme in the sector according to the 2019 Henley Passport Index. The same index also found the Maltese passport to be ranked #7 for its ability to allow its citizens to travel to 182 countries without a visa. As a Mediterranean island country that belongs to the European Union, the Maltese passport affords its citizens the freedom to live and work visa-free in the other 26 member states, serving as a boon for business interests. It is one of the most attractive offers for investors looking to obtain a passport in a foreign country with favourable economic and quality of life conditions for them and their family.
While there was scrutiny when Malta launched the so-called “golden visa” scheme in 2014, the Maltese government seized the opportunity to create an application process that allows it to stand at the forefront. 70% of the profits that the Malta Individual Investor Program Agency (MIIPA), the government body responsible for processing all applications, receives go into the National Development and Social Fund, or NDSF. The NDSF’s initiatives centre on projects that are of the utmost importance to the Maltese economy and public services in fields such as employment efforts, public health, law and justice and more. That proves that a significant part of the cost of investing in citizenship in Malta will go towards the wellbeing of your fellow countrymen.
Plus, the IIP has an Independent Regulator that has continuous access to all agency data. The Regulator must receive an appointment from the Prime Minister and the opposition leader in the Maltese parliament must consult on the selection. The Regulator presents an annual report to the parliament with a record on the programme’s activities and room for improvement. These measures ensure that they are offering the ultimate due diligence procedure on all their prospective citizenship investments.
Obtaining Maltese Citizenship
How much does Malta citizenship cost? The citizenship requirements include monetary values you must satisfy. To have your application approved, the primary applicant for citizenship in Malta must meet the following MIIP eligibility criteria:
- You must contribute €650,000, and that money will directly go to the NDSF
- You must acquire a combination of bonds, debentures, special purpose vehicles (SPVs), stocks or other investment vehicles that the MIIPA identifies worth at least €150,000.
- Rent a property worth at least €16,000 a year or buy one worth at least €350,000 in Malta. Lets or sublets are not permitted.
Along with the primary applicant, you may also include your families as dependents on your application. The conditions for dependents vary on ages, marital status and the nature of their relationship. They can consist of your parents, children, spouses and your unmarried children who you support financially between the ages of 18 and 26.
All Malta IIP applicants must have a global insurance cover worth at least €50,000 and that insurance must prove you can maintain coverage indefinitely.
The application process takes around 12 months and you must enlist the services of Approved Agents who have approval from the MIIPA to walk you through the stringent Due Diligence processes. This application process begins with a Power of Attorney form and the e-Residence application. It then finalises with the Oath of Allegiance, which will be the step you need to apply for your Maltese passport and ID card. You are eligible for dual citizenship in Malta, but your country of origin may have restrictions on dual citizenship that you should investigate.
Would you like to start your road to citizenship in Malta?
Europe Emirates Group’s team of experienced citizenship by investment experts will help you prepare an application that will pass through all the steps and enjoy the benefits of an EU passport and the quality of life on the Maltese islands. If you want to learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.