Published
January 21, 2024
Category
Citizenship by investment programs

Can You Buy Citizenship in Malta by Investment?

Malta, with its stunning Mediterranean landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, has long been a coveted destination for travelers and expatriates alike. In recent years, the small European island nation has gained notoriety for another reason - its citizenship by investment program. Since 2014 Malta has offered the options to invest in the country’s economy and receive citizenship. Recently, due to a high demand, a second program has launched, known as Acquisition of Maltese Citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment. However, it is important to note that only eligible applicants will receive their citizenship and passport in Malta. In this brief guide let’s explore the intriguing concept of obtaining Maltese citizenship through investment, delving into the requirements, benefits, and controversies surrounding this unique opportunity.

What is Citizenship by Investment?

Before we dive into the specifics of Malta's program, it's essential to understand the broader concept of citizenship by investment. Acquisition of Citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment is a legal process that allows individuals to acquire citizenship or residency rights in a foreign country by making a significant financial contribution to that nation's economy. This practice is becoming increasingly popular worldwide as countries seek to attract foreign investors and boost their economies.

Malta's Citizenship by Investment Program

Malta introduced its citizenship-by-investment program in 2014, also known as the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP) at the time but has since renewed their citizenship laws under regulation (S.L. 188.06). And renamed it acquisition of Maltese citizenship for exceptional service by direct investment, offering a pathway for individuals to obtain Maltese citizenship, including a Maltese passport, in exchange for substantial financial commitments to the country. The Maltese passport is highly regarded, providing visa-free access to over 180 countries, including the Schengen Area, the United States, and Canada and also the freedom of settlement within EU and EEA, making it a very powerful tool allowing its holder to immediately relocate in any of the EU/EEA countries. 

Residence Options in Malta

Selecting a preferred residence option in Malta for an initial period of thirty-six (36) months is a mandatory step. However, there's an exceptional circumstance allowing a reduction to a minimum of twelve (12) months. This exception is applicable when a significant direct investment of either €600,000 or €750,000 is made, completed before the issuance of the naturalization certificate, but only after the government has given its approval in principle.

Exceptional Service by Direct Investment

Making a remarkable direct investment in Malta by the rules outlined in the S.L. 188.06 Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services. It is important to stress that the exceptional investment contribution of €600,000 or €750,000 is only eligible with the permission of the government in principle. A crucial phase in the procedure, this contribution needs to be completed before the naturalization certificate is finally issued.

Property Procurement or Lease

Purchasing a minimum-valued immovable residential property in Malta is one option. Alternatively, a minimum of sixteen thousand euros (€16,000) must be paid each year for the rental of an immovable residential property in Malta. The lease must be for a minimum of five (5) years from the date the certificate of citizenship is issued, and the leased property must be acceptable for the applicant and their dependents.

Charitable Donation to NGOs

It is required to make a charitable donation of at least ten thousand euros (€10,000) to non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The Maltese registered non-governmental organization (NGO) or society that supports charity, culture, sports, science, animal welfare, art, or any other organization that the Agency supports shall receive this donation. Before the issuance of the naturalization certificate, this contribution must be completed.

We aggressively streamline the citizenship application process at Mirabello Consultancy. Instead of waiting until the residence deadline to complete every document, we effectively take care of all the requirements while you're in the nation. To be more precise, we start this procedure as soon as you give Malta your biometric data and obtain your resident permission.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for Malta's Exceptional Services by Direct Investment program, applicants must meet certain criteria:

1. Age Requirement

Applicants must be at least 18 years old.

2. Clean Criminal Record

A clean criminal record is a prerequisite for participation.

3. Health Insurance

Applicants must have global health insurance coverage.

4. Contribution to the Exceptional Services by Direct Investment

This investment not only secures residency but also enables strategic financial planning. For starters, you need to rent or buy a place in Malta to live. Once the hardest step has been completed you can choose either make a direct investment of €750,000 after 12 months or wait 36 months and invest €600,000. Before receiving the naturalization certificate you also need to make a charitable donation of €10,000 to a locally registered organization, offering diverse avenues for citizenship attainment. Purchasing or leasing property with values of €700,000 and €16,000 yearly, respectively, is pivotal. 

Benefits of Maltese Citizenship by Investment

 Visa-Free Travel

One of the most significant advantages of Maltese citizenship is the freedom to travel without visa restrictions to 187 countries worldwide. This is especially appealing to businesspersons and frequent travelers.

 European Union Membership

As a Maltese citizen, you become a European Union (EU) citizen, granting you access to the EU's benefits, including the right to live, work, and study in any EU & EEA member state.

Tax Advantages

Malta offers favorable tax conditions, including no wealth tax, no inheritance tax, and a relatively low personal tax rate, making it an attractive destination for investors.

Education and Healthcare

Malta boasts high-quality education and healthcare systems, ensuring a high standard of living for its citizens.

Wealth Inequality

There are concerns that the Acquisition of Citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment programs may exacerbate wealth inequality, as only affluent individuals can afford to participate.

Security Risks

Some worry that lax vetting processes could pose security risks, allowing individuals with questionable backgrounds to obtain citizenship.

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Schedule a meeting at one of the offices or online.  We will analyze the situation, calculate the cost and help you find a solution based on your goals.
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