Guide for obtaining Maltese Citizenship
Malta, a member of the European Union boasts of a vibrant and cosmopolitan society and a very high standard of living. The country is a global hub for financial services and the banking industry. In addition to this, Malta as a member of the European Union is a part of the common single market making it an ideal business destination. Malta is also a member of the Euro-zone with the Euro as its currency, thus enabling ease of business and transactions. The excellent climate and beaches are an added attraction to the country.
Malta has now introduced the first approved “Citizenship for Investment” program in the European Union. As a citizen of Malta, you also become a citizen of the European Union providing you the freedom of movement and work across the entire union. The program is called the ‘Individual Investor Program (IIP)” and is regulated under the Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta Regulations, 2014. A special regulatory agency called ‘Identity Malta’ under the Government of Malta looks after the implementation of the scheme.
Basic Eligibility for Malta IIP
The IIP (Individual Investor) Program is open to all individuals who fulfill the requirements laid down by law. The IIP enables individuals to acquire Maltese Citizenship which would allow them to move throughout the Schengen Region.
The basic eligibility for an applicant is:
- at least eighteen years of age;
- submits all additional documents as required;
- has a clean criminal record (including all his dependants) have passed the due diligence test and is a fit and proper person;
- no Human Rights violation cases or appearance before the International Criminal Court
- the main applicant should be a resident in Malta for the last 12 months.
- provides information about investment in property (described in detail later)
- investment in Government bonds (described in detail later)
- fulfillment of application requirements (described in detail later)
Requirements for investment
There are three parts of the investment requirement that need to be fulfilled for the IIP. The first part is an investment in property.
The criteria for this part are:
- Purchase of a qualifying owned the property for at least €350,000 for a period of 5 years OR
- A lease contract for rent of €16,000 per year for 5 years
The second investment requirement which needs to be fulfilled is the payment of a non-refundable Government Contribution as per the following table:
Principal applicant — €650,000
Spouse — €25,000
Each Dependent child to17 years — €25,000
Dependent children from 18–26 years — €50,000
Dependents above 55 years — €50,000
The third investment requirement is the commitment of the principal applicant to make a qualifying investment in Government bonds/ Special Purpose Vehicles/ Debentures etc. of an initial value of €150,000 which must be maintained for a minimum of a period of 5 years from the date of issue of Malta Residence Certificate.
Additional application requirements
An applicant also has to fulfill certain additional application requirements for qualifying for the program. The requirements are as follows:
- Valid Global Medical Insurance of a value of €50,000.
- Possession of a medical report for fitness.
- Passing the required due diligence test.
Minors and dependents are also eligible to apply for a residence along with the main applicant. The conditions for such an application are:
- Minors should be below 18 years or if between 18 and 26 years they must be principally dependent upon the main applicant and must not be married.
- In the case of a spouse, dependent parents and grandparents must be economically dependent.
- An affidavit of dependence for all co-applicants above 18 years.
Cost of the program
The applicants for the Malta IIP have to pay the following fees for their application:
- Due Diligence Fee:
Principal applicant — €7,500
Spouse — €5,000
Each Dependent child to 17 years — €3,000
Dependent children from 18–26 years — €5,000
Dependents above 55 years — €5,000
(ii) A Passport Fee of 500 Euros per applicant.
(iii) A Bank Charges a cost of €200 per application.
The time duration for procedures under the program
Verification of application details — 90 days from application date
Completion of background checks — 30 days from application verification
Instruction for payment of contribution — 5 days of completion of background checks
Time available for payment of contribution — 20 days from instruction date
Issuance of certificate of naturalization — 6 months to 2 years
For acquiring citizenship, an oath of allegiance is required.