Malta, the small island in the Mediterranean Sea, is attracting expats from all over the world. It’s one of Europe’s smallest and most densely populated countries, yet it offers a lot. With a sound education system, a stable economy, and a relaxed lifestyle, Malta has plenty to provide foreigners looking for opportunities abroad.
The island is also on its way to becoming a financial hub with some very promising developments that will hopefully prove successful in creating jobs for locals as well as new residents.
Malta offers a Maltese passport through different routes, with citizenship by investment being one of them.
In this post, we’ll cover all the inquiries like:
What are the benefits of a Maltese passport?
How to apply for a passport of Malta?
What are the eligibility criteria?
…and a lot more. So, let’s begin.
Benefits of Having a Malta Passport
In Malta, you can live a European lifestyle with a Maltese passport. There’re many benefits of being its holder.
Enjoy Visa-free Travel to 186 Countries
Maltese citizenship has many perks, besides the freedom to travel within Europe without any visas. Maltese citizens can visit 186 countries visa-free, including the UK, the USA, and Canada. The Maltese passport is one of the strongest passports in the world.
Get Access to European Union
Malta is a member of the European Union (EU) which brings many advantages. With your Malta passport, you can live and work anywhere in Europe without any residence permit requirements or entry visas.
Get Free Access to Healthcare and Education
Malta has one of the most developed healthcare systems in the world. It ranks in the top five by a study from WHO, and Maltese citizens enjoy free medical services like hospitalization, prescriptions, pregnancy treatments, and childbirth offered under state fund coverage.
There are free public schools, as well as free transportation to and from school.
Benefit from the Favorable Tax System
You may not have to pay taxes in Malta even if you obtain citizenship. In addition, there are special tax schemes for new citizens that can help make your finances more efficient and less complicated.
The Maltese Passport “Power”
Passport power refers to the number of countries you can travel to without a visa or visa-on-arrival. The Maltese passport is the 8th most powerful passport globally, granting visa-free access to 186 countries.
How To Apply for a Maltese Passport
Maltese citizenship is an attractive option for many non-EU residents. The Maltese government offers various ways to obtain this status, which can include ancestry, marriage, or investment in the country.
- You can become a Maltese Citizen by Descent, i.e., if you’re born abroad, but your family resides in Malta.
- You can obtain Maltese citizenship by marrying a Maltese citizen.
- You can get Maltese citizenship by naturalization.
- You can get Malta citizenship by investment.
Malta Citizenship by Investment
The Maltese government’s citizenship by investment program is a great way to get an EU passport. Qualifying investors can obtain passports for themselves and their family members, provided that they make real estate investments as well as financial contributions to the country’s fund and bonds approved by the official regulatory authorities.
Getting a Maltese Passport by Investment
The application for Malta Citizenship by investment is thoroughly checked and assessed, with a four-tier due diligence process. If you meet the requirements to satisfy this program, your citizenship and passport will be granted after just 12 months or 36 months of residence in Malta.
You’ll obtain a Maltese passport on the following conditions:
- You’re 18 or above,
- Pass the due diligence process and don’t have a criminal history,
- Aren’t from the countries listed under ‘banned’ countries,
- You invest at least €600,000 if your residence status is 36 months, or you invest at least €750,000 if your residence status is 12 months,
- You buy a residential property for €700,000 in Malta, or you choose to lease a residential property with an annual rental value of at least €16,000,
- You make a donation of €10,000 to a registered organization in Malta. This organization is required to be approved by the Community Malta Agency.
- You also need to apply for a valid residence card that serves as proof of your residency to apply for the passport.
Other Popular Programs
Maltese Passport Processing Time
The application process can be a long and tedious one, but it’s vital that you have the appropriate materials in order to avoid any problems. Therefore, make sure you provide all information truthfully on their forms.
If you pass the Tier 1 due diligence checks and you submit your application for a residence permit to the Community Malta Agency, they’ll check whether or not you’ve fulfilled all of their criteria. If so, an eligibility application can be submitted. Further (tiers 2-4) vetting is made by them and presented to the relevant Maltese minister, who reviews it before deciding on its eligibility.
If you want to live in Malta and become a citizen, it starts with having at least 36 months (or 12) of residence.
Afterward, you’ll be required to fulfill investment requirements. The investment is followed by taking the oath and getting an official naturalization certificate.
Community Malta Agency agents will continue monitoring for five years after citizenship has been granted.
Dual Citizenship in Malta
Malta allows dual citizenship which means that you can be a national of Malta along with another nation. However, it’s important to check the regulations of your country of origin to confirm if they allow dual citizenship. If not, you might have to renounce your citizenship.
Renewing a Maltese Passport
Once you’ve acquired your Maltese passport, you get to keep it for the rest of your life, provided that you get it renewed every ten years. Maltese passports are biometric.
If you’re taking the route of citizenship by investment in Malta, a Maltese passport will cost you a minimum €690,000. This excludes the other costs such as background check fees and other legal fees.
The passport costs start at €70 for minors. For children under 10 years old, it’s €16. If you need to get your passport urgently, you can opt for the Urgent Passport which is issued in four hours and costs €140.
Frequently Asked Questions on Maltese Passport
Can I become a citizen of Malta if I make an investment in Malta?
Yes, Malta allows citizenship by investment if you’re willing to make an investment in Malta and complete the residency requirements. Please check out our Malta Citizenship by Investment article for more information.
Do I have to live in Malta to become a citizen?
Yes, Malta requires you to live in the country to become a citizen. If you’re going to take the route of citizenship by investment, the time frame is between 12 and 36 months. If you’re looking to get Malta citizenship by naturalization, you may need to wait between seven and 18 years.
Is the passport of Malta strong?
Maltese passport grants visa-free access to 186 countries. It ranks 8th in the global.
Does Malta allow dual citizenship?
Yes, Malta allows dual citizenship.
Can I travel to the USA with my Maltese passport?
Yes, you can. This is possible thanks to ESTA, the visa waiver program.
Is Malta a member of the European Union?
Yes, Malta is a member of the EU.
Can I travel to the Schengen countries visa-free with my Malta residency card?
Yes, you can travel within Schengen countries with your Malta residency card which is issued as the first step of citizenship application.