Invest in Malta: Understanding the Citizenship and Residency Programs

Invest in Malta: Understanding the Citizenship and Residency Programs

Malta has become a popular destination for many foreign investors. The opportunities provided by Malta attract many high net worth individuals who want to live abroad. The warm climate, peaceful political order and stable economy push individuals to look for opportunities to live in Malta.

The Malta Residence and Visa Program (MRVP) and the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program (also known as the Individual Investor Programme or IIP) are introduced by the government of Malta to propose facilitation for high net worth individuals and their actions in the country. If the requirements of the programs are met, eligible applicants may acquire either a Maltese residency certificate and card (MRVP) or Maltese citizenship and passport (IIP) in a shorter time-frame, further acquiring benefits ancillary to both.

Legal Basis

The MRVP and the IIP are established by Legal Notice 288 of 2015 and Legal Notice 47 of 2014 respectively. The law establishes the requirements necessary for an applicant to be approved by the competent authority, as well as the eligibility requirements for prospective applicants, and grounds upon which either residency card or passport respectively may be revoked.

Benefits

The MRVP and the IIP both offer different benefits to those choosing to pursue obtaining either residence or citizenship. One of the main benefits pertaining to both programs includes entitlement to residency in Malta upon a successful application, and the possibility to include family members in the main application. Moreover, as an EU member, Malta residency grants the individual the right to visa-free travel within Europe and the Schengen area.

The MRVP and the IIP have differences, too. The clearest distinction is that individuals pursuing the MRVP are given a residence certificate and a residency card once approved, and those applying for the IIP acquire Maltese citizenship and a Maltese passport. IIP’s benefits include free movement within the European Union, visa-free access to over 169 countries including the US and Canada, as well as rights and freedoms accorded to Maltese and European Citizens. The IIP also provides a residency card to applicants within just 2-3 weeks of their application. However, the processing time for the MRVP is approximately four months, whilst that of IIP is of around 12 months.

Eligibility

Both programs involve a strict due diligence process that examines the applicants for their eligibility. For both programs, the main applicant must be at least 18 years of age, and commit to the contribution required, to purchasing the property, as well as to investing in government bonds, stocks or shares. The contribution, value of qualifying property and value needed to invest in government bonds varies depending on the location chosen. Furthermore, in both cases, the applicant must commit to paying the contribution established by law in full. In the case of the IIP, the applicant must also commit to proving residence in Malta.

In order to be eligible, applicants must also provide a police certificate issued by the Maltese authorities, the applicant’s country of origin as well as from each country of residence where the applicant has resided for a period of over six months during the last ten years. As persons of good standing, the main applicant and his dependents must also have a clean criminal record, and not be listed with the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL).

Requirements and Contributions

As two distinct programs, the requirements which must be fulfilled by applicants in order to successfully participate also vary. Individuals pursuing the MRVP program are required to pay a contribution of €30,000 to the Maltese Government. This fee covers the family (spouse and dependent children) of the applicant, whilst other dependents must pay a fee of €5,000 each. Furthermore, an investment of at least €250,000 must be made in government bonds which are to be kept for at least five years, as well as obtaining a qualifying property for the purposes of the MRVP. Such property must be purchased at a minimum value of €270,000 or rented at a minimum of €10,000 per annum. It must also be held for at least five years from approval of the application.  

The requirements for the IIP program differ from those for the MRVP. The contribution made to the Maltese Government is established by law at €650,000, with a further €25,000 for each spouse and minor child, and €55,000 for each additional dependent added to the application. The applicant must also invest in government bonds or shares with a minimum value of €150,000 to be kept for at least five years, as well as in a qualifying property. The property must be purchased at a minimum value of €350,000, or alternatively rented at a minimum value of €16,000 per annum. The qualifying property must be maintained for at least five years from approval of the application. In contrast with the MRVP, where no minimum presence is required, applicants of the IIP must prove presence in Malta upon application.

Maltese residents are increasing in number as more and more people are interested in Malta Citizenship by Investment Program. Living in Malta is the dream of some of these investors but for some other that may not necessarily be the case, and the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program could only be an entryway for them into the greater European Union free mobility. However, Malta is one of the most unique and best places to live in Europe today so here are a few reasons why anyone should consider living in Malta, especially the newly made Maltese residents.

Malta is the Pearl of the Mediterrenean

Malta is situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, wedged between Sicily and Tunis making it a suitable hub to travel to both Europe and North Africa, as well as the Middle East. The country is formed up of three big islands, but the capital Valetta is where the majority of Maltese residents live. However, it is important to note that the expat areas in Malta are not limited to the capital and some other smaller towns did also get the attention of expats who are mostly owners of estates along the beach to live the quaint Mediterrenean lifestyle. Due to its location the island nation is almost always quite warm, and a little hot during the summertime. Given the fact that it is surrounded by high seas all around Malta can get a little windy from time to time but that creates opportunities for more tourist attractions such as paragliding rather than causing an actual issue for the Maltese residents. In short, the small country of Malta is found a favourable location for many expats and boasts a diversity of attractions that is rare to see in any such smaller countries.

Malta Has Low Cost of Living

Expenses are an important part of any decision-making process and here Malta wins once again with its relatively cheaper cost of living compared to many other European countries. In fact, it is quite possible to live with a monthly income of 2500 Dollars, which would not give you the same level of luxury in any other developed European city. Rents can cost as low as 550 Dollars, and even lower if you prefer to stay inland or on the smaller island of Gozo. Moreover, due to the overall smallness of the country quite a lot of expats rely on the public transportation and walking alone to reach where they want to go which means that cars can be out of the equation when calculating living costs. Given the fact that cars cost a lot just to maintain and let alone to actually use, this is huge relief on anyone’s budget. Even though many Mediterranean cities may sound like luxurious tourist destinations Malta successfully keeps itself out of this niche and keeps its prices at a reasonable rate.

Malta Offers Much to Many

For anyone interested in Maltese citizenship by investment programs it is safe to say that they are in for a surprise at how much living Malta can offer to them. Aside from giving you access to the rest of Europe (and putting you at a spot where it is easy to travel from as is mentioned before) Malta also offers its residents a lot to do in the islands of the nation if they  aim to spend most of their time there. Its relative cheapness is reflected on the activities the island offers as well so you can socialize and join many events without much thought of money. The country already hosts a huge number of expats, and it is known as a centre for teaching English to youngsters, which means that there is a young vibe and numerous get-togethers for English speaking people all year around. Setting aside its tourists and residents by investment, the Maltese people itself is always very welcoming and culturally rich, just as the many old streets of Valetta, making even a simple stroll through it an entertainment of its own.

Ultimately there are a lot of reason why one would one to become a Maltese resident through a Maltese citizenship by investment program. If you are interested in living in Malta as well, you should contact one of our experienced helpers right away. Malta Individual Investor Programme has so much to offer and the privileges of living in Malta has attracted many investors from all around the world so far. Take a step, to live a peaceful and high quality life in this beautiful European island.

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