Situated in the center of the wonderful Mediterranean sea, Malta is an ideal country to be called a second home. Not only because of the beauty and climatic conditions but also due to the latest programs that let an individual flourish in the business world.
Moreover, it is a member of the European Union and enjoys a stable political climate, a growing economy, and home to some of the world’s soundest banks.
Lately, many countries have come up with citizenship by investment programs. As one of those countries, Malta makes it convenient for potential investors to reside and work in the country legally.
Therefore, if you’re an foreign investor seeking to relocate, invest, or do business in Europe while attaining second citizenship, check out the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program 2021.
What You Will Find in This Article
- Citizenship by Investment Malta (MEIN)
- Eligibility for Malta Citizenship by Investment
- Benefits of the Malta IIP for you and your family
- New Malta Citizenship by Investment Program 2020
- Malta Citizenship Scheme Application Timeline
- Due Diligence
- Tax Consequences of Citizenship in Malta
- Dual Citizenship Malta
- Visa-free Destinations with the IIP Malta Program
- Alternatives to Malta Citizenship by Investment
Citizenship by Investment Malta (MEIN)
Citizenship by Investment Malta is a popular investment program in Europe, primarily as it has benefitted the investors in the long run. The Maltese Government introduced it to facilitate foreign investment and business expertise into the country.
The previous citizenship by investment program was officially closed after it reached the cap of 1,800 applications. It was after then that the new program was introduced in November 2020. This new program offers a secure EU relocation route with a fast and straightforward residency acquisition.
Note: The old Malta Investor Programme, i.e., The Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme, has been annulled permanently.
This new program, Malta citizenship by naturalization for exceptional services, grants you and your family citizenship by a Certificate of Naturalization by contributing to the country’s economic development. Besides, there is a minimum amount of investment that you must make to be eligible for the program. Also, you have to prove your 12 or 36 months of residency in the country.
According to the new regulations, this citizenship program will be limited to providing citizenship to a maximum of 400 successful applicants per year. Also, it will be capped after 1500 applicants have been granted citizenship.
Eligibility for Malta Citizenship by Investment
Community Malta Agency controls Malta Citizenship by Investment. According to this federal government agency, the principal applicant must satisfy the following eligibility criteria.
- You have to be 18 years old or more.
- An investment of at least €600,000 if you have completed 36 months of residency in Malta or €750,000 after residing in the country for 12 months.
- Buy a residential property worth at least €700,000 in Malta, and that must be held for a minimum of five years. An alternative to this is to lease a residence with a rental value of €16,000 annually.
Note: You’re not allowed to sublet or sell this property during these five years.
- Donate an amount of €10,000 to any organization approved by the Community Malta Agency. You can also donate to a registered sport, cultural, scientific, philanthropic, animal welfare, or cultural non-governmental organization or society.
- A valid residence card to apply for citizenship. On purchasing real estate property, you’re issued a Malta identity document called an e-ID card.
- You and your family members must be in good health.
Since this program attracts wealthy foreign investors of high standards, you will be subject to due diligence. However, we will discuss this part in the later session of the article.
Benefits of the Malta IIP for you and your family
Malta (IIP) offers many benefits in exchange for an investment that contributes to the nation’s economy.
Work or Study in EU countries
It grants you and your family the right to live, work, or study throughout the EU. Furthermore, it also provides lifelong family security. Your children will get access to the Maltese public schools and universities just like other Maltese residents. State schools, too, are free for the students, including transportation and books.
The University of Malta is publicly funded and is free for Maltese citizens.
Malta is one of the rapidly-growing economies of the EU, and you have an opportunity to establish your business after you get citizenship.
Visa-Free Travel to 186 Countries, Including USA
A Maltese citizen can avail of all the European Union benefits. Moreover, you and your family can access the USA and Canada without a Visa. In addition, you can travel to the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and most countries in North, Central, and South America.
Besides, you can visit 26 Schengen visa countries without border checks. In fact, you will require no passport or customs checks.
Quality Life for Family
Malta is indeed a wonderful country. Your family will enjoy the clean air, property rights, and freedom of speech, just like the locals. Moreover, there are many tourist places as it is one of the most popular holiday destinations among Europeans. Also, it has a modern infrastructure, including internet services and secure banking.
Access to the Maltese Healthcare System
This country has an excellent healthcare system globally, ranked among the top five by WHO. Besides, it is funded by health insurance and taxation. Medical services covered under health insurance are hospitalization, prescriptions, pregnancy, childbirth, and specialists’ treatments.
New Malta Citizenship by Investment Program 2020
The New Malta Citizenship by Investment Program leads you to the Malta (EU) residency and passport. However, all the applications sent for the program are thoroughly examined, and unless the authorities are satisfied, the application is not sent for further procedure.
And so, there are a few requirements that you have to satisfy in order to be eligible for the program.
Qualifying investments for the Maltese Citizenship program is any amount between €700,000 – €1,460,000. Below is a detailed structure of the investment requirements.
Investment 1: Contribution
When you apply for Maltese citizenship by investment, you’re supposed to contribute to the National Development and Social Fund organized by the Government and run by a board of trustees. These funds finance projects like public health, education, job formulation, social improvement, etc.
You have to contribute €600,000 if you have proved your residency for 36 months in the country or €750,000 on 12 months residency. Not to mention, this contribution is non-refundable.
Note: An additional amount of €50,000 is required for each additional dependent.
Investment 2: Fund
In addition to the contribution, you’re required to make a donation of at least €10,000 to a registered non-governmental organization or society. It must be a charitable organization.
Investment 3: Real Estate
Purchasing a real estate property whose minimum value is €700,000 or lease a property for a minimum yearly rent of €16,000 is compulsory. Moreover, you have to retain the purchased or rented property for at least five years from the date of the certificate of citizenship
Malta Citizenship by Investment Residency requirements
Just like the investment requirements, you have to qualify for the residency requirements as well. According to the new regulations, it’s mandatory for you and your dependents to hold a Maltese residency for at least one year. As for 12 months, the minimum investment bar is €750,000; there is a new option if you wish to save some money.
If you give evidence of three years of residency in Malta, you can obtain his Maltese citizenship by investing just €600,000, consequently saving €150,000.
Moreover, to attain residency, you will have to file an application with your licensed agent’s help. Once it is cleared by the Community Malta Agency and the Maltese police, your appointment will be fixed within six months of the approval. Lastly, you will be issued your e-ID card, which will prove your residency in the country.
Family members– the spouse and children younger than 18–can be included as dependents in a citizenship application by the primary applicant. Furthermore, dependent children up to the age of 25 and parents and grandparents over the age of 55 may also be included.
The Maltese tax system, like in other European countries, taxes individuals based on their domicile and residency rather than their citizenship. Individuals must reside in Malta for at least 183 days per year to be subject to tax on their income and capital gains in Malta. Non-residents are only subject to tax on income and capital gains arising in Malta.
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is levied at 12% on the sale of a main residence within three years, but if retained for five years, no tax is levied on the sale. There are no inheritance or death taxes, net worth, or wealth taxes in Malta.
Citizenship in Malta provides applicants and their families with the full rights of EU citizens, including the ability to live, work, and study anywhere in the European Union.
Applicants gain a European passport through the citizenship process, which provides visa-free access to more than 180 countries and regions, including the UK, USA, and Canada.
The application process for Maltese citizenship is lengthy and can take up to a year to complete. In addition to the investment requirements, applicants should budget between €60,000 and €80,000 for legal costs associated with the processing of their applications by an accredited law firm.
Malta is a full member of the European Union and part of the EU Schengen zone. As a result, citizens of Malta are also European citizens, granting them the freedom to travel, live, work, or study anywhere within the European Union. Maltese citizens and passport holders may reside in any of the 28 countries that make up the EU.
Get Golden Visa: Who We Are And How We Can Help You
Get Golden Visa is a full-service investment immigration agency. We provide end-to-end solutions on residence and citizenship by investment programs in numerous countries worldwide.
We work with clients from all around the world, interested in obtaining Maltese citizenship or residency.
Contact us and talk to one of our experienced team members to help you with any and all your questions.
Malta Citizenship Scheme Application Timeline
The overall Malta citizenship by investment timeline usually takes about 12 to 18 months.
Preparation lasts about 2 months
- Compile all necessary supporting documents and create the application file.
- Arrange for the documents to be signed by a Maltese Consul.
- Avail the fast-track option for a Residency Card that can be obtained in 1-3 weeks.
Processing time lasts about 4 months
- Submit a Full Citizenship Application to Identity Malta.
- The application is subjected to a review process that includes source of funds and background checks.
- A risk weighting is applied by IM to the application.
- Once approved, an In Principle Approval is granted.
Compliance time takes about 4 months
- The applicant has 25 days to pay the contribution required for citizenship.
- Purchase or rent property as required.
- Submit the Health Cover documents.
- The applicant must take an Oath of Allegiance and obtain the Naturalization Certificate.
- Wait for 12 months to complete the naturalization process.
Application for the Malta investment must be made on the prescribed reports and be accompanied by the relevant fees and documents. Since the application is analyzed by high due diligence processes, it will be declined if it detects any false information.
Here is the scheme application timeline.
Power of Attorney to a Licensed Agent
Hire a power of attorney that acts as your lawful agent. The power of attorney will remain in function till the end of the procedure.
The agent then performs due diligence, i.e., tier 1, and submits the application. Post that, due diligence is further conducted by the Community Malta Agency and the Police. If the application obtains clearance by both, the process continues.
Now, a form for citizenship eligibility will be submitted for a residence permit. Along with that, the agent has to submit your birth and marriage certificates to Public Registry and Passport Office.
A tier 2 due diligence is performed to ensure the correctness and completeness of the application. You may be asked for a few more documents to record any additional information.
A Tier 3 and Tier 4 due diligence is also conducted by the agency, and the forms are then presented to the Minister, who informs whether you’re eligible for the program or not.
Depending on your level of contribution, the attorney/agent presents the Malta Citizenship Application to the agency. Likewise, the due diligence is updated; the application is sent to the Minister to decide whether citizenship can be granted to you or not.
Provided that you’ve satisfied the investment and residency requirements, you’re invited to Malta to take the Oath of Allegiance.
Ultimately, you’ll receive the Certificate of Naturalization and a Maltese Passport.
Note: After you’ve attained citizenship, the Community Malta Agency does continuous monitoring for five years.
After a few days of receiving the Eligibility Payment Request Voucher (EPRV), the Community Malta Agency then performs due diligence to ensure validation.
This process in the new Malta Citizenship by Investment Program has been strengthened to ensure that capital has been inherited legally. Each application undergoes a stringent due diligence process, including thorough background checks. Besides,you have to provide valid documents like criminal police records, proof of the source of funds, and principal wealth.
Malta has the highest standard of diligence and has rejected around 23 percent of the total applications received. Four-tier due diligence is conducted on each application, and even the smallest suspicion from the agency’s end can decline the application.
However, the procedures require the payment of the following Due Diligence fees;
Apart from that, administrative fees with all eligibility applications are also charged.
Administrative fee per applicant: One Thousand Euro €1,000 (This fee is exclusive of other taxes).
Tax Consequences of Citizenship in Malta
If you receive your European citizenship by investment program in Malta, there will be no tax consequences. Becoming a Maltese citizen alone doesn’t change you or your family’s tax treatment unless you take up the tax residence. Or, in simpler words, unless you’re a domicile of Malta.
Even if you relocate to Malta, you can retain the non-domicile status and experience an extremely advantageous tax exposure. Besides, you’re only required to pay tax on the income you earn in the country. Furthermore, you will not be taxable on foreign income or other capital gains arising outside Malta. This is so because the foreign source of income is kept in bank accounts outside the country.
In addition, Malta poses no taxes on:
- inheritance or death,
- an extensive network of double taxation agreements,
- estate duty,
- net worth or wealth taxes,
- municipal taxes, rates, or real estate taxes.
Malta is involved in double taxation treaties with around 60 countries globally.
Moreover, if you decide to sell your property after holding it for five years and using it for sole and ordinary residence, no taxes will be imposed. However, if it is sold before the lapse of three years, a property tax of 12% of the selling price will be exacted.
Although Malta has claimed a 35% corporate tax, special tax concessions are applied to non-resident or non-domiciled business people or company owners.
Dual Citizenship Malta
Isn’t it great that you can now become a resident of two different countries simultaneously for the purpose of business and tax relief? Many countries like the USA, France, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Malta, and many more provide dual citizenship which means, you get more independence and control to do business.
Furthermore, Malta’s Citizenship Act mentions explicitly that Malta dual citizenship is permitted. Stating,
As of 10th February 2000, a Maltese resident can acquire and retain a foreign citizenship/s along with his/her Maltese citizenship.
While Malta poses no restriction on providing a Maltese passport, your current country of origin might restrict you from holding a second Maltese passport.
Apart from that, you have to follow a particular procedure in order to receive dual citizenship.
Visa-free Destinations with the IIP Malta Program
Indeed, holding a Maltese passport gives you the liberty of business and company ownership. It also allows you to travel without the hassles of arranging a visa to some of the world’s important countries.
The Malta Citizenship by Investment program helps you acquire a Maltese passport, making you eligible to travel to many countries globally without a visa!
Since it also offers the freedom to work in Europe, people with Malta passports can also to move to European countries like Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (UK).
It also offers the benefit of wavering United States visas.
Apart from that, Malta joined the Schengen Area in 2007 after signing the Schengen agreement, which removed all the member states’ internal borders. Therefore, Malta grants freedom to citizens to travel to all the 26 Schengen visa countries without border checks.
You can also check out our How To Get a Malta Passport article for more information on Maltese passport.
Alternatives to Malta Citizenship by Investment
In recent years, a lot of countries have designed immigrant investor programs to attract foreign businessmen. As a result, these nations are witnessing massive growth in their economies and the individual’s professional growth.
Like the ‘Citizenship by Investment Program Malta’ has contributed to the nation’s welfare and advancement, countries like Portugal, Greece, and Spain offer a similar scheme.
These countries provide a golden visa, which is a permanent residency visa issued to individuals. To get this visa, you have to invest in the country’s economy by purchasing property or donating a certain sum of money to the issuing country.
Portugal Golden Visa
The Portugal Golden Visa program is a route to secure residency in the country by investing in real estate. The program was launched in 2012 to encourage foreign investors and businessmen to relocate to Portugal and glorify the country’s economy. As of November 2021, there has been an investment of over €6.2 billion euros from over 10,000 investors since the program’s enunciation.
- Buy real estate worth minimum €500,000.
- Invest in Portugal investment funds for €500,000.
- Complete a capital transfer of 1.5 million.
- Get a European passport in 5 years.
- Travel to 26 EU countries and 188 countries without a Visa.
- Health and education benefits.
Spain Golden Visa
Invest in the Spanish economy and obtain your Spain Golden Visa. This visa is available for people who invest in real estate or any Spanish country and is also known as the Spain investor visa.
- Purchase real estate in Spain worth at least €500,000 (or many properties whose total value is €500,000)
- Investment at least €2 million in the Spanish public debt.
- Invest in a business or company that employs Spanish citizens.
- Live and work in Spain lawfully.
- Bring Spouse and children along.
- Right to access public services like healthcare, education, and security.
Greece Golden Visa
If you wish to obtain permanent Greek residency, the Greece Golden Visa is the safest route. Under this program launched in 2013, non-EU nationals can invest in Greece real estate and apply for residency.
- Invest a minimum value of EUR 250,000 along with the applicable taxes.
- A 10-year lease agreement for hotel or furnished residential accommodation.
- A capital contribution of at least EUR 400,000 to a company registered or established in Greece.
- Lower investment rate than other EU countries.
- Visa-free travel to the Schengen Zone.
- Access to Greek education and healthcare
Lastly, with an increasing number of high-net-worth individuals evaluating their options to invest in immigration and expanding their business horizons, Malta offers excellent business opportunities with high quality of life.
Therefore, if you are planning to relocate for business, Malta can be your lucky island!
If you need more help regarding the program, feel free to contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to become a citizen in Malta by naturalization?
Acquiring Maltese citizenship through naturalization can be a lengthy process, spanning a minimum of seven years. For non-Maltese individuals without family connections to Malta, the path to citizenship involves meeting specific residence requirements. Applicants must have lived in the country with a permanent residence and residence permit for a cumulative period of four years within the last six years. Once these criteria are met, they can begin the process of applying for citizenship through naturalization.