Malta Introduces the New Version of the MIIP
The Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP) is about to change. The update to the program was announced a while ago. Now that the approved investor cap is almost reached, the government gets ready for the transition. According to the Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship, Alex Muscat, the new format of the program is set to take effect in September. The new amendments to the program are already approved.
Modification on Residency and Contribution Requirements
The current form of the MIIP requires a flat EUR 650,000 contribution. After September, there will be two options. Applicants may choose to contribute EUR 600,000 or EUR 750,000 to the Maltese economy. The difference between these amounts is due to their relationship with the residency requirement. If the applicant chooses to contribute EUR 600,000; they must reside in Malta for three years before applying for citizenship. If the contribution is EUR 750,000; they may apply for naturalization after one year.
The current form of the program also required one year of residency before citizenship. However, it did not prevent applying for citizenship before that year is complete. So, applicants could apply for citizenship and receive their residence permits during the process. The new format does not allow individuals to apply for naturalization without obtaining a residence permit.
The Minimum Requirement for Real Estate Investment Also Changed
The new changes also involve the real estate investment route of the program. The current format of the MIIP requires EUR 350,000 investment in real estate. According to the new amendments, this amount will double. Thus, the new minimum investment requirement for Malta real estate becomes EUR 700,000.
With the update, the minimum annual lease of properties will also increase. The new plan ups the lease to EUR 18,000 from EUR 16,000 per year. Moreover, applicants will need to prove the value of the real estate with an architect to prevent the abuse of the program. At this point, it is not clear if these changes apply to Malta’s other islands, Gozo and Comino.
The Lifespan of the New Format and Its Donation Requirement
According to the new format, the program will involve a list of charity organizations registered in the scheme. The list will take effect starting in September 2020. New applicants will have to choose one of the registered charities and donate EUR 10,000.
The updated version of the program will not approve more than 400 applicants per year. The cap for this version is set at 1,500. The updated MIIP will be conducted by a new unit replacing the MIIPA (Malta Individual Investor Programme Agency).