MALTESE CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT
Malta is an island country in the Mediterranean Sea, lying 80 km south of Sicily, 284 km east of Tunisia, and 333 km north of Libya. The country covers just over 316 sq.km, being one of the world’s smallest countries and the smallest EU Member State. Malta has two official languages: Maltese and English, and has over the years attracted a lot of foreign high net worth individuals to become resident in Malta and even benefit from fiscal benefits.
As already mentioned above, Malta is an EU Member State and this ensures Visa free travel to more than 160 different countries, including free movement in the Schengen area. A Maltese citizen has a right to work and establish himself in any one of the 28 EU Member States.
In 2014, the Maltese Government opened up the possibility for foreigners to acquire Maltese citizenship by investment, and therefore start enjoying the same rights as an other EU citizen as mentioned above.
Why would one consider acquiring Maltese citizenship? Many citizens would like to have increased mobility, be a citizen of a country where there are no wars or crime, or else would not like to be dependant on one passport. Moreover, there is the possibility to cover family members with the same application.
What is required to acquire Maltese citizenship?
An applicant must be at least 18 years of age, prove that he has been a resident of Malta for a period of 12 months prior to the issue of the passport, and also make the following investments:
(a) Make a contribution to the National Development and Social Fund (please see below) (b) Invest in stocks, bonds or SPVs to be identified by the Maltese Government, for a minimum value of EUR 150,000, to be held for at least 5 years
(c) Invest in real estate in Malta for a value of at least EUR 350,000, to be held for at least 5 years.
Instead of investing in real estate as per above, one can instead rent a residence in Malta for a period of at least 5 years, paying at least EUR 16,000 annual rent.
An applicant can include the following in the application for Maltese citizenship:
(a) Spouse – in a monogamous marriage or another relationship having the same or similar status to marriage.
(b) Dependants of 18 years of age and under.
(c) Dependants between the age of 18 and 26 years of age, who are not married and who are wholly supported by the main applicant and form part of the same household.
(d) Dependants over the age of 55 years (e.g. parents), who are wholly supported by and who form part of the household of the main applicant.
Evidence that the main applicant and his/her family members are covered by a global health insurance policy is required at the time of the submission of the application. The insurance cover must be at least €50,000 per person, per annum.
A rigorous due diligence procedure is undertaken and a number of documents would need to be submitted, such as police conduct certificates, medical certificates confirming good health and absence of contagious diseases.
Citizenship by investment Programme:
Spouse or dependant aged 0-17 – EUR 25,000
Dependant aged 18-26 or 55 and above – EUR 50,000
Spouse – EUR 5,000
Dependant aged 3-17 – EUR3,000
Dependant aged 18-26 or 55 and above – EUR5,000
Or; rent property for at least EUR16,000 rent per annum.
Under both scenarios, one cannot sub-let and the property must be held for at least 5 years.