Maltese citizenship can be acquired at birth, through naturalisation or via registration. However, recent years have seen the introduction of the ability to acquire citizenship through an investment programme. The Individual Investor Program (IIP) is aimed at attracting both talent and high net worth individuals to Malta. It’s most desirable features include the ability to reside anywhere within the European Union, as well as visa free travel to over 165 countries.
Insight from AE
How does it work?
Malta’s attractive position within Europe and the European Union have made it a popular choice for citizenship by investment. As a form of investment migration, the IIP attracts high net worth individuals who are looking, together with their immediate family, to live a better life in a more stable environment. It remains one of the main ways that Malta attracts investment, talent and economic prosperity. The IIP is regulated by the Maltese Citizenship Act and the Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta Regulations, 2014. In order to be eligible for this scheme, there are a number of strict due diligence requirements which must be satisfied, including:
- A contribution of €650,000 made to the Maltese Government, which is deposited in the National Development and Social Fund.
- Property leased in Malta for a minimum value of €16,000 per year, or purchased property for a minimum value of €350,000.
- The acquisition of€150,000 worth of Government Bonds or bonds/securities listed on the Malta Stock Exchange, and held for a minimum of 5 years.
What’s the process?
The application process for the IIP is split into three stages:
The first step is the completion of a citizenship application and the subsequent issuance of a residence card valid for eighteen months. This marks the beginning of the residency period. During this time the applicant will be allowed to reside in Malta and travel freely within the Schengen area
Identity Malta will carry out a due diligence check over a period of approximately 120 days. During this time the details provided in the citizenship application are corroborated and Identity Malta will work to ensure that the applicant poses no risk of harm the security or reputation of Malta. It’s important to note that this process attracts fees that are non-refundable, even if it’s decided that the application is terminated at this point.
The final stage is reached once the applicant has been entirely approved as appropriate for the IIP. A letter of approval in principle will be issued by Identity Malta, at which point the applicant is free to proceed with the contributions and investments described in the previous section. Once the applicant has completed a 12 month residency period (which begins to run at the application stage), Identity Malta will issue a letter inviting all members of the family to sign an Oath of Allegiance. The certificate of naturalisation and Maltese passport are then issued within approximately seven working days.
How AE can help?
AE’s Residency and Immigration department can help you with the entire application lifecycle. Our purpose is to provide solid, unwavering guidance so that clients feel secure in the knowledge that their application is receiving the care and attention required, affording it the best possible chance of success. AE’s dedicated team will help clients build a well-rounded personal profile, which is an integral part of the application and due diligence stages. They’ll also fill out and file all the required paperwork on behalf of the client, and attend each necessary meeting with the authorities. Our services even include overseeing the obligatory appointment of an Authorised Registered Mandatory (ARM) who will appear on the client’s behalf and represent them during the application process.