Malta Individual Investor Program (Malta IIP)* – Citizenship by Investment Program
The Republic of Malta is a Southern European country and consists of an archipelago situated centrally in the Mediterranean, 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km north of Libya. Malta covers just 316sq km, making it one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries. The country has two official languages: Maltese and English. Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 and became a republic in 1974, whilst retaining membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. It is a member of the United Nations (since 1964) and a member of the European Union (since 2004). Malta is also a party to the Schengen Agreement (since 2007) and member of the Eurozone (since 2008). Malta is a country largely unaffected by recession; it has a high standard of living and a safe environment.
Malta Citizenship by Investment may be granted under an amendment passed in November 2013 to the Maltese Citizenship Act, Chapter 188 of the Laws of Malta. Under the new Malta citizenship by investment programme, defined in the Maltese Citizenship Act as the “Individual Investor Programme” (IIP), affluent persons of impeccable standing and repute are able to apply to be naturalised and to receive a Maltese passport on the basis of a total investment of (EUROS) €1,150,000.
The Malta IIP has been designed for ultra-high net worth individuals and their families worldwide who are interested in obtaining a citizenship of a stable, neutral and highly respected country of the EU. This citizenship gives the right of establishment in all the EU countries. In order to qualify for a citizenship the applicants and their families will have to hold a residence status in Malta for a period of twelve months immediately preceding the day of issuing of the certificate of naturalisation. After this period they are officially citizens of Malta and can live and work anywhere in the European Union which includes the UK and also permits Visa free travel to countries such as the USA.
Eligibility for Malta Citizenship
The main applicant may also add to a citizenship application his/her spouse, children and parents or grandparents, under certain conditions, to benefit under the Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme. Beneficiaries under the Global Residence Programme may also additionally apply for citizenship under this Programme. The Maltese IIP allows for the granting of citizenship by a certificate of naturalisation to foreign individuals and their families who contribute to the economic development of Malta
Benefits of the Individual Investor Program
Malta has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and part of the Schengen Area since 2007. Citizenship under this programme grants the benefits of full citizenship and access to all investment and residential opportunities in Malta and throughout the European Union open to Maltese and European Union citizens which includes the United Kingdom.
To qualify under the regulations of this programme, a Main Applicant for citizenship must be at least 18 years of age and must meet the follow requirements:
1. Contribution to National Development & Social Fund: To access the Maltese citizenship program, main applicants must be represented by Authorised Registered Lawyers and are required to contribute €650,000 to Malta. Of this contribution, 70 per cent will go into a National Development and Social Fund to be set up by the Government of Malta and to be run by a board of trustees on the lines of the Sovereign Wealth Fund in Norway. The rest will go to the consolidated fund.
The CNDSF’s scope will be to carry out projects linked to education, innovation, job creation and the implementation of the jobs plus strategy, social projects and projects in the public health sector. The fund will be on the same level as the Central Bank.
Spouses and children of applicants for Malta citizenship are required to contribute €25,000 while unmarried children between the ages of 18 and 25 and dependent parents will also be granted citizenship on the basis of a contribution of €50,000 each.
2. Property Purchase or Rental: Applicants will also be required to make an investment in property of at least €350,000 or enter a property rental contract for at least €16,000 p.a. both on five-year contracts.
3. Investment in Bonds/Shares: Applicants will be required to invest at least €150,000 in bonds or shares in Malta to be kept for five years. These investments will need to be made in stocks sanctioned by the government as beneficial to the Island. The total investment to be made by applicants for Citizenship by Investment would be of €1.15m.
4. Residence Status: on buying/renting their property in Malta, citizenship candidates are issued an identity card. Citizenship is granted after 12 months from date of property purchase or rental. Candidates need not spend 365 days in Malta before citizenship is granted. Residence is defined under Maltese law as an intention to reside in Malta for any fiscal year, usually evidenced by a stay of a minimum of 183 days or by the purchase / rental of property together with a visit to Malta.
5. ‘Fit and proper’: applicants must show they are in good standing and repute and will undergo a ‘fit and proper’ test.
6. Good Health: applicants must show they do not suffer from a contagious disease.
7. Clean Criminal Record: Applicants must provide a police certificate which may be submitted subsequently to the submission of the application but before approval.
Due Diligence for Maltese Citizenship Applications
The Government of Malta is committed to the highest standard of due diligence to ensure only affluent and reputable applicants are allowed to proceed for the grant of Maltese citizenship. The due diligence process will be a four-tier process carried out by two Government companies set up to assess applicants and process applications subject to Governmental approval at various stages. The Malta Financial Services Authority will also oversee the process. The processing time frame is expected to be between twelve months and two years between the earlier of the filing date of an application for citizenship or the date of signature of a deed for purchase or rental of property in Malta, and the date of granting of citizenship by investment.
The Citizenship Application Process
Applications for Maltese Citizenship by Investment are to be made and processed wholly by Identity Malta through a Maltese Authorised Registered Lawyer. The programme imposes more responsibilities on Authorised Registered Lawyers to ensure the highest standards of quality throughout the application process, for the protection and benefit of applicants and the reputation of the Maltese citizenship by investment programme.
Contact Investor Visa4UK Lawyers and we will be happy to provide expert advice at every step of your application for the Malta IIP, from assisting you in completing the application to obtaining final approval for Maltese Citizenship.
*We also provide advice on other Global Citizenship programmes that may be of interest to you which range from the USA, Singapore, Portugal and Cyprus. Contact us today to find out more.