27 Nov Malta Individual Investor Programme – acquisition of a Maltese passport as a route to EU citizenship
The Maltese government has adopted new measures in order to attract wealthy individuals and investors to their island. On 15 November 2013 it was announced that it will be possible to acquire a Maltese passport for the price of 650,000 Euros (equivalent of £545,000) from the Maltese government. As Malta has been a member of EU since 2004 the holder of a Maltese passport automatically acquires all rights of an EU national including free movement between the all EU countries.
Furthermore, Maltese nationals are covered by the USA visa waiver agreement which makes it passport even more attractive for non-European citizens. In summary, a new Maltese citizen will have the right to live and work within the European Union without any restriction. Non EU family members of the Maltese passport holders will be able to join him/her in their country of residence, including: spouse, civil partner, children, parent or grandparent, grandchildren and other lawful dependants. The programme is expected to start operating in early 2014.
Requirements (please note the conditions are indicative as the programme is still at the bill stage)
Cost of acquiring the Maltese nationality:
• Main applicant: €650 000.
• Spouse: €25 000.
• Children under the age of 18: €25 000 each.
• Unmarried children between the age of 18 and 25 years old: €50 000 each.
• Dependant parent above 55 years old: €50 000 each. Other requirements:
• The main applicant (individual or the head of a family) must be over the age of 18.
• All applicants must meet the due diligence criteria and pass a background verification (main applicant and dependants).
• Due diligence and bank fees must be paid for each applicant and are not refundable.
• Criminal background check subject to an issue of certificate of police from the Maltese authorities and from applicant’s country of origin/residence.
All applicants must be represented by Authorised Registered Mandataries (agents specifically authorised and regulated by the Government of Malta) during the application process. The applications will be considered by a special committee which will conduct strict due diligence verification checks on the main applicant and dependants before approving their application for citizenship. Along with the automatic accessibility to the European Union citizenship, the program offers few notable benefits.
One of the adopted measures viewed by many as controversial is the absence of legal requirement to publish the names of newly naturalized citizens in the Government gazette. Thus, the process of acquiring the Maltese citizenship through the scheme is discreet. Another benefit for investors is the non-obligation to purchase a property in Malta or even reside on the Island as a precondition of naturalization. Consequently the applicants benefit from favourable tax regime for incomes generated outside of Malta.
Steps to take in order to be considered for the Maltese citizenship through the scheme:
It is necessary to get in touch with specifically designated Mandataire who is going to represent you. The process might take several months and the applicant must ensure that they are in possession of all necessary documentation and original certificates, are able to pass the medical tests and if necessary to attend a personal interview.