Malta Immigration Options
Malta is a small, beautiful island in the Mediterranean that has become a sought after destination for people who want to travel the world and protect their finances. Its main industry sectors are pharmaceuticals, insurance and finance including offshore banking and most recently blockchain and cryptocurrency. With its easy access to the rest of Europe, it attracts entrepreneurs and innovators of all kinds and its passport is considered the 8th most powerful in the world. This is probably why it is also one of the most expensive citizenships in the world: an individual will spend around €1 million over the one year application process.
If €1 million is too steep of an investment, there is a permanent residence program that still includes all the benefits of living in the Schengen area. It requires an investment of just €250,000 into government bonds and equities that must be held for at least five years. It also requires a €30,000 donation to the State Fund of Malta and purchasing or renting property on the island. Legal and processing fees can cost up to €40,000.
As in many other countries, individuals can become citizens if their parents or grandparents are Maltese or through marriage to a Maltese citizen after five years of living together. EU citizens can become citizens after six years of living in Malta while non-EU individuals can obtain it after 18 years, both through naturalization. But the most popular way of obtaining a Maltese passport is through investment.
Malta Citizenship by Investment
Island countries like Malta often rely on tourism to fund their economy which is why exchanging nationality for investment from high-net individuals is a win-win for both parties. The benefits of a Maltese passport are on par with many other European countries. Maltese citizens have access to free healthcare, education and childcare. Visa-free travel to over 184 countries and territories around the world and the possibility to reside and work in other EU countries. The country also enjoys political and economic stability, natural beauty, amazing weather and a rich culture influenced by the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean region. English is the official language.
Malta offers minimal property taxes and stamp duties. It also has no inheritance, gift, wealth or municipal taxes, making it one of the most tax-friendly countries in the EU. Once an individual acquires a Maltese passport, they can also pass down their citizenship to future generations. There is an income tax on world income once an individual becomes a resident.
There are three investment requirements:
- A government donation to the NDSF of €650,000 for the main applicant (plus a €25,000 contribution for any spouse and younger children. Unmarried children 18-26 and dependent parents and grandparents are another €50,000 each).
- A purchase of a property valued at €350,000 or more with the stipulation to own it for at least five years. There is also an option of leasing a high-value property with annual rent exceeding €16,000.
- An investment of €150,000 in Maltese government bonds which must be kept for at least five years. Other government-approved financial instruments may also be an option.
Fill out the form and to receive an individual cost calculation.
After the investment, individuals receive a Malta residence document and must maintain it for 12 months to be granted citizenship. Process can take up to 14 months to actually receive the passport.
Malta Immigration Requirements
Maltese citizenship has become one of the most prestigious in the world, so the requirements are high, though not much different from other citizenship by investment programs.
Investors must meet the following criteria:
- A good personal and business reputation;
- Good health with health insurance coverage of at least €50,000;
- High net worth;
- No sanctions, restriction or bans on entry to EU countries, US, the UK and Canada;
- No criminal record or criminal proceedings for serious crimes;
- Not falling under the Politically Exposed Person (PEP) category;
- No information in Interpol or Schengen Information System;
- Proof of legal source of funds.
Malta has a strict four-tier due diligence process:
- A standard due diligence by the application agent (such as Migronis);
- Police clearance including Interpol, Europol and other global equivalents;
- Anti-money laundering check along with a sanctions check;
- A risk assessor will go through all the documents and create a recommendation to either accept or reject the application.
The process is straightforward. First, an individual must apply for residence online and once approved, apply for citizenship. An initial donation must be made along with the due diligence and passport fees. Evidence of the funding source must be provided. Once the government reviews and approves all the documents, which can take a few months. After, the applicant can complete all of their investment requirements. After the 12 months of residency, the applicant will receive a certificate of naturalization and can apply and receive Maltese passport.