Revision of the passports for investment policy in Malta has already been announced in Europe. There is nothing to worry about so far, because the European authorities assured that the opportunity to obtain citizenship by investment in Malta is not going to be shut in 2020. This article outlines the most essential current details and possible development of the Malta Individual Investor Programme, that will most likely prompt you to apply for the MIIP soon.
Do you need a EU passport urgently instead of waiting for 5-15 years for the EU citizenship by naturalization? Do you need advice about the country where the straightforward programs make it is easier to obtain the EU citizenship?
Our experts recommend Malta where you can apply for your citizenship by investing about 1 million EUR, with the waiting period of less than a year before you get your Maltese passport.
The more details you know, the better prepared you are for filing your documents without further delay. Read this article and send further questions to our experts at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us via live chat or Whatsapp.
Citizenship by investment in Malta comes with a valid Maltese passport, visa-free access to the European Union, and other benefits, including the solid protection against coronavirus because of the Maltese healthcare system advanced measures. Noteworthy, funds contributed by foreign investors applying for passports are channeled to the Consolidated Government Fund (at 80%) and the National Development and Social Fund (at 20%) to support the fight against the COVID-19 impacts in Malta.
It is important to remember that since the launch of the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP) six years ago, the Maltese Government has set a top limit of 1,800 collective or individual applications to approve. Unfortunately, this ceiling will be hit soon. The demand is high, despite the considerable expenses involved in the IIP participation in Malta.
After the above-mentioned established quotas are exhausted, the Malta authorities will resume the program, though with some amendments to be announced in advance. They have expressed this intention despite the criticism from the European Commission. In a recent press release, the Maltese government stated it had already informed European institutions of its decision to extend the MIIP.
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Maltese Citizenship by Investment 2020: official IIP Malta restart
The Maltese Government is planning to launch a revised edition of the Individual Investor Programme (IIP) following the discussions with the European Commission and other institutions.
The Government has promised that while the national citizenship remains a prerogative of each EU member state, the Maltese authorities remain open to a dialogue about possible further improvements in the IIP. It also welcomes the pan-European discussions started with relevant stakeholders who have reaffirmed their faith in the programme.
According to the recent press release of the Maltese government, most of the investment generated by this programme has been accumulated and used as a support fund in case of unforeseen domestic problems, as was recently the case with COVID-19.
The Government has also highlighted the highly efficient background checks and due diligence procedures exercised on every application for the Maltese citizenship by investment, indicating that this is the only programme with participation of an independent regulator. As a result, one-third of applications are rejected by Malta.
International business executives, celebrity investors, as well as affluent citizens worldwide recognize the Maltese citizenship as a powerful tool of planning and provisions for the impeccable standing, safer assets, and more enjoyable lifestyle. No wonder, the number of applications for the Malta IIP is growing.
Malta’s Citizenship by Investment 2020: Criticism of the European Commission
In a recent letter to the Maltese Government, the European Commission called on Malta to roll back the programme. Similar proposals have been made by the European Commission in the past. In a May debate at the level of the Committee on Civil Liberties and Justice during a meeting of the European Parliament, EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders confirmed that the European Commission had sent a letter to Malta, Bulgaria, and Cyprus to discontinue such schemes.
While acknowledging that such schemes remain within the individual prerogative of each EU member state, European Commissioner Reynders insisted during the debate on the possible negative impact of the citizenship by investment programmes on the whole EU.
In response, the Maltese government said that as the world economy is experiencing the gross negative impacts because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the painful consequences of the global lockdown, the importance of such schemes is increasing.
A report prepared by the European Commission last year says that the use of citizenship by investment schemes involves risks in the areas of money laundering and corruption. Concerns have been raised about the schemes used by Malta, Cyprus, and Bulgaria, whose members are not obliged to reside in these countries (one visit is sufficient) to obtain a passport.
What are the costs involved with application for the Maltese citizenship by investments in 2020?
You have to be ready to pay about one million EUR to become a Maltese citizen by investment and to wait for about a year. Every applicant for the Malta (EU) citizenship program has to meet 3 financial requirements stated below.
1. Contribute 650,000 EUR to the Maltese Government’s National Development and Social Fund (NDSF)
2. Rent some property in Malta for five years, paying at least 16,000 EUR per year as the rent; or invest into the purchase of some real estate in Malta at a minimum of 350,000 EUR, which can be sold in five years. The acquired property in Malta cannot be leased out or subleased during the required mandatory period of its ownership
3. Purchase 150,000 EUR worth of Government approved securities – shares, bonds, debentures, or other special financial instruments – to be held for at least five years. Withdrawal from such investment is allowed after the five-year holding period.
The Individual Investor Programme program has generated for Malta over 800 million EUR from its launch in 2014 till July 2019. Approximately 70 percent of the MIIP revenues go to the National Development and Social Fund. The NDSF, according to the law, spends this money to promote education, research, innovation, social goals, justice, and the rule of law, employment initiatives, environmental protection, and public health programmes.
Malta Citizenship by Investment 2020: advantages and disadvantages to consider
Here is a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of the Individual Investor Programme for investors who want to see both sides of the Maltese offer.
What are the benefits of the Maltese citizenship by investment?
· The Malta citizenship automatically grants you European citizenship
· You can include all family members (a spouse, children, and all parents) in your citizenship by investment application
· The Malta citizenship means your European passport and visa-free access to the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, Japan, South Africa, and other countries
· Malta’s education system is excellent, and its world-class healthcare system meets the highest standards
· Citizenship is for life and is passed on to all future generations of your family
· You get the right to vote in Malta and EU elections
· Malta citizenship means you are a citizen of a member state of the British Commonwealth of Nations and a EU citizen, as Malta is one of the three British Commonwealth of Nations countries in Europe (along with Cyprus and the UK)
· The Maltese citizenship is much appreciated by yachting and fintech enthusiasts thanks to liberal local legislation in these areas
Which disadvantages of the Maltese citizenship by investment scheme should be considered?
· The IIP is only suitable for owners of solid funds who can afford the investment of around 1 million EUR in a passport
· This scheme is not exactly an investment programme. You have to pay a lump sum non-refundable fee to obtain your passport
· The Malta Individual Investor Programme features a high refusal rate (25-30%)
· The passport can be obtained only after 12 months since filing the Residence Application, while during this waiting period you and your dependents can enjoy the E-Residence equivalent to a Schengen Visa
· Your citizenship is not 100% guaranteed by your investment of the 100% of the required amount in a property or other assets that can be later resold
· The names of foreigners who have obtained the Maltese citizenship are publicly available and are published annually in the Government Gazette (without specifying how the passport was obtained)
· Real estate prices in Malta are quite high
· Maltese citizenship can be revoked at any time if its holder is imprisoned or wanted. Besides, the beneficiaries lose part of the money invested (subvention and additional fees)
· The Malta Individual Investor Programme has been criticized in the media and European institutions for years
· There are no special tax exemptions for citizens who are investors in Malta
· The Maltese passport does not give visa-free access to several countries, even though it is entitled to the visa-free or visa on arrival access to over 160 countries
· Citizens of certain countries, that are under sanctions imposed by international organizations, as well as are subject to the U.S. ban on entry into the USA, are not allowed to participate in the IIP program.
Have you studied all the pros and cons of investing in Maltese citizenship? Are you planning to get your passport in Malta? Are you interested in details of the upcoming revision of the citizenship application rules?
Given some existing and the expected limitations of the Malta Individual Investor Programme, we recommended that you should refer your questions to experts, to be fully equipped with information and support in your application for the Maltese citizenship in 2020. You can send your requests to email@example.com.
How much does the most affordable EU citizenship programme involve?
Two EU countries offer the most affordable EU citizenship requirements: Bulgaria and Malta. The overall expenses, in either case, are about 1 million EUR. The benefit of the Maltese Citizenship by Investment option is in the shorter period of waiting: the passport can be issued in just one year, while the investor will have to wait for a Bulgarian passport for one and a half or two years.
What are the benefits of Maltese citizenship?
By applying for the Maltese citizenship for investment, you get the chance to obtain the EU passports for yourself and your family members. The Maltese passport allows visa-free access to the Schengen zone, the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, Japan, and many other countries. As a citizen, you are entitled to free use of benefits of the education and health care systems of Malta. This passport does come with many benefits.
Who can help you obtain the Maltese citizenship by investment?
Even when you are in a hurry to file your documents as soon as possible, please refer only to reputable experts for advice. Beware of scammers.You are welcome to rely on our professional legal advice and reliable experience when applying for the Maltese Citizenship by Investment.
Our lawyer specializes in family immigration aspects and is certified to offer the most essential support and invaluable recommendations to you.