- We study the regulatory framework, preparing to issue Malta citizenship for investments
- Who will not be able to obtain dual Maltese citizenship through investment?
- List of Documents for Malta Citizenship through Investments
- General rules for the preparation of supporting documentation for Malta’s citizenship for investment
- How much does Malta citizenship cost for investment: the price of residency and passports
- Timeline: the process of obtaining a second Maltese citizenship for investment, terms
- Key pros and cons of Malta citizenship through investment
- Free consultation for Malta citizenship candidates for investment
In the spring of 2014, the Maltese Individual Investor Program (MIIP) was launched, which provides Malta citizenship for investments over a 12-month period. By launching the program, the authorities set a quota of 1,800 satisfied individual and collective applications. By the autumn of 2020 the limit had been met. The program closed, having managed to bring the state about 1.5 billion euros, used in various social programs and supported the country’s economy during the pandemic.
But on November 20, 2020, the Maltese authorities, through the Official Government Gazette No. 20.524, announced a change in the law and the emergence of the MIIP mechanism “Granting the status of a Maltese citizen by naturalization for exceptional services in the form of direct investment” (Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment; MCNESDI). The MCNESDI mechanism is further characterized by changed conditions, a new price that has changed the requirements for documents.
We study the regulatory framework, preparing to issue Malta citizenship for investments
The authorities have formed a new agency to serve all applicants for Maltese citizenship status (e.g. through family ties, backgrounds, outstanding sporting merit, investments, etc.) called the Maltese Community (Maltese Agenzija Komunita Malta, English Community Malta Agency).
The independent regulatory body is tasked with scrutinizing the work done by Agenzija Komunita Malta and ensuring proper oversight. The regulator ensures that the agency’s processes and procedures are properly implemented.
According to the Official Government Gazette, the process of granting maltese passports and citizenship through investments from 21 November 2020 is governed by the following regulations and regulations:
- Legal reservation (more- p.o.) No. 440 “On the establishment of the National Development and Social Security Fund” as amended from 2020;
- P.O. No. 437 “Prescriptions governing the granting of citizen status for special merit” from 2020;
- P. No. 436 “On the establishment of the Agency Maltese Community” from 2020;
- P.O. No. 435 “Agents Regulation (Licensing) ” from 2020;
- P.O. No. 434 “Statement on Declaration of Intent” (for real estate agents) from 2020;
- By-law No. 373.01 “Provisions on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing” of 2018.
The new legal framework takes into account a number of recommendations of the European Commission, making the immigration route as legitimate as possible. See Table below:
The new legal framework
|One/three-year pre-residency||Applicants may not apply for Maltese citizenship through investments as soon as they become a legal resident. Applicants are also allowed to apply for citizenship status only after residency has been withheld for a three-year period, except in the case of larger investments that reduce the residency period to 12 months.|
|Check||Applicants must undergo a thorough background check, including: Assessment of the source of wealth; the risk of money laundering, terrorist financing; security monitoring.|
|Follow-up monitoring||The authorities monitor applicants who have successfully obtained the status of a citizen investor for a five-year period after the issuance of passports to such persons.|
|Agents||Restrictions on the number of licensed agents engaged in legal support for potential citizen investors and a ban on aggressive marketing are introduced. Applicants are not allowed to apply for dual Maltese citizenship through investments only through licensed agents – applicants are not entitled to interact with the authorities of the host country on their own.|
It is highly recommended that you carefully read the above documents and adhere to the practices described to ensure that applications for dual Maltese citizenship are processed quickly through investment. Deviations from these rules can lead to delays and possible rejection of the application.
No time and desire to delve into legal subtleties? Our International Wealth experts are available to assist.
Who will not be able to obtain dual Maltese citizenship through investment?
Maltese government policy prohibits claiming Malta’s economic citizenship for investments for applicants of the following jurisdictions:
- Islamic Republic of Afghanistan;
- Islamic Republic of Iran;
- People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea).
If the applicant is not a citizen of one the above countries, but resides on its territory as a legal resident, conducts business there, has significant ties with that country, such an applicant will be refused. The blacklist also includes citizens from countries that are banned from entering the United States.
Agenzija Komunita Malta reserves the right to periodically update the blacklist of states whose citizens are prohibited from obtaining Malta’s economic citizenship through investment.
The number of successful applicants for Malta’s economic citizenship through investments is limited to a total of 1,500 applications (individual/collective). The authorities have pledged to authorize no more than 400 applications annually. In other words, the exhaustion of the quota at full load should be expected in 2024.
Applications are accepted by adult principal candidates (over 18), who are allowed to include the following dependents:
|Spouse||A spouse in a monogamous marriage or a partner with such status. The term “spouse” should be interpreted as gender neutral. In other words, same-sex marriage is allowed.|
|Children||The child of the principal applicant/spouse is under 18; the economically dependent and unmarried child of the principal applicant/spouse, under the age of twenty-nine (29) at the time of the Agency’s application; the child of the principal applicant/spouse, including the adopted child, who at the time of application has reached the age of eighteen (18) of the age and is qualified as an individual with disabilities.|
|Parents||Economically dependent parent, grandparents of the primary applicant/spouse over 55.|
Grounds for disqualifying applicants for a second Maltese citizenship through investments:
- The main applicant/dependent in the application is charged/accused of a crime in the International Criminal Court / prosecuted in the International Criminal Court
- Interpol/EUROPOL search lists.
- The main applicantr/dependent is the source of a real/potential threat to national security, public policy, the Maltese health system.
- Prosecution/guilty of terrorism, money laundering, financing of terrorism, crimes against humanity, war crimes, desecration of minors, sexual aggression and other serious crimes.
- Guilty/suspect or receiving a criminal charge punishable by more than one (1) year in prison, except for certain unintentional offences (we recommend consulting with InternationalWealth experts).
- Participation/opportunity to engage in activities that could damage Maltese’s reputation.
- Denial of a visa to the country with which the Maltese government entered into an agreement on visa-free regime and non-receiving visas to the country in question.
- False application / failure to provide substantial information when applying for a second passport and dual citizenship of Malta through investment.
- The fact of inclusion in the international sanctions list.
- The presence of serious contagious diseases, the ability to become a burden on the Maltese public health system.
List of Documents for Malta Citizenship through Investments
Documents for resident status
- Recommendation (introductory) letter;
- Forms CEA K/J, ID1A /ID2 and rental declaration form;
- Passports for travel abroad (passport) and foreign resident cards (residence permits);
- Evidence of the presence of dependents listed in the application in financial dependence on the main candidate;
- Sponsor’s declaration and bank statement;
- Lease/purchase of real estate;
- Level 1 Comprehensive Checks (Tier 1);
- Parental consent form;
- Landlord’s declaration;
Documents to verify a candidate’s suitability for a Maltese passport through the MCNESDI mechanism
- The agent’s cover letter;
- Letter with an application for residency;
- Forms R, S, PDFEE, SSFW, PSC and MR;
- Bank statements;
- Passports to travel abroad (passport);
- Government-issued identity cards;
- Resident cards, including Maltese electronic cards (Verzjoni Elettronika);
- Birth certificates;
- Name change documents;
- Military tickets;
- Written confirmation of corporate affiliation / employment certificates / documents with information regarding sources of funds and wealth:
- Employment income (SSFW form, B3 to B7);
- Business income (SSFW form, B8 to B18);
- Income from another source (SSFW form, B19);
- Current net value of own assets (SSFW form, C1, C2)
- Source of wealth (SSFW form, C4);
- Marriage/divorce certificates;
- Proof of residence address;
- Certificates of lack of criminal record from the police;
- “Social Credit” report;
- Applicable affidavits;
- Declaration on the jurisdiction of tax residency;
Malta Citizenship Documents for Investments (12-Month Residency)
- The agent’s cover letter;
- Forms R1, S1 and T;
- Affidavit (no change in the applicant’s circumstances);
- Affidavit (change of circumstances of the applicant);
Malta Citizenship Documents through Investments (3-Year Residency)
- The agent’s cover letter;
- Forms R1, S1 and T;
- PDFEE, SSFW, MRJ, bank statements, proof of residence address, police certificates and any corporate documentation;
- Form R – Applicant (right to apply);
- Form R1 – Applicant (citizen status);
- Form S – Adult dependent, including spouse (right to participate);
- Form S1 – Adult dependent, including spouse (citizen status);
- Form T – Juvenile dependents (citizen status only);
- PDFEE Form – Personal data, family, education and employment information;
- SSFW Form – Statement on the source of funds and the source of wealth;
- PSC Form – Confirmation of photo and signature (right to participate);
- The MRJ form is a medical report and questionnaire.
General rules for the preparation of supporting documentation for Malta’s citizenship for investment
Certified copies of any documents must be prepared in high resolution, ensuring readability. Color copies of the originals should be provided as much as possible. A lawyer’s written statement that the document is an “exact copy of the original” is required. If you have a document that includes a photo, you should specify the authenticity of the photo.
Authentication should be carried out in accordance with the following criteria:
- Apostille and additional legalization are not required for documents certified:
- A lawyer/notary registered by the Maltese authorities;
- Maltese Consulate/other diplomatic mission of the country.
- Documents certified by a foreign-registered lawyer/notary in any country that is a party to the Apostille Convention must be apostilled. If the authorities refuse to put the apostille on the document, it is recommended to visit the Maltese consulate/diplomatic mission ready to complete the authentication;
- The legalization of documents certified by a lawyer/notary registered abroad in a country that is not a party to the Apostille Convention and where there is no Maltese diplomatic representation will require a lawyer/notary to be involved in the procedure and the document to be handed over to the government authorities of the relevant jurisdiction for the necessary state authentication;
Since the Agency recognizes that the originals of the apostated documents are required in the public registry office, the Agency will have sufficient certified copies unless otherwise stated.
The official English translation must always accompany any accompanying documents submitted when applying for a passport and citizenship of Malta for non-English investments (including certificates or stamps).
Translations should be prepared with the help of a professional interpreter (officially accredited), a government agency, an international organization or a similar official institution.
When preparing a translation in a country where there are no officially accredited translators, a company whose sole/main activity is to provide professional translation services should be involved. The translated document must be accompanied by the signature of at least one authorized representative of such a translation company.
Important: Translators should specify in a clear and legible format the date of the translation, their full name, position and the name of the company in which they work, the address of residence or work, the phone number and email address / website. In the case of a translation agency, you should use a company form containing key information related to the translation firm.
It is highly recommended to use the services of well-known and reputable translation agencies/ translators. In the case of translators accredited to the country’s court or similar official institutions, the provision of accreditation information would be considered a plus.
It is important to note that at any stage of the application process, the Agency reserves the right to request additional information relating to the interpreter and/or translation agency, or even to request a re-translation by another interpreter.
How much does Malta citizenship cost for investment: the price of residency and passports
The tables below provide detailed information on the minimum investment and administrative fees required to obtain Maltese citizenship through investments in accordance with current rules.
|Partial payment of non-refundable deposit||Residence permit||Resident map|
|Applicant||10 000 €||5 000 €||27,5 €|
|Additional Person||1000 €||27,5 €|
Fitness testing stage
|Comprehensive check fee||Administrative fee|
|Applicant||15 000 €||By 1000 euros per applicant/dependent|
|Additional Person||10 000 €|
|Sponsor||15 000 €|
The stage of obtaining citizenship status
|Grant to the National Development and Social Security Fund||590,000 euros (36-month residency) or 740,000 euros (12-month residency)||50 000 €|
|Administrative fee||5 000 €||1 000 €|
|Accommodation||Acquisition of residential property (minimum cost)||700 000 €|
|Rent (minimum annual rent)||16 000 €|
|Donation to an officially registered charitable, cultural, sporting, scientific or artistic non-governmental organization or society||10 000 €|
To increase transparency, licensed immigration agents are advised to refrain from offering their clients non-governmental organizations in which agency employees are shareholders/directors.
Additional fees (paid at the residency stages, fitness checks, citizen status) if applicable
|Extending the validity of the resident card||Changing address|
|Applicant||227,5 €||27,5 €|
|Every addict||227,5 €||27,5 €|
Timeline: the process of obtaining a second Maltese citizenship for investment, terms
The process is conditionally broken down into the 11 steps described in the table below.
The process of obtaining
|1||Authorization letter||The prospective applicant issues a power of attorney for the hired licensed agent (the Agent), authoring the latter to act on his behalf throughout the Malta citizenship process for investment.|
|2||Residency||The agent performs a comprehensive Level 1 (Tier 1) check for a potential applicant and applies for a residence permit. Agenzija Komunita Malta (Agency) performs a comprehensive Level 1 check and receives the first police permit.|
|3||Right to participate||The agent submits a preliminary application to the Agency regarding participation in the Maltese scheme. Birth and marriage certificates are submitted by an agent to the state registry office and passport desk.|
|4||Due Diligence||The Agency performs a comprehensive Level 2 (Tier 2) check and ensures that the application is correct and complete, reserving the right to request additional information and documents, and performs a comprehensive check of Levels 3 and 4 (Tier 3, 4) by passing the application and the results to the Authorized Minister.|
|5||Decision on the right to participate||At the direction of the Minister, the Agency informs the Agent of the Minister’s decision.|
|6||Application for Maltese citizenship for investment||At the end of the 12-36-month period from the date of receipt of the Maltese resident card by the client, the Agent grants the Agency an application for dual Maltese citizenship through investment.|
|7||Update the results of the audit||The Agency reviews the results of the applicant’s comprehensive review to update and provides final conclusions to the Minister.|
|8||Decision on the status of the citizen||On behalf of the Minister, the Agency informs the Agent of the Minister’s decision|
|9||Investing||The candidate fulfills the requirements for investing in housing, making donations|
|10||Oath of allegiance||Visiting Maltese territory, swearing allegiance, obtaining Maltese citizenship status and a certificate of naturalization.|
|11||Monitoring||The Agency continuously monitors successful candidates for five years from the time they obtained Maltese citizenship for investments.|
Key pros and cons of Malta citizenship through investment
Pros and cons
|European Second Passport: Maltese law offers MCNESDI beneficiaries a full passport of an EU country with a visa-free travel regime in the Schengen area, USA, Canada, UK, Australia and other destinations.||Anonymity: The Government will continue to publish the names of persons who receive Maltese citizenship for investment or otherwise (without specifying such a reason). The names of persons who are denied the right to Maltese citizenship through investments/on other grounds are also published. Such a circumstance can create problems for citizens of countries that do not allow the receipt of foreign passports.|
|There is no strict residency limit: Physical relocation to Maltese territory for permanent residence is possible, but not mandatory.||Price: Cheaper offers are available on the world market than Malta’s citizenship for investment. For example, Dominica’s investor passport costs only $100,000.|
|Return on investment:Return on real estate investment is possible after the 5-year period of compulsory ownership.||Speed: Making a second passport through investing in a number of countries is possible in a month and a half (Vanuatu, St. Kitts).|