UPDATE: Following a highly successful run of several years, the Malta Individual Investor Programme (as regulated by Legal Notice 47 of 2014) is being terminated as of September 30, 2020 after reaching its cap of 1,800 applicants. It is not possible any longer for new applicants to apply under this particular Programme at this time. After consultations with various quarters, the Government of Malta ("GoM") is currently in process of holistically re-examining its citizenship laws, motivated not only by the Programme's success but also the contribution given to Malta's economy by a large expatriate workforce. Accordingly, naturalisation by significant investment will become another avenue leading to citizenship, together with birth, descent, marriage and exceptional services. The changes will contemplate a process and period of residency that may lead to citizenship, while in-depth due diligence remains pivotal. As with the outgoing Programme, the projected limited number of available places signals clearly the GoM's intent to again elevate quality over quantity. This time, there will be a maximum cap of 400 main applicants annually and a total capped at 1,500 places.

While no definitive information has been made available, it is anticipated on the basis of GoM announcements that the new route of naturalisation by residency and significant investment will have the following features:

  • the new law will come into force some time in October, 2020;
  • the new application process will involve a rigorous and extensive due diligence “Eligibility Assessment”; only when cleared may applicants be allowed to formally submit a citizenship application, but the citizenship application may not be filed until a 12 month residency period has been completed;
  • the price of purchase of a qualifying residential property has been raised from €350,000 to €700,000;
  • the option to rent instead of purchasing remains, but the rental value per annum will rise from €16,000 to €18,000 (though it’s not clear this is the last word);
  • an obligatory contribution of at least €10,000 to a registered and regulated philanthropic organisation;
  • the requirement of investing €150,000 in GoM stocks and bonds and certain securities listed on the Malta Stock Exchange will be done away with, but it is not clear whether this will be replaced by a requirement to invest in other instruments;
  • a €600,000 contribution by the main applicant (and €50,000 by each dependent) where citizenship is applied for after a residency of 3 years;
  • a €750,000 contribution by the main applicant (and €50,000 by each dependent) where citizenship is applied for after a residency of 1 year.

The GoM has been quick to reiterate that the acquisition of citizenship through this route will continue to be subject (as with the earlier Programme) to rigorous and extensive due diligence checks with several sources, including international agencies. The message is clear: only applicants having impeccable due diligence credentials and no hesitancy about documenting and disclosing their assets and source of wealth for due diligence purposes need apply.

The Malta Individual Investor Programme Agency will be re-organised from the ground up and replaced by a new agency responsible for administering all avenues to citizenship and meeting the challenges posed by Malta’s updating of its citizenship laws. Agents will be regulated by special subsidiary legislation aimed at enhancing the quality of their services, ensuring that service delivery is done in compliance with AML legislation and improving their interaction with the administrators.

We will be happy to assist you with any queries you might have in relation to applications under the new citizenship acquisition laws. Your contacts are: Adrian Gabarretta, Anthony Cremona and Adrian Camilleri.


The Malta Individual Investor Programme is the first of its kind to have had its validity officially recognised by the European Commission.

Citizenship by Investment

The Malta Individual Investor Programme (“The Programme”) is designed to facilitate (after a rigorous due diligence exercise) the grant of Maltese citizenship to foreign High Net Worth Individuals and their families who are of a reputable standing (including, unlike some other programmes, the parents and grandparents of the main applicant and the spouse, as well as the children of either spouse). The principal investment required under the Programme – now well tried and tested – takes the form of a monetary contribution to the National Development and Social Fund established by the Government of Malta for the purpose of bringing about qualitative improvements in Malta through public interest, social and capital projects.

Since Malta is a member of the European Union and part of the Schengen Area, non-EU applicants who successfully acquire citizenship under the Programme benefit from significantly-improved mobility within the member states of the EU and the European Free Trade Association. They are also able to avail themselves of visa-free travel to more than 160 countries, including the United States of America, Canada and the United Kingdom. Besides giving successful applicants an unrestricted right to live and work within all the member states of the EU, the acquisition of Maltese citizenship has no tax implications.


Restricted Number of Admissions

The number of successful main applicants under the Programme is limited to 1,800 only. The take-up so far has been very encouraging and exceeded expectations.


Applications and Accredited Persons

Our wholly-owned affiliate, Ganado Trustees & Fiduciaries Limited, has been approved and licensed as an Accredited Person by Identity Malta Agency (the official agency of the Government of Malta for citizenship, passports and acts of civil status). Ganado Trustees & Fiduciaries Limited is authorised to submit applications under the Programme and to promote and market it in accordance with the Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta Regulations, 2014 (“Regulations”), together with the procedural guidelines issued from time to time by Identity Malta Agency.


Eligibility

In order to qualify for citizenship under the Programme, the main applicant must fulfil the following criteria:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • meet the application requirements outlined in the Regulations
  • provide proof of residence in Malta for a period of 12 months preceding the day of issuance of the certificate of naturalisation
  • provide proof that the main applicant and his dependants are covered by a global health insurance policy of at least EUR 50,000 per person per annum and are capable of maintaining such cover indefinitely


Contribution and Investment Requirements

The main applicant must also satisfy the following contribution and investment requirements:

  1. make a contribution of EUR 650,000 to the National Development and Social Fund
  2. purchase a residential property in Malta with a minimum value of EUR 350,000 or lease residential property in Malta for a minimum annual rent of EUR 16,000, subject to the obligation respectively of not selling or not terminating the lease for at least 5 years
  3. invest in stocks, bonds or other investment vehicles worth a minimum of EUR 150,000 as may be identified from time to time by Identity Malta Agency, such investment to be held for at least 5 years

The table below outlines the contribution to be made under the Programme to the National Development and Social Fund and the due diligence and other fees due to Identity Malta Agency for the main applicant and dependants.


Table of Contributions and Fees

Contribution to the National Development and Social Fund (payable on approval of application)
Main Applicant EUR 650,000
Spouse EUR 25,000
Each Dependant child aged 0-17 EUR 25,000
Each Dependant child aged 18-26 EUR 50,000
Each Dependant aged 55 or above EUR 50,000

Due diligence fees (payable on submission of application)
 
Main Applicant EUR 7,500
Spouse EUR 5,000
Each Dependant Child aged 0-12 Nil
Each Dependant Child aged 13-17 EUR 3,000
Each Dependant Child aged 18-26 EUR 5,000
Each Dependant aged 55 or above EUR 5,000

Identity Malta Agency fees
 
Passport Fees (per person) EUR 500
Bank Charges (per application) EUR 200

 

Due Diligence

Applicants and their dependants are subject to a thorough due diligence process aimed at establishing that they are fit and proper persons to hold Maltese citizenship and are not otherwise ineligible for any of the causes set out in the Regulations. Though not mandatory, Identity Malta Agency retains the right to request personal interviews.


Publication

The names of all persons acquiring Maltese citizenship during the previous 12 month period – whether by registration, naturalisation or under the Programme – are published once annually in the Malta Government Gazette. Therefore, for reasons of confidentiality, the names of persons acquiring Maltese citizenship under the Programme are not singled out.


Click here to download a copy of our Malta Individual Investor Programme (IIP) brochure.

Click here to download a copy of our Malta Residence and Visa Programme (MRVP) brochure.