The special Malta Citizenship by investment program was actually launched in 2014 and has picked up pace in the last few years or so. The Investment Program for Citizenship to Malta requires the applicants to have sufficient funds, a clean police record and be willing to purchase real estate in Malta.
Why Malta Citizenship?
The key benefits of seeking a second citizenship to Malta are many, a few important ones among them are as follows:
- Visa-free travel to 124 countries and visa on arrival in 41 countries.
- A full and lifetime citizenship to the European Union (EU) with a right to set up an establishment in any of the 28 countries of EU and Switzerland.
- Fourth most powerful passport in the world, ranked even higher than the US passport.
- Free and easy access to European countries and the US.
- No Maltese language tests required.
- No military service required.
- No need to live permanently in Malta, just a few visits are enough.
- Accepts dual citizenship and hence, no need to leave your primary nation and its passport.
- Hassle free and quick citizenship approval process.
- The maximum approval time taken is 3-4 months, while the whole procedure can be completed in 1 year.
- Entire family can be covered under one single application, with the family including spouse, children and other dependents like parents.
- Citizenship can be handed down to the next generation of the immediate family.
- European lifestyle in a peaceful and stable country.
- Once citizenship is granted, no need to pay any inheritance tax, estate duty, wealth tax, municipality taxes or any type of real estate taxes.
Malta Citizenship By Investment Requirements
The three- stage process to gaining Citizenship by investment in Malta is simple.
- Stage 1: Submit all the required documents, duly notarized, as required for the malta citizenship application process, which will then be verified by Malta officials.
- Stage 2: Complete the due-diligence process of verifications carried out by Malta officials, including background checks
- Stage 3: After the documents are verified and due diligence is completed, typically 3-4 months after the initial application, the financial contributions will be required. The contributions need to be made to Malta’s National Development for Social Fund, government approved stocks and bonds, and in local property.
Buy Malta Citizenship by investment program has one of the world’s most stringent standards of checking and provides citizenship to only the most reputed and moneyed people around the world. The due diligence verification process has to be cleared by the applicant along with a detailed background check report and checking of the sources of all the wealth of the applicant. At any point in the process, if anything is found to be illegal, the process of acquiring the citizenship would be terminated.
- The main applicant must be an adult and over 18 years of age.
- The Maltese Government will conduct INTERPOL checks and other local police verifications to ensure that the applicant has no criminal background
- The applicant or his dependants should not be suffering from any contagious or chronic disease of any kind.
The Citizenship by Investment program involves making 3 main investments.
1. Contribution to the Malta National Development and Social Fund
The first and foremost requirement is to calculate the non-refundable donation required to be made to the NDF or National Development and Social Fund, which is run by a board of Trustees of the Government of Malta. The money thus collected is used to create jobs and improve the infrastructure in the country. It is quite similar to a Central Bank’s fund in any country and this amount is to be paid within 4 months of the issue of an Approval Letter in Principle for the citizenship program.
The cost of the investment is usually around €650,000 or $730,000 with an additional charge of €25,000 or $28,113 for spouse and each minor child. For a physically or mentally challenged child or adult the donation required is about €50,000 ($56,227)and the same amount for an adult, unmarried child between the ages of 18 – 26 years.
2. Investment in Bonds
Although the NDF contribution is the mainstay of the Citizenship by investment program, the Maltese government has also included in it some general investments in government approved shares and bonds for a minimum period of 5 years. The amount to be invested in government bonds is around €150,000 ($168,682). These stocks and bonds should be invested in companies listed on the Malta National Stock exchange and being stated as those “beneficial to the State of Malta” for its development.
3. Investment in Real Estate
When applying for the Maltese passport for Citizenship one needs to make a real estate investment as well. The Malta Passport by investment process is simple and straightforward and after investment in the government fund, and bonds, the candidate is required to invest in real estate as well to gain Maltese Citizenship by Investment. This investment has to be made in the local real estate market in Malta without subletting or letting the property.
Such an investment can be made either by purchasing a property worth minimum €350,000 ($393,592) or renting a property for not less than €16,000 ($17,992) per month for a minimum period of 5 years duration. The applicable government processing fees and registration fees of the property is around 12-15 % for renting and 9-12 % for outright purchasing.
Investment in a property seems to be the right option as it can be used as a second home or sold after a minimum period of 5 years.
The Maltese government gives around 4 months to purchase a property or rent out a suitable one after receiving the Approval Letter in Principle for Maltese Citizenship program. This step is very important as the residence purchased or rented will be used as the address for passport issuance and will show the genuine link of the applicant with the Republicof Malta. Possession of real estate and immovable property in Malta is compulsory but staying in Malta is not. One only needs to visit on and off to retain Citizenship of Malta.
After making the real estate investments, candidates for Citizenship by investment will be issued an eResidence Malta identity card which will then be used to make a citizen’s passport for Malta.
Some additional expenses in the form of processing fees and due diligence fees is also to be paid to the government of Malta. These additional expenses would amount to 8-10,000 USD for documentation, passport issuance and granting of Citizenship to Malta by Investment program.