With the dawn of globalization, the parameter for excellence is no longer limited to one country, but the global reputation of an individual or a firm is of utmost importance. In that context, many seek to transcend the political restrictions that come with their native citizenship whether for entrepreneurial or educational pursuits or even for an upgrade in lifestyle. In the contemporary context, one of the best ways to enhance the scope of international travel for business or recreational pursuits is to participate in the citizenship by investment or residence by investment programs offered by various countries.
Through these programs, a candidate can procure a citizenship and passport of countries with impressive rankings and thereby travel visa-free or with on-arrival visas to a large part of the world. Simultaneously, applicants can avail of the lucrative opportunity of establishing a second home in an exotic location and enjoy significant tax benefits on such investments.
Henley and Partners Malta Citizenship Programs
International travel has become vital to the process of creation, preservation and perpetuation of wealth. Moreover, given that certain countries offer better career and educational prospects than the others, there has been an emerging trend of shifting bases across the borders. There are also instances of enforced migration due to political instability, ongoing conflicts or inclement weather.
Further, often the high net worth individuals retreat to quieter and more picturesque destinations in pursuit of a grander and more comfortable lifestyle. Whatever may be the reason behind the movement, countries foster different degrees of flexibility in terms of facilitating entry within its territory. Thus, passport index and global rankings play an essential role in boosting global mobility. Visa waivers or favourable visa policies enhance access to different countries, and it has been observed passports with higher rankings have an advantage over lower-ranking passports. The easiest route to indulge in such benefits would be by acquiring the citizenship of a relevant country.
Citizenship is usually determined according to birth, descent or naturalization, which is essentially a long period of residence at a given place. However, with the emergence of ingenious citizenship by investment programs, now it is possible for anyone who has the affordability, to acquire the citizenship of participating countries by making certain specific investments. Countries like Malta, Cyprus, Antigua and Barbuda have highly popular citizenship and residency programs which provide a wide range of benefits to eligible candidates in exchange for certain requisite investments.
While the process to apply to such programs are straightforward and hassle-free, the decision to choose the right citizenship program is essential to reap the maximum benefits from the investment made. Expert advice and timely help can go a long way in taking a judicious call.
With over two decades of expertise and experience in the field of residence and citizenship planning, Henley and Partners provide globally recognized advice and guidance in choosing and applying to the right citizenship program.
The firm curates the interests and needs of various high net worth individuals and then directs them to the bespoke citizenship programs that suits the client’s demands the best. Henley and Partners have been the pioneers in creating and popularizing the concept of residence and citizenship planning. Their reputation as one of the leading government advisory groups has earned Henley and Partners the trust of various governments. The Henley and Partners Malta Office has emerged as one of the busiest offices of the firm with the widespread success of the Henley and Partners Malta Citizenship by investment program.
The Henley and Partners Malta Citizenship program is counted amongst their most successful projects, vouching for a near perfect success rate on the applications. The firm has been actively involved in the development of Malta Individual Investor Program (IIP)and has been granted a public services concession by the government for the purposes of designing, implementing, and promoting the program. Recognized globally as the leader in the realm of residence and citizenship planning, Henley and Partners Malta programs have garnered a lot of positive attention all across the world and currently feature in the top of the citizenship programs list globally.
Life in Malta
Nestled strategically in the Mediterranean Sea, Malta is a beautiful archipelago known for its delightful weather and picturesque landscapes. Malta is a highly coveted tourist destination by virtue of the mesmerizing cliffs, coves and the serene waters that surround the island. Moreover, its flourishing economy and stable governance make Malta an ideal place to reside, thrive, and retire in. As a member of the European Union since 2004, Malta has emerged as a desirable location for settling down for many expats. The Maltese citizenship is one of the most sought after citizenships to hold, with its passport ranked fourth worldwide according to the Passport Index.
According to the Global Citizenship Program index 2019, Malta features as number one with a score of 79. Malta also holds an impressive rank of world number 6th with regards to the Global Residence Program Index. The Maltese passport facilitates visa-free travel in as many as 124 nations as well as the benefit of visa on arrival in 41 countries. The Malta Citizenship by Investment as well as the Malta Residency programs offer a lucrative opportunity to acquire an EU residence card and avail of visa-free travel in the Schengen Area.
Strategically located between Europe and North Africa, Malta has highly useful air and sea links. Availing of Henley and Partners Malta citizenship programs can prove to be highly profitable. Through this process, it is possible to own a Maltese passport through a smooth and hassle-free procedure which merely involves a contribution to the government, investment in government bonds and acquiring a property in Malta.
Benefits of Malta Citizenship
There are countless benefits that Malta’s citizenship offers, making it one of the most sought after citizenship programs.
- Visa-free travel in 124 countries and access to visa on arrival in 41 countries, including the U.S.
- Malta citizenship includes a lifelong and permanent EU citizenship, enabling the passport holders to set up an establishment in any of the 28 EU countries and Switzerland.
- It is not required to reside permanently in Malta to avail the Citizenship
- No Maltese language tests or any other related citizenship tests are mandated to be eligible for this program
- No compulsory military service is required
- A fast-track citizenship application process with approval taking place within 3-4 months and the complete citizenship process completing within a year
- A single application includes the entire family vis-a-vis spouse, children and other dependents on making the requisite payments
- Maltese citizenship can be passed on to the descendants who automatically inherit the citizenship
- Malta citizenship does not require the applicant to pay taxes unless he/she lives in Malta for more than six months.
- Malta has a strategic location with excellent air links and global connectivity
- A comfortable lifestyle in a stable country with a prosperous political climate
Maltese law does not require the applicants to renounce their primary citizenships in order to hold a Maltese citizenship and applicants may hold passports of both nations. However, while Malta permits dual citizenship, it is crucial to ensure that the country of origin of the applicant allows the taking on of a second citizenship.
Henley and Partners Malta Passport Strength
Henley and Partners are renowned for identifying comprehensive global trends in terms of passport strengths, and the credibility of residence and citizenship programs. One of the most salient services of Henley and Partners is their highly qualitative Global Passport Index.
The Henley Passport Index reports highlight the global trends in terms of passport strengths and follow a specific methodology to derive the rankings. These comprehensive reports not only provide an insight into the relative position of one nation versus the other but also highlight regional trends and the factors that triggered off such trends. The index is made according to the data supplied by the International Air Transport Authority or IATA and which undergoes diligent research and monitoring in order to maintain the accuracy of the information.
The Henley Passport Index has been a one of a kind publication and has time and again been used by international organizations and governments across the world for their respective reference. According to the Henley Passport Index, Malta is among the top ten most powerful passports in the world with visa-free and on-arrival visa travel to 165 destinations.
The possession of a Maltese passport does not merely make travel easy for an individual; it also confers a chance to have a comfortable and peaceful way of life. In spite of being a relatively small country, Malta has a secure infrastructural framework and effective governance in place. Public services including schools, hospitals, transport, telecommunications have an impressive structure and have maintained high standards. Malta has also recorded persistent industrial growth over the recent decades. Malta’s proximity to Europe imparts it with a modern outlook and high standard of living, but the costs of living are lesser in comparison to other European countries.
The taxes are much lower in Malta compared to other nations, and for foreign nationals, charges are only levied on a remittance basis. The warm and favourable weather of Malta offers a welcome relief from the cold terrains of Europe. Malta has a highly international perception and is a member of strategic international organizations like the United Nations, European Union, International Monetary Fund and the Eurozone. In addition, Malta enjoys excellent air and sea links to almost every part of the world. Malta is also a member of the European Free Trade Association making trade and business prospects mostly profitable.
Eligibility Requirements To Apply For Malta Citizenship
As active architects of the citizenship programs, the Henley and Partners Malta office lays great emphasis on the eligibility requirements of the citizenship programs so as to evoke assured results on the Malta citizenship applications.
- The individual must be of minimum18 years of age
- The individual must meet the necessary application requirements
- The individual must possess primary citizenship, i.e. be a third-country national
- The individual must possess a valid travel document
- The individual must possess a relevant health insurance policy
- The individual’s application must be deemed to be based on legitimate means and not against the public interest.
Other than the eligibility criteria mentioned above, there are two more categories of requirements for applying to the Henley and Partners Malta residence and citizenship programs, namely financial and non-financial. Whereas the non-financial requirements entail a clean criminal record verified by credible sources, and certificates endorsing good health, the financial obligations are more elaborate, and the Henley and Partners Malta office explains the different stratifications of the necessary investments.
It must be noted that the overall application process requires applicants to make the payments only upon receiving the precursory approval from the Malta government.
The Henley and Partners Malta advisors divide the financial requirements under three categories:
- Contribution towards Malta’s National Development and Social Fund
- Donation of a minimum amount of €150,000 or $168,682, approximately, in any bonds, shares, debentures or securities enlisted in the Malta Government stock exchange and approved by the Maltese government
- Investment in the local real estate, with the commitment of retaining and maintaining an immovable property for at least five years in Malta, without subletting or letting the property out.
There are also certain other expenditures that applicants are likely to incur. The individual will need to submit a due diligence fee of €7,500 ($8,434) for the principal applicant, €5,000 ($5,622) for spouses, dependent children and parents, and €3,000 ($3,373) for children between the ages of 13 and 17 years. Such investments are however customized to the specific needs of the applicants, depending on which route to the citizenship they opt for, as is explained by the Henley and Partners Malta office.
Applying for the Maltese Citizenship
Overall, an applicant may avail of either of the two routes to apply for Maltese citizenship as recommended by the Henley and Partners Malta citizenship experts: the Individual Investor Program (IIP) and the Indefinite Residency Visa Program(IRVP)
The Indefinite Residency Visa Program (IRVP) offers the successful candidates an indefinite leave to remain in Malta and by extension, all the benefits accruing to any citizen of an EU Schengen nation. To avail of the IRVP in Malta, the applicants are required to contribute €250,000 in any government bonds or equities for five years. Additionally, an investment of €30,000 is sought towards the State Funds of Malta, alongside that, purchase or rent of a property in Malta is necessary. One may incur a processing fee of €40,000 as well. This has become an attractive route to procure secondary citizenship and more importantly a passport with impressive ranking at a reasonable cost and adequate processing time.
The Individual Investor Program grants applicants with full citizenship and involves investing €650,000 towards the Malta National Development Fund maintained by the government, a €150,000 contribution in government approved financial instruments, vis-a-vis bonds and stocks. Further, it is required from the applicant to make an investment in a property in Malta of a minimum value of €350,000. The Citizenship by Investment may be passed onto the future descendants, and immediate family members are also included within the scope of the main application. However, one has to bear in mind that for every additional dependent a contribution of €25,000 per family member has to be made towards the National Development Fund. This program translates into Maltese citizenship within a year.
On the successful completion of either of the programs, a candidate can avail of a massive range of bonuses. Applicants admitted through both the programs will be furnished with a certificate, which will also serve as a residence permit. This certificate entitles the beneficiaries and their registered dependents to reside, settle and stay in Malta for five years, renewable indefinitely, in the case of Citizenship by residency program and indefinitely in the Citizenship by investment program. Since Malta is a part of the Schengen Area Agreement, candidates participating in the program will also be able to travel freely within the Schengen area, without having to apply for any travel permit. This also makes it feasible for the beneficiaries to access educational or career benefits exclusive to any EU citizens. This certificate of identity issued by the Malta Government shall be subject to an annual review for the first five years from its date of issue, and every five years thereon.
Why Apply for Maltese Citizenship?
Life in Malta is generally peaceful and pleasant. The widespread scenic beauty and highly agreeable weather throughout the year make it a desirable location for those who seek a life close to nature with ample scope for professional progress. Malta is also an economically secure country with a sound taxation system in place. Not only are there relatively lesser taxes, as compared to the rest of Europe, but there are opportunities to participate in business projects with member states of the European Free Trade Association without any stringent border controls. Tourism is the most important industry, contributing to about 15 percent of Malta’s GDP. Malta has a very robust banking sector and was able to withstand the “Great Recession.”
Finally, at a time when countries are tightening their borders, affecting the professional and educational progress of the people from different parts of the world, Malta offers hope to the younger generations. The Malta passport ranking reflects a host of benefits that the Maltese citizenship espouses and at the same time, does not compel applicants to give up their native citizenship or abandon their country of origin. Going by the ongoing trends, availing of a Henley and Partners Malta citizenship promises to be a wise investment for securing the future.