With an ideal location in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta is a beautiful archipelago boasting of expansive natural splendor and consistently pleasant weather throughout the year. Malta has many charms including an ideal climate, mesmerizing scenic beauty, proximity to Europe and North Africa, as well as a thriving economy and a stable political atmosphere. The education and healthcare systems in Malta have been recognized globally, and the amenable tax policies and the low cost of living, compared to the rest of Europe, make life in Malta very comfortable. Ranked amongst the top 10 countries in the global passport index, the citizenship of Malta exposes an individual to a wide array of benefits. These benefits range from visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to as many as 165 destinations to a chance to stay, study or work anywhere in the Schengen Area of Europe. It is not surprising that the citizenship of Malta has emerged as one of the most well-reputed citizenship programs in the world.
Fortunately, Malta offers an opportunity to avail of all the perks of Maltese citizenship to the non-natives of the country. Citizenship is typically determined according to birth, descent or naturalization, which is adopted citizenship by virtue of a prolonged stay. However, a recent innovation makes it possible for anyone to acquire the citizenship of Malta even without satisfying any of the listed criteria. The unique Residence and Citizenship programs are aimed at high net worth individuals who wish to explore different territories for business, academic or leisure pursuits. The warm and diverse culture of Malta, complemented by a high standard of living at low costs make Malta an ideal destination to spend a luxurious retirement. All these advantages may be claimed by the investment of a specific amount in the economy of Malta. The programs are even more attractive because the Malta citizenship requirements are very straightforward and easily attainable.
Benefits of Malta Citizenship
There are several significant benefits that an individual can reap by applying for Malta citizenship by investment, rendering it one of the most sought after citizenship programs.
- Visa-free travel to 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 or work in any of the 28 EU countries and Switzerland.
- It is not necessary to reside permanently in Malta to avail of the citizenship
- No Maltese language tests or any other related citizenship tests are essential to be eligible for this program
- No compulsory military service is imposed
- A fast-track malta 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
- Citizenship can be passed on to the descendants who would automatically inherit the citizenship
- Maltese citizenship does not require the applicant to pay taxes unless he/she lives in Malta for more than six months. Further, only the remitted income is taxable.
- Malta has a strategic location with excellent air and sea links and global connectivity
- Acquiring a Maltese Citizenship does not obligate the candidates or their dependents to relinquish their original citizenship. The candidates may avail of the perks of dual citizenship under this program, provided the native country allows such provisions.
- A comfortable lifestyle in a stable and prosperous political climate
Advantages Of Possessing A Maltese Passport
Malta is among the top ten most powerful passports in the world with visa-free and on-arrival visa travel to 165 destinations and is globally rated as number one among all citizenship by investment programs.
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, and telecommunications have maintained high standards. Malta has also recorded persistent industrial growth over recent decades. The taxes are much lower in Malta compared to other nations, and for foreign nationals, taxes are only levied on a remittance basis.
Malta has a positive 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 largely profitable. Unrestricted access to work and educational opportunities in the entire Schengen Area significantly boosts the influence of a Maltese Passport.
Malta Passport Requirements
Essentially, an individual may apply for Maltese citizenship by investment through either of the two programs namely the Malta Individual Investor Program (IIP) and the Malta Indefinite Residency Visa Program (IRVP). On the successful completion of the conditions enlisted in either of the programs, subject to the satisfactory fulfillment of the Malta passport requirements, an individual gets access to Maltese citizenship, and by extension citizenship of the EU.
The Indefinite Residency Visa Program offers the successful candidates an indefinite leave to remain in Malta and also, all the benefits accruing to any citizen of an EU Schengen nation. To avail malta citizenship by residency, the applicants are required to contribute €250,000 in any government approved bonds or equities and maintain the investment for five years. Additionally, a donation of €30,000 has to be made to the government, and it is necessary to purchase or rent of a property in Malta. A processing fee of €40,000 would also be applicable.
The Individual Investor Program involves donating €650,000 to the Malta National Development Fund maintained by the government, a €150,000 contribution in government-approved financial instruments, vis-a-vis bonds and stocks, and a property investment of 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 and access to the Malta golden visa within a year.
Malta Citizenship Requirements
Apart from the investments involved there are further specifications involved in the Maltese citizenship requirements.
- The individual must be of minimum 18 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 which has global coverage
- The individual’s application should be deemed to be based on legitimate means and not against the public interest.
An essential aspect of the Malta citizenship requirements involves the funds that need to be invested. Accordingly, the cost of the Malta citizenship by investment may be divided under two heads; financial and non-financial.
Non-Financial Malta Passport Requirements
The non-financial aspect of the Maltese Citizenship requirements is relatively straightforward. The applicant for Maltese citizenship needs to be at least 18 years old. Applicants are required to provide a police certificate endorsing the fact that they have an immaculate criminal record. Further, the government of Malta conducts rigorous checks with the International Criminal Court, INTERPOL, and other authorities to validate the information provided by the candidate.
Moreover, the applicant is required to be in good health and not suffer from any contagious disease or any other ailment that might burden the Maltese health care facilities. Applicants must have legal international health insurance policies for themselves and their dependents.
Financial Malta Passport Requirements
Targeted at the high-income groups, the Malta citizenship by investment program involves significant financial contributions. However, the Malta citizenship programs require applicants to make the payments only upon receiving the precursory approval from the Malta government, thereby guaranteeing a successful result against the costs incurred. The Malta citizenship requirements in terms of the financial costs can further be divided into three parts: costs for donation, stocks and bonds, and property investment.
1. Contribution to the Malta National Development Fund (NDF)
All the candidates who apply for the Malta Citizenship by Investment are mandated to make a significant, non-refundable payment to the Government of Malta’s National Development and Social Fund, which is run by an eminent board of trustees. This fund provides financial support to various developmental projects in Malta in the field of employment, education, public health, social improvement, and innovation. As a rule of citizenship by investment program, the required payment must be made within four months of the issue of a precursory approval or the “Malta IIP Letter of Approval in Principle.”
The expected cost for the main applicant is €650,000 which corresponds to approximately to $730,957. The expected amount of investment is directly proportional to the number of family members that an applicant has.
For a spousal application, an additional amount of €25,000 which is around $28,113 needs to be donated, and for every minor child, €25,000 is the requisite amount, €50,000 or $56,227 for every unmarried child between the ages of 18-26, for every dependent parent and grandparent, the required amount is €50,000, and finally, €50,000 for every dependent adult or child suffering from any form of disabilities.
2. Bonds Investment
Besides the donation to the NDF, Malta Passport requirements also call for a contribution equivalent to at least €150,000 or $168,682 in any bonds, stocks, debentures or securities listed in the Malta stock exchange and approved by the government of Malta, deemed profitable to Malta’s overall development. An individual is expected to maintain the investment for a minimum period of 5 years.
3. Real Estate – Purchase or Rental
Another critical aspect of the Malta Citizenship requirements is an investment in the local real estate. The candidates, as per the regulations of the program, are asked to provide a commitment that they will retain and maintain an immovable residence in Malta for at least five years, without subletting or letting the property out.
According to the requirements, the real estate investment can be made by either purchasing a property, for which the investment required is at least €350,000 ($393,592) or by renting a property for at least five years with a minimum rent of €16,000 ($17,992) per annum. In the case of property purchase, the applicable government and processing fees are around 9-12 percent while the government and processing fees for renting a property is 12-15 percent.
Although at the outset, buying a house may appear to be a hefty investment; however, in the long run, the property can accrue several benefits. The real estate industry has shrunk in size over the past few years, therefore, while the current properties may be purchased at cheaper rates, their value is expected to witness a significant surge in the upcoming years as the market evolves. In comparison, rented properties may entail lesser investments but also do not offer much return on investment.
A candidate must submit evidence of owning or leasing a property within four months of receiving the Malta Letter of Approval in Principle for citizenship. After making the suitable real estate investments, the applicants will be issued an e-Residence Malta identity card which will essentially vouch for the connection of the candidate with Malta. Although possessing a real estate property in the country is compulsory, applicants are not required to reside in Malta throughout the year and are only needed to visit Malta in addition to the purchase or rent of a property.
Additional Expenses Under The Malta Citizenship By Investment Program
Over and above the requisite financial investment, the applicants are required to submit a due diligence fee of €7,500 ($8,434) for the principal applicant, €5,000 ($5,622) for spouses, adult children and parents, and €3,000 ($3,373) for children between the ages of 13 and 17 years.
Malta Residency and Visa Programs
As an alternative to the Malta Citizenship by Investment program, candidates may avail of one of Malta’s unique residency programs to come into possession of the Maltese passport. For those seeking to have a second home in this tranquil island, the Malta Indefinite Residency Program is a judicious choice, while for others who are more keen on the benefits accrued on the passport, vis-a-vis visa-free travel to 124 nations and on-arrival visa to 41 countries, the Residency and Visa program makes for a suitable option. Further, for those individuals who prioritize on the real estate investment in Malta, the Malta Global Residency program is just what they need. For each of these programs, the Maltese citizenship requirements are balanced out by the benefits ushered by these citizenship programs.
Malta Residency and Visa Program
Under the Residency and Visa Program, applicants are expected to make the following investments:
- A non-refundable government contribution worth €30,000 ($33,736) out of which €5,500 ($6,185) will be an advance administrative fee for the government
- Investment in government bonds worth €250,000 ($281,137), to be retained for a minimum period of 5 years
- Purchasing a property of at least €320,000 ($359,856) or €270,000 ($303,628) in South Malta or Gozo, or a property lease of at least €12,000 ($13,494) per annum or €10,000 ($11,245) in South Malta or Gozo
This investment must be maintained for the first five years of citizenship.
Malta Global Residency Program
Candidates for the Global Residency program need to invest in a minimum property value equivalent to €275,000 for property in Malta, or €220,000 for property in the Southern Region of Malta or €250,000 for property in Gozo. The residence permit holders may even opt to rent a property in Malta at €9,600 per annum or property in Gozo and the Southern Region of Malta at €8,750 per annum. However, the qualifying property thus acquired should not be let or sublet. Upon being granted a residence permit, the candidates are also under an obligation to demonstrate that they shall reside in Malta for at least 183 days in a year. Consequently, the qualifying property needs to be established as the principal place of residence for the applicant and the bona fide dependants.
To avail of citizenship by a residency 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 government of Malta, and alongside that, purchase or rent of a property in Malta is necessary as well as a processing fee of €40,000.
Maltese Citizenship Requirements Vs Benefits
At a time when countries are tightening their borders, affecting the professional and educational progress of people from different parts of the world, Malta offers hope. The Malta passport ranking reflects a host of benefits that Maltese citizenship espouses and at the same time, does not compel applicants to give up their native citizenship or abandon their country of origin. As per the ongoing trends, availing of a Malta citizenship promises to be a worthy investment for an individual to settle in, prosper and retire.
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