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Citizenship by Investment in Malta

The current version of citizenship-by-investment program in Malta is the second one (the first was Malta Individual Investor Program (IIP) that was in operation from 2014 till 30 of September 2020 and was closed due to end of quota). The official name of the current program is Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment. Citizenship obtained under the program is a full citizenship for life and can be passed on to future generations by descent.

Malta is stable, neutral and highly respected country that gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 (now it is part of the Commonwealth of Nations) and became a republic in 1974. Malta was admitted to the United Nations in 1964 and to the European Union in 2004; in 2008 it became part of the Eurozone. Malta is also member of Schengen Agreement (since 2007).

Key Benefits of Maltese (EU) Citizenship:

  1. Free travel, residence, and work within the European Union (27 countries),
  2. All family members (spouse, children up to 29 years old, and parents above 55 years old) can obtain Maltese citizenship together with the investor,
  3. No requirement to physically reside in Malta before the application or after obtaining the citizenship. No language test. The requirement to maintain 12 months of residency before naturalization is met by purchase or rent of property.
  4. Favorable tax regime. No taxation if the investor does not relocate to Malta and does not actually reside in Malta for more than 183 days per year.
  5. Dual citizenship is recognized. No need to renounce your previous citizenship before acquisition of Maltese citizenship.

Eligibility for Maltese Citizenship by Investment

To qualify for Maltese citizenship main applicant must be at least 18 years of age and must be in good health. Main applicant and all family members must show they do not suffer from contagious diseases. Naturally, they must demonstrate a clean criminal record. Due diligence of the background will be thorough.

Financial Conditions of the Maltese Citizenship by Investment:

  1. Non-refundable contribution of at least EUR 600,000 (or EUR 750,000 by exception) depending on the residence status length (36 months or 12 months, respectively). Spouses, children and parents are required to contribute additional EUR 50,000 for each dependent family member above the main applicant. This contribution is to be made after the approval of the applicant’s citizenship application.
  2. Investor must maintain property and valid address in Malta. Applicants are required to make an investment in property of at least EUR 700,000 or enter a property rental contract for at least EUR 16,000 annually.
  3. Non-refundable contribution at least EUR 10,000 to a registered sport, cultural, scientific, philanthropic, animal welfare, or artistic non-governmental organization or society, as approved by the Community Malta Agency.

Due Diligence Fees

Due diligence fees are as follows: EUR 15,000 for main applicant; EUR 10,000 for any additional family member. Due diligence fees are non-refundable even in the case when citizenship application is not approved.

Physical Residence Requirement

The law does not specify the concrete minimal number of days applicants must spend in Malta before the citizenship is approved. At the same time, it requires evidence of a genuine link with Malta which can be demonstrated by purchasing or renting property, opening bank account, visiting Malta, etc. Approved agents obtain advance written approval from the relevant Ministry (Identity Malta) of their clients’ proposed links. If the proposed link is not approved the clients will be asked to strengthen their case. Depending on the amount of contribution chosen, citizenship is granted after 12 or 36 months from effective date of commencement of the genuine link with Malta.

Grounds for Refusal of Citizenship Application

  1. Providing false information in the forms
  2. Having a criminal record or ongoing investigations
  3. Denied a visa to a country with which Malta has a visa-free entry
  4. Potential national security threat
  5. Likely to cause disrepute to Malta

Taxation of New Citizens

Maltese citizenship does not automatically cause taxation. Taxation in Malta is based on domicile and actual country of residence. Residence for tax purposes is established by demonstrating an intention to reside in Malta more than 183 days annually.

Comparison with Other EU Countries

Citizenship by Investment program of Malta is the most expensive in Europe. It requires from a qualified investor EUR 610,000 of non-refundable donation and EUR 700,000 of property investment totaling in EUR 1,310,000. The only another EU country that has a similar citizenship by investment program is Bulgaria with EUR 512,000 – 1,024,000 government bonds or business investment. Other EU countries (like Slovakia and Austria), where it is also possible to apply for citizenship based on significant investments, cannot boast of programs with concrete eligibility criteria. Decisions on granting Slovak or Austrian citizenship to significant investors or philanthropists are made on case-by-case basis which makes the whole process risky because of involving subjective factor. To summarize, the application process in Malta is efficient and eligibility criteria are clear-cut. The outcome of the application depends mainly upon results of due diligence (background and source of funds).


It is announced that the application processing will take up to 18 months for the exception route and up to 40 months for normal route. Citizenship is granted to investors and their family members who hold resident status in Malta for a period of 12 or 36 months immediately preceding the day of issuing of the certificate of naturalization.

Legal Fee

Providing of services regarding participation in the Maltese citizenship-by-investment program is subject to licensing. We work with a reputable company in Malta that has status of approved agent and has a practical experience of assisting clients with citizenship applications. The level of legal fee will depend upon the family composition and will be discussed individually with interested investors. The services include full support with allocation of investment, purchase of property, and preparation of citizenship application and supporting documentation. After citizenship is granted Approved Agent shall assist with the process of obtaining a Maltese Passport for each person included into application.

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