September 3

Malta Citizenship By Investment Program

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About Malta

Malta is an island country located in the Mediterranean sea. Small but strategically important has played a huge role in the struggles of a succession of powers for domination of the Mediterranean and in the interplay between emerging Europe and the older cultures of Africa and the Middle East. As a result, Maltese society has been molded by centuries of foreign rule by various powers, including the Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, Swabians, Aragonese, Hospitallers, French, and British. 

The country of Malta became independent from Britain and joined the Commonwealth in 1964. and was declared a republic on December 13, 1974. It was admitted to the European Union(EU) in 2004. A European atmosphere predominates in Malta as a result of close association with the Continent, particularly with southern Europe.  

The official languages of Malta are Maltese and English. English is widely used in business and education in the country. Both are official languages of the EU. 

This is a country of choice of numerous tourists every year. It offers mild climate, beautiful landscapes, and amazing beaches. There is plenty of history and culture to enjoy in this tiny country.  

Also, this is an incredibly safe country, which makes it perfect for setting a home, and as it offers very good education and healthcare it’s very favorable for raising a family. 

Malta is one of the few European countries that offer citizenship by investment program.

Malta citizenship by investment program benefits (Malta Individual Investor Programme)

Malta is offering citizenship by investment program to high net worth individuals and their families. This process is very efficient and the government of the country is committed to the highest standards of due diligence and vetting of all the applicants to make sure that only the best investors are admitted to this program. 

The official name of this program is the “Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP).

Candidates that are admitted will receive Maltese citizenship that can be extended to their families.  

This is a highly respected EU country and owning its passport comes with multiple advantages. 

Some of the advantages of Maltese citizenship are: 

-Visa-free travel to 182 countries including EU, United States, Canada, Australia. Maltese passport is one of the strongest passports in the world, it’s ranked to be the 7th.

-Right to live, work, study in any of the 28 EU countries, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland & Liechtenstein. 

-Malta is part of the Schengen zone. This allows a Maltese citizen to travel to 26 European countries without going through any border control.

-Access to free EU education and healthcare 

-Applicants can keep their original citizenship, as dual citizenship is allowed 

-Favorable tax policy. Income made outside the country is not taxable, no tax on inheritance, wealth and real estate 

-Citizenship is granted for life and can be passed to the future generations by descent the future generations by descent  

General Requirements in order to qualify for the program

Fit and proper test

Maltese government wants to ensure that their citizenship is granted only to reputable individuals. Therefore, they invest a lot of time in due diligence for every potential candidate. Every applicant must have a clean criminal record. Maltese government will go a step further and do a check with INTERPOL as well as some other sources. You will need to provide a clear criminal record from your home country, and they will run additional checks in order to prove that you are a reputable individual and fit to get their citizenship.

Good Health

Every applicant needs to show that they have good health, which means they don’t suffer from any contagious disease. You will also need to purchase an international health insurance policy.

Investment requirements:  

-Donation to Maltese government development fund 

Applicants must make a contribution towards this fund to the tune of 650 000 EUR as a bare minimum, plus a further contribution of 25 000 EUR for any spouse or children under the age of 18 and a 50 000 EUR contribution for any dependent children who are aged between 18 and 26, or any dependent parents above the age of 55. 

This amount is a donation for the development of Malta, and certainly the most costly item on the list of requirements (unless you decide to buy some very expensive real estate in Malta). This amount is non-refundable.

-Real estate

The second requirement is a real estate purchase or long term lease.

Applicants must commit to owning and retaining a residence in Malta for at least five years. This can either be through purchasing property with a minimum value of 350 000 EUR or through renting a property where the annual rent must exceed 16 000 EUR. 

-Government-approved financial institutions 

Applicants must commit to making an investment of at least 150 000 EUR in a government-approved financial institution or instrument, such as stocks and shares, which must be kept and not sold for a minimum of five years. This amount will be returned to you at the end of a five year period, but you will not make any interest of it. 

*Important to note* In order to get citizenship by investment in Malta, in addition to other criteria, you will need to actually spend at least 183 days in the country before you are granted a passport. Unlike many other citizenship by investment programs, where you get a passport straight away, you will need to wait a year in order to get a Maltese passport. As we already said, at least half of that time will need to be spent in Malta.

Application process

Upon purchasing real estate or entering a property lease in Malta, investor citizenship candidates are issued a Malta identity document called an eResidence card. This signifies the commencement of their residency in Malta and also demonstrates the candidate’s genuine link with the country. 12 months after an applicant has established residency in Malta, applicants who have maintained residence in the country will be granted citizenship.

You do not need to spend all 365 days in Malta before citizenship is granted, but you should count on spending at least 6 months in the country.

The first step would be applying for residence. You will need to deposit 5000 EUR to Malta’s government fund, plus an additional 1000 for each dependent. Before doing this, you should prepare all the necessary documentation. This will create less hassle later on in the process and will make your application smoother.

Once your residency has been approved, you can apply for Citizenship by investment program. In this step, you will need to pay 10 000 EUR deposit on your donation and some other fees. They will also ask you for the source of funds in this step, so you’ll need to make sure that you provide the right documentation.

After roughly 4 months, you will get your initial approval. As soon as you get approved you will need to make a full financial contribution to the government development fund. You will have less than a month to pay 650 000 EUR contribution (minus the amount you’ve already deposited).

By the 8th month of Maltese residency, you will need to get the other two requirements done – you will need to invest 150 000 EUR in government-approved financial institutions, and you will need to show the proof of accommodation (purchased or long term leased, as we already said).

After you’ve fulfilled all the criteria you will be issued a Certificate of Naturalisation and given a Maltese Passport.

Maltese citizenship by investment is definitely not the cheapest nor fastest one to obtain, but having a passport of this amazing country will open multiple doors and opportunities for investors and their families.  

Malta is part of the Schengen area, which means the freedom to travel and live in any Schengen country. You will also get visa-free access to the USA and Canada.

Tax consequences

Malta has something called non-domicile residence taxation. This means that if a foreigner lives in Malta, they will not be taxable on their worldwide income, as long as they don’t have Maltese citizenship.

Well, if you go through the citizenship by investment program and obtain Maltese citizenship, you will not be able to qualify under non-domicile resident taxation. Once you get their citizenship, if you actually decide to live in the country you will need to pay taxes in Malta.

The top corporate tax bracket in Malta will be 35%.

So, if you actually reside in Malta and have their citizenship you can expect to pay anywhere from 15-35% in taxes.

Malta doesn’t have wealth taxes, inheritance taxes, gift taxes or municipal taxes.

If you decide to leave the country with your new Maltese passport, you will not be taxed in Malta, because they have residency-based taxation. Therefore, you will not have any tax consequences if you don’t intend to reside in Malta.

You should really take all this into consideration when deciding on buying a second passport. Even though, you will get access to Europe and Schengen area you might end up paying way more taxes than you expected.

It might be a good option to access Europe, and then choose another EU country for your actual residence. However, this is a costly option because you are expected to tie at least 880 000 EUR (including rent in Malta for 5 years). If you purchase property in Malta you will need to tie at least 1 150 000 EUR (of which you will not retrieve 650 000 EUR back).

Is Malta Citizenship by investment the right fit for you?

Malta Citizenship by investment program is definitely an interesting opportunity for many people. It gives you a very good EU passport that opens many doors, even doors to the USA and Canada.

If you come from a country such as India, China, Russia or Saudi Arabia it might be a great option for you and your family. It will give you access to healthcare and education all over the EU.

However, this program is very costly and you need to count on simply donating 650 000 EUR. Besides this, you will need to tie at least an additional 150 000 in government bonds for 5 years plus the cost of accommodation. You will need to spend at least 6 months in the country while being processed.

On top of this, if you decide to actually live in Malta once you obtain their passport you will need to pay their taxes.

Until today Maltese passport was probably the best passport you could buy. It’s ranked as the 9th best in the world in terms of visa-free access.

However, another interesting EU country has secretly started citizenship by investment program. For a total investment of 750 000 EUR, you will be able to get a passport of Hungary. In terms of visa-free travel Hungarian passport is 10th best in the world (joined with Iceland, Latvia, and Slovenia).

In our opinion, Hungary will be strong competition to Malta Citizenship by investment program, because it allows all the same perks with less money to tie down.

If you have any questions about this or any other citizenship by investment program don’t hesitate to contact us.

We will help you choose the best second passport that will perfectly suit your needs.

 

Dual citizenship allowed  YES 
Investment required  880 000 EUR minimum 
Time  12 months 
Family members  YES, with additional cost 
Visa-free access  182 countries and territories 
Who can’t qualify   Individuals with a criminal record

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