In today’s world, we enjoy the benefits of having dual citizenship, either by birth, marriage or naturalization. Dual citizenship gives you more opportunities, control, independence and freedom to choose the lifestyle that you wish. You get to give your family better living, healthcare, education and access to different countries.
Therefore, if you are a foreign investor seeking to relocate, invest, or do business in Europe while attaining a second citizenship, the MALTA CITIZENSHIP is for you. This article will guide you on the most sought after citizenship investment program, its requirements, process, benefits, how and where to apply.
Why Malta Citizenship?
According to study, Malta is among the world’s richest, healthiest, and most prosperous nations. The economy of Malta is classified as an advanced economy by the International Monetary Fund and is considered a high-income country by the World Bank and an innovation-driven economy by the World Economic Forum. Also, Maltese passport is one of the world’s most powerful passports. It allows you access to 184 countries visa-free including the UK, USA and Canada.
How to Become a Maltese Citizen
There are several ways in which you can acquire a Malta citizenship;
1. Citizenship by Investment
This is officially called the Maltese Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment. Investing in Malta’s economy is the fastest way to citizenship for high-net-worth individuals. From 2014 to 2020, Malta had the Individual Investor Programs, which the European Commission had recognized as a “golden standard” among other citizenship by investment program’s.
An investor can apply to have citizenship for the whole family at once. For investment citizenship, you do not need to know the language, pass exams or live permanently in the country, either before or after obtaining the passport. It takes 14 or 36 months to obtain citizenship depending on the investment sum.
2. Citizenship by Marriage
Another way of becoming a Maltese citizen is to marry a Maltese citizen. Foreigners married to a Maltese citizen has the right to live in Malta visa-free and work even without a work permit. However, you may only apply for citizenship after 5 years of legal marriage. Such marriages are considered a crime in Malta. Applicants who only marry for citizenship may be fined or imprisoned for two years.
3. Citizenship by Naturalization
Obtaining citizenship by naturalization is the longest route, taking at least 7 years. Foreign nationals without family ties in Malta can become citizens if they have lived in the country for four cumulative years in the last 6 years with a permanent residence and residence permit. They must not have stayed outside Malta for more than 6 consecutive months or 10 during the said period. They will also live in Malta continuously for 12 years after the application. Therefore, naturalization is only suitable for those who live in Malta and do not intend to leave the country.
4. Citizenship by Birth
Although this is not a process that you can opt-in or out of, it is still worth mentioning. Maltese Citizenship by birth came into the Maltese constitution on September 21, 1964. The Independence Constitution established those who should become a citizen of Malta automatically by birth. Previously, the constitution stated that any person born on Maltese soil is a citizen of Malta from birth. However, anyone born on or after August 1, 1989 shall only be entitled to Maltese citizenship if either of their parents were citizens of Malta.
5. Citizenship by Family Reunification
Suitable for children of current or former Maltese citizens and those with close family ties in the country. Citizenship by family reunification is only granted in cases – if you were born in Malta with at least one Maltese parent in 1989, it is possible to apply for citizenship. This also applies to those born outside Malta with a Maltese father between September 21, 1964, and July 31, 1989.
6. Citizenship for Refugees and Political Asylum
8,000 to 9,000 refugees arrive in Malta annually, mostly from Africa and the Middle East. This is more of a forced option. Refugees do not need to take any tests or pay state fees. However, they have to prove that their life have been threatened or that they have been discriminated against in their country. Refugees deciding to stay in Malta may acquire citizenship after 6 years.
7. Citizenship for Distinguished Service to Malta
The President of Malta awards a passport to outstanding scientists, cultural figures, business persons, politicians, and athletes for exceptional merit. However, this is no clear criteria for “exceptional” merits. Generally, this way of obtaining Maltese citizenship is impossible to plan.
What is a Malta Golden Visa?
The Malta Golden Visa (Malta Residence and Visa Program) route allows high-income individuals to receive a Maltese passport within one to three years, by making a substantial investment in Malta.
Under the new Maltese Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment program, you and your family have to live in Malta until you become eligible for citizenship. This means that you also have to invest in residential real estate.
Investment Options for a Malta Golden Visa
There are two Malta Golden Visa investment options available:
1. The Malta Citizenship By Investment Programme
Malta makes it convenient for foreigners to invest, reside and work in the country legally. This type of investment will be discussed further as you read on.
2. The Malta Permanent Residency Programme
The Malta Permanent Residency Programme as the name suggests, leads to permanent residence in Malta, as opposed to immediate citizenship. It is part of the Malta Golden Visa scheme. The investment required for this is €100,000.We are Here for all Your Malta Golden Visa Processing in Less than no time
Malta Citizenship by Investment Program
Let’s talk more on citizenship by investment program, as we give a detailed guide on how to go about it.
The Malta citizenship by investment program is one of the unique and most sought after programs. Introduced in November 2020, legislation granting Malta citizenship by naturalization for exceptional services offers citizenship in a highly respected EU member country to individuals and families worldwide who contribute to the nation’s economic development.
Malta has been a member of the European Union since 2004, enjoys a stable political climate, bi-partisan political scene, growing economy, and has some of the soundest banks in the world. The Malta citizenship by investment application process is extremely efficient, and the Government of Malta is committed to the highest standard of due diligence and vetting of investor applicants ensuring only persons of impeccable standing and repute will be admitted.
Eligibility for Malta Citizenship by Investment
In order to be eligible, you must fulfill several criteria;
- Be over the age of 18.
- Have a clean criminal record and pass a stringent due diligence process.
- Not be a citizen from a country that is on the US travel ban list.
- Not hold nationality or connections to the following countries: the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and North Korea.
- Fulfill all the necessary investment requirements.
Investment Requirements for Malta Citizenship
There are series of financial requirements that must be fulfilled to apply for Malta citizenship by investment;
1. A direct, non-refundable investment
A direct investment of a minimum of €650,000 or €750,000 for the main applicant, depending on the residence period selected 12 or 36 months (extra €50,000 is required for each dependent).
2. Property investment
A residential property lease for a minimum of €16,000 per year for a period of 5 years or the purchase of a property for a minimum of €700,000 that must be kept for at least 5 years.
3. Philanthropic donation
A donation of €10,000 to a registered sport, cultural, scientific, philanthropic, animal welfare, or artistic non-governmental organization or society as approved by the CMA.Talk to one of our Investment Experts now for all your Citizenship Issues
Process of Obtaining Malta Citizenship by Investment
The process of obtaining Malta citizenship by naturalization through Exceptional Services by Direct Investment is broken up in four stages.
Stage 1: Residency in Malta
The main applicant, along with any dependents included in the application, must first apply for a Maltese residence card. To get the residence card, you must first pass CMA’s thorough due diligence check. If approved, you get a residence card with a 36-month validity. Afterward, you must come to Malta (young children excluded) to collect bio-metric data for the residence card. Ahead of lodging your residence application, you must lease an apartment.
Stage 2: Eligibility for Citizenship
A citizenship eligibility application must be submitted to the CMA within 12-months from the issue date of the residency card, otherwise, the Agency will revoke the card. As usual, the CMA performs due diligence to ensure the application is done right. Further information and documents may be requested. Afterward, the CMA presents the application to the Minister, who then decides whether applicants are eligible to apply for Maltese citizenship.
Stage 3: Maltese Citizenship
After 12 months or 36 months from your residency stage, you can submit your Malta citizenship application to the CMA. The CMA updates its due diligence on the applicants and presents its final findings to the Minister. Basically, your application depends on whether the Minister approves it or not. Once approved, citizenship is granted.
Stage 4: Naturalization
After fulfilling all the investment requirements, the main application and any dependents included in the application will be invited to visit Malta and take the Oath of Allegiance. The Oath of Allegiance must be completed within 6 months from the issuance date of Letter of Approval in Principle. The name of all naturalized persons will be announced yearly in the Government Gazette.
The CMA conducts continuous monitoring for five years. Note that it is possible to have your Maltese citizenship revoked if you do not comply with the requirements of the program
Taxation in Malta
It is also important that investors from Malta’s citizenship by investment scheme know that the state has:
- No inheritance tax
- No estate duty
- No wealth tax
- No municipal taxes
- No property ownership tax
- If you invest at least €750,000, you can get a Malta passport after 1 year.
- If you invest €650,000, you can get a Malta passport after 3 years.
- If you invest €100,000, you can get a Malta passport after at least 5 years.
Benefits of Maltese Citizenship by Investment
Interestingly, there are many amazing benefits and privileges you get to enjoy as a Malta citizen. One of the main benefits of obtaining citizenship by investment in Malta as opposed to just obtaining residency is that once your citizenship has been granted, investors hold citizenship for life, other benefits include:
1. Permanent residence in Malta and within the EU
Malta is an European Union member state and as a citizen of Malta, you are granted the right to reside in Malta and any European Union country.
2. Visa-free travel
Malta is also a member of Schengen Zone, you can visit 26 Schengen visa countries without border checks. In fact, you will require no passport or customs checks.
3. Access to other European countries
People with Malta passports are allowed to move to Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
4. Freedom within the EU
As Maltese citizens, you and your family can live, work and study in any European Union country. It also provides lifelong family security.
5. Free education for your children
Your children will get access to the Maltese public schools and universities just like other Maltese residents. State schools, too, are free for the students, including transportation and books. The University of Malta is publicly funded and is free for Maltese citizens.
6. Dual citizenship
Individuals that obtain a second citizenship in Malta are not required by Maltese law to renounce their existing citizenship.
7. Passport for whole family
Investing in Maltese citizenship means you can obtain a European passport not just for yourself, but also for the rest of your family.
Also, any child born to a parent who is a Maltese citizen will also be a citizen of Malta, even if their place of birth is not in Europe.
8. Business opportunities
Malta is one of the rapidly-growing economies of the EU, so you have an opportunity to establish your business after you get citizenship.
9. High standard of living
You and your family will get to enjoy the clean air, property rights, and freedom of speech, just like the locals. Moreover, there are many tourist places as it is one of the most popular holiday destinations among Europeans. Also, it has modern infrastructure, internet services and secure banking.
10. Best healthcare services
Malta has an excellent healthcare system globally, ranked among the top five by WHO. Besides, it is funded by health insurance and taxation. Medical services covered under health insurance are hospitalization, prescriptions, pregnancy, childbirth, and specialists’ treatments
11. Financial security
Access to the European banking system, the ability to open deposits, register assets, real estate and purchase securities in your name.
12. Residence permit in other countries
It is easier to obtain a residence permit for the UK and other Commonwealth of Nations countries: e.g. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, South Africa.
How to Get Malta Citizenship
Many people interested in getting a Malta citizenship, research the subject online, determine if they are eligible, but then are unsure on how to begin the process. We have mentioned all the possible ways to obtain Maltese Citizenship, and most of them are linked to the family legacy. If you have no ties to the Maltese Islands, the only way to acquire citizenship is through investment.
Applying for Maltese citizenship by investment on your own is not possible. Under Malta’s “Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment” requirements, a prospective applicant is obliged to use an accredited agent in order to get the application process started. This is where GLOBALTRAVELSDOC comes in.
How can Globaltravelsdoc Help me?
Investors can encounter many difficulties when applying for citizenship or residency, which is why it is beneficial to have an expert to provide you with personalized assistance throughout the process.
We can help you with the following:
Minimize the visits you have to make to the designated country.
Have someone who works solely on your behalf.
Reduce the hassle associated with putting your application together.
Acquire insider knowledge from someone with years of experience in the market.
Why Choose us?
Our team of professionals have helped qualified individuals and families obtain second citizenship in Malta. We are ready to guide you in your Maltese citizenship investment program, either as an individual or a family. With our vast knowledge on Maltese citizenship and great customer service, we can help you acquire yours.
Our Malta immigration lawyer has extensive experience helping people acquire Maltese citizenship through investment. Our legal team has a close working relationship with the Government of Malta and has presented more than a dozen citizenship by investment applications in the past decade.
If you are interested in learning more about Malta citizenship by investment, please contact our team for a confidential consultation. Get in touch with us today!