Malta Citizenship By Direct Investment
In November 2020 Malta officially launched its latest program which allows foreign nationals the opportunity to obtain Maltese and EU Citizenship – the Malta Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment.
More commonly referred to as the Maltese Exceptional Investor Naturalisation (MEIN) program, or the Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment regulations, the new rules allow individuals, along with their family dependents to obtain citizenship by making a direct investment in the country. This will also grant applicants a Maltese and EU Passport.
The rules aim to ensure that reputable applicants not only acquire an EU passport but also create a lasting bond with Malta – an EU Member State that is stable, neutral and highly respected – and also significantly contribute to the economic development of the island.
The core benefits of being granted Maltese Citizenship through the Malta Exceptional Investment Naturalisation procedures include:
- Easy access to all EU member states, including the freedom the work, live or study across the EU block and visa-free travel to more than 170 countries.
- All the benefits that living in Malta has to offer (link to guide to Malta Your Island Home)
- A sound investment in a strong economy with a booming property market and financial services hub.
Financial contribution for the Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment
The direct investments that are required under the Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment procedures include:
- A contribution to government
- A property investment
- A donation to a non-governmental organisation
Applicants may opt for one of two routes when applying for Maltese citizenship.
- One may opt for the standard route, which requires 36 months before applying for citizenship, for which a contribution of €600,000 for the Main Applicant and an additional €50,000 for each dependant, is to be paid to the government ;
- Or one may opt for an expedited procedure, which requires 12 months before applying for citizenship, against a contribution of €750,000 for the main applicant and €50,000 for each additional dependant.
The value of the property purchased, to satisfy the property investment criteria, must be of at least € 700,000. Alternatively, the applicant may opt to rent out a property for a minimum annual rent of €16,000. The qualifying property must be held for a minimum of five years from the date of the certificate of Citizenship and during this period, the applicant must show strong links to the island.
The applicant must provide an undertaking to donate at least €10,000 to a registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic NGO.
Eligibility for the Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment Regulations
Only highly respectable clients and law-abiding citizens, will be allowed to acquire Maltese Citizenship. Apart from the financial contribution, to acquire Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment, applicants need to undergo a background check as part of a rigorous due diligence process.
To be eligible one must:
- Take an Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of Malta and accept to promote the fundamental and democratic values of the island.
- Undertakes to declare that the applicant and his dependants are fit and proper persons to hold Maltese citizenship.
- Provide all the necessary documentation as requested during the due diligence process, including police certificate of conduct, and adequate proof of the source of funds and wealth of the principal applicant. Supporting documentation – like passport copies and birth certificates – must be legalised and counter-legalised.
The individual’s dependents can also benefit from the naturalisation process for a fee of € 50,000 per dependent. ‘Dependents’ are family members of the individual and include:
- the applicant’s monogamous spouse,
- the child (including adopted) of the applicant or of his spouse who is below 18 years of age,
- the child (including adopted) of the applicant or of his spouse who is a qualified person with a disability as per Equal Opportunities Act,
- the unmarried child (including adopted) of the applicant who is above 18 but below 29 years of age and who is proven to be maintained by the applicant,
- the parent or grandparent of the applicant or of his spouse who is at least 55 years of age and who is proven to be maintained by the applicant.
Processing Fees of the Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment Regulations
Aside from the above qualifying investment criteria, acquiring Malta Citizenship through the Maltese Exceptional Investor Naturalization (MEIN) procedures requires the payment of the following residence and due diligence fees:
Residence Application Fees:
- €5,000 for the Main Applicant
- €1,000 per each dependant
Eligibility Process Fees:
Due Diligence Fees:
€15,000 for the Main Applicant
€10,000 for adult dependents who are over 18 years old
During the application for residency and the eventual citizenship, the applicant will also have to pay administrative fees to the Community Malta Agency (“Agency”) including a €10,000 non-refundable deposit with the main investment and €15,000 due diligence fees.
Making a direct investment in Malta and therefore being granted with Maltese Citizenship through the Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment Regulations, is one of the most efficient and recognised routes to also obtain access to all EU member states, whilst also benefiting from excellent Mediterranean weather and superb quality of life in an English-speaking country.
The Malta Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment replaces the highly popular Malta Individual Investment Programme (MIIP).
It is regulated by the Maltese Citizenship Act (CAP. 188) and the Legal Notice 437 of 2020