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Citizenship, Residence & Special Tax Status

|Citizenship, Residence & Special Tax Status

Malta has launched the Malta citizenship by investment programme, also known as the Malta Individual Investor Programme. The scheme is similar to other investment programmes in the European Union, but comes at a lower price.

Maltese Citizenship can be granted under the Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta Regulations of 2014.

Applicants will pay €650,000 in a donation to the National Development and Social Fund, €350,000 by way of a property acquisition (or €16,000) and €150,000 in government stocks, of which €10,000 will be a non-refundable deposit: their spouses and children below 18 years of age pay €25,000 each, unmarried children between 18-25 and parents above 55 years, €50,000 each. Other fees will be due diligence fees (€7,500 for the applicant, €5,000 for the spouse, parent and over-18 children, €3,000 for children under-18) and passport fees and bank charges of €500 and €200 per person, respectively.

The property and stocks must be retained for a minimum period of five years.

Applicants and dependants must have a:

  • clean criminal record;
  • must not be indicted or have appeared before the International Criminal Court;
  • cannot be or have been wanted by INTERPOL;
  • must not be an “enemy of the State” or “potential threat” to Malta’s independence, national security or reputation;
  • must not have pending charges or have been found guilty on crimes of terrorism, terrorist funding, crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes against the European Convention of Human Rights;
  • cannot have been charged or found guilty of paedophilia, defilement of minors, rape, violent indecent assault, inducing persons under age to prostitution, and abduction; or other offences that disturb the good order of the family.
  • Applications must come with a medical certificate confirming that applicants and dependents are not suffering “from any contagious disease and that they are otherwise in good health”.

Not necessarily. A personal interview with an applicant is not a mandatory requirement, but may be recommended by the concessionaire Henley & Partners, or considered by Identity Malta, on a case-by-case basis.

Yes. Applicants who provide false information, have a criminal record, are subject to a criminal investigation, are a potential national security risk, involved in an activity that could cause disrepute to Malta, or were denied a visa to a country with whom Malta has visa-free travel “shall not be approved for citizenship… unless Identity Malta is satisfied that the applicant is still worthy of being considered for approval due to special circumstances to be demonstrated by the applicant.”

Henley, the concessionaire, markets the scheme to prospective applicants and passes on the application to a due diligence agent approved by Identity Malta. The background check is carried out over 90 days (three months), and then reviewed by Identity Malta for further background checks over 30 days, and issues its recommendation to the minister. A personal interview with the applicant may be carried out. Within five days of approval, the applicant must pay the required fees, and five days later take the oath of allegiance.

Approved agents are defined as audit, law, or financial advisory and intermediate firms and any other person of body authorised to act as an intermediary by Identity Malta, the agency established as the IIP’s ‘regulator’. A due diligence process will be carried out on their regard, before they can introduce prospective applicants to Identity Malta.

Any agent who “acts in an unethical or unprofessional manner” and prejudices the IIP will have their licence withdrawn. Identity Malta will be issuing a Code of Ethics for agents.

Yes. Apart from a variety of clauses in Article 14 of the Maltese Citizenship Act, the minister can revoke the ‘golden passport’ if the applicant has become a threat to national security or is involved in conduct that is seriously prejudicial to Malta’s vital interests.

Yes. Under the new changes from the original law as proposed, IIP citizens will not enjoy any privileged secrecy.  Article 25 of the Maltese Citizenship Act makes the publication of naturalised citizens law; a regulator will oversee the workings of Identity Malta, by publishing an annual report in Parliament.

The NDSF is a posterity fund that will receive 70% of the €650,000 application fees – since the IIP is capped at a maximum of 1,800 applicants, the government is foreseeing a minimum contribution to this fund of €819 million over the years. The funds received shall be used “in the public interest” for education, research, innovation, social purposes, justice and the rule of law, employment, the environment and public health.

The fund will be administered as a separate entity by five governors, and publish its audited accounts annually, and tabled in parliament.

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