Citizenship By Investment - EUROPE



Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast. It’s a nation known for historic sites related to a succession of rulers including the Romans, Moors, Knights of Saint John, French and British. It has numerous fortresses, megalithic temples and the al Saflieni Hypogeum, a subterranean complex of halls and burial chambers dating to circa 4000 B.C.

460,297 (2017)
USD 12.54 Billion (2017)

Citizenship by Investment Malta

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.

The new Malta citizenship by investment legislation has an increased focus on ensuring applicants have a genuine link with the country. Successful candidates will be granted citizenship in Malta by a Certificate of Naturalization, which can also be extended to include their families. Once a candidate is awarded Maltese citizenship, they have the ability to set up business in the country and can get a Malta passport enabling them to enjoy visa-free travel to more than 160 countries across the world including the United States.

Eligibility for Malta Citizenship by Investment 2021

An amendment passed in 2013 to Chapter 188 of the Maltese Citizenship Act, as well as the enactment of Legal Notice LN437 in 2020, legally grant eligible persons Malta citizenship by investment under the country’s “Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment” regulations. Administered by Community Malta Agency, a federal government agency, in order to be considered eligible for investor citizenship a main applicant must be at least 18 years of age and must meet all the Malta immigration requirements outlined below.

Fit and Proper Test

The Malta citizenship by investment regulations include some of the strictest due diligence standards of any immigrant investor program in the world to ensure only deserving and reputable applicants are granted Maltese citizenship. As part of the application process, there is a four-tier due diligence process carried out directly by the Government to assess candidates comprehensively. Applicants must have a clean criminal record, and the Malta Government conducts extensive criminal checks with INTERPOL, the International Criminal Court, and various other sources and authorities. As part of the due diligence process, applicants must also provide a police certificate before they will be approved for Malta citizenship.

Good Health

To be accepted for citizenship by investment in Malta, applicants must show that they do not suffer from any contagious diseases. All applicants must also be covered by an international health insurance policy until they are granted citizenship.

Direct Investment

All individuals and families applying for Malta economic citizenship must make a significant non-refundable investment in the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF) set up by the Government of Malta and run by a board of trustees. The fund, which is on the same level as the central bank, finances projects in the country linked to public health, education, job creation, social improvement, and innovation. The following investments must be made within four months of being issued a citizenship Malta Letter of Approval in Principle:

  • Main applicant – €600,000 (3 year residency) or €750,000 (1 year residency)
  • Spouse – €50,000
  • Dependent children – €50,000 each
  • Dependent parents & grandparents – €50,000 each

Real Estate Purchase or Rental

Applicants must commit to retaining an immovable residence in Malta for a minimum time period of five years. This can be fulfilled by either buying a property in Malta for €700,000 or more and maintaining ownership for 5+ years, or by leasing a property for at least five years with a minimum annual rent of €16,000. Applicants must provide evidence of owning or leasing a property on the islands within four months of receiving a citizenship Malta Letter of Approval in Principle, and are not allowed to sublease the property.

Charity Donation

Once a Malta investment citizenship applicant is approved in principle, he or she must donate at least €10,000 to a local non-profit organization. This charitable donation should be made within four months of official Approval in Principle, and the applicant can choose from numerous qualified philanthropic, artistic, sport, scientific, or cultural non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and societies registered in Malta.

Malta Citizenship by Investment Timeline

Malta Residency: Potential candidates who are not already resident in the country are strongly advised to begin the residency process immediately since Malta citizenship by investment has a residency requirement of at least 12 months. To be granted nationality as fast as possible, it is very important that the clock is ticking on an applicant’s residency requirement while they progress through the Malta citizenship application process.

The first step towards obtaining investor citizenship in Malta is always to apply for a Residence Permit, which can allow you to reside in the country and travel visa-free within the Schengen Area of Europe. Candidates must physically travel to Malta in order to formally apply for residency, as biometrics are needed. If approved, residency status is issued for 36 months and can only be extended if the individual has submitted a citizenship by investment Malta eligibility application. Upon Maltese residency approval, a deposit of €10,000 must be made towards the exceptional investment required for citizenship. The following payments are due upon initiation of a nominee’s residency in Malta:

Residency Fees

  • Resident Permit fee (main applicant) – €5,000
  • Resident Permit fee (each family member) – €1,000
  • Residency Card fee (each person) – €27.50

Exceptional Investment

Deposit towards non-refundable investment – €10,000
Day 1: Once a Malta Residency Card has been issued, a citizenship by investment eligibility application can be formally submitted to Community Malta Agency by an Accredited Person. This eligibility pack will contain imperative supporting documents, and evidence of source of funds must also be presented at this stage giving a clear picture of how the applicant obtained his or her wealth over the years. A candidate should now indicate whether they are interested in obtaining Malta citizenship after 12 months of residency (€750,000 investment) or after 36 months of residency (€600,000 investment). Once a citizenship by investment candidate receives a Residency Card, they have 12 months to submit a citizenship eligibility pack. The following fees are now payable:

Due Diligence Fees

  • Principal applicant – €15,000
  • Spouse – €10,000
  • Dependents – €10,000 each
  • Benefactor (if applicable) – €15,000

Administrative Fee
Each person – €1,000
Day 5: Community Malta Agency will notify the concessionaire or Accredited Person within five business days of submission to confirm whether client’s eligibility application has been accepted for review or requires additional paperwork. If accepted, the Agency will also send an Eligibility Payment Request Voucher (EPRV), which is how the above due diligence and administrative fees are to be paid to the Government.
Day 90: Confirmation from Community Malta Agency that the economic citizenship eligibility application and supporting documentation are formally in order. The candidate’s eligibility is subject to a further 30 days of additional verification by the Government of Malta’s regulatory body.
Day 120-150: Applicant is approved for eligibility by the Minister. This signifies official Malta citizenship by investment eligibility conditional only on the candidate fulfilling all their remaining obligations in accordance with the country’s investor citizenship regulations.
After 12 Months or 36 Months: Once an investment citizenship candidate has held residency in Malta for more than 12 months or 36 months, depending on which option they previously selected, he or she is eligible to formally apply for citizenship. This involves filing further documentation with Community Malta Agency confirming details previously submitted and informing of any changes. All documentation is thoroughly vetted at this stage, and the Agency performs extensive due diligence on each applicant.
Approval in Principle: Once the Minister approves an investor citizenship application, an official Letter of Approval in Principle is issued by the Agency. The applicant now has four months to fulfill all the citizenship by investment requirements. At this time, the Agency will issue an Investment Request Voucher (IRV), which is a formal request for payment of remaining balance of National Development and Social Fund investment.
Evidence of Fulfillment: Within four months of being approved in principle, a Malta citizenship investment candidate must provide documented evidence of having satisfied all requirements of the legislation. This includes evidence of the following:

  • Exceptional direct investment of €600,000 (€10,000 deposit + €590,000) if 36 months residency
  • Exceptional direct investment of €750,000 (€10,000 deposit + €740,000) if 12 months residency
  • Exceptional direct investment of €50,000 for each dependent included in application
  • A copy of lease or purchase agreement for a property in Malta along with a declaration from applicant that property will be kept for a minimum of five years
  • Receipt of donation to an appropriate non-profit organization in the country
  • Proof that personal, commercial, and financial ties to the country that were committed to in residency proposal letter have been or are currently being honored

Final Review: Once an applicant’s “post-approval pack” is received, final citizenship by investment Malta compliance is performed by the Government. At this point, the entire National Development and Social Fund monetary contribution (exceptional investment) must have already been made in full.

Oath of Allegiance: When the Agency has finished their final review of a Malta citizenship by investment application and determined all obligations were fulfilled in their entirety, a Letter of Invitation will be issued to the applicant and dependents so they can schedule an appointment to take the Oath of Allegiance. Malta immigration candidates aged 18 or older must physical travel to the country to take this oath, and it should be taken within six months of receiving Approval in Principle from the Minister.

Issuance of Naturalization Certificate: Once a citizenship through investment candidate has taken an Oath of Allegiance, they will be issued a Certificate of Naturalization and given a Malta Passport.

If you are interested in learning more about Malta citizenship by investment, please contact our team for a confidential consultation.

Tax Consequences of Citizenship in Malta

Obtaining Maltese citizenship via the country’s “Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment” regulations does not have any tax consequences! Even if an individual moves their primary residence to Malta, they may be able to retain the status of a “non-domiciled” person and therefore have an extremely advantageous tax exposure. Candidates that become a resident of Malta but are not domiciled in the country are only required to pay tax on any income they earn or receive in the country. Malta has no municipal taxes, no estate duty, no death or inheritance taxes, and no wealth or net worth taxes. Malta also has double taxation treaties with approximately 60 countries around the world. The corporate tax rate in Malta is 35%, but special tax concessions apply to non-resident or non-domiciled company owners.

Dual Citizenship Malta

Individuals that obtain a second citizenship by investment in Malta are not required by Maltese law to renounce their existing citizenship. Malta has no restrictions on holding dual nationality, in fact, the nation’s Citizenship Act specifically provides that Malta dual citizenship is permitted. This being said, your current country of citizenship may have restrictions that prohibit you from possessing a Malta second passport.

Will My Future Children/Grandchildren Be Citizens of Malta?

Any child born to a parent who is a Maltese citizen will also be a citizen of Malta. This means children born to men or women who obtained Maltese nationality under the country’s citizenship by investment regulations will be full Malta citizens even if their place of birth is not in Europe. Consequently, if your family obtains Malta investor citizenship then when your children grow up and have families of their own your grandchildren can also have a Malta passport. Participating in Maltese citizenship by investment can gift future generations of your family with increased political and economic freedom, as well as significantly increased educational opportunities in the West. Many investors cite “family legacy” and “providing a better life for children and grandchildren” as senior influences in their decision to sponsor their family for second citizenship in Malta.

Is Malta Investment Citizenship Permanent?

Malta citizenship through investment is granted by a Certificate of Naturalization, and once you obtain Maltese citizenship by naturalization for exceptional services you will have it forever and can even pass it on to future generations.

How Fast Can I Obtain Second Citizenship?

If you have not already procured Maltese residency, the minimum amount of time needed to gain Malta citizenship by investment is 12 months. If you have already met the residency requirement of the country’s nationality by investment regulations, however, you can secure citizenship in Malta in as little as six months.

Is Malta Citizenship by Investment Available to Everyone?

Any person of integrity who is at least 18 years of age and has a clean police record is eligible to apply for second citizenship in Malta under their “Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment” regulations. The exception is citizens of Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Venezuela, who are not allowed to apply. People with close ties to any of these countries are also disqualified from applying for Malta citizenship by investment. This list of banned countries can change at any time based on consultation with the Sanctions Monitoring Board, and nationals of any country on a United States travel ban are also automatically disqualified.

Where is the Malta Passport Office Located?

Since 2008, the Maltese Passport Office has issued biometric passports according to EU and international standards. To become a Malta national in accordance with the country’s citizenship for exceptional services regulations, candidates must give their biometric information such as fingerprints. This involves visiting one of the country’s international embassies in person, or traveling to the country and going to the Malta Passport Office located in the Evans Building on Merchant Street in downtown Valletta.

Should I Buy or Rent an Apartment in Malta?

Malta citizenship by investment applicants must purchase or rent an immovable residential property. This leads to the question, is it better for an investor interested in citizenship to buy a home in Malta or rent one? If an investor purchases an apartment on the islands, they must spend at least €700,000 on the property. If an investor rents or leases an apartment on the islands, it must have a minimum annual rent of €16,000. There are pros and cons to both options.

Buying a Malta Property

By far the biggest benefit to buying a property in Malta is that the investment is not a sunk cost and can be recovered after the five-year commitment has been met. The Maltese economy is growing by more than 3% per year, and the tiny size of the islands means that land is in very limited supply. With an extremely healthy banking system and strong immigration numbers, it is very possible that applicants who buy real estate in order to qualify for Maltese citizenship will turn a profit on the home when they finally go to sell 5+ years later. The biggest downside to making a Malta real estate purchase is that it increases the total investment required to acquire citizenship in Malta. Depending on your current business situation, the opportunity cost of this money could negate any appreciation of the property’s value. It can also be difficult to get a mortgage on a property in Malta as a foreign buyer, so the purchase may have to be made with cash or financed in your home country.

Renting a Malta Apartment

The top reason someone interested in qualifying for citizenship by investment in Malta should consider leasing a property on the islands instead of buying one is that it requires a lot less money. The minimum monthly rent required of an immovable residence under the Malta citizenship program is only €1334, and even if you paid for all five years upfront the total commitment would only be €80,000 which is a fraction of the amount required to purchase real estate. Renting an apartment in Malta is also quick and easy; there is much less paperwork involved compared to buying a residence, and you do not need to be as meticulous when selecting a home since you will not own it (many investors lease an apartment sight unseen). The biggest downside to renting a house instead of buying one is that all the money you spend on rent is a sunk cost, and you will not be able to recover any of these funds. Paying rent is an expense, but purchasing a property in a strong real estate market such as Malta is an investment. This being said, part of the reason an individual would be paying this rent is to obtain a powerful passport so in the end even though it is a sunk cost that cannot be recovered it can still be an excellent investment.

Is There a Language Requirement?

There are no citizenship tests when a person applies for Malta citizenship by investment, and applicants are not required to know Maltese or even English to be accepted for financial citizenship.

Can My Malta Passport Be Revoked?

Malta citizenship granted under the nation’s “Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment” laws can be revoked if an applicant does not follow through with all the requirements laid out in the regulations. To be granted citizenship, applicants commit to retaining a residence in Malta for five years from the date they are issued an official certificate of citizenship. If a person does not comply with these requirements and stops renting an apartment or sells their home in Malta before the five years is up, they can have their citizenship as well as their EU passport taken away. Investors who successfully become Malta citizens must file a Compliance Form with the Agency on a year basis, for five years from the date they were granted nationality, stating that they are abiding by all the requirements stipulated in the citizenship by investment legislation.

What Does the Due Diligence Process Entail?

As a distinguished citizenship for investment jurisdiction, the Government of Malta will only accept investor immigration candidates who are highly respectable and have no ties to criminal activity. As part of the immigration Malta due diligence procedure, detailed background verification checks are run to determine if candidates are of good repute and that all funds have been derived from legal means. The due diligence fees paid when formally submitting a Malta citizenship application cover the expenses incurred while verifying that an investor’s money is clean and that they are a credible person. Malta investor citizenship has an immaculate reputation and the world’s strictest due diligence standards and will reject any aspirant who is unable to identify and prove the legitimate source of their cash. Applications that contain false information or omissions will also be declined.

The Maltese Government has an impressive four-tier due diligence system that is considered the most advanced in the industry and any person deemed a potential reputational risk, national security risk, or currently subject to a criminal investigation will be denied citizenship. Also, applicants who have been denied a visa to any country with which Malta shares visa-free travel arrangements will not be eligible for citizenship unless they have since successfully obtained a visa from that nation. Malta’s due diligence team is comprised of many former risk and compliance officers from major banks. The experienced team has developed a risk matrix that includes a seven-step verification process for each applicant. In addition to thorough background verification and anti-money laundering scrutiny, Malta immigration officers even have journalists from Thomson Reuters and Exige build a detailed assessment of each individual to be factored into their overall risk profile.

Does Malta’s Citizenship Program Accept Bitcoins?

Community Malta Agency, which administers the Maltese economic citizenship regulations, does not recognize Bitcoin or other crypto as legal investment currency for financial transactions related to immigration to Malta. Consequently, you cannot use Bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency to make the compulsory investments pursuant with obtaining Malta citizenship by naturalization for exceptional services.

Maltese Citizenship for Investors with Financial Assets Denominated in U.S. Dollars

Now may be a great time to invest in Malta citizenship if you are holding a significant amount of U.S. dollar-denominated assets. When a previous Malta citizenship by investment program was first announced in early 2014, the euro was substantially stronger than the American dollar. At that time, 1 Euro was worth almost 1.40 U.S. dollars. Now that Malta has launched new citizenship by investment legislation, the American dollar is not nearly as weak compared to the Euro. In 2021, 1 EUR has been trading closer to 1.20 USD making the minimum cost of Malta citizenship (investment of EUR 600,000) equivalent to approximately USD 720,000 although exchange rates can change quickly. Consequently, investing in Malta second citizenship may be particularly affordable at the current time for investors holding much of their wealth in assets that are denominated in U.S. dollars.

Voting Rights

People who acquire Malta citizenship by investing can vote in political elections provided they have been resident in the country for 6 of the past 18 months.

Has Malta Citizenship by Investment Been Canceled?

A previous Malta citizenship program reached its cap of 1800 applications in August 2020 and consequently closed to new investors. At that time there were rumors that the Malta citizenship by investment program had been “canceled” or “suspended” which is not true, it simply reached capacity and closed down. The country has since introduced new regulations granting citizenship in exchange for exceptional services by direct investment and is currently accepting new applications from reputable investors worldwide. Please note: the island’s current citizenship regulations are in no way associated with the old Malta citizenship program.

Malta Tourism

Malta is a tiny island country in the very middle of the Mediterranean Sea that is an immensely popular tourist destination thanks to its beautiful architecture, many historical monuments, and fantastic weather. Despite only having a current population of 520,000 the islands have been inhabited for more than 7000 years and were home to one of the most sophisticated civilizations on Earth. Today there are 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites on the islands, and people travel from all across the world to visit the country making tourism one of the largest economic sectors in Malta accounting for 15% of the nation’s GDP.

European Union

Malta became a full member of the European Union in 2004. EU freedom of movement treaties permit Maltese citizens to live, work, and study in any other European Union country including Switzerland. This means that 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.

Schengen Area

Malta has been a member of the Schengen Area of Europe since 2007. This allows a Maltese citizen to travel to 26 European countries without going through any border control. Countries that make up the borderless area include EU members Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden, as well as the four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. Individuals that hold a passport from any Schengen Area country can visit any other country in the borderless area without the inconvenience of a border check.

Biometric Data

All Malta citizenship applicants, with the exception of children under six years old, must at some point visit in person a Maltese embassy or the Malta Passport Office in Valletta to give their biometrics. Biometrics include facial features as well as the scanning of fingerprints for applicants aged 12 and above. Biometric data that is given as part of the Malta citizenship by investment application process can be stored for as long as six months.

Oath of Allegiance

All Malta immigration applicants that are at least 18 years old are required to take an Oath of Allegiance in order to officially receive citizenship of Malta, provided they have the capacity to do so. This oath must be taken in person, so all successful candidates of investment citizenship must visit the country to finalize the process of becoming a Malta citizen.

How to Get Malta Citizenship

Many people interested in European investor immigration research the subject online, determine they are a good fit for Malta immigration by investment, but then are unsure how to begin the process. 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 a concessionaire or Accredited Agent in order to get the application process started.

Our Malta immigration lawyer has extensive experience helping people acquire Maltese citizenship through investment. Based in Valletta, 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 a private consultation, please contact us today!

What is a “Malta Golden Visa”?

A “Golden Visa” is the name of a popular EU investor visa offered by a few Southern European countries, such as Spain and Portugal, to foreign nationals who invest in their country’s property market. Many people refer to Malta residency by investment as a European Golden Visa. If you are interested in an EU Residence Permit as opposed to European citizenship, a Maltese investor visa may be right for you. Malta residency by investment can make doing business in Europe easy by eliminating the need for a Schengen Visa in order to travel within the European Union.

Is Malta Safe to Invest In?

Malta is a republic with a parliamentary democracy system and is highly respected and considered neutral on the international stage. Malta’s banks have total assets worth more than seven times the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), making it a very economically secure nation with the second largest banking sector in the Eurozone. Unlike many neighboring EU countries, Malta has an excellent credit rating (A+ by Fitch Ratings and A- by S&P Global Ratings in 2021) and their government bonds are in high demand amongst both professional and retail bond investors.

Malta withstood the “great recession” remarkably well with the country’s housing price index never dropping by more than 5% in a year including in 2008 and 2009 when other European real estate markets were crushed. The country has also never imposed a tax on deposits in Maltese banks, dissimilar to nearby Cyprus who imposed a one-time tax levy in 2013 which included offshore bank accounts. As part of the former British Empire, Malta’s financial system was built from the ground up with a solid foundation and has proven to be both robust and stable even while other European nations have faced major economic challenges. Not only did the Maltese economy weather the European financial crisis exceptionally well, it is now one of the leading economies in the Eurozone.

According to the country’s National Statistics Office, the Malta economy has typically expanded by more than 3% each year over the past decade. The European Commission is currently forecasting that the Maltese economy will expand by more than 3.5% in both 2021 and 2022, making it one of the top economies in the entire EU during this period. The economists and reporters of the “Global Wealth Migration Review” reported that Malta recently experienced the second largest wealth growth of any country, behind only India and tied with China. Every new high-net-worth individual (HNWI) and ultra-high-net-worth individual (UHNWI) that becomes a citizen of Malta via the jurisdiction’s citizenship by investment rules will help grow the local economy. As of 2021, economic citizenship initiates in Malta have brought in more than EUR 500 million and have become a key driver of fiscal growth in the country. The nation’s safe and stable economy is just one of the many reasons why Malta citizenship is a secure and strategic investment.

Maltese Nationality vs. Residency

The new citizenship by naturalization for exceptional services by investment regulations are much more than just a Malta investor visa; they can help foreign investors obtain full citizenship in Malta as opposed to just EU residency. While attaining Malta residence is an excellent way for non-EU investors to get a European Residence Permit, obtaining a second passport in Malta is only possible through the new citizenship by investment regulations. If you want full Maltese citizenship, you should look into investor citizenship in Malta not just an investor visa. Often considered the most reputable second citizenship by investment country in the world, investing in citizenship in Malta through their nationality by investment regulations is both safe and transparent.

If I Make the Full Investment Am I Guaranteed Citizenship?

Applicants for citizenship by investment in Malta are not required to make the sizable contribution to the country’s National Development and Social Fund until after they have passed the eligibility and due diligence stage and have been approved in principle. Once a person has been approved in principle, the only conditions that must be met before they can be made a Maltese citizen are for them to satisfy all the remaining Malta citizenship requirements laid out in the regulations such as making the major financial investment and buying or leasing a property on the islands. Until a candidate has gone through the extensive multi-tier due diligence screening and is found to be of excellent repute, Community Malta Agency will never send them an Investment Request Voucher (IRV) asking for full payment.

Can My Children Study in Europe?

In additional to getting a second passport that makes traveling internationally very easy, people who obtain Malta nationality by investment can go to university in Europe without needing to qualify as a foreign student. Not only are the entrance requirements at most top universities in Europe significantly lower for students from other EU countries compared to students applying from abroad (especially Asia), often the tuition rates charged by universities and colleges will be much lower for Europeans.

Which of the Maltese Islands Do I Need to Visit?

The Maltese archipelago consists of three main islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino, and has a total land area of 316 sq. km. Malta is the largest and most populated island and is the cultural and commercial hub of the country. Gozo is the next largest of the islands and is more rural with a booming tourist, fishing, and agriculture industry. Comino is a very tiny island located directly between Malta and Gozo. Valletta, the capital city, is located on Malta island and is where all business related to the Maltese citizenship program takes place. When citizenship by investment Malta candidates visit the country to give biometrics, obtain a Residency Card, or take the Oath of Allegiance, they will need to visit Valletta, which is located conveniently close to the Malta International Airport.

What Type of Health Insurance Do I Need?

In order to qualify for Malta citizenship by investment all applicants must hold a valid comprehensive health insurance policy that covers all worldwide medical expenses up to at least 30,000 euros per family member. This medical insurance policy must be held until the person is issued citizenship.

Can I Invest in Malta Citizenship with a Company or Trust?

All funds for citizenship by investment in Malta must be transferred from the main applicant’s personal bank account. This means you can not make the financial contribution to the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF) from a holding company or offshore trust. It also means you cannot have a friend or family member wire the money to the islands on your behalf; the name on the bank account sending the money must match the name of the primary applicant.

What Is the Difference Between a Citizenship by Investment Program and an Immigrant Investor Program?

Also referred to as an investor citizenship or economic citizenship program, citizenship by investment programs can enable a foreign national to obtain citizenship in a country provided they make a substantial fiscal contribution to that jurisdiction. Immigrant investor programs typically only offer investors residency in a country in exchange for a hefty monetary contribution, not citizenship, which is why citizenship investment programs are much more coveted by investors. Investor citizenship in Malta requires an applicant to establish a genuine link with the country, not just make a financial donation, and consequently it is not classified as a formal investor citizenship program.

Due to the fact that a financial investment is a requisite of acquiring Maltese citizenship for exceptional services, some people incorrectly think the immigration regulations are essentially the same thing as Malta citizenship for sale. This is absolutely false, and any investor expecting to instantly buy Malta citizenship is going to be disappointed because that’s not at all how it works. Malta citizenship by investment requires applicants to establish residency on the islands and build a genuine link with the country.

At the end of the day, investment citizenship is not actually very different from other forms of skilled or economic immigration as both types of immigration policy have the simple goal of improving a country’s society and economy. The fact is, global citizenship and immigration facilitate innovation across borders, and educated business leaders who are the primary demographic participating in citizenship by investment can bring tremendous value to the communities they join.

Malta Global Residence Program

In addition to Malta economic citizenship, immigration to Malta is possible via the country’s Global Residence Program (GRP). The Global Residence Program Malta enables economically self-sufficient individuals who rent or own a permanent address on the islands to be formally recognized as a resident for tax purposes. If you are not interested in getting a Maltese passport and simply wish to live in a warm Mediterranean residence while retired and collecting a pension, the Malta Global Residence Program may be the ideal Malta immigration channel for you.

Maltese Citizenship by Descent

Wondering how to get European citizenship if you have Maltese ancestors? Amendments to the country’s Citizenship Act in August 2007 can make it easy for direct descendants of Malta citizens to obtain an EU passport. Maltese citizenship by ancestry enables anyone with documentation showing direct descent from an ancestor born in the country of a parent who was also born on the islands to fill out a Malta citizenship application and request a European passport. Even if you have no plans to ever invest in Malta, if you have Maltese parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents, our Malta immigration team may be able to assist you in attaining dual citizenship in Malta.

Finding a Property in Malta

Citizenship by investment Malta candidates are required to buy or lease a property on the islands and to have a registered functional address in the country. Since it is impossible to become a citizen of Malta by investing without first meeting all requirements listed in the regulations, applicants must present authorities with a copy of sale agreement or lease agreement as part of the process. There are no specific immigration Malta requisites for the property other than satisfying the minimum annual rent (16,000 euros) or purchase price (700,000 euros), although we recommend our clients choose sensibly and not lease a tiny bachelor apartment for a large family. A valuation report by an architect declaring the current market value of the property must be included in a citizenship application to confirm the purchase or rental price is fair.

Our Malta immigration team can assist clients with locating the ideal property on the islands that will thoroughly meet their needs while also fulfilling all the investor citizenship regulatory requirements. Once power of attorney documents have been completed, we will also be able to sign a lease on our client’s behalf making the process of securing a sanctioned apartment even easier and less time-consuming. Clients can also complete the property transaction application from abroad, allowing us to email them properties that match their requirements and upon selection secure the apartment, sign the lease agreement, and pay the landlord’s deposit and first three months of rent on their behalf without the client needing to return to the country. At we treat every client like a VIP!

Citizenship by Investment Malta Application Process

The first stage of applying for Malta citizenship through investment is requesting residency. This is when initial due diligence is performed by Agency Malta, who conducts a preliminary background verification on the main applicant and their family. As part of this Tier 1 due diligence process, the applicant must provide their personal details such as private address as well as profession and name of employer. The main applicant must also provide information about the number of residence cards he or she holds. All applicants need to provide a copy of their passport, and the main applicant must additionally hand over some basic bank account details such as the name of their bank, its address, and the SWIFT code.

Before entering the preliminary due diligence stage, a client service agreement and power of attorney document must be signed by the applicant as part of the preparation of their Malta Resident Permit application. There are also several government forms that must be completed including Form K and Form ID 1A for non-EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens. In addition to requiring a passport copy, the Maltese Resident Permit application requires the main applicant to provide a bank reference as well as bank statements from the last three months, a suitable certificate of global health insurance coverage, and a cover letter detailing their reasons for applying for Malta citizenship.

Spouses are required to present a copy of their passport, a marriage certificate, and a certificate of their health insurance policy with global coverage of at least 30,000 euros. Documents required for dependents include a passport copy, birth certificate, proof of sufficient international health insurance coverage, as well as evidence of financial dependency on the main applicant for dependents older than age 18. We work alongside clients throughout the entire Malta citizenship by investment application process.

Can Documents Be Submitted in Your Native Language?

All documentation pursuant to Malta economic citizenship must either be in English or accompanied by an authenticated translation. For example, documents required by Community Malta Agency that are in languages such as Russian, Arabic, or Chinese must be submitted alongside an accurate English translation. Translated documents must also contain details about the professional translator who was responsible for the language translation.

When a “certified copy” of a document is mandatory, a photocopy of the original document will suffice provided it is certified to be a true copy of the original by a duly licensed lawyer in Malta. If the document is not certified by a Malta-registered lawyer, notary public, or commissioner for oaths, or by a Maltese Consular or Diplomatic Representative, an apostille or foreign governmental authentification may be required. In some cases, an original apostilled document will be required by the Public Registry Unit, while a certified and authenticated copy will suffice for the Agency.

For a confidential consultation regarding Malta citizenship by investment please phone us today or request a call back via our contact form.


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