Malta consists of a small group of islands in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian island of Sicily and well positioned as a cultural but also political stepping-stone between Europe and North Africa. Malta became independent from Britain in 1964 after being a colony for more than 200 years. Malta is nation with a rich cultural heritage and a history with some of the earliest settlements in the world going back 7,500 years. It has an excellent climate, very friendly people, and it is stable and safe country with a very low crime-rate. Since May 2004, Malta is also a full member of the European Union, and since 2007 is a member of the Schengen area.
Malta has a good infrastructure. Telecommunications, postal services, banking, hospitals and health services as well as all other important public services are efficient and of a very high standard. Air Malta operates 35 flight routes mostly within Europe and the Mediterranean region, and many other European airlines operate flights to Malta. There is a regular sea link with Italy. Traditionally agriculture was important, but the economy has undergone significant change. Major industries now include high-tech manufacturing, food and beverages, tourism and international financial services.
In recent years the Maltese government has actively sought to attract foreign capital with attractive incentives aimed at international investors and entrepreneurs. This pro-business government policy seeks to build on Malta's many existing strengths such as its strategic location, excellent international trade relations, a highly qualified, motivated and English-speaking workforce and a good quality of life including excellent healthcare and schools.
Malta has also operated a long-standing residence program, which was recently revised and re-launched as the Global Residence Program, and has introduced a Citizenship-by-Investment option, known as the Individual Investor Program (IIP), which is lead by Identity Malta on behalf of the Government under a Public Services Concession.
Individual Investor Program
Henley & Partners has been awarded a Public Services Concession by the Government with regard to the design, implementation and international promotion of the Malta Individual Investor Program (IIP). The Malta IIP is aimed at ultra-high net worth individuals and families worldwide. It offers citizenship in a EU Member State that is stable, neutral and highly respected, an efficient application process, and the world’s strictest due diligence standards and vetting of applicants, thus ensuring only highly respectable clients will be admitted.
EU citizenship gives the right of establishment in all 28 EU countries.
Citizenship is granted to suitable individuals and families who hold resident status in Malta for a period of twelve months immediately preceding the day of issuing of the certificate of naturalization and who qualify under the very strict due diligence regime. All individuals and families applying to the Malta Individual Investor Program must make a significant contribution to the National Development and Social Fund established by the Government. The minimum contribution levels that must be met in the initial phase of the program have been set as follows:
- Contribution to National Development and Social Fund of EUR 650,000 for the main applicant
- Contribution for spouse and minor children: EUR 25,000 each
- Contribution for dependent children 18 to 26 years or dependent parents above 55 years: EUR 50,000 each
Furthermore, Due Diligence fees apply, and these have been set at the following levels: For main applicant: EUR 7,500; for spouses, adult children and parents: EUR 5,000; for children between 13 and 18 years of age: EUR 3,000 each.
The applicant must commit to retain a residence in Malta for a period of at least 5 years, either through the purchase of a property, for which the minimum value must exceed EUR 350,000, or through leasing of a property, for which the minimum annual rent must exceed EUR 16,000.
In addition, an investment of EUR 150,000 in Government approved financial instruments, which must be maintained for a minimum period of 5 years is required.
Global Residence Program
Malta is also a very attractive location for private residence. Malta offers non-Maltese persons the possibility of acquiring residence status through the Global Residence Program which is aimed at persons who buy or rent property in Malta, with minimum requirements of between EUR 220,000 to EUR 275,000 purchase price or EUR 8,750 and EUR 9,600 annual rent, depending on the location. A residence permit entitles its holder to reside permanently in Malta with the freedom to come and go any time. A permanent resident enjoys a privileged tax status while at the same time benefiting from Malta's wide network of Double Taxation Treaties. A further advantage of this status is that as long as the resident abides by the rules of the permit, the resident permit holder need not spend any particular time actually residing in Malta.
Through its offices in Malta, Henley & Partners assist international clients in obtaining residence and citizenship under the respective programs. Please contact us for more information or to arrange for an initial personal consultation.