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An Introduction to Acquiring Citizenship in Malta

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. The nation has a rich cultural heritage and a history with some of the earliest settlements in the world, dating back 7,500 years. It has an excellent climate and very friendly people, and it is a stable and safe country with a very low crime-rate. Malta has been a full member of the EU since May 2004 and a member of Europe’s Schengen Area since 2007.

The country has a sound infrastructural framework. Telecommunications, postal services, banking, and 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 also a regular sea link with Italy. Agriculture has traditionally been an important sector for the nation, but its 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 also operates the Malta Residence and Visa Program and has introduced a citizenship-by-investment option known as the Malta Individual Investor Program (MIIP), which is led by the IIP Agency on behalf of the government under a public services concession.

Malta 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 (MIIP). The MIIP is aimed at ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families worldwide. The program offers citizenship in an 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 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 the certificate of naturalization. Successful applicants qualify under the very strict due diligence regime. All individuals and families applying to the MIIP 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 for the main applicant: EUR 650,000
  • 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 for all applicants. For the main applicant: EUR 7,500. For spouses, adult children, and parents: EUR 5,000. For children between 13 and 17 years of age: EUR 3,000 each.

The applicant must commit to retain a residence in Malta for a period of at least five 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 five years, is required.

Further information

With offices in Malta, Henley & Partners assists international clients in obtaining residence and citizenship under the respective programs. Please contact us for more information or to arrange a private consultation.