The Maltese government has officially announced today the Individual investor program (IIP) to be extended and relaunched with new set of rules once 1800 quota is exhausted. This means the maltese citizenship by investment scheme will continue for another 5 years with no disruptions.
This decision after consultations with stakeholders and european institutions and also considering the Covid-19 disrupting the economy of Malta.
In an official statement released today by the Government by Malta said the this programme is proving to be a valuable contribution to Maltese society in challenging times. The majority of the investment generated from this programme has been retained, only to be used in the event of the country facing unexpected challenges, as has recently happened with COVID-19. The importance of such a programme for an economy that has suffered from a devastating pandemic is growing, rather than diminishing.
Until mid-2019, the IIP Agency has approved more than 2/3rd of citizenship applications out of the 1800 quota limits.
Individual Investor Program (IIP)
The Individual investor program was launched in 2014, at aimed by attracting wealth, talent and and financial capital to the maltese islands. As a result investor applicants are vetted by the strictest of the means before becoming citizens. The program refused one out of three applicants over the years, according to annual reports.
The scheme has generated excess of €1 billion euros to the economy of malta.
Malta offers excellent opportunity to become EU citizen by investment through IIP program. The Malta citizenship program popular with Russia, Middle East investors.
How much the program costs?
You should expect to pay atleast $1 million to become a citizen of Malta after one year by satisfying all three investment conditions below
- make a contribution of €650,000 to the Maltese Government, which is deposited in the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF);
- lease a property for a minimum value of €16,000 per annum, or purchase a property for a minimum value of €350,000, both in Malta and cannot be let or sublet; and
- acquire €150,000 worth of stocks, bonds, debentures, special purpose vehicles or other investment vehicles as may be identified from time to time by MIIPA.
Here is a quick summary of advantages and disadvantages with the Individual investor program for investors who want to see the two sides of the program.
Advantages of IIP
- Ideal Citizenship by Investment program for HNW families
- You will become a full EU citizen including all family members
- Powerful european passport with visa free access to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, South Africa etc..
- Malta has excellent education system and world class healthcare standards.
- Citizenship is permanent and passed down to all future family generations
- Right to vote in Malta and EU elections
- Malta offers commonwealth citizen status along with EU citizenship. Infact Malta is one of the three commonwealth nations in Europe.
- Maltese citizenship may interest Yacht lovers and fintech experts.
Disadvantages of IIP scheme
With that being said, the Maltese citizenship program has serious disadvantages and problems for clients.
- IIP is only suited for HNWI clients who are able to invest close to $1 million. Bottomline is expensive program
- It is not purely an investment scheme. You pay a lump sum of money to get passport.
- High application refusal rates (25-30%)
- Passport only possible after 12 months satisfying one year residence condition
- You wont get citizenship investing 100% in real estate. It is additional on top of above investments
- Names of citizens who acquired are available public in yearly gazette
- Property prices still very expensive in Malta.
- Maltese citizenship can be revoked anytime if you are jailed abroad or a wanted person,. You will lose all the money.
- The IIP scheme is criticised widely with negative publicity by media and european institutions
- No special tax concessions offered to citizenship investors.
- Malta IIP is blacklisted by OECD
- Maltese passport has no visa free access to visit Russia, China.
- Malta IIP program is not available to certain country nationals under sanctions or US ban