The Malta Government has updated its list of ineligible candidates from applying for citizenship by investment program (IIP) and Residency by investment program.
As per the new decision issued in Jan 2021, Malta has lifted ban Nigerians along with several other countries applying for citizenship and residency programs.
Nigeria is an economic powerhouse and second richest country in the African continent. The country, with the growing demand and high interest for citizenship products, the african nation recently emerging as the biggest market for citizenship and golden visa programs.
The ban still exists on 10 high risk countries who will not be accepted for citizenship and residency programs in Malta.
- North Korea
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- South Sudan
Malta has blacklisted these countries to honor visa waiver commitments with the United States and other countries.
President Trump imposed US travel ban imposed in Feb 2020, Nigerians, Burma, Eritrea and Kyrgyz nationals are banned from applying for US immigrant visas while other countries are blacklisted from applying for both immigrant and non-immigrant visas. Sudan and Tanzania restricted to only diversity visas under the present Trump administration.
The New President Joe Biden signed an Executive order on Jan 20, 2021 lifting restrictions on previous visa ban issued under Trump administration
The order said “A proposal to ensure that individuals whose immigrant visa applications were denied on the basis of the suspension and restriction on entry imposed by Proclamation 9645 or 9983 may have their applications reconsidered. This proposal shall consider whether to reopen immigrant visa applications that were denied due to the suspension and restriction on entry imposed by Proclamation 9645 or 9983, whether it is necessary to charge an additional fee to process those visa applications, and development of a plan for the Department of State to expedite consideration of those visa applications.”
Visa Waiver Program
Malta joined the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) in 2008, one of the 39 countries eligible to enter United States. Maltese citizens may apply to travel to the United States with ESTA for business or leisure trips of up to 90 days, as a part of Visa waiver program . The VWP applies to all territories of the United State of America, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US-Virgin Islands. The ESTA is designed to screen each traveler for law enforcement or security risks.
Under the VWP rules, travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):
- Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country). Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria.
- As of April 1, 2016, it is a must for VWP applicants have an e-passport to use the VWP
- Another condition to qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, all the 39 countries must have had a nonimmigrant visa refusal rate of less than 3% for the previous year or an average of no more than 2% over the past two fiscal years with neither year going above 2.5%