Malta is a beautiful mediterranean island nation having robust economy, stable political system, sound financial institutions and highly developed nation in Europe.
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 government administration and procedures takes place for the citizenship program.
The Malta Government first launched Individual Investor Programme (MIIP) in 2014, after an amendment to the Citizenship Act, Chapter 188 with a limited quota of 1500 applications. This scheme was replaced by a new program – Naturalization for Exceptional Services Direct Investment (ESDI) in 2020, administered and run by Community Malta Agency admitting only 400 cases annually for a period of three years. This scheme is also known as Residency to Citizenship (R2C) scheme as first residency is must be applied first, later one year citizenship path, after proving genuine ties to Malta backed by world’s strictest vetting checks on applicants .
Malta’s investment citizenship program is in high demand ever-growing number of high-net-worth individuals who are willing to invest and relocate, giving themselves and their family members the chance to broaden their horizons. Only wealthy, talented, highly skilled individuals with excellent references and clean record are admitted into the program. Malta aims at “quality”, attracting talent who can prove to added value to the country.
The Legal act of Legal Notice 437 of 2020 of Republic of Malta grants individuals and families citizenship and passport for exceptional contributions to social and economic development in Malta. The Individual investor program also known as IIP, is replaced by a new Direct citizenship program for exceptional services with new legislation published in the Government Gazette Of Malta No. 20,524 on 20.11.2020
The Maltese passport is highly respected in the world rated as the 5th best passport for travel in 2023, according to Henley. It is possible to apply for fast track citizenship through naturalization under this scheme. Malta’s Residency to Citizenship Program stands as a globally prestigious choice for families, as spouses, children, parents, and grandparents may also be included in the main application.
Exceptional Services Direct Investment (ESDI)
Under the Malta citizenship by investment program, the investment has to meet ALL the conditions below..
- NDF donation:
- Option 1: €600,000 non-refundable) to National Development Fund (citizenship after 3 years)
- Option 2: €750,000 non-refundable to National development fund (citizenship after 1 year)
- Additional Contribution: €50,000 per dependant
- Buy or Rent Property – ( €700,000 if purchased) or rent a housing (€16,000 per year lease). Immovable property cannot be let or sublet under the rules and must be maintained for 5 years.
- Health insurance coverage for all persons applying under ESDI.
- Must pay a charity donation of at least EUR 10,000 to a registered sport, cultural, scientific, philanthropic, animal welfare, or artistic non-governmental organization or society, as approved by the Community Malta Agency.
Above payments must only be done after receiving initial approval from Malta Government.
Download below the legal acts and approved legislation for the Maltese citizenship investment program.
Exceptional citizenship for direct investments
LN 440 of 2020 – National Development and Social Fund (Establishment as an Agency) (Amendment) Order, 2020
LN 439 of 2020 – Malta Individual Investor Programme Agency (Establishment) (Amendment) Order, 2020
LN 438 of 2020 – Identity Malta Agency (Establishment) (Amendment) Order, 2020
LN 437 of 2020 – Granting of citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations, 2020
LN 436 of 2020 – Community Malta Agency (Establishment) Order, 2020
LN 435 of 2020 – Agents (Licences) Regulations, 2020
LN 434 of 2020 – Declaration of Intent Regulations, 2020 for Property Agents
LN 458 of 2020 – Publication of Names of Maltese Citizenship Act 2020
Malta has deployed gold standard vetting in the industry of highest calibre. All applicants are subjected to stringent due diligence and background checks before approval. Malta has a refusal rate of 30% (one out of 3 applications are refused). The Vetting process is made of 4 tier checks, and internal risk matrix, which ensures that every application is being examined thoroughly in a consistent manner, and that decisions are taken systematically and transparently. The matrix has seven categories, and every application is treated similarly without deviations.
- Best and only citizenship opportunity in European Union.
- Enjoy Visa free travel to over 185+ countries including USA, Canada (eTA required) .
- Live, work, study, settle in any EU member states
- No maltese language or citizenship tests, No citizenship tests.
- Permanent rights in 27 European Union Member States;
- Application processing times 3-4 months.
- Family and children can apply under one single application.
- No taxes in Malta unless you decide to live there for more than 6 months.
- EU/EEA citizens are also eligible to apply.
- Main applicant must be 18 years old.
- Demonstrate Good health and undergo fitness test.
- No criminal record.
- Excellent references
- Dependents such as spouse, children (18 or less), Adult children (18 or more less than 27 years unmarried), Senior parents (aged 55 or above) must be fully supported by main applicant.
- Not from a blacklisted country (see below)
Citizenship application will be refused if, applicant or dependents
- Provide misrepresentation, false or concealed information.
- Citizenship is revoked if imprisoned abroad for more than 12 months in another country.
- Has a criminal record (paedophilia, defilement of minors, rape, violent indecent assault, prostitution, abduction, kidnapping etc)
- Pose as a potential national security threat to Malta or member states in EU.
- Involved in any activity likely causing disrepute to Malta
- Denied a visa to a country with which Malta has visa-free travel arrangements (EU, USA, UK etc) and has not subsequently obtained a visa to the country that issued the denial.
- Associated with business willingly assisting enemy at war.
Malta offers a beneficial tax regime, including no wealth or inheritance tax, attractive personal tax rates, and double taxation treaties with many countries.. No taxes apply unless you have lived for more than 183 days (tax resident) in Malta. Taxes determined based on the “residence status” not based on holding “citizenship”. The acquisition of Maltese citizenship under the IIP doesnot, in itself, trigger tax residency, but even if one decides tomove and take up permanent residence in Malta, one would normally still retain the status of a non-domiciled person.
Malta does not impose estate or gift tax but does levy a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on various assets (mainly immovable property and shares). CGT is not levied on transfer of immovable property if the person transferring the property has owned it and occupied it as his main residence for a period of three consecutive years immediately preceding the date of transfer and if the property is transferred within 12 months from vacating the premises. Otherwise, tax may be levied at up to 35% on the gain if the property is sold within the first 12 years of ownership or 12% on the sales consideration if the transfer is made after 12 years of ownership. The 12% final tax, however, does not apply if the individual property owner is not resident in Malta. The The standard VAT rate is 18%. The corporate tax rate is 35%; special tax concessions, however, apply for non resident/non-domiciled owners. Malta has concluded double taxation treaties with around 60 countries. A number of other agreements are signed but not yet in force.
Malta Real Estate
Malta real estate in in high demand and costs 700,000 euros or upwards. The immovable property must be held for 5 years under the rules, after which it can be sold freely
- No inheritance / death tax
- No estate duty
- No wealth taxes
- No municipal taxes
One can choose the option of renting at a minimum of €16,000 per annum rather than opting for outright purchase. It stands with the main applicant to decide.
Additional Fee and Costs
- Agency fee: €10,000 non-refundable)
- Contribution: €50,000 per dependant
- Due diligence fee: €15,000 for applicant and €10,000 per dependant.
- Residence permit : €5,000 for main applicant and €1,000 per dependant
- Philanthropic donation: €10,000 to a registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific,animal welfare or artistic non governmental organisation or society, or as otherwise approved by the Agency.
The processing time is 12-15 months until certificate of naturalization and passport is granted. Malta citizenship is a lifetime permanent citizenship with one time investment. Family descendants and new born babies automatically acquire citizenship.
All applicants and dependents have to satisfy residency requirements for proving genuine link to Malta. Prospective applicants are required to be physically in Malta and build connecting factors during the residence period. These requirements shall be satisfied by providing documented proof. It is required that the applicant presents to the Agency his proposal on how he intends to create these connecting factors when presenting the eligibility application.
Certificate of naturalization only issued after 12 months having proved “genuine link” to Malta and by satisfying residency-requirement for the 750K direct investment category. Applicant has to spend 36 months living in Malta for citizenship under the 600K investment category.
These countries are: Afghanistan, Russia, Belarus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. The Community Malta Agency reserves the right to update the list of banned countries from time to time. Such list will be communicated with all Agents accordingly.
You have to arrange the following documents to attach to the application for naturalization under the investment program.
- Birth certificate*
- Police clearance certificate (all countries where you lived past 10 years, FBI clearance for US)*
- Marriage certificate (translated to english)*
- Business connection documents.
- References from bankers, lawyers.
- Global health insurance coverage 50,000 euros.
- Proof of source of income (bank statements).
- Health certificate from registered medical practitioner.
- Proof for current residence (utility bills)
- Personal details, family information, education and employment.
- Tax statements from the country of origin.
* All documents must be duly notarized or apostilled for use in Malta, with respective translations.
All the required forms and guidelines can be downloaded in the Community Malta website.
Malta does not require you to give up your current or existing citizenship, after becoming a Maltese citizen. Dual nationality is freely allowed.
Publication of Names
The Minister shall every year publish in the Gazette the names of all persons every year in Gazette who were granted Maltese citizenship. For reasons of security, the Minister may in his absolute discretion not publish the names of such persons.
A licensed lawyer/agency who has the license with Malta Kommuita Agency, will study the case of the applicant thoroughly. 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.
The case is checked for KYC and Initial background checks are done, takes few days, the agent will approve to board the client. Signing the contract and Power of Attorney (POA) must be done accordingly.
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:
- Resident Permit fee (main applicant) – €5,000
- Resident Permit fee (each family member) – €1,000
- Residency Card fee (each person) – €27.50
- Deposit towards non-refundable investment – €10,000
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
Each person – €1,000
The 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.
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. After that the 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 the 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Is the Malta citizenship scheme open for applications?
Yes, the program is up and running.
Can sex sex couples apply?
Yes, Malta does recognise same sex marriage.
For how many years, must i hold the property?
The Regulations sate, You must hold or rent the property for a minimum period of 5 years.
When is the starting date of residence period?
The starting date for the residence period shall be the issuance date of the residence card. If more than one person is applying within the same application, the start date will be of the person last issued with the residence permit. All adult dependants who wish to apply for citizenship under the Regulations must hold a residence permit for the required periods.
What good is Maltese passport?
Maltese passport is a highly respected travel document, ranked 5th powerful passport in the world with free travel to 186 world countries in 2023. Malta is a member of Schengen area and EU member state. Maltese citizens are EU citizens with full rights of travel and establishment in the EU member states.
What happens after citizenship is granted?
The KM Agency conducts continuous monitoring for five years on investor citizens.
What is the process of translating documents?
An official English translation must always accompany any documents that are not in the English language (including certifications or stamps). A professional translator (officially accredited by a court of law), a government agency, an international organisation or a similar official institution must prepare translations. Please note that translators should include, in a clear and legible format, the date, the full name, the capacity and the designation in which they are acting, the residential or business address, the telephone number and the email address/website. In the case of translation agencies, a letterhead should be utilised, thus providing all details relevant to the firm who produced the translation.
What are the benefits of Maltese citizenship for my children?
Children who hold maltese nationality, can go to university in Europe without needing to qualify as a foreign student. They qualify for easy registration and reduced tuition fee a par with EU children, compared to students applying from abroad (especially Asia), often the tuition rates charged by universities and colleges will be much lower for Europeans.
Can i Vote in Malta elections?
Yes, vote in Malta political elections provided they have been resident in the country for 6 of the past 18 months. You can also exercise right to vote in EU parliament elections.
Are there any tax consequences associated with acquiring Maltese citizenship?
Obtaining Maltese citizenship 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.