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Malta citizenship by investment: 2022 Guide

Malta’s citizenship by direct investment scheme grants naturalisation to high-net-worth individuals who make a major contribution to the country’s economy. This programme grants you a Maltese passport after one or three years of residency, depending on your investment, along with the considerable benefits this beautiful Mediterranean island offers.

Our up-to-date 2022 guide describes the benefits of the programme and the tax system in Malta, detailing the application process and covering the following areas:

  • Malta citizenship by investment options
  • Eligibility requirements for Malta’s citizenship by investment
  • Benefits of Malta’s citizenship by investment programme
  • How to apply for Malta’s citizenship by investment – step-by-step
  • Malta’s citizenship by investment costs explained
  • Documents required for a citizenship by investment visa
  • Malta’s Tax system explained
  • How hard is it to get citizenship in Malta?

Malta citizenship by investment options

The citizenship scheme, known as Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services, is open to most non-EU nationals (the exceptions being those from sanctioned countries). The programme grants you and your family a Maltese passport after one or three years of residency, based on a substantial investment in the country.

The citizenship by investment programme allows applicants and their families to live in Malta under residence visas while they wait for their Maltese passports to be approved and issued. Consequently, there is a requirement to buy or lease property in the country to accommodate you during your stay.

To take advantage of the programme, you must invest EUR 600,000 in Malta’s national development fund if applying based on 36 months of residence, or EUR 750,000 if you’re taking the ‘expedited procedure’ option after 12 months of residence. There are also additional costs, including fees for each dependant. Full details of the investment and additional costs are given in the ‘Malta’s citizenship by investment costs explained’ section below.

Eligibility requirements for Malta’s citizenship by investment

Your application for citizenship by investment will be carefully checked and assessed by the Maltese authorities, and there is a four-tier due diligence process. The basic qualification requirements are as follows:

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must make an investment in Malta’s national development fund – either EUR 600,000 after a minimum residence period of 36 months, or a EUR 750,000 investment after a minimum residence period of 12 months.
  • You need to submit an eligibility application pack before the 12-month or the 36-month residency period expires or your residence cards will be revoked.
  • You are required to purchase or lease residential property. The purchased property must be in Malta, with a minimum value of EUR 700,000, and it must be held for at least five years. Alternatively, you can lease property with an annual rental value of at least EUR 16,000, and this must be held for five years, with no subletting during this period.
  • Applications must be made on the prescribed forms and accompanied by all the relevant fees and documents. This is where the services of an expert agency such as Huriya Private makes all the difference, ensuring all the boxes are ticked and all the forms signed.
  • The main applicant must donate EUR 10,000 to an approved registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic non-governmental organisation or society.
  • Detailed Tier 1 due diligence checks will be performed to check for any false information or omissions in the application. Only when these checks have been completed will the application for a residence permit be submitted.
  • Following the granting of a residence visa, an eligibility application will be submitted and tiers 2, 3, and 4 due diligence checks will be made. Only then will the Maltese authorities decide on your eligibility for full citizenship.
  • You must have a clean criminal record, with no pending criminal investigations or international sanctions. The same stipulation applies to the family members included in your application.
  • You must agree to support all family members are included in your application.
  • All applicants must have health insurance.

 

The following family members are eligible to be included as dependents on your application:

  • A spouse or de facto partner with whom you are in a monogamous relationship.
  • Your children, and any additional children belonging to your spouse, under 18 years of age at the time of the application.
  • Any of your children over the age of 18 who are unmarried and still financially dependent on you (including students).
  • Any children over the age of 18 who live with you or are dependent on you or your spouse due to physical or mental disabilities.
  • Dependent parents or grandparents (of you or your spouse) over the age of 55.

Benefits of Malta’s citizenship by investment programme

As a citizen of Malta, you will reap all the benefits of an EU citizen residing on a beautiful Mediterranean island. Your passport allows you visa-free to 140 countries worldwide and visa-on-arrival travel to many others.

The programme boasts the following benefits:

  • Easy application-via-investment programme.
  • Residency in a transparent, reputable EU financial centre, a prime hub for tourism and international business.
  • A great central location in Europe, with excellent air links
  • The opportunity for you and your family to live, work and study in Malta or elsewhere in the EU.
  • Access to the rich social, educational, business and healthcare benefits of Malta.
  • No restrictions on dual citizenship, making the process of securing a Maltese citizenship a hassle-free experience.
  • Automatic Malta citizenship for your descendants.
  • Life on an island rich in history and natural beauty and with a wonderful Mediterranean cuisine climate.

How to apply for Malta’s citizenship by investment – step-by-step

The path to Maltese citizenship by investment is long and winding, but if you engage experts such as Huriya Private, your role in the process is actually a very simple one. You hire us, you make your investments, and then sit back and wait for us to do all the legwork and keep you informed of the application’s progress and the next moves you need to make.

The first part of the process can be summarised as follows:

  • Travel to Malta and view potential property.
  • Sign a retainer agreement for Huriya Private to act as your advisor for application, due-diligence and legal processes. We will then begin the process of gathering all the necessary documents and proof-of-investment.
  • We will prepare all the supporting documents and files, fast-track your residency card, and arrange your visit with a Maltese Consul.
  • Sign the relevant documents that signal the beginning of the formal citizenship application.
  • Wait for up to four months for background checks before the in-principle approval is issued.
  • After all the checks have been administered and approved, select your property and make all relevant investment payments. The investment fees can be transferred into an approved Escrow account.
  • After the transfer, submit the application for permanent residence and citizenship with any supporting documentation.

Within 12 months of receiving your residence permit, your application for citizenship will be sent. If successful, you will receive an Eligibility Letter of Approval.

Having fulfilled your residency obligations of one or three years, submit the necessary documents to apply for citizenship. Once again, Huriya Private’s experts are here to help you navigate the process.

Having lived in Malta for three years with your temporary residency visa and become a naturalised Maltese citizen, you will finally be able to take receipt of your passport. Patience definitely pays here – the passport process takes 18 months on average.

This is a simplified general summary, and the process, always lengthy, is different for each applicant, depending on the investment you make, your nationality, your personal finances and your family situation. Hiring professional help from Huriya Private will get you from A to B with maximum speed.

Malta’s citizenship by investment costs explained

To obtain a Maltese passport after one or three years of residency, you must invest EUR 600,000 or EUR 750,000. There are additional expenses to consider, too. The full outlay can be summarised as follows:

  • A national development fund contribution of EUR 600,000 or EUR 750,000 from the main applicant.
  • EUR 50,000 for each dependent included in the application.
  • A substantial property investment: the applicant must maintain a residence in Malta for 5 years, either by purchasing real estate property with a minimum value of EUR 700,000 or leasing property costing at least EUR 16,000 per annum.
  • A donation of EUR 10,000 to an approved registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic non-governmental organisation or society.
  • Government processing fees and due diligence fees – these will be extra.
  • There will also be agency fees.

Documents required for Malta citizenship by investment

To apply for Malta citizenship by investment, you must provide these documents:

  • Your passport, and passports for all family members included in the application.
  • A cover letter – Huriya Private can help you prepare this with all the appropriate details.
  • Proof of having undergone due diligence.
  • Evidence of the necessary funds for the investment and proof that these were legally obtained.
  • Bank statements from your country of origin.
  • Proof of family relationships, i.e. marriage, birth, divorce and custody documents.
  • Documents proving financial dependency (for adult children or parents).
  • Biometric data for you and all applicants over 12.
  • Police certificates verifying that you have a clean criminal record.
  • Medical reports for you and the other applicants, including proof that none of you has contagious diseases.
  • Any other supporting documents, as required – Huriya Private can advise you on exactly what you need to submit.

Malta’s Tax system explained

As a Maltese citizen, you will pay no inheritance, estate, wealth, municipality or real estate taxes. Citizenship of Malta also provides access to investment opportunities in Malta and throughout the European Union, all conducted within the transparency of EU law.

Malta’s personal income tax system uses tax brackets for individuals, married couples and parents. The brackets for individual taxpayers are 0% (for income under EUR 12,700), 15% (up to EUR 21,200), 25% (up to EUR 60,000) and 35% (above €60,000). Spouses are required to file jointly, with the option to pool income and pay the tax rate for individuals or married couples.

As a Malta citizen, you will pay income tax on your worldwide income. Malta has double taxation treaties with many countries, including the UAE (since 2006). During the period when you are a resident but not yet a full citizen, you will only pay tax on Malta-derived income.

Capital gains are generally pooled with other income and taxed at the standard rate. However, there is no tax on inheritance or gifts, or on wealth, dividends, interest or royalties sent out of the country.

A standard 5% stamp duty applies to property transferred as part of an estate. A homeowner only pays duty on half the property’s value when their partner dies. The usual taxes on property are adjusted when you sell a property you have inherited.

Companies resident in Malta need to register for a tax identification number. There are various local and EU laws relating to corporation tax and holding companies – for these and other specifics of taxation, you are advised to speak to a professional advisor.

How hard is it to get citizenship in Malta?

The citizenship application process is a lengthy but, with professional help, straightforward process, and each step of the application is transparent. There are many documents and checks involved, and for this reason you are strongly advised to use an agency such as Huriya Private to assist you in the process.

All applicants and their adult dependents need to obtain Maltese residence status before the citizenship application can proceed. This requires a 36-month or 12-month residence period. Each application goes through a stringent due diligence process, including thorough background checks on all the named applicants. The various checks involved can sometimes delay the process.

So, gaining citizenship can take a long time, but Huriya Private will make it as easy as possible for you. We will also keep you informed of the progress of your application every step of the way.

With the requisite investment of money, as detailed elsewhere in this article, citizenship by investment can be yours in one or three years. With the potential for future citizenship on a fabulous Mediterranean with a subtropical climate, this is one of the most exclusive and attractive citizenship by investment programmes on offer today.

Contact Huriya Private now to learn more about the Malta second citizenship program and how you can start your journey towards securing a valuable second passport