Malta’s New Citizenship Policy Explained

Malta’s New Citizenship Policy Explained

Malta’s government recently published a new expedited route to citizenship through investment calledMaltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment”.

The main applicant must apply for Maltese residency through an agent to whom they provide a Power of Attorney to act on the applicant’s behalf. The agent is responsible for the submission of the application to the Community Malta Agency, which is responsible for all citizenship applications, including those submitted through naturalisation, marriage, descent, and investment.

Eligibility

The main applicant/dependant(s) shall be eligible if they

  • Undertake to take the Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of Malta
  • Undertake to promote the fundamental and democratic values of Malta
  • Undertake to support the Maltese Community in the spirit of social justice and equity
  • are willing to contribute to Malta through an exceptional direct investment in the economic and social development of the country
  • Declare that the applicant and his/her dependants are fit and proper persons to hold Maltese citizenship
  • Submit a police conduct certificate
  • Provide a declaration by a medical practitioner or similarly qualified entity attesting that the applicant and his/her dependants are in good health, not suffering from any contagious disease, and not likely to become a burden on the Maltese public health system
  • Have not been indicted of an offence, or arraigned, before an International Criminal Court
  • Have not been listed with the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) or Europol
  • Are not an actual or potential threat to national security, public policy, or the public health of Malta
  • Have not been charged with or found guilty of a number of serious crimes (ranging from terrorism, to money laundering, and human rights violations) or criminal offences that disturb the good order of the family
  • Have not been found guilty of, or at any time during the processing of the application, have been interrogated or are suspected of, or have criminal charges brought against them for any criminal offence punishable with more than one year’s imprisonment other than an involuntary offence
  • Are not subject to international sanctions that the Agency is bound by law, or has opted, to follow
  • Do not have their entry visa denied to any country with which Malta has visa-free arrangements (without subsequently obtaining a visa from that same country)
  • Are of good repute and have not been involved in any activity which may cause disrepute to Malta

Investment Requirements for Citizenship

The main applicant is required to:

  • Apply for residency of Malta, at which point he/she must also pay a €10,000 non-refundable investment deposit, €5,000 for the residence permit, and €27.50 for the residency card (plus additional costs for dependants, if applicable)
  • Attend mandatory biometrics appointments and potentially, an interview
  • Apply for an eligibility assessment, and pay due diligence and administrative fees (€15,000 and €1,000 respectively, plus additional costs for dependants, if applicable)
  • Pass the eligibility assessment, which includes four tiers of due diligence
  • Present proof of residence in Malta for at least 12 or 36 months preceding the date of application (depending on the chosen exceptional direct investment tier)
  • Make a non-refundable exceptional direct investment of €590,000 (€600,000 minus the initial €10,000 deposit) after completing the 36 months requirement of holding residency status in Malta OR €740,000 (€750,000 minus the initial €10,000 deposit) after completion of 12 months of residency
  • Purchase a residential property worth at least €700,000 or rent a property for a minimum annual rent of €16,000, which shall be kept for a minimum of 5 years
  • Donate a minimum of €10,000 to a registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic NGO or society
  • Make a non-refundable investment of €50,000 for each dependant, if applicable
  • Pay a €5,000 administrative fee (plus additional costs for dependants, if applicable)

Oath of Allegiance

  • The main applicant and dependants over the age of 18 must take an Oath of Allegiance in Malta
  • The main applicant has six months to take the Oath of Allegiance from the issuance of the letter of approval

Compliance Form

  • The main applicant (and, if applicable, dependants) must complete and file a Compliance Form at the Community Malta Agency every year for the first five years from the date of the Oath of Allegiance

Due Diligence

The main applicant/dependant(s) must pay due diligence and administrative fees as follows:

  • €15,000 – Main applicant
  • €10,000 – Each dependant
  • €15,000 – Benefactor

Qualifying Dependants

  • The spouse in a monogamous marriage, or partner having the same or similar status. The Minister may authorise, on a case-by-case basis, someone having a relationship with a similar status to a spouse or partner. The term ‘spouse’ shall be construed as gender-neutral
  • A biological or adopted child of the main applicant or the spouse under the age of 18 at the time the application is submitted and accepted by the Agency
  • An unmarried biological or adopted child of the main applicant or the spouse who has not yet attained the age of 29 at the time when the citizenship application is submitted and accepted by the Agency and who is wholly or largely supported by the main applicant
  • A parent or grandparent of the main applicant or the spouse of or above the age of 55 at the time the application is submitted and accepted by the Agency and who is wholly or largely supported by the main applicant
  • A biological or adopted child of the main applicant or the spouse who has reached the age of 18 at the time the application is submitted and accepted by the Agency and is qualified as a person with a disability as defined in the Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act provided that where such child does not have full capacity the provisions of Article 21(3) of the Act shall apply)

Ineligibility

  • Nationals from Afghanistan, Iran, and North Korea
  • Non-nationals of Afghanistan, Iran, and North Korea who do business in, reside in or have significant ties with these countries
  • Citizens from countries on the US travel ban list

Quota

Under the policy, 400 principal applicants (excluding dependants) will be accepted annually, and 1,500 successful applicants (excluding dependants) in total will be accepted for the policy duration.

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