Explore the new gateway to Malta citizenship via the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations, eligibility criteria and other considerations.
In 2020, Malta’s government inaugurated a new route to citizenship through direct investment under the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations.
Under the new Regulations, the main applicant must apply for residency in Malta through a licensed agent to whom they provide a Power of Attorney to act on the applicant’s behalf. The applicant must then hold residence status in Malta for at least 36 months, or by exception, 12 months with a higher investment, and pass an eligibility assessment, before applying for citizenship. The agent is responsible for submitting all three applications to Community Malta Agency, the entity responsible for processing all citizenship applications, including for naturalisation, registration, and descent.
Eligibility Criteria for Maltese Citizenship
The main applicant/dependant(s) shall be eligible if they
- Have completed the required residence period of either 36 months or, by exception, 12 months with a higher investment
- Have passed an eligibility assessment conducted by Community Malta Agency
- Are willing to contribute to Malta through an exceptional direct investment in the economic and social development of the country
- 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
- Declare that the applicant and his/her dependants are fit and proper persons to hold Maltese citizenship
- Submit a clean 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 Organisation (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 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 an entry visa denial to any country with which Malta has visa-free arrangements (without subsequently obtaining a visa from that same country)
- Are of good reputation and have not been involved in any activity which may cause disrepute to Malta
Investment and Other Requirements for Malta Citizenship
The main applicant is required to:
- Apply for residency in 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)
- Apply for a residency permit for all adult dependants forming part of the application
- Attend a mandatory biometrics appointment and potentially, an interview
- Reside in Malta for at least 12 months
- 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
- Present proof of residence in Malta for at least 36 months or, by exception, 12 months preceding the date of the citizenship 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 at least 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 must be kept by the main applicant 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 if successful in passing all previous application stages. The main applicant and dependants have six months to take the Oath of Allegiance from the letter of approval’s issuance.
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 Oath of Allegiance date.
Before citizenship is granted, the main applicant must pay due diligence fees of €15,000 and €10,000 for each dependant.
- The spouse in a monogamous marriage or partner having the same or similar status. On a case-by-case basis, the minister may authorise someone having a relationship with a similar status to a spouse or partner. The term ‘spouse’ is 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)
Note that whenever the ‘spouse’ is mentioned, this is meant to include any other partner having the same or similar status.
Non-eligible Nationals for Malta Citizenship
Applicants who are nationals of, or have close ties to, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen, are ineligible to apply.
Under the policy, only 400 principal applicants (excluding dependants) can be accepted annually, and 1,500 successful principal applicants (excluding dependants) in total will be accepted for the policy duration.
Benefits of Maltese Citizenship
The Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations offers successful applicants a secure relocation route for the entire family. Maltese citizenship grants the holder the right to live, work or study in Malta, and mobility to over 180 countries and lifelong family security. Malta also allows dual citizenship.
Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, is an island country in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km south of Italy, 284 km east of Tunisia, and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya. With a population of about 515,000, Malta is the world’s tenth smallest country in area and the fourth-most densely populated sovereign country.
The British parliament passed the Malta Independence Act in 1964, giving Malta independence from the United Kingdom as the State of Malta, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and queen. The country became a republic in 1974. It has been a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations since independence.
Malta is also a tourist destination with its warm climate, numerous recreational areas, and architectural and historical monuments, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, Valletta, and seven megalithic temples, which are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world.
How can I find out more?
If you want to learn more about acquiring Maltese Citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment, please contact CS Global Partners. CS Global Partners is a Referral Sub Agent (licence number: AKM-ACCA-21) for this route to Maltese citizenship. Our information is sourced from the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations and the Community Malta Agency official website.