The first Malta Citizenship Approvals Issued in the last weeks are a testament of Identity Malta's efficiency promised by the Individual Investor Programme Regulations. In a few months’ time successful applicants will be holders of Maltese passport after having fulfilled the necessary requirements including the residency criterion.
Eligibility for Malta Citizenship by Investment
The main applicant may also add to a citizenship application his/her spouse, children and parents or grandparents, under certain conditions, to benefit under the Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme. Beneficiaries under the Global Residence Programme may also additionally apply for citizenship under this Programme. The Maltese IIP allows for the granting of citizenship by a certificate of naturalisation to foreign individuals and their families who contribute to the economic development of Malta.
To qualify under the regulations of this programme, a Main Applicant for citizenship must be at least 18 years of age and must meet the follow requirements:
Contribution to the National Development & Social Fund
To access the Maltese citizenship program, main applicants must be represented by Authorised Registered Mandataries and are required to contribute €650,000 to Malta. Of this contribution, 70 per cent will go into a National Development and Social Fund to be set up by the Government of Malta and to be run by a board of trustees on the lines of the Sovereign Wealth Fund in Norway. The rest will go to the consolidated fund.
The CNDSF's scope will be to carry out projects linked to education, innovation, job creation and the implementation of the jobs plus strategy, social projects and projects in the public health sector. The fund will be on the same level as the Central Bank
Spouses and children of applicants for Malta citizenship are required to contribute €25,000 while unmarried children between the ages of 18 and 25 and dependent parents will also be granted citizenship on the basis of a contribution of €50,000 each.
Property Purchase or Rental
Applicants are required to make an investment in property of at least €350,000 or enter a property rental contract for at least €16,000 p.a. both on five-year contracts.
Investment in Bonds/Shares
Applicants are required to invest at least €150,000 in bonds or shares in Malta to be kept for five years. This investments will need to be made in stocks sanctioned by the government as beneficial to the Island. The total investment to be made by applicants for Citizenship by Investment would be of €1.15m.
The “residence requirement” is satisfied on showing a genuine link with the Island of Malta. Approved Agents are able to seek advance written approval from Identity Malta that their clients' proposed links satisfy Identity Malta. Citizenship is granted after 12 months from effective date of commencement of the genuine link with the Maltese Islands. This is not to mean that candidates need to spend 365 days in Malta before citizenship is granted. In practice, all the client needs to do is visit Malta to have their biometrics taken at the beginning of the process and then to take the oath of allegiance at the end.
The definition of residency should be interpreted in the spirit of the residency clause by which the legislator wants applicants to forge links with the island. Acceptable criteria include having local mobile phone, a car, membership of a local club or professional body, as well as any involvement in philanthropy, Persons resident in Malta one year prior to the approval of their IIP application need not satisfy further residence requirements.
'Fit and proper' Test
Applicants must show they are in good standing and repute and will undergo a 'fit and proper' test. The Government of Malta is committed to the highest standard of due diligence to ensure only deserving and reputable applicants are allowed to proceed for the grant of Maltese citizenship. A four-tier due diligence process is carried out directly by the Government that will assess applicants and process applications subject to Governmental approval at various stages. Applicants must demonstrate a clean criminal record, with checks being conducted with the International Criminal Court, INTERPOL and various other authorities and sources. Applicants must provide a police certificate which may be submitted subsequently to the submission of the application but at all times prior to approval.
Applicants must show they do not suffer from a contagious disease.