Malta Citizenship Program: 1st Oaths of Allegiance

Dr. Jean-Philippe Chetcuti | Published on 10 Nov 2016

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The First Oaths of Allegiance under Malta Individual Investor Program were taken in March 2015.  Having satisfied all the contribution, investment and genuine link requirements, these applicants were also issued with their passports within two days.  Chetcuti Cauchi's partners and team of Malta citizenship lawyers celebrated this special occasion with the lucky family in a private party organised at our offices on the same day.

In principle approval of applicants for Maltese citizenship is issued within the statutory maximum processing time of 4 months under the Maltese Individual Investor Programme. Thereafter approved applicants must comply with their commitments under the programme. Once that is achieved, the next step is to take their oath of allegiance and to receive their passport.  Compliance means that these approved Malta citizenship applicants have now settled in full the contribution due on approval, made the investment in government bonds and purchased / rented property in Malta.  These applicants have also completed the minimum genuine connection period with Malta for at least a year since first taking up residence in Malta.  This is the end of the final stage of the Maltese Citizenship by Investment process and Chetcuti Cauchi is privileged to have accompanied the first Citizenship applicants under the programme throughout each phase up to the upcoming formal grant of citizenship.

Tax & Residency Status of Newly Approved Citizenship Applicants

Having satisfied the genuine link test as a pre-requisite for citizenship, applicants may elect to continue their connection with Malta as residents of Malta even after receiving their Maltese passport. If they do, their status as non-domiciled residents of Malta results in a source and remittance basis of taxation rather than a worldwide basis applicable to Maltese domiciled residents. This means that they continue to be taxable on local source income and capital gains and taxable on foreign source income only to the extent that it is remitted to Malta, but not on foreign capital gains whether remitted or not. Persons who elect for non-resident status are subject to tax only on income arising in Malta.

Benefits for new Maltese citizens

Individuals and their family members who have made it past the strict eligibility criteria imposed by the Malta Individual Investor Programme will now enjoy citizenship of Malta for life and pass it on to their descendants. Malta is a full member of the European Union and of the Eurozone.  Maltese nationals enjoy visa-free travel in more than 160 countries including the United States, Canada and Australia and is part of the Commonwealth. 

Net Contribution to Malta so far under the MIIP

Most of the successful applications the firm has handled cover families of between 2 and 6 members.  A typical family, consisting of the main applicant, his or her spouse, two dependent parents over 55, an adult dependent child under 26 and two under age children, has netted Malta's coffers Euro775,000 in contributions alone in addition to over Euro30,000 in due diligence fees for the whole family. Larger families have contributed more than these amounts to the Maltese Social & Economic Development Fund.

Total Foreign Direct Investment expected from the MIIP

We asked Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti, managing partner of Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates and citizenship agent IIP 001, what the total foreign direct investment netted by Malta would amount to, assuming all 450 or so applications that have been filed to date are eligible and are approved.  Dr Chetcuti stated that, assuming families are of this average size and acquiring a property worth Euro 450,000, the total foreign direct investment to be netted by Malta in contributions and investments on completion amounts to over Euro 660 million spread over the coming year.

Total Investment to be made under the MIIP

A single applicant applying for citizenship by investment makes a non-refundable contribution of Euro650,000 to the Maltese Social & Economic Development Fund, holds investments in Maltese Government Bonds of Euro150,000 and either rents property for five years at a minimum Euro 16,000 per year or purchases property for a minimum of Euro 350,000, also to be held for five years.  

Timing of Actual Capital Outlay under the MIIP

It is to be noted that the only capital outlay to be made on initial application for Maltese citizenship is a deposit of Euro 10,000 on account of the contribution together with due diligence fees of Euro 7,500 for the main applicant and Euro5,000 each for spouses, adult children and parents and Euro3,000 for minor children over 13 years of age.  It is only on receiving 'in principle approval' within the statutory 4 months processing time that an approved applicant needs to make cash outlays for the remaining balance on contribution, the investments in Malta Government Bonds and the rental or purchase of real estate.

Basis for Original Approval of Successful Applicants

Persons who, starting November 2014, received their Malta citizenship approval qualified for this by undergoing thorough due diligence tests verifying the respectability of their background and source of wealth.

Chetcuti Cauchi's Citizenship & Residency Practice

Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates has the largest specialised Immigration practice in Malta and operates from offices in Malta and London. With more than 80 lawyers and other professional staff, Chetcuti Cauchi's secret is to offer Small firm Personal touch with Big firm Expertise.  CC entered the first Maltese Citizenship applications back in March 2014 and enjoyed the first approvals back in November 2014.  Our Immigration Practice is a leading advisor on Citizenship law, Residency and private client taxation matters and enjoys an outstanding success rate in its applications by applying principles of quality, integrity, experience and honesty with clients across all of its work.

Malta Citizenship applicants to get their passports

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Key Contacts

Dr Priscilla Mifsud Parker

Senior Partner, Corporate, Tax & Immigration

+356 22056122

Dr Antoine Saliba Haig

Senior Associate, Head of Immigration

+356 22056266

Marina Magri

Head of Immigration & Global Mobility

+356 22056147

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