Malta Citizenship: property & investments

Dr. Jean-Philippe Chetcuti | Published on 23 Jun 2015

The Malta Residence  Citizenship Programmes  A comparison

Malta Citizenship: property & investments

Since the launching of Malta's Individual Investor Programme (MIIP), Malta has received over 400 applications from various investors and their families who are willing to contribute and invest in the Maltese economy. This programme has attracted high quality investors from over 40 different countries including amongst others Europeans, Americans, Russians and Arabs. The success of this programme lies in that rather than attracting big numbers, the aim is to attract persons of a particular quality.  

As a country Malta enjoys good international reputation and thus a rigorous due diligence process is carried out, including a four tier diligence process consisting of background checks on criminal and fraudulent aspects through Interpol, the Security Service, International Courts and International companies specializing in the field. Moreover the government retains the right to withdraw any citizenship granted if authorities are misinformed or if new information is discovered. Moreover, applicants must show that they do not suffer from any contagious disease.

Successful applicants will be required to buy property worth at least €350,000 or rent at a cost of €16,000 a year for five years. They will also have to invest €150,000 in government bonds which are to be kept for a minimum period of five years, on top of making a direct contribution of €650,000 into an investment fund. The main applicant may also add dependents to a citizenship application including his/her spouse, children and parents or grandparents, under certain conditions, to benefit under the Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme. Spouses and children are required to contribute €25,000; unmarried children between 18 and 25 and dependent parents must contribute €50,000 each.

As a result of the MIIP, Malta has also seen an increase in demand of high-end properties. Most properties in demand are situated within designated areas such as Portomaso, Fort Cambridge and Tigne Point. Also in demand are villas, farmhouses and property in Gozo, Malta’s sister island. Malta Developers Association (MDA) president Sandro Chetcuti praised this programme and holds that the citizenship programme was boosting the building industry with a good number of foreigners wanting to buy property in Malta.

Chetcuti Cauchi has received the first Malta citizenship approvals in respect of applicants for Maltese citizenship that it has represented from the inception of the Individual Investor Programme in February 2014.  Then, the firm was the very first law firm to be granted 'approved agent' status by Identity Malta, the agency responsible for managing Malta's Citizenship by Investment programme.

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat held that this new and fresh idea was attracting millions of euros by offering citizenship to wealthy and talented people. In his opinion The Individual Investor Programme will bring Malta’s citizenship laws to the 21st century and will transform the Maltese economy, however stressing that citizenship is not a transaction but a relationship.  In fact, activities like participation in a religious or social group or forming part of a philanthropic or sports organizations would be considered favorably when vetting whether applicants had fulfilled the residency requirement and established a bond with the island and its people.

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Key Contacts

Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti

Senior Partner, Tax & Immigration

+356 22056111

Dr Priscilla Mifsud Parker

Senior Partner, Corporate, Tax & Immigration

+356 22056122

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