Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment in Malta

Granting of Maltese Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations

Dr. Antoine Saliba Haig | Published on 20 Nov 2020

malta citizenship

The Government of Malta has established a new governmental agency, Community Malta to be responsible for the administration of Maltese citizenship applications under various routes including investment. Legal Notice 437 of 2020 prescribes the requirements and regulates the acquisition of Maltese citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services to Malta on the basis of exceptional interest in accordance with Article 10(9) of the Maltese Citizenship Act, Chapter 188 of the Laws of Malta. 

Eligibility

Under the Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations, an applicant for citizenship must be at least eighteen (18) years of age and can include in his application:

  • a spouse in a monogamous marriage or partner in another relationship having the same or similar status to marriage, including a civil union
  • a child or an adoptive child of the main applicant or his/her spouse, who has not yet attained eighteen (18) years of age at the time of submission of the application.
  • a financially dependent, unmarried child of the main applicant or of his/her spouse, who has attained eighteen (18) years of age but has not yet attained twenty-nine (29) years of age, at the time of the submission of the application
  • a financially dependent parent or grandparent of the main applicant or of his/her spouse, over the age of fifty-five (55) years
  • a child or an adopted child of the main applicant or of his/her spouse, who at the time of the application is qualified as a person with disabilities

The applicant and any of his dependants must submit a health form duly filled and certified by a recognised medical practitioner, clinic, hospital, medical or health institute attesting that the applicant and his dependants are in good health and are not suffering from any contagious disease and are not likely to become a burden on the Maltese public health system. 

Exceptional Services Requirements

Direct Investment

Successful applicants, who can prove residency status in Malta for thirty-six (36) months prior to the naturalization, are required to make a direct investment of €600,000 whilst applicants who prove a residency status in Malta for at least twelve (12) months are required to make an exceptional direct investment of €750,000. If the applicant is accompanied by qualfying dependants, a further investment of €50,000 per dependent is to be made.  An applicant shall not submit an application for a certificate of citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services before he/she has completed the residence requirement. 

Philanthropic Donation

Prior to the issue of a certificate of Maltese citizenship, the applicant is also required to donate a minimum of ten thousand euro (€10,000) to a registered sport, cultural, scientific, philanthropic, animal welfare, or artistic non governmental organisation or society as approved by Community Malta Agency.

Property Investment

Once an applicant is approved and prior to the issue of a certificate of Maltese citizenship, the application must either purchase or rent residential property in Malta. If the applicants opts to purchase a property, an investment of at least seven hundred thousand euro (€700,000) is to be made. An applicant may also lease a residential immovable property in Malta for a minimum annual rent of sixteen thousand euro (€16,000). The property shall be adequate and suitable for the applicant and his dependants and must be kept for at least five (5) years from the date of the certificate of Maltese citizenship. 

During the first five (5) years from the grant of the certificate of Maltese citizenship, the Community Malta Agency may request the applicant to provide any information or documentation as required and may also subject the applicant to an interview. 

Due Diligence

Community Malta Agency shall administer the due diligence and verification process of the eligibility of the applicants. The Agency shall cause due diligence checks to be performed also by third parties including one or more internationally recognised specialised due diligence service providers,  in respect of every applicant. Such due diligence checks shall be of a four (4) tier nature or more, as the Agency shall determine from time to time and may include security checks to be carried out by law enforcement authorities in line with the Data Protection legislation. The applicant is required to pay a due diligence fee of €15,000 and an additional fee of €10,000 per each dependant.

A person shall be disqualified from applying for the grant of of Maltese citizenship if:

  1. He or any of his dependants is or was arraigned or indicted of an offence before an International Criminal Court
  2. He or any of his dependants are listed with Interpol or Europol
  3. He or any of his dependants are an actual or potential threat to Malta
  4. He or any of his dependants have been charged with terrorism, money laundering, funding of terrorism and other serious crimes
  5. He or any of his dependants have at any time been found guilt of, or at any time during the process of the application, has been interrogated or is suspected of, or has criminal charges brought against him for any criminal offence punishable with more than one (1) year imprisonment, other than involuntary offence
  6. He or any of his dependants is or is likely to be involved in any activity which may cause disrepute to the Republic of Malta
  7. He or any of his dependants is named or is listed in international sanctions
  8. He or any of his dependants has been denied a visa to a country with whom Malta has visa-free travel arrangements and has not subsequently obtained a visa from that same country

If an applicant makes a false statement or otherwise omits information which is crucial to the review of an application under these regulations, his application may be suspended and considered inadmissible. 

Maximum number of Applications 

Applications under these regulations by direct investment shall not exceed four hundred (400) yearly and one thousand five hundred (1,500) in total. 

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Key Contacts

Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti

Senior Partner, Tax & Immigration

+356 22056411

Dr Antoine Saliba Haig

Senior Lawyer

+356 22056446

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