The Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme continues to register growth three years on since its inception. The Third Annual Report on the Individual Investor Programme of the Government of Malta, issued by the Office of the regulator, provides the Malta Citizenship Programme statistics covering the period between July 2015 and June 2016. The report follows the trend observed in the previous year’s report which reported a significant increase in registered figures, including the number of applications received (450 applications), the number of applications which successfully passed the due diligence process (214 applications), and the number of applications which have completed naturalisation stage (134 applications).
Malta Citizenship Programme Statistics covering July 2015 – June 2016
Throughout this period, 450 applications were received, bringing the total amount of registered applications to 723.
According to the Malta Citizenship Programme statistics, applications originated from nine different geographical regions (based on the main applicant’s principal nationality – Europe (200 applications), the Gulf Region (94 applications), Asia (69 applications), Africa (36 applications), the Middle East (23 applications), North America (19 applications), South America (2 applications), Caribbean (6 applications), and Oceania (1 application). In comparison with the previous year, two new regions were included (the Caribbean and Oceania), and there was a much more even distribution of applications from around the globe, with the majority of applications coming from outside Europe, unlike the previous year.
The majority of main applicants (319), were already in possession of a single citizenship, thus if their IIP application was successful, the Maltese citizenship would be their second. Moreover, 55 applicants were already in possession of two different citizenships while four applicants were in possession of three citizenships.
1186 dependants were included in the 450 applications. On average, each applicant included three dependents in the application.
- Outcome of the Applications
Out of the 450 applications submitted till June 2016, a substantial part of these applications may still be an initial or at due diligence stage, thus one cannot accurately contrast the outcome of these applications with the previous year.
The Malta Citizenship Programme statistics show that 214 letters of approval in principle were issued throughout this period, which is a considerable increase from the 75 letters of approval in principle registered during the previous year. There were 52 rejected applications throughout this period which originated mainly in Europe (35), with the rest being distributed globally.
Moreover, 8 applications were withdrawn before completing the due diligence process.
Between July 2015 and June 2016, the Malta Citizenship Programme Statistics show that 134 applications reached the final stage and achieved naturalisation. This brings the total of finalised successful applications to 177, when added to the 43 applications recorded in the previous year, constituting 9.8% of the set target.
- Investments and Property Purchases carried out by Applicants
Throughout the periods between June 2015 and July 2016, the newly naturalised citizens entered into 134 contracts for properties, with the majority of properties being purchased in Sliema. 27 of these properties totalled €28 million, which averages more than €1 million each, which is three times more than the amount required by the terms of the citizenship programme.
20% of these properties were purchased, while 80% of these properties were leased. The leased properties have been leased on the basis of a five-year contracts which have a value of more than €13 million, a value which is also much higher than the one stipulated in the IIP regulations.
Malta Citizenship Programme Statistics - Contributions Collected throughout the lifetime of the MIIP
The Malta Citizenship Programme Statistics outlined in the report point out that since the programme began, almost €55 million from the contributions collected from the applicants have gone towards the National Development and Social Fund, €24 million have gone towards the consolidated fund and €13 million have gone towards the administrative expenses incurred by Identity Malta and the private sector.
To date, investors who qualified have invested €27 million to government bonds, in addition to paying their contributions which amounted to €166 million.
It is estimated that the IIP programme amounts to almost 2.4% of the Gross Domestic Product. Justice Minister Bonnici has stated that the Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme has already generated more than €330 million, making it a significant asset for the growth of the Maltese economy.