Malta’s Citizenship by Direct Investment Regulations (MEIN)
Malta Individual Investors Programme to be Replaced.
On 20 November 2020, the Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment (MEIN) - regulated by the Maltese Citizenship Act (CAP. 188) and the Legal Notice 437 of 2020 will allow high net worth individuals and their families the possibility to acquire residence in Malta and eventually obtain Maltese citizenship through direct investment.
This programme was developed to replace the Individual Investors programme which came to an end in September of 2020 after meeting the quota limits originally set for the programme at its inception in 2014 under the Maltese Citizenship Act (CAP. 188) and the IIP Regulations, 2014 (L.N. 47 of 2014)
There are a number of processes that need to be adhered to along with a series of requirements and investment contributions that need to be met in order to qualify for the new MEIN Programme.
Before becoming a Maltese Citizen, applicants will need to follow a series of steps as outlined in the MEIN Programme rules. The applicant will have to first;
- Apply for residency.
- All adult applicants will need to submit a Maltese residence application for the MEIN programme
- Citizenship Eligibility.
- Once the applicants have received residence status, applicants will be considered eligible to apply for citizenship on a preliminary basis. During the first 12 months of residence, applicants will face stringent due diligence checks by the Community Malta Agency where they will have to disclose their source of wealth and funds among other things.
- Citizenship Application.
- Provided that the Applicant has passed the stringent due diligence process and their eligibility status is retained, the applicant can submit their citizenship application to Community Malta after 12 or 36 months after which further documentation will be requested.
- Citizenship Approval.
- Once the citizenship application has been approved the applicant will then need to fulfil the investment criteria. Take the Oath of Allegiance and be granted a certificate of Naturalization. After which a Maltese passport will be issued and the application will be reviewed annually for a period of 5 years to ensure that all requirements are continuously met throughout.
In order to be considered for Maltese citizenship the applicant must be;
- Over the age of 18
- Have a clean criminal record.
- This includes presenting a Police Clearance Certificate from their country of origin and a full background and due diligence check done by Interpol and the International Criminal court.
- Be in good health.
- Applicants will need to have international health insurance and provide a full medical report as proof that they are in good health
- Be in good financial standing.
- Those wishing to gain citizenship through investment will have to provide proof of funds and tax clearance from their country of origin.
- Provide biometric data.
- The main applicant, their spouse and any dependants will be required to provide their biometric data to the Maltese Government.
Certain contributions and investments need to be made in order to successfully apply for citizenship. The minimum outlined investment threshold stipulated by the Maltese Government is;
- A €600,000 non-refundable contribution to the Maltese National Development Fund for the main applicant and an additional €50,000 will need to be contributed for the applicant’s spouse and each additional dependant – this is providing that the applicant has already been a resident in Malta for 36 months (3years).
- Should the applicant apply only after being a resident in Malta for twelve months (1year) then the required non-refundable contribution to the Maltese National Development Fund will be €750,000 due and an additional €50,000 will need to be contributed for the applicant’s spouse and each additional dependant.
- A €700,000 property purchase or a long-term rental contract with a minimum €16,000 annual rental rate that must be held for a minimum of 5 years to retain Maltese citizenship.
- A €10,000 donation to a registered Maltese NGO.
Applicants property investments must be held for a minimum of 5 years and the applicant must show strong links to Malta.
Administration and processing fees need to be paid throughout the citizenship application. Fees are subject to change but you can expect to pay the following;
- Residence Application Fees:
o €5,000 for the Main Applicant
o €1,000 per each dependant
o €27.50 Residence Card Fees per card
- Eligibility/Due Diligence Fees:
o €15,000 for the Main Applicant
o €10,000 for adult dependants of over 18 years old
o If the applicant is sponsored, a Due Diligence fee of €15,000
o Administrative Fees: €1,000 per applicant
- Citizenship Application Administration Fees
o €5,000 for the Main Applicant
o €1,000 per applicant
- In case of residence cards renewals, there will be a charge of €227.50, and if the applicant has changed address, the fee will be of €27.50.