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Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment Regulations
With a robust and booming economy, a stable political climate, world-class healthcare and top-notch educational institutions - Malta, with its warm and welcoming people, is an attractive investment prospect for many. The Island sits nestled in an archipelago and provides a peaceful yet vibrant Mediterranean lifestyle. Maltese citizens benefit from Malta’s close proximity to Europe and visa-free travel in the Schengen area.
Obtaining Residence in Malta through the Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment Rules is undoubtedly the right path for the individuals and their families searching to gain residence and Citizenship in a well-respected European country with a vast array of business opportunities.
How to gain Residence and Citizenship in Malta: Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment Rules
The MEIN Rules are known as the Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment.
On 20 November 2020, the Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment - 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 a 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)
The Malta Exceptional Investor Naturalization regulations are ideal for the discerning Private Client interested in gaining security, flexibility, and a base in a safe and law-abiding country. Applicants will first apply for residence in the country, giving them the right to reside in Malta and visa-free access to Europe. After passing stringent Due Diligence checks and building ‘genuine links’ to Malta, successful applicants will be granted Maltese Citizenship by making an Exceptional Direct investment in the country.
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.
The Required Investment
The direct and exceptional investments that are required under the Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment Regulations are as follows;
Government Contribution: Depending on the time frame you select a government contribution of either of the following will be required;
- Standard procedure: If applying after 36 months, a contribution of €600,000 for the Main Applicant and an additional €50,000 for each dependant;
- Expedited procedure: If the applicant decides to apply at the 12th month, a contribution of €750,000 is due, plus €50,000 for each additional dependant.
A Property Investment: Applicants will need to either buy a property in Malta with a minimum value of €700,000 or commit to a residential rental agreement with a minimum annual rent of €16,000. The property investment must be retained for a minimum of five years from the date of the certificate of Citizenship;
A Donation: A compulsory donation of €10,000 to a registered non-governmental organisation (NGO)
The qualifying investments must be held for 5 years, and the applicant must show strong and effective links to Malta.
Effective Link to Malta
The residence requirement requires evidence of an effective link with Malta. Citizenship is applied for after 12 months from the effective date of commencement of a link with Malta. The applicant must commit to a minimum physical presence in Malta prior to Citizenship being granted.
Which are the benefits of applying for the Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment Rules?
There are many benefits associated with the successful application for Maltese Citizenship by a Direct and Exceptional Investment. These include but are not limited to;
The freedom to live and work across Europe and Schengen states, as well as visa-free travel to more than 180 countries, including the EEUU through an ESTA authorisation.
The strategic location of the Island, at the centre of the Mediterranean, just a 2-3 hrs flight from all major financial capitals of Europe.
A strong economy with a booming real estate market in Europe.
Business and Wealth Structuring: gains derived by a Malta company may typically be taxed in Malta at a rate of 5%, although lower effective rates may also be achievable.
An efficient and sound process - Residence is gained first, and Citizenship is obtained after 12 months of being a resident in Malta, after passing a stringent due diligence process;
Dependants include - dependant parents of both the main applicant and spouse, minors and adult children under 29 years old who are economically inactive and financially dependent on the main applicant.
A sound and smart investment in a booming economy in Europe, for you and your family, with the Citizenship being passed on to future generations.
Who can apply for the Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment Regulations?
A principal applicant can apply for Citizenship for himself and add any dependents as defined by the law as follows;
- The spouse of the applicant, as long as it is monogamous marriage. Life partners, including a civil union. Domestic partnerships and common law marriage also qualify.
- Dependent children that are under the age of 18 at the time that the citizenship application is submitted.
- Children over the age of 18 but under 29 years old (29 years old not included), unmarried and fully or primarily supported by the principal applicant.
- Children who are 18 years of age or older that qualify as a person with a disability.
- The parents of the main applicant or their spouse that are over the age of 55 years old, at the time that the citizenship application is submitted, and fully or primarily supported by the principal applicant.
How the Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment Rules work?
The Malta Exceptional Investor Naturalization Regulations offers residence and, eventually, the possibility of becoming eligible for Maltese Citizenship. Applicants will need to follow a very defined process.
Onboarding with an accredited and authorised advisor:
- Your trusted advisor will initially assess your application and will conduct a First Tier Due Diligence to determine if you are eligible to apply.
The first step towards Maltese Citizenship is to apply for residence in Malta under the MEIN rules.
An application is submitted to the Community Malta Agency. Part of the residency application is having an address in the country, which can be obtained through a property purchase of a minimum of EUR700,000 or a residential rental agreement for a minimum of EUR16,000 per year. A member of Malta Sotheby's International Realty team will assist you in finding a suitable property that fits these requirements.
You will also need to provide proof of health insurance and submit this with your residence application.
- An intermediate step in the process is to apply for Citizenship Eligibility. This is a formal application to Community Malta and requires an in-depth exercise of analysing the source of funds and wealth of the principal applicant, business affiliations and other compliance criteria.
- Once the applicant has been granted residence in Malta, the minimum residency period to apply for Citizenship starts. Citizenship can be applied for under the expedited route after holding residence in Malta after 12 months, or the standard route which is after 36 months.
- Once the applicant’s eligibility has been confirmed for Maltese Citizenship by Community Malta, and after 12 or 36 months of residence and showing genuine links to the country, a formal application for Citizenship is submitted.
- Once Citizenship has been granted, the Community Malta Agency will invite the applicants to come to Malta and take the Oath of Allegiance, within six months of the issuance date of the letter. After the applicants have taken the Oath, and during the following five years, they will be subject to Annual Compliance.
Aside from making the qualifying investment, applicants will need to make certain disbursements, such as;
Residence Application Fees:
Eligibility Process Fees:
Citizenship Application Fees:
Why gain a base in Malta?
- Malta benefits from years of political stability and political support in developing Malta as an international financial centre.
- Malta is famous for its dedicated and multi-lingual local workforce, as well as its attraction of highly-skilled foreign professionals.
- English is an official language in Malta.
- Malta benefits from its stable year on year economic growth and its respected jurisdiction that allows for easy incorporation of low-tax companies.
- Malta is praised by foreign businesses for its relatively low costs of setting up/running a business, as well as the relatively inexpensive workforce.
- The Island is famous for being an outstanding banking centre with a strong presence of many renowned international banks.
- The Maltese Islands largely benefits from its rich historic and cultural heritage, as well as the high-quality of life, and peaceful Mediterranean environment.
- Modern legal and tax framework.
- Hard-working professional tradition (with English being an official language).
- Comparatively low establishment and operating costs.
- Convenient European time zone.
- Excellent travel connections to mainland Europe.
- Education/study opportunities in Malta and other EU Member States.
- Sound banking system.
- Malta forms part of the Commonwealth and is a stable government and a Republic since 1974.
- Appreciation of capital investment, property prices enjoy constant annual growth.
- An extensive and expanding double tax treaty network (over 60 treaties currently in force).
- Access to the benefits of the EC Tax Directives.
- The most reputed EU Healthcare system and Private and International Schools.
- Expatriates in Malta benefit from easy repatriation of income and capital out of the country.
Can my passport be revoked?
- Applicants that fail to submit the Annual Compliance Form and the compliance requirements during the five years after the date of the Oath of Allegiance may have their citizenship revoked. In addition, the Minister in charge shall have the power to deprive a person of Maltese citizenship if an applicant;
- fails to comply with any material obligation under the MEIN Regulations; or
- becomes a threat to national security; or
- is involved in conduct that is seriously prejudicial to the interests of the Republic of Malta.
Is Malta Citizenship by a Direct and Exceptional Investment Permanent?
- Yes, Malta citizenship through the MEIN procedures is permanent. Successful applicants will be granted a Certificate of Naturalization, which can be passed on to future generations.
Is dual citizenship a possibility in Malta?
- Yes, Malta allows dual citizenship.