Malta Citizenship Scheme – How It Actually Works

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The Maltese passport is fast becoming a status symbol for the world’s jet-set club. That’s because it affords anyone who holds it the opportunity to enjoy unrestricted travel not just in Europe but the rest of the world. Freedom of movement is especially important in an age where stringent immigration policies threaten to restrict the duration and frequency of travel.

The Maltese passport acts as a gateway to the Mediterranean and the rest of the world. It’s also the most reputable passport there is because it’s endorsed by the European Union.

Typically, the best way to get your hands on the sought-after Maltese passport is through the country’s “citizenship by investment” scheme. Read on to find out more about how it works and how it can help you to get a step closer to becoming a true citizen of the world.

About the Malta Citizenship by Investment Scheme

The Malta citizenship by investment program was initially announced in 2014 and it’s endorsed by the European Union. It’s commonly referred to as the Malta Individual Investor Program or MIIP for short. It can act as a second citizenship and passport for individuals (and their families) who either want to move to Europe or have a residence there.

What makes the Malta citizenship scheme unique is the fact that it’s valid for life and can be passed on to future generations by descent. This means that if you acquire Maltese citizenship and passport then your descendants can inherit it from you as well.

Plus, Malta is a stable country with a strong economy that’ll offer plenty of growth opportunities for you and your family in the future. So far, 1, 500 investors and their families have been granted with this exclusive passport.

Requirements

Before you can even apply for the Malta citizenship by investment scheme, you have to make sure that you meet the requirements. The good news is the cost of entry is not as stringent as you’d think, but it’s not a walk in the park either.

Firstly, the main applicant needs to be 18 years of age or older, with a strong economic background. This means that you have to make at least 100, 000 Euro per year and have a clean criminal record. Don’t try to beat the system on this one because the agency in charge of processing applications has very tight checks and balances. They work with Interpol, the International Criminal Court as well as other organizations to vet applicants.

Not only that, but applicants and their families must pass a “fit and proper test” to prove that they’re in good health. Needless to say, there are very high due diligence standards in place.

Cost

There’s a financial requirement involved in the application process as well, in the form of contributions to the Maltese government and economy. After all, you must show that you’re going to become a productive member of the society. The financial contributions include:

  • A non-refundable fee of 650, 00 Euro
  • A 150, 000 Euro investment in government bonds
  • Individual contributions of 25, 000 Euro per person for your spouse and any minor children; 50, 000 Euro per person for parents and grandparents as well as unmarried children between the ages of 18 to 26.
  • The purchase of residential property to the tune of 350, 000 Euro. Alternatively, you might choose to rent property for 16, 000 Euro per year over a 5-year period.

Once you’ve made the above contributions, you must hold all investments for a minimum period of five years. Generally, the nonrefundable contribution is higher if you rent real estate instead of buying it. You’ll also be asked to reveal your source of income to show how you acquired the funds to make the investment.

Residency requirements

Once you’ve signed on the dotted line of your agreement of sale document, you’ll receive an e-residence card, which will serve as evidence of your ties to Malta. After the 12 month required residency period has passed, you’ll be eligible for official Maltese citizenship. Residence basically means that you’ll stay in Malta for 183 days out of the year or longer.

Please note that you might lose your Maltese passport if you fail to meet the requirements over time, and it will be revoked if you sell your property before the five year period is up.

There is a risk of losing the passport if you don’t respect the requirements and your passport can be revoked. If you sell the property before 5 years, your citizenship can be cancelled and the passport revoked.

Do you need to speak Maltese?

No language tests are conducted either in English or Maltese.

Benefits of having a Maltese passport

Malta is part of the Schengen area and an EU member. This means Maltese citizens enjoy freedom of movement across most of Europe, including Switzerland.

The great thing about Malta is that it’s more than just a pretty island with crystal blue water and a charming landscape. It’s an economically stable country with a high standard of living and attractive tax incentives. It is also one of a few countries that weathered the financial crisis and actually maintained economic growth during this challenging time.

Citizens get to enjoy visa free travel within the EU as well as the free movement of goods, services and capital. Maltese citizenship also comes with EU citizenship with the right to live, work and study in any EU country.

There are no municipal, inheritance, net worth or wealth taxes charged and dual citizenship is allowed.

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