Updated: August 26, 2021 | 27 minute read
    The Malta Individual Investor Programme, a.k.a. The Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme, has been terminated permanently.
    The government of Malta launched the Malta Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment, a.k.a. Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations in 2020.

    Introduction - Differences between European Citizenship and Caribbean Citizenship

    Are you thinking of alternative citizenship for yourself and your family?

    The reasons for considering second citizenship could vary from person to person. These may include a better lifestyle, future security or the right to travel.

    You might also be interested in the 11 Reasons Why People Consider Second Citizenship

    The one thing which everybody obviously keeps into consideration when looking to acquire second citizenship is cost.

    There are several low-cost citizenship by investment programs to choose from, most of which are offered by the Caribbean countries:

    Hereunder are the most popular ones,

    • Dominica Citizenship by Investment;
    • St Kitts & Nevis Citizenship Program;
    • Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment;
    • Grenada Citizenship by Investment;
    • St Lucia Citizenship by Investment; and
    • Moldova Citizenship by Investment

    The above programs are very similar in nature, albeit with slight differences according to the laws of the country in question. They are also relatively quick and easy to qualify.

    Low-cost citizenship by investment programs are popular options because they will likely allow you to travel to more countries than is possible using your present passport.

    Presently, the aforementioned citizenship by investment programs offer the opportunity for visa-free travel to about 120 countries, but only allow you to live permanently as a citizen in the country of issuance of the passport.

    European citizenship by investment programs, on the other hand, allows you to enter and permanently live in significantly more countries.

    For example, Malta, with the most powerful citizenship by investment program globally, offers visa-free/eTA travel to 183 countries. It is also the only program worldwide to have a visa waiver agreement with the United States of America.

    But it is equally true that the Malta citizenship by investment program is far more expensive.

    Differences between European Citizenship and Caribbean Citizenship


    So you may be asking if the difference between the programs is visa-free travel to a maximum of 60 or so more countries,

    • Why is it that the citizenship by investment programs offered by the European countries are so much more expensive when compared to the those issued by the Caribbean?
    • Why are the background checks, due diligence and legal documentation requirements more difficult?
    • Why is it you need to establish genuine links with a European country. At the same time, you might never even have to physically visit the Caribbean to be granted citizenship and granted a second passport? And finally
    • Why, notwithstanding all of the above, do the most successful people still opt for the Malta program?

    If we had to summarize the answer in one sentence, we would say that European citizenship is not only about gaining a more powerful passport  which allows you to travel. It is so much more …

    So we thought we’ll simplify it for you and list 12 Differences between European Citizenship by investment programs using Malta Citizenship by Investment as an example, against those issued by the Caribbean.

    While the Caribbean islands are beautiful and offer one of the cheapest and fastest investment programs, it might be less likely you would consider living there full-time. 

    Let us explain and compare how the Malta Citizenship by Investment is better than all the Caribbean programs.

     Right of Establishment in Business & Work


    Malta Citizenship by Investment

    Low-Cost Citizenship Programs

    Number of countries you have establishment rights in 32 European/EEA countries (List of countries mentioned below). One
    Right to both enter and access the 26 countries that are part of Schengen Unrestricted entry and access (subject to Schengen legislation) Restricted to entry with a maximum of 90 days in 6 months

    Right of establishment in EU member states

    Yes. All 27 countries (complete list below) No
    Right to establishment in European Economic Area Yes. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. and Switzerland No
    Right to establishment in the Single Market Yes. Switzerland No


    Freedom of Travel
      Malta Citizenship by Investment Low-Cost Citizenship Programs
    Rank on Passport Index 9th  St. Kitts & Nevis ranked 27th
    Number of countries you can travel visa-free or with an eTA 183 countries St. Kitts & Nevis at 151 countries
    eTa to United States Yes No
    Australia Yes No
    Canada Yes No
    Hong Kong (SAR China) Yes Possible on some but not all
    Singapore Yes Possible on some but not all
    United Arab Emirates Yes No
    United Kingdom Yes Possible on some but not all
    Country connectivity with the rest of the world. Good Poor


    Business & Economy
      Malta Citizenship by Investment Low-Cost Citizenship Programs
    Stable currency
    Yes. Euro No
    Fitch Rating (Rating Company)
    A+  Highest is B-
    English as official language Yes  Some but not all
    Growth Rate (QTR - 2018) 7.50% Moldova 1.2%
    Human Development Index 29th out of 118 countries Moldova ranking 112th of 189


    Health & Safety
      Malta Citizenship by Investment Low-Cost Citizenship Programs
    Rank | Risk of Natural disasters Malta is the 2nd safest country in the world
    Highest is 62nd
    Right to receive assistance from other EU embassies and consulates Yes No
    Risk | Crime Index Low Moldova ranked Medium
    Life Expectancy Malta ranks 16th out of 183 countries Antigua & Barbuda rank 49th of 183 countries
    Quality of Healthcare Malta ranks at 27th Antigua & Barbuda at 75th




    Benefits of Citizenship through investment in Malta further explained

    We thought an in-depth explanation of some of the factors would be of more help,

    So, to begin with, let us first talk about your

    Relocation Options (by Investment)

    The Government of Malta offers various Investment programs to third-country nationals to immigrate.

    You can take up Maltese Citizenship by a unique investment program called:

    Likewise, you can become a Resident of Malta through two exclusive Residency by investment programs, namely:

    MRVP grants you permanent residency in Malta whereas GRP gives you a special tax status.

    You can couple MRVP with GRP to obtain enhanced benefits.


    You automatically get the right to set up your business in Malta, when you take up Maltese citizenship by investment.

    Alongside you are also granted the right to work or do business in any of the 27 European Union countries. Other than that, you can also:

    • Enjoy and benefit from Malta’s tax-efficient system on both personal and corporate
    • Freely move your capital and income;
    • Invest in property in Malta and make the most of the stable and booming real estate market.

    As a Maltese resident, you can:

    • Through a separate process, do business in Malta and other European Union member states; and
    • Opt to avail from the tax status under the Global Residence Program.


    If you are granted Malta citizenship (by investment), you can:

      • Gain settlement rights in the following countries;
        Settlement rights in Europen countries
        Settlement rights to Albania
        Settlement rights to Andorra
        Settlement rights to Austria
        Settlement rights to Belarus
        Settlement rights to Belgium
        Settlement rights to Bosnia-and-Herzegovina
        Bosnia & Herzegovina
        Settlement rights to Bulgaria
        Settlement rights to Croatia
        Settlement rights to Cyprus
        Settlement rights to Czech-Republic
        Czech Republic
        Settlement rights to Denmark
        Settlement rights to Estonia
        Settlement rights to Faroes
        Faroe Islands
        Settlement rights to Finland
        Settlement rights to France
        Settlement rights to Germany
        Settlement rights to Gibraltar
        Settlement rights to Greece
        Settlement rights to Greenland
        Settlement rights to Hungary
        Settlement rights to Iceland
        Settlement rights to Ireland
        Settlement rights to Kosovo
        Settlement rights to Latvia
        Settlement rights to Liechtenshein
        Settlement rights to Lithuania
        Settlement rights to Luxembourg
        Settlement rights to Macedonia
        Macedonia (FYROM)
        Settlement rights to Moldova
        Settlement rights to Monaco
        Settlement rights to Montenegro
        Settlement rights to NetherlandsNetherlands
        Settlement rights to Norway
        Settlement rights to Poland
        Settlement rights to Portugal
        Settlement rights to Romania
        Settlement rights to San-Marino
        San Marino
        Settlement rights to Serbia
        Settlement rights to Slovakia
        Settlement rights to Slovenia
        Settlement rights to Spain
        Settlement rights to Sweden
        Settlement rights to Switzerland
        Settlement rights to Ukraine
        Settlement rights to Vatican-City
        Vatican City
    • Enjoy a liberal and politically stable country;
    • Live the Mediterranean lifestyle;
    • Enjoy mild winters and warm summers in an amazing climate;
    • Easily communicate through English as an official language.

    If you take up residence in Malta, you can

    • Indefinitely reside, settle and stay in Malta; and
    • Once you achieve European Long-Term Residence status you gain increased rights in the following countries;
    Austria Italy
    Belgium Latvia
    Bulgaria Lithuania
    Croatia Luxembourg
    Cyprus Netherlands
    Czechia Poland
    Estonia Portugal
    Finland Romania
    France Slovakia
    Germany Slovenia
    Greece Spain
    Hungary Sweden


    12 differences



    By taking citizenship through investment, you can:

    • Gain one of the world’s most powerful passports;
    • Easily travel to 183 countries including the USA, Canada and Australia. So no more visa application hassles;
    • Travel and cross Schengen borders without checks across 26 Schengen countries.

    So, with a Maltese passport in your pocket, you will not require a separate Schengen visa and will also gain rights to 183 countries with which Malta has visa-free travel agreements. 

    But by taking up Maltese residency you gain the right to enter the Schengen area without border checks. 

    Related: Benefits of Schengen Countries 


    Once you become a Maltese citizen, you can: 

    • Protect your family legacy by passing on citizenship to future generations. Even if they are born outside of Malta, they will inherit and attain citizenship by descent;
    • Secure your children’s future through a world-class education system;
    • Get access to leading health care institutions; and
    • Relax in what has been voted as one of the safest countries in the world.

    As a Resident of Malta, you can 

    • Apply for a European Long-Term Residence permit after five (5) years in Malta;
    • With a special permit, you can work or do business.
    • Ensure your children’s future through a top-class education system; and
    • Get access to leading health care institutions.

    Unlike citizenship which can be passed onto future generations, Residence CANNOT be transferred. However, the MRVP extends and allows for this option through a notional €5,000 contribution. 

    12 Differences between European Citizenship and Caribbean Citizenship



    We can say that though the Caribbean islands are scenic and offer low-cost citizenship programs as compared to European programs. You still might not consider permanently relocating to those islands. 

    Whereas, Maltese citizenship can open the doors to living, studying and working elsewhere in Europe without restrictions.

    Nicely tucked between South of Sicily and North Africa, Malta’s geographical location can also work as a doorway to the European, African and Middle Eastern markets. 

    Depending on what you are looking to accomplish for yourself and your family, Our Relocation Services team of highly skilled professionals can offer you the best personalised and holistic solution for your every need. Reach out to us at info@endevio.com for more clarifications.