Updated: August 23, 2021 | 7 minute read

    Malta vs Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Programs

    Introduction

    When it comes to making life-changing decisions like considering relocation options for a better quality of life or international investment for the advancement of business and/or for freedom to travel, both Malta & Cyprus have been attracting individuals from all corners of the world.

    This article has been written with the intent to provide a comparative overview of the citizenship by investment programs offered by two Mediterranean countries, Malta and Cyprus.

    Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program

    The Government of Cyprus launched the Citizenship by Investment program, officially known as the “Scheme for Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by Exception” in 2013. 
     
    Recently, the Cypriot program underwent major revisions, implemented in 2019 (listed further ahead in the article).
     

    Malta Citizenship by Investment Program

    Malta also has its Citizenship by Investment Program, officially known as the ‘’The Malta Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment’’. 
     
    It grants eligible high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals the opportunity to take up Maltese citizenship through naturalisation, subject to certain conditions and a thorough due diligence process.
     

    Comparisons 

    Both the citizenship by investment programs are considered to be advantageous in many ways with the flexibility to add dependent children, spouse, parents and/or grandparents.

    The Cypriot program requires the main applicant to acquire a separate residential property if parents or grandparents are included, at a minimum value of not less than €500,000. 

    Whereas, The Maltese program does not apply any such property requirement for dependents, however, an additional non-refundable contribution of €50,000 per parent or grandparent, and €25,000 per minor dependent are payable upon approval. 

    Other than that, if we talk about freedom of travel, both the citizenship programs are at par.

    The Malta Citizenship by Investment grants the Maltese nationals the freedom to travel to 183 countries including the USA, Canada and Australia whilst citizens of Cyprus enjoy travelling to about 170 countries excluding the USA

    As an added advantage, Malta forms part of the Schengen area so one can travel without border checks to 26 Schengen countries. Cyprus does not form part of the Schengen area.

     

    As a leading immigration agent, Endevio can offer bespoke advice to individuals who may be considering the two immigration programs. Get in touch today.

      

    Malta Citizenship by Investment Program

    The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program Amendments

    The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program underwent significant amendments which came into force in 2019.

     
    1. The introduction of the requirement of a non-refundable contribution of €150,000, to be allocated against research and development, and land development organisation;

    2. Minimum investment holding term extended from 3 to 5 years;

    3. The possession of a valid Schengen visa by the applicant was also introduced as a requirement;

    4. The possibility of investment in government bonds is no longer available, whilst investments in the shipping sector are now permitted;

    5. If the residential property to be acquired, has already been used for the Investment program by a previous applicant, then the total amount of the investment must constitute € 2.5 million;

    6. If an application for citizenship in any other EU Member State was rejected in the past, the person would be considered ‘not eligible’ for Cypriot citizenship by investment; and

    7. The due diligence process has been enhanced.

    The Cypriot Citizenship by Investment Program Amendments

    Malta Citizenship by Investment vs Cyprus Citizenship by Investment

    A comparison of the property and investment obligations under the Maltese and the amended Cypriot citizenship by investment programs.

      Malta Citizenship by Investment Cypriot Citizenship by Investment
    Non-Refundable Contribution NIL €150,000 to be allocated to Research and Development, and Land Development Organisation.
    Types of Investments

    The applicant is required to:

    • Obtain immovable property at a minimum value of €700,000, or rent immovable property at a minimum annual rent of €16,000.
    • Exceptional Direct Investment: €590,000 (36 Months Residency) OR €740,000 (Less than 36 Months Residency)

    3 options are available to the investor:

    • Option 1: Obtain residential property in Cyprus at a minimum value of €2,000,000;

      OR
    • Option 2:
      Invest in commercial real estate at a minimum value of €2,500,000; and

      Obtain residential immovable property at a minimum value of €500,000;

      OR
    • Option 3:
      Invest €2,000,000 in securities (excluding government bonds); and

      Acquire residential immovable property at a minimum value of €500,000;
    Obligation Period

    Immovable Property: 5 years;

    Securities Investment: 5 years.

    Options 1, 2, and 3: 5 years

    Residential property acquired at a minimum value of €500,000 must be retained for life

     

    Our dedicated team of experts can help you at every step of the way for obtaining your Maltese citizenship.

     

    Malta Citizenship by Investment vs Cyprus Citizenship by Investment difference

    Interesting read: Complete Guide to Malta Citizenship by Investment

     

    Final Words

    When it comes to Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program, the overall financial requirement for potential applicants increased post the amendments.

    Additionally, it should also be taken into consideration that the obligation period to own/lease an immovable property under the Malta program is 5 years. In contrast, under the Cypriot program, one is required to retain ownership of a €500,000 property for life.

    In terms of the investment holding period, the amended Cypriot program has been raised to 5 years from 3 years, thus equalising the Malta program requirement.

     

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