New Malta Citizenship by Naturalisation 2021

Updated: June 15, 2021 | 18 minute read

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(Acquisition of Citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment)

Introduction to the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations (for 2021)

The Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment is an exclusive path to citizenship by naturalisation.

Note: The previous Malta Individual Investor Programme aka The Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme has been terminated permanently.

Below are the details about the new Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations (S.L. 188.05) 

Under the new route, applicants are offered residence in Malta, leading to citizenship by naturalisation which can be achieved in either of two ways. 

  1. An individual can either choose to apply for citizenship after one year (12 months) of being a resident of Malta with the contribution of €750,000 payable to the government of Malta; OR 

  2. Pursue the path of Maltese citizenship after three years (36 months), of course with a difference of €150,000 in the contribution fees at €600,000.

The granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations will be limited to a maximum number of 400 successful applicants per year and is capped at 1,500 for the entire regulations.

What is the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations aka Malta Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment?

Malta Citizenship By Naturalisation is a certificate or regulations permit that is granted to highly-talented high-net-worth as well as their families who can contribute to the economic development of Malta. All those high-net-worth investors who are willing to invest and relocate can benefit from these regulations.

Every application is subject to a stringent due diligence process, including thorough background checks. Community Malta Agency (the Agency) is the competent Maltese Government Agency responsible for administering these Regulations.

No matter what the reason is to apply for Maltese citizenship under these regulations, all applications shall be treated equally by the Agency.

This granting of citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment is regulated by S.L. 188.05.

How can I get Maltese Citizenship through the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations?

Under the new route, applicants are offered residence in Malta, leading to citizenship by naturalisation which can be achieved in either of two ways. 

  1. An individual can either choose to apply for citizenship after one year of being a resident of Malta with the contribution of €750,000 payable to the government of Malta; OR 

  2. Pursue the path of Maltese citizenship after three years, of course with a difference of €150,000 in the contribution fees at €600,000.

Below is the detailed information about the minimum required investment and administration fees to qualify for citizenship under the Regulations.

#1 Residency Stage

Malta Residency Application

In line with the previous Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme, the new regulations mandate the applicant and all the adult dependants to hold Maltese residency status for a minimum of 12 months.

There is a new option to attain citizenship in 36 months instead of 12 months. Should the applicant wish to avail of this option, the contribution payable to the Government of Malta is reduced from €750,000 to €600,000; i.e. a savings of €150,000. This option is detailed further on.

The first step of the process is, therefore, to attain residency. This process entails your chosen licensed agent to provide the authorities with a Residency Application Pack (details of which can be found in the FAQs section at the end).

Once the Community Malta Agency receives the initial clearance, an appointment is scheduled to capture biometrics.

The appointment may be scheduled any day within six months from receiving police clearance.

The e-residency cards are issued within approximately 15 working days from the receipt of the residency application pack at the Agency.

Costs | Residency Stage

  Part-payment of the non-refundable deposit Rental of property. (Approx) Residence permit Residency Card
Applicant € 10,000 €8,400 €5,000 €27.50
Each Dependant NIL - €1,000 €27.50

 

  Medical Insurance Part-payment of Legal Fees
Applicant Variable Variable
Each Dependant Variable -
 

#2 Eligibility Stage

Submission of the Eligibility Application

Once the residency card has been issued, compiling of the Eligibility Application Pack starts (details of which can be found in the FAQs section at the end).

This part of the process is highly intensive and takes considerable effort and time to complete.

The quality of the submission will have a material impact on the decision by the authorities whether or not to grant citizenship.

With the right collaboration and support, this process usually takes a few months. In some cases where there is a complicated wealth structure, it can potentially take longer.

Either way, the eligibility application should be submitted within 12 months from the issuance of the residency card.

Costs | Eligibility Stage

Eligibility Payment Request Voucher (EPRV)
  Due Diligence Fee Administrative Fee Balance of Legal Fees
Applicant €15,000 €1,000 Variable
Each Dependant €10,000 €1,000 -
Benefactor (if applicable) €15,000 - -

 

Requirements for the Maltese Passport

 

To be eligible for the Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment, the applicant must meet several obligations, namely:

  • Be 18 years of age, or older;

  • Pay and invest in the funds as described;

  • Show the minimum residency requirement as detailed;

  • Have medical insurance that covers the applicant globally;

  • Have a clean criminal record;

  • Not be considered a potential national security risk;

  • Not having a reputational risk; and

  • Not subject to criminal proceedings.

Government Due Diligence

Within a few days of receipt of the Eligibility Payment Request Voucher (EPRV), the Community Malta Agency then performs a Tier 2 level due diligence to ensure the correctness and completeness of the Application.

More often than not, the Community Malta Agency would request further information and supplementary documents.

From here, the file proceeds to an investigative due diligence process and presents the Application and its findings to the Minister.

Letter of Approval in Principle

Excluding any required interventions and provided that all required application documentation is in order, the Community Malta Agency takes approximately 150 days to issue the letter of approval or refusal.

#3 Citizenship Stage

Within four months from the issue of the Letter of Approval in Principle, documented evidence is provided that all citizenship requirements have been met including the following monetary commitments.

Contributions

Investment Request Voucher (IRV)
  Exceptional Direct Investment Administrative Fee
Applicant €590,000 (36 Months Residency) €5,000
€740,000 (Less than 36 Months Residency)
Each Dependant €50,000 €1,000

 

Investment Obligations (Immovable Property)

Applicant * Purchase an immovable residential property in Malta €700,000
OR
* Take on a lease of residential immovable property in Malta €16,000

(*) - To be retained for a minimum period of 5 years from the date of issue of the certificate of citizenship

Applicant 

Donation to a registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic non-governmental organisation or society, or as otherwise approved by the Agency.

€10,000

 

In how much time can I get the Malta Passport?

(Process Timeline)

From start to issuance of the Malta Passport.

image-png-1 Power of Attorney to the Agent
  • The Applicant grants a power of attorney to the Agent to act on his or her behalf. This power of attorney will remain in force for the whole duration of the application process.

image-png-2 Establish Residency in Malta
  • The Agent performs Tier 1 due diligence on the prospective Applicant and submits Residency application.

  • The Community Malta Agency performs a Tier 1 due diligence and obtains initial police clearance.

image-png-3 Establishing Citizenship Eligibility
  • The Agent submits the Citizenship eligibility application to the Community Malta Agency.

  • The Birth and marriage certificates are submitted to Public Registry and Passport Office by the Agent.

image-png-4 The Due Diligence Process
  • The Community Malta Agency performs a Tier 2 due diligence and ensures correctness and completeness of the application. The Agency may request further information and documents to ensure all the necessary documentation is in order.

  • The Agency further performs a Tier 3 and Tier 4 due to diligence and presents the application and its findings to the Minister.

image-png-Nov-21-2020-10-00-31-51-AM Establishing Eligibility Decision
  • On the Minister's instructions, the Community Malta Agency informs the Agent of the Minister's decision if the Applicant is eligible to apply for Maltese Citizenship.

image-png-Nov-21-2020-10-02-22-41-AM Malta Citizenship Application
  • Depending on the level of chosen contribution by the Applicant, the Agent presents the Citizenship application to the Agency. The period can either be 12 months or 36 months from the time the Applicant received his or her Residence.

image-png-Nov-21-2020-10-03-30-88-AM Updating of the Due Diligence
  • The Community Malta Agency further updates its due diligence on the Applicant and presents its final findings to the Minister.

image-png-Nov-21-2020-10-05-18-23-AM Maltese Citizenship Decision
  • On the Minister's instructions, the Community Malta Agency informs the Agent of the Minister's decision if the Applicant can be granted Maltese Citizenship.

image-png-Nov-21-2020-10-06-28-18-AM Applicant Fulfils Investment Requirements
  • The Applicant fulfils the Exceptional Investment, Donation and Property requirements.

image-png-Nov-21-2020-10-07-30-02-AM Oath of Allegiance
  • The Applicant is invited to come to Malta and takes the Oath of Allegiance.

  • The Applicant is granted Maltese Citizenship and is issued with a Certificate of Naturalisation and a Maltese Passport.

image-png-Nov-21-2020-10-08-47-14-AM Monitoring
  • The Agent submits an annual compliance form to the Community Malta Agency that conducts continuous monitoring for five years after the attainment of Citizenship.

What are the benefits of Malta Citizenship by Naturalisation?

Obtaining the Malta Passport through the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations has both immediate and long-term benefits.
 

Business Benefits with Malta Citizenship

  • Base your business in the European Union’s fastest-growing economy;

  • Opportunity to unlimited access to the European Union (EU), the world’s largest economic zone;

  • Total freedom of capital and income movements;

  • Make the most from endless investment options in a stable and booming real estate market.

Travel Benefits with Malta Passport

  • 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 without border checks across 26 Schengen visa countries. That means you require no passport checks and no customs checks.

Family Security through Maltese Citizenship

  • Protect your family legacy by passing on citizenship to future generations.

  • Even if they are born outside of Malta they can attain citizenship by descent;

  • Secure your children’s future through a world-class education system;

  • Access to leading health care institutions; and

  • Relax in what has been voted as one of the safest countries in the world.

Settlement Benefits to Malta Citizens

  • Maltese citizens can opt to live, work, study and set up business in all the 27 EU states along with Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

  • Gain settling rights in 27 EU countries and gain rights within the countries that form the EEA and Switzerland; 

With the new Malta Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment, you become a Maltese Citizen by Naturalization 

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

Conclusion

With more and more high-net-worth individuals evaluating their options to invest in immigration to expand their business horizons; Malta's stability and fast-paced development are making it the new hub for growth and business opportunities with high quality of life.

The Citizenship by Naturalisation Malta for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment can offer highly-talented high-net-worth individuals and their families the growth and settlement rights in one of the safest countries in the world. While enhancing human capital on the island, this phenomenon is also attracting global market leaders, making the business market more lucrative.

We provide personalised services that are tailor-made to the needs of our clients. If you are interested in knowing about the application process along with your relocation options; for all the assistance you require, please feel free to reach out to us at info@endevio.com.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 
Q1. What all documents are required in the Residency Application Pack?

Answer: The Residency Application Pack

  • A Power of Attorney allowing us to act on the applicants' behalf in all matters related to the Application for Citizenship;

  • An introduction letter drafted by us providing the applicant's biography and the reasons as to why s/he wish to apply for Maltese citizenship;

  • A Comprehensive Due Diligence Check (Tier 1);

  • Completed Forms & Declarations;

  • International Passports & Foreign Residency Cards;

  • Evidence of Dependency where applicable;

  • Bank Statement and if applicable a Benefactor’s Declaration;

  • Property Lease or Purchase Agreement.

 
Q2. What all documents are required in the Eligibility Application Pack?

Answer: The Eligibility Application Pack

  • Residence Permits including Maltese e-Residence Cards;

  • Bank Statements;

  • Birth Certificates;

  • Change of Name Documents where applicable;

  • Military Records where applicable;

  • Corporate Affiliations;

  • Evidence of Employment;

  • Source of Funds;

  • Source of Wealth;

  • Marriage & Divorce Certificates (where applicable);

  • Medical Report;

  • Proof of Overseas Residential Address;

  • Police Conduct Certificates;

  • Social Credit Report;

  • Applicable Affidavits;

  • Tax Residency Jurisdiction Declaration.

 
Q3. What are the tax implications of obtaining citizenship in Malta?

Answer: Tax is a complicated subject in any country, so we’ll highlight the most relevant parts.

  • After you attain citizenship it doesn’t mean you become tax resident;

  • If you eventually spend much time in Malta and have multiple links, you might become a tax resident. However, even if you do become a tax resident, it doesn't necessarily mean you will be taxed on your worldwide income.

  • This is because tax resident only foreigners are NOT liable to pay tax on any foreign capital gains even if remitted to Malta;

  • In the case individual would be deemed a tax resident tax would only be due on:

    • Income/capital gains arising in Malta, and

    • Foreign income, but excluding accumulated capital, if received in Malta.

  • So, most likely, the impact of taxation after obtaining citizenship in Malta is likely to minimal or nothing at all.

In the event, you take deliberate steps to become domiciled in Malta different rules apply.

Our professional tax advisors can assist you in clarifying any matters that might be of concern to you. Contact us at info@endevio.com. 

 

Q4. Does Malta allow for Dual Citizenship?

Answer:

YES, if you take up Malta Citizenship by Investment, you can hold both newly acquired Maltese citizenship along with your foreign countries citizenship. As per Maltese law, you can become a dual citizen.

However, your country might have different regulations or restrictions on dual nationality.

Follow the link for more detailed information regarding Dual/Multiple Citizenship in Malta.

 

Q5. How much time do you need to spend in Malta in order to qualify? Does the one-year residence requirement mean that I need to spend 365 days in Malta?

Short answer: 

You do not need to spend 365 days in Malta but let us explain further.

After you commence the process and provide the authorities with the Residency Application Pack and get approved, you will be issued with a Maltese residency card.

The residency card is valid for 3 years. With this card, you can now cross the internal borders of all Schengen countries. 

From the time of application to the granting of citizenship in Malta, there is quite a lot of documentation to process.

You will also be required to be in Malta from time to time for things like signing documentation; bio-metrics; undergoing a medical check-up; sitting down with the notaries and lawyers etc.

It is expected of you is to generate substantial links with Malta for you to be regarded as a resident. We will discuss these links with you in our first meetings and submit a request to the Community Malta Agency for approval of these links, which would also include an element of physical presence.

While you are free to come for one long-stay, you would most likely split this into multiple trips.

Please note that the residency period has NO relation to tax-residency, so you don’t need to worry about this.

 

Q6. What is the requirement for Health Insurance?

Answer: 

Evidence of possession of Health Insurance in respect of all risk (for a cover of at least €50,000) worldwide except for the United States and Canada (except for emergency purposes) for the applicant and all his/her dependents.

Such an insurance policy is to be retained indefinitely.

Why Integritas Endevio as your Relocation Services Advisor?

In an ever-changing world, the decision to structure and manage wealth through a Family office can be complex.

Whether you are or working for a private individual or a family office, we provide unified advice on a full range of services, including taxation, investment structuring, corporate and regulatory.

Our scope is to help high-net-worth clients design and put in place a unified, holistic and workable structure to hold their assets and manage them in conjunction with other professional advisors. Whether your goal is to improve tax efficiency, dedicate efforts to philanthropy, increase asset protection or achieve the orderly transfer of wealth for the next generation, we will guide you through the process of realising these goals.

Through Integritas and Endevio's strategic partners' international presence, we have vast experience in developing and providing holistic services suited for each client.

Integritas & Endevio are notable Malta-based firms that deliver excellence in the international market. The firms are known for their quality in dealing with the full range of corporate services and advising high-net-worth clients on their private affairs.