There are many doubts about the Malta Citizenship by investment scheme. How does it work? How much I have to invest? Is it worth it? If these resonate with you, then you’re in the right place. We will clarify every single doubt about this citizenship scheme.
What is the Malta Citizenship by investment scheme?
The Malta citizenship by investment scheme was introduced in 2014, with the aim of attracting overseas investors to financially invest in Malta.
What are the main requirements of the Scheme?
In order to achieve Malta citizenship by investment, the main applicant must provide a significant financial contribution to the National Development and Social Fund of the Government of Malta.
In addition to this, the spouse of the main applicant must provide a financial contribution, this is also the case for any children of the main applicant and any parents of the main applicant that also want Maltese citizenship.
Invest in real estate purchase or rental
To achieve Malta citizenship by investment the applicant must also commit to investing in a real estate purchase or rental for a five-year period.
This can be done by buying a property in Malta with a minimum value of €350,000 and maintaining the ownership of the property for the duration of the five years, or by leasing a property for the five-year duration with the property’s annual rent having to be at least €16,000.
Before an applicant can be admitted for Malta citizenship by investment, they are required to invest at least €150,000 in government approved bonds and stocks that benefit the nation. This investment must then be kept for a minimum of five years.
How long I need to spend in Malta?
The final stage of the Malta citizenship by investment scheme is a residency requirement that states that the applicant must prove their link to the country.
“Applicants who have maintained residence in the country, for a period of 12 months, will be granted citizenship”.
There are two ways to get the Maltese residency:
Either spend a minimum of 183 days over the period of a year residing in Malta having been granted a residence card.
Alternatively, the purchase or rental of property in Malta as well as a visit to Malta is enough to complete the Malta citizenship by investment scheme. Subsequently, applicants are not required to spend more time in the country or Europe.
If you have some doubts, you can also check the differences betwen residency and citizenship by investment.
How does an applicant gain it for the family?
In order for the applicant’s family to achieve Malta citizenship by investment, they must provide financial contributions within four months of receiving a Malta Individual Investment Program Letter of Approval.
Financial contributions for each family member
For the main applicant’s spouse/husband and minor children, this contribution is €25,000 each, for unmarried children of the applicant (aged between 18 and 26), dependent parents and grandparents of the applicant and adult children that are physically or mentally challenged the contribution is €50,000 each.
Once the residency of the applicant and their family in Malta begins a deposit of €5,000 is required from the main applicant, as well as a €1,000 deposit from each family member to the National Development and Social Fund of the Maltese Government.
How long does the process take?
Malta citizenship by investment can be obtained within six months, provided that the applicant has met the Malta residency requirements and guidelines of the Individual Investor Program.
If the applicant has not already obtained Maltese residence, however, the minimum amount of time needed to gain Malta citizenship by investment is 12 months.
The timeline for the procedure can be broken down to:
- The preparation stage of the application which lasts approximately a month;
- The processing stage of the application which lasts for 4 months;
- Followed by the compliance stage which also has the duration of 4 months.
Each of these stages leads to significant points of the application which begins with the issuing of a residency card and concludes with an Oath of Allegiance Naturalisation Certificate. With the whole process lasting approximately 1 year in total.
What are the advantages of the Malta Citizenship by investment scheme?
There are many benefits of the Malta citizenship by investment program, making it an attractive investment scheme to many. With Maltese citizenship, the successful applicant gains visa-free travel to over 160 countries, including those that belong to the Shengen Area, Canada and the United States of America.
Visa-Free and other rights
As well as visa-free travel there is the benefit of acquiring the right to work, live and study in any of the 28 European countries as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
Descendants are entitled to citizenship
Descendants of the main applicant are also automatically entitled to citizenship, and consequently are able to obtain a European passport if they are able to provide documentation proving their direct descent from Malta citizens.
This includes those who obtained citizenship through the Malta citizenship by investment scheme, making this a noticeable benefit of the program.
It might also be interesting to read what we wrote about citizenship by investment.
What are the alternatives? Is there a comparison with Cyprus Citizenship scheme?
Second passport and citizenship programs such as the Malta citizenship program, are becoming an increasingly frequent option for countries to resort to in order to attract investors. Similarly, to the Malta citizenship by investment program, Cyprus also has a scheme that provides the main applicant, and his/her family, with citizenship and several other benefits.
You can read more about the Malta citizenship program and download our free Malta Factsheet to get access to exclusive insights about the culture, lifestyle and other practical advice to get around.
Cyprus Citizenship by investment
Cyprus’ citizenship by investment scheme does, however, differ from the Malta citizenship by investment program, with the Cypriot scheme requiring a single real estate investment of €2,000,000 for the applicant and their family to obtain an irrevocable dual citizenship and second passport.
Much like the Malta citizenship by investment scheme, the Cypriot dual citizenship scheme has the benefits of visa-free travel to 171 countries, including the Schengen countries. Acquiring citizenship by investment in Cyprus does, however, have a shorter timeline than the Malta citizenship by investment program, with applicants able to obtain dual citizenship in Cyprus within six months of beginning an application.