Malta Citizenship by Investment – Here’s All You Need to Know
Malta may be a small nation located in the Mediterranean region, however, it is uniquely charming with its brilliant landscape and numerous opportunities, making the Malta citizenship by investment program one not to miss out on.
Malta is one of those countries that is governed under financially liberal laws. You can enjoy all the advantages of its economic policies via its citizenship by investment program. As a member of the European Union, the Maltese CBI program is ratified. Malta is also the only citizenship by investment country you’ll find in the Schengen Area.
Generally, the Maltese passport is significantly one of the strongest. It occupies the 8th position in the world when ranking the most powerful passports. Holding a Maltese passport allows you to dwell in one of the most conducive regions of the world.
There’s also the perk of living in close proximity to the rest of Europe. No doubt, the Maltese passport is an attractive travel document and definitely one of the most sought-after.
Because of how valuable Malta’s passport is, its citizenship by investment program is one of the most expensive (if not the most). The total cost for a single applicant sums up to about a million dollars.
Aside from the financial costs, an applicant will need to provide “authentic links” to the nation in order to get a passport. Basically, this means you’d have to become a Maltese resident.
Regardless of these obstacles, owning a Maltese passport comes with a plethora of benefits. This article will guide you through all the information you’ll need about acquiring a Maltese passport.
- Citizenship by Investment 101
- What Is Citizenship by Investment?
- A Premium Way to Obtaining a Second Passport
- Benefits of Citizenship by Investment
- Passport ready in almost an instant
- Allows for renunciation
- Travel freedom
- Strict process
- Travel to certain “difficult-to-access” countries
- Why You Should Consider Choosing Malta
- About The Nation of Malta
- Malta Citizenship by Investment Overview
- Malta Citizenship by Investment Alternatives
- Try out other lower-priced CBI programs
- Apply for Maltese Residency by Investment
- Go through Maltese Naturalization
- Obtain a passport via ancestry
- Benefits of Maltese citizenship
- Required Steps-by-Step Application Process
- Malta Citizenship by Investment Due Diligence
- Malta Residence and your Genuine Maltese Link
- Investments Options to Maltese Citizenship
- Contribution to Malta’s Government Fund
- Investment in Real Estate
- Investment in Stocks or Bonds Sanctioned by Government
- Pros & Cons of Malta Citizenship by Investment
- Unfettered Access within the Schengen Area
- Transferable Citizenship
- Malta is Tax-friendly
- Investment is Partially Recoupable
- Stable Social Lifestyle
- Favorable Interconnected Region
- Fast and Straightforward Procedure
- A Well-respected Citizenship by Investment Scheme
- Vibrant Business Atmosphere
- One of the World’s Top Passports
- Great Quality of Life
- Malta – Country Overview
- Style of government
- Visa-free nations
- Business Opportunities
- Malta Citizenship by Investment FAQs
- Will my future children become Maltese citizens?
- How quickly can I get a Maltese passport?
- Do I have to visit Malta to become its citizen?
- When do I actually initiate the investment?
- Does Maltese citizenship have a language requirement?
- Does Malta accept Bitcoin or any other Cryptocurrency as payment for its passport?
- Can my passport be revoked by Malta?
- Does Malta allow dual citizenship?
- Do the names of newly naturalized citizens get published in Malta?
- Begin Your Malta Citizenship by Investment Journey
- Step-by-Step Process Overview
- A) Pre-Application Background Check:
- B) Pre-Application Deposit and Client Agreement:
- C) Prepare and Submit Application:
- D) Approval and Final Payment:
- Why Choose Passport Legacy
Citizenship by Investment 101
Just in case you’re new to the concept of citizenship by investment, this section will briefly introduce it.
Several persons of high-net-worth and high repute are continuously focusing on investment migration. This basically means they seek a “Plan B” for their businesses, themselves, and their families. This “Plan B” should grant them access to other locations in the world separate from their country of origin.
There are numerous reasons why people opt for newer climes. Some may be trying to dodge political persecution while others might be seeking ways to reduce their tax rates or simply enjoy a refreshing new country full of life and splendor.
The good news is a good number of countries are willing to offer citizenship by investment for the individuals interested. The monies got from the individuals (in exchange for a passport) is used to strengthen the new nation’s economy.
This is mainly because the nations offering CBI programs often have problems with diversifying their income, for instance, Caribbean countries that depend on tourism for economic growth.
Although collecting foreign capital in a swap deal for a passport looks like a juicy proposition, citizenship by investment schemes are often criticized. This is because of the largely misguided belief that CBI applicants are trying to escape criminal charges, intending to launder money or partake in other dubious activities.
However, the reality is plain and simple – most people seeking to get a second passport are only trying to go where they are best treated.
What Is Citizenship by Investment?
To understand citizenship by investment more comprehensively, we need to first know what citizenship entails.
Citizenship is simply an agreement between a society and its individuals to work together in order to achieve mutual benefits. Through this somewhat symbiotic relationship, the citizens are expected to perform certain responsibilities like adhering to the laws as the state, in return, gives them the rights to own property, work, and vote in the nation.
At the turn of the last century, the right to movement became an additional right under a state’s jurisdiction. Because the world has grown to be even more interconnected, countries have come tightened their reliance on passports to regulate who can enter and or leave their regions.
Due to this fact, a country’s passport is one of the most valuable benefits it can grant a citizen for their contributions to society. Every passport differs in terms of their desirability and strength, in the same way, the responsibilities and rights of each citizenship vary depending on the nation.
Regardless of what the terms may be, the ideal citizenship is one where both the state and its citizens can enjoy freedom, peace, and prosperity.
Normally, citizenship (and passports) are given via birth, naturalization, and marriage. However, from 1984, several nations introduced new options to obtaining citizenship.
As mentioned earlier, one of the important responsibilities of a citizen is their contribution to their nation’s economy. Distastefully enough, many countries have abused this right by mounting high tax levies on their citizens. Fortunately, though, not all countries are like this.
Nations who offer citizenship by investment believe that individuals who promote the economy through donation or via an initial investment have fulfilled their responsibility and thus, deserve citizenship in reward. This is the concept of citizenship by investment.
A Premium Way to Obtaining a Second Passport
Citizenship by investment is a special means certified by a government by which a foreigner can get that county’s citizenship. The foreigner will need to make a qualified investment in the country offering a second passport.
This form of obtaining citizenship is specifically tailored to wealthy individuals seeking to speed up the process of acquiring a second passport or multiple citizenships. Put simply; the individual makes an investment and obtains citizenship in return.
Benefits of Citizenship by Investment
Citizenship by investment programs come with plenty of benefits. Below are some of the more popular advantages of this form of acquiring second citizenship.
Passport ready in almost an instant
Within 90 to 120 days, you can obtain your second passport through citizenship by investment. This has to be the fastest route to get a second passport because going through other means usually requires an individual to wait for a longer period.
Allows for renunciation
Citizens who feel they’re unfairly treated by their native countries can leverage on their citizenship by investment passport to renounce their home nation’s citizenship. American citizens, for instance, who dislike the fact that they get taxed even on foreign soil can opt for renunciation.
Getting a second passport can grant you the freedom to travel visa-free to several other countries like the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, as well as nations in the European Union, Southeast Asia, Central, and South America.
The process of getting a passport via citizenship by investment is strict and streamlined for applicants. Proper checks are done to ensure individuals are in good health and with a crime-free background.
Most citizenship by investment countries do not require an individual to travel or reside in their region. Thus, you can still live in your home nation and tend to your business while waiting for your CBI passport application to be approved.
Travel to certain “difficult-to-access” countries
Certain nations of the world are very difficult to access even with a powerful passport. However, there are some citizenship by investment passports that allow access to some of these hard-to-visit countries like the US, Russia, China, South Africa, etc.
Why You Should Consider Choosing Malta
Many believe that Malta is a nation where they can get the best treatment as a citizen. Applicants who opt for citizenship by investment are usually concerned about the quality of the country whose citizenship they’ll be getting.
This is likely because most of the nations offering citizenship by investment schemes are tiny islands located in the Caribbean or South Pacific. Although these countries aren’t bad, many people find it difficult to picture themselves residing there despite the fact that their passports are quite impressive by most standards.
Undoubtedly, second passports are great. However, a niggling issue you may have to contend with is to decide whether you intend to actually reside in your new country of citizenship if the authorities of those nations decide to enforce it as a new law. Most people won’t find it funny having to deal with living on a tiny island like Antigua.
There’s another issue some people, especially Americans thinking of renouncing their US citizenship, often bring up. They often request if they can keep all the privileges enjoyed from the US passport without the headache of citizenship-based taxation.
Even though passports like that of Grenada can grant exciting visa-free access to difficult-to-access regions like Russia and China, it cannot be compared to the travel freedom you’d enjoy from owning an American passport.
Malta offers the quality of life present in a developed European nation. Its closeness to many exciting locations also makes it an enticing destination. In addition, its passport is one of the most powerful in the world. This means you won’t be compromising on unique passport privileges.
About The Nation of Malta
A small archipelago located in the Mediterranean Sea, the English-speaking nation of Malta is wedged between Sicily and the coasts of Tunisia and Libya. Living in Malta is somewhat paradisaic. The scenery is breathtaking and no matter how far you traverse the region, you’ll always find a beach near you.
The climate is also quite attractive. You can hardly find it dipping below 9°C (48°F). Also, rarely does it ever go above 32°C (90°F). This makes it the number 1 location of choice for those seeking to escape rough winters or fiery summers.
In addition, Malta has a dynamic culture with links to the Romans, Greeks, British, French, and neighboring North African nations.
Perhaps, you’re not wowed enough by its resplendent beauty to think of living there. Then maybe the fact that it has free universal healthcare including childcare and education can convince you. These are available for Maltese citizens or passport holders.
There’s also the exciting fact that Malta’s LGBT rights are one of the best in the globe. Aside from the Mediterranean nation’s pleasing scenery and developed culture, Malta has an impressive level of economic and political stability.
The nation operates a 2-party system of government that is well-balanced. No wonder it withstood the financial crisis and came out unshaken. Their level of economic growth is so astonishing that it rivals only Germany in the Eurozone.
Lastly, Malta utilizes its location to the hilt. It remains one of the best locations for offshore banking. This is because its financial institutions are among the top 5 most powerful banks in the world today.
Malta Citizenship by Investment Overview
As a proactive investor, you should have a certain idea of Malta’s location on the world map along with its citizenship by investment scheme.
One of only two nations offering citizenship by investment in the European Union, Malta remains the only country in the Schengen Area with a CBI program. This allows holders of Maltese citizenship to travel freely across the majority of Europe.
This is one of the main reasons behind the formulation of Malta citizenship by investment in November 2013. The Maltese government decided to change their citizenship laws to build a foundation that will create a successful citizenship by investment scheme.
Thus, the Malta Individual Investor Program (MIIP) was established to grant high-value investors who have a good moral character the chance to receive Maltese citizenship by making a substantial investment in the nation.
Today, however, the program welcomes investors who provide a contribution to Malta’s Government Fund or invest in government-approved stocks, bonds, or real estate to become Maltese citizens via investment as long as they meet other requirements set by the Maltese government.
The Malta citizenship by investment program has rapidly grown to become the most exclusive CBI scheme in the world today.
As of 2020, Malta has racked up about €1.5b in investments alone. They have issued over a thousand passports with their major patrons mainly from Russia, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine.
Because Malta is a member of the European Union and the Schengen Area, its citizenship by investment program was subjected to approval from the Union before it was launched.
Before the European Union’s influence came into play, Malta citizenship by investment program was initially created to be affordable. It was also tailored to have much fewer requirements. Basically, Malta’s CBI program was meant to offer a citizenship by investment that required individuals to only pay a government bond for a passport.
Without the intervention of the EU, applicants would have gotten their passports without even needing to visit Malta. There’d also be much less paperwork to deal with. Unfortunately, getting approval from the EU meant crucial amendments had to be made. This made the program what it is today.
Part of the new amendments required applicants to undergo a compulsory 1-year residency before becoming a full citizen. The price of the Malta citizenship by investment program has also risen significantly. Regardless of this, the entire process is quite straightforward.
What sets Malta citizenship by investment apart is its time requirement. This, alone, has made many to disregard it as an actual citizenship by investment country.
This is because you could simply go to any Caribbean country and obtain a passport within 6 months or less. However, with Malta, you’ll have to hold on for just over a year. This is because you’ll need to develop connections to the nation. This requires you to spend time residing there.
Furthermore, your Maltese citizenship can actually get revoked if you break the rules by failing to hold your real estate or government bond investment for the stipulated 5-year period.
Lastly, there have been cases when people who got convicted of criminal offenses were stripped of their Malta citizenship.
Malta Citizenship by Investment Alternatives
If you are an average Westerner, you should probably be aware by now that there is really not much difference in value in owning a Maltese passport. Being a citizen of any one of the United Kingdom, Australia, or any other European Union country means you’ll already enjoy the benefits of a Maltese passport.
However, Americans looking to renounce their American citizenship for an EU one will have to consider how an EU passport may lock them into a new tax system later in the future. Meanwhile, for natives of Russia, the Middle East, or China, Maltese citizenship is a brilliant prospect.
If you hail from any of the countries mentioned above, then Malta citizenship will be advantageous to you in two ways. Firstly, you’ll be able to enjoy the lifestyle benefits of residing in Europe. These benefits include better educational services and more work opportunities. Secondly, a Maltese passport is likely a more valuable travel document than what you currently hold.
That said, this does not literally mean Westerners should ditch the idea of Malta’s citizenship by investment. For instance, an American citizen would prefer the European Union’s social services compared to the one in the US.
If you desire to have the Maltese passport but are put off by its humongous price tag or its lengthy-time commitment but strongly intend tp live in the EU, then you can opt for another citizenship by investment program.
Try out other lower-priced CBI programs
There are several CBI schemes you can pick from if Malta’s is out of your reach. In addition, they are quite cheaper and more affordable too. If a lesser priced CBI is your focus, then consider going for Turkey’s citizenship by investment program or that of Vanuatu in the Caribbean.
Apply for Maltese Residency by Investment
Aside from having citizenship by investment program, Malta also offers a permanent residence program. The residency scheme gives residence rights to individuals who put in a minimum of €250,000 in Maltese equities or government bonds. These have to be held for 5 years. Furthermore, you’ll need to contribute the sum of €30,000 to the State Fund of Malta and rent or buy a place. The good thing here is that you’ll still enjoy all the benefits of living in the Schengen Area without coughing out a $1 million dollar investment.
Go through Maltese Naturalization
You can follow up on the Maltese residence program by going through their naturalization process. You can apply for it after you’ve been a resident for the required period. Applying for the Maltese passport via this route would cost you much, much less. However, you will need to develop strong ties to the country and must have resided there for a good number of years.
Obtain a passport via ancestry
If you really want an EU passport that bad, then try to check if you have access to other means of getting one. For example, via ancestry. If you can successfully prove to have Italian or Irish ancestry, you can get an EU passport via citizenship by descent. The best part is, getting a passport this way is ridiculously cheaper.
All nations having citizenship by investment have a set of requirements that individuals must perfect. For instance, some programs will ask for proof of good health through thorough medical examinations. Other programs may not require these though.
However, for Malta citizenship by investment, all of the requirements below must be met before citizenship applications are approved by the Maltese government.
The basic requirements for becoming a Maltese citizen are as follows. You must be:
- 18 years of age to apply
- An (ultra) high net worth individual
- Medically fit
- An individual with a clean police record
- Having proof of a global health insurance that covers at least €50,000
The Malta citizenship by investment program includes three major financial requirements:
1. Applicants have to make a contribution to the development of Malta
2. Applicants have to purchase of government stocks or bonds
3. Applicants must purchase a real estate property
Then there’s also a due diligence that must be met which will be digressed later in this article in the Malta steps-by-step application process.
Benefits of Maltese citizenship
- Malta passport holders get to enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 184 destinations including Canada and nations of the European Union.
- A Maltese passport grants you the right to live, study and work in any of the European Union countries as well as Switzerland.
- Malta has the world’s strictest due diligence standards and vetting of applicants. This means only highly respectable applicants with a clean criminal record are allowed to become their citizens.
- Malta is a well-respected European Union nation and this respect trickles down to its citizens as well.
- The financial contribution is reasonable and the application process is smooth and straightforward.
- Malta is strategically located in an area of Europe with excellent air links to other EU countries. The region is also strikingly beautiful for a second home and elegantly conducive to live in.
Required Steps-by-Step Application Process
Extremely efficient, Malta citizenship by investment program and its government continues to maintain the utmost highest standards in terms of vetting and applicants’ due diligence. However, before you can kickstart the process, you need to find out if you’re eligible to apply.
Malta Citizenship by Investment Due Diligence
Unlike other CBI programs, Malta’s citizenship by investment conducts very strict due diligence. It comes as no surprise though because of its highly desirable Schengen passport.
Malta is often referred to as the “gold standard” of all other due diligence processes. This is because they delve deeper into the extensive details of all applications. Because of its growing popularity, it is predicted that the process will get even more stringent.
At the moment, the due diligence process comes in 4 tiers.
In this tier, standard due diligence is performed by the agent that you’re using to apply. For example, Passport Legacy.
Here, police clearance must be obtained. Your name will then be run through Europol, Interpol, and other global equivalents. In addition, any third-world country national needing a visa to access Malta will have to subject themselves to a full Schengen visa application process as well.
A check will be carried out by anti-money laundering officials on how your application is completed. They will also scrutinize to ensure all documentation is accurate. Furthermore, they’ll run a global database check to make sure you’re currently not having any international sanctions. Also, you must not be on any “denied persons” list.
All the information is collected and compiled before they’re reviewed by a risk assessor. If satisfied, a recommendation is made to accept the application. Otherwise, the application gets rejected.
After successfully navigating through the due diligence procedure, you will need to pass the “fit and proper” test of the Maltese government. This test will be used to determine if you can become a Maltese citizen.
It is set to ensure that every prospective citizen is reputable and in good standing with their native citizenship. Thus, the Maltese government will run background checks via Interpol as well as the International Criminal Court.
You will also be expected to get a police report from your present country of residence. Generally, as long as you have a clean criminal record and have not been tied into any serious scandal, then you should easily scale through Malta’s “fit and proper” test.
Malta Residence and your Genuine Maltese Link
Being the only CBI program permitted by the European Union, Malta citizenship by investment includes a somewhat overdemanding requirement. It requests all applicants to prove a “genuine link” to Malta in order to be approved.
What this means basically is that prospective citizens must live one year of their lives as Maltese residents. This, is believed, will prove that you have a genuine link to Malta. It is a requirement that must be before you are given their citizenship.
Unfortunately, this requirement may be the hardest to fulfill for applicants because individuals seeking Maltese citizenship often have several business interests around the world and it’s unlikely that they’d be willing to establish tax residency in the EU. Thus, spending that much time in Malta may not be such a bright idea.
So, you may have to carefully analyze how this particular requirement will affect your offshore businesses and tax strategies, especially if you feel Malta citizenship by investment is best for you.
Investments Options to Maltese Citizenship
To get Malta citizenship by investment, you’ll need to make 3 distinct investments.
- Donate a sum of €650,000 to the Maltese Government Fund.
- Purchase a minimum of €350,000 real estate property or rent local real estate at a minimum total cost of €80,000.
- Buy government bonds or stocks worth €150,000.
Thus, the minimum total investment is €880,000.
|Property Purchase||Property Rental|
|Financial Requirements||Government and Processing Fees||Financial Requirements||Government and Processing Fees|
|Individual Applicant||Donation – €650,000 Stocks/Bonds – €150,000 Property Purchase – €350,000||9–12%||Donation – €650,000 Stocks/Bonds – €150,000 Property Rental (per annum) – €16,000||12–15%|
|Married Couple||Donation – €675,000 Stocks/Bonds – €150,000 Property Purchase – €350,000||9–12%||Donation – €675,000 Stocks/Bonds – €150,000 Property Rental (per annum) – €16,000||12–15%|
If you’re looking at buying real estate, then add 9-12% of the total investment amount as government and processing fees. If you plan on renting though, then you should add 12-15% to the total investment price as fees.
If you wish to add dependents to your application, it is going to cost you some extra bucks. Spouses, unmarried children not more than 26 years old, and parents over 55 years of age are all eligible as dependents.
Contribution to Malta’s Government Fund
If you desire Maltese citizenship, be prepared to arrange a nice donation to Malta’s Government Fund. The Maltese National Development and Social Fund is responsible for financing projects like healthcare, education, and job creation.
Although you will not be getting any return on your investment, however, your money will help to further improve the social atmosphere and infrastructure in Malta.
So, for this requirement, you have to make a donation minimum of €650,000 (roughly $730,000). This donation is non-refundable. If you want to bring your spouse and child or children (under 18) along, each of them will incur an extra €25,000. For older children and parents, however, you will have to donate €50,000 per person.
Due to the fact that the donation for dependents is actually smaller compared to the entire cost of the Maltese citizenship by investment, you will have to consider the timing when you apply. For example, if you’re planning to get married soon, you should probably wait until after you get married before applying. This way your spouse can get Malta citizenship for just €25,000.
Investment in Real Estate
Along with your donation, you have to purchase or invest in local real estate. This will help in establishing your “genuine link” to Malta. To qualify for a real estate investment, applicants have to buy a property worth at least €350,000 or rent a property worth a minimum of €80,000.
The majority of applicants for Malta citizenship by investment would rather choose the rental option. This requires individuals to sign a 5-year rental agreement. €16,000 is the minimum annual rent per year which sums up to €80,000 over the mandatory 5-year holding period.
If you intend to buy a home though, note that the Maltese real estate may not be particularly lucrative. Regardless of this, its local real estate market is reasonably stable. That said, you have a better chance of recouping the exact value of your investment. This doesn’t mean there are no real estate properties with good potentials in the country though.
Investment in Stocks or Bonds Sanctioned by Government
The last investment Malta citizenship applicants must make is in government bonds or shares. The minimum amount required for this investment is €150,000. Malta’s government has a guideline to help you know what stocks and bonds you can buy to qualify for this program.
These stocks or bonds have to be regarded as being directly beneficial for the country. You’ll also have to keep the investment for a minimum of 5 years. This will keep you in good standing with the Maltese administrators.
Pros & Cons of Malta Citizenship by Investment
Indeed, Malta citizenship by investment is one of the most expensive when compared to other CBI schemes. However, Malta boasts an array of attractive benefits that sets it apart from other programs.
Unfettered Access within the Schengen Area
The Maltese passport is one of the exclusive travel documents that allow you to transform the Schengen Area into your playground. Being a Maltese citizen means you can decide to live, work, and travel all around the European Union. No border control can hold you back from roaming freely in these regions. It is a jolly good passport to have if you aim to do business or invest in Europe. Perhaps you want your kids to get access to the best education European universities have to offer. A Maltese passport opens you to these possibilities.
One of the best things about the Malta citizenship by investment program is that your direct family can become Maltese citizens for life. The fact that your Malta citizenship can be passed down through generations is a perk you shouldn’t miss out on. In addition, since Malta is part of the European Union, you and your descendants also get to receive EU citizenship by descent too.
Malta is Tax-friendly
As an optimal tax country, Malta remains one of the countries with a friendly attitude towards taxation. Stamp duties as well as property taxes are quite on the low side. In addition, the nation has no gift taxes, wealth taxes, municipal taxes, or inheritance taxes.
Investment is Partially Recoupable
5 years after holding government bonds or real estate, you can conveniently sell your assets and cash out from it. If you’re lucky, you can make a profit from the property by the time you sell it off.
Stable Social Lifestyle
It doesn’t matter whether you live in Malta or prefer to reside in any other European Union nation, the EU has a remarkably attractive level of social stability with limitless opportunities for its citizens, residents, and their children. If you cherish high-quality schools and essential social services, then getting a Maltese passport via their citizenship by investment scheme may just be what you need.
Favorable Interconnected Region
Another great thing about Malta is its interconnectedness with several European countries and Northern Africa. Through its airports, quick flights are possible to many nations. Some even refer to Malta as a virtual stepping-store connecting one continent to another. This places business opportunities at an arm’s length for discerning investors.
Fast and Straightforward Procedure
The processing of Malta citizenship by investment is quick and smooth. The eligibility rules are comprehensive and easy to understand. Once you are capable of paying the minimum investment amount and you have a clean criminal record, then you’re all set to qualify for it. The application itself is generally easy to navigate and you could even receive your EU residence instantly after applying. Your passport will be issued within a year.
A Well-respected Citizenship by Investment Scheme
While other CBI programs might compromise on thorough detailing when it comes to due diligence, Malta’s standards cannot be overemphasized. They have the world’s most stringent due diligence. Maltese authorities vet applicants completely before giving them their passport. This basically ensures that the persons allowed to hold Maltese citizenship are upstanding and respectable folks.
Vibrant Business Atmosphere
One of the more appealing reasons why more and more entrepreneurs are opting for a place like Malta to sow the seeds of their businesses is because of its friendly tax policies. Maltese taxes are deducted only from an individual’s source of income and capital gains within the region only. Any other income you earn outside the shores of Malta is yours and yours to keep alone.
One of the World’s Top Passports
With a Maltese passport, you can travel to over 180 countries including the nations of Australia, the United States of America (through ESTA), and Canada. Consequently, a Maltese passport is highly coveted because it gives you an option to renounce your American citizenship as it offers a more flexible passport minus the unfair baggage of citizenship-based taxation.
Great Quality of Life
People often say the Maltese live a classy Mediterranean lifestyle infused with an English sense of business. That makes it stand out as a country with a high quality of life. Malta also has a perfectly welcoming weather. Along with Cyprus, Malta is one of the sunniest regions in the EU. Their healthcare and educational systems are topnotch and impressive.
Although Malta has several benefits, these are somewhat offset by the fact that being a member of the EU and the borderless region of the Schengen Area, as well as being a US visa-waiver country, they are bound to be much more strict.
Unfortunately, Malta is a member of more than one organization (the EU, for instance) that wields a bit more power over them. This means they’re forced to give in to the demands of the organizations.
That said, there are no 100% perfect citizenship by investment programs. Indeed, Malta has one of the most influential passports in the world, however, this section covers some of its drawbacks that you need to put into consideration.
Lengthy Wait Before Getting the Passport
The fact that you’ll have to reside in Malta for a year before getting the passport makes the Malta citizenship by investment a lengthy process. It is not your regular cruise through a 3 to 4-month wait as you’ll find in other (especially the Caribbean) CBI programs.
It is High-priced
The fact that Malta’s CBI is so expensive has made it a turn off for many interested applicants. Most investors that can afford it may already have access to some of the countries which Malta has visa-free access to. This gives them an option to pick other less expensive programs. Also, many investors have come to realize that getting visas for the nations they’d want to visit won’t cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Cloudy Future on EU Taxation
Frankly, no one can predict the future of taxation in the European Union. The EU continues to grow and consequently, it will likely require a large chunk of money to operate effectively. Thus, its tax policies may become more strict. The EU could install GILTI-style tax provisions.
It may even coerce its citizens to pay taxes if they do not already pay a specified percentage of tax elsewhere. So, if you are an American, you may not find it pleasing to renounce your US citizenship on the basis of taxation only to be banged with another citizenship-based tax baggage in the future.
Taxing Begins Upon Starting the Application Process
As soon as you commence the application process, you’ll become a tax resident of Malta which is needed to satisfy the “genuine link” requirement. Maltese residents are taxed on their income accrued worldwide. The rates range between 0% to 35%. However, you will not be taxed on foreign-sourced income as long as it remains outside the Maltese region.
But any income from outside Malta that is remitted into the country will be taxed at the rate of 15%. Although this is somewhat lower than what is obtained in other neighboring EU countries, you’ll need to decide if this sits well with your offshore and tax strategies. Lastly, you may likely have to pay capital gains and other related taxes while residing in Malta.
Malta – Country Overview
Europe. Situated in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast.
$14.5b USD (as at 2018)
Style of government
Oil and Gas, Financial Services, Aviation, Electronics, Knowledge Centre/Back-office Services, ICT, Maritime, Gaming, The Film Industry, Training and Education, and Generic Pharmaceuticals.
Malta Citizenship by Investment FAQs
In this section, you’ll find some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to acquiring a Maltese passport.
Will my future children become Maltese citizens?
Malta citizenship by investment allows you to pass your citizenship down to your children and their generations.
How quickly can I get a Maltese passport?
You’d have to complete a minimum 12-month wait while living as a resident in Malta. However, you may have to wait for an extra 2 months before you are granted your Maltese passport.
Do I have to visit Malta to become its citizen?
Part of the application process requires you to either travel to Malta or visit any of their international embassies. This is important as they will need to capture your biometric data to apply for the Malta citizenship by investment. You also need to be a resident of Malta during the 1-year waiting period to get your citizenship.
When do I actually initiate the investment?
The good thing is that you can only make your investment after passing the due diligence requirement of the application.
Does Maltese citizenship have a language requirement?
Funny enough, you need not pass any language test before you’re considered eligible to receive Maltese citizenship. Speaking the native language of Malta isn’t part of the requirement of the “genuine link” fit and proper test.
Does Malta accept Bitcoin or any other Cryptocurrency as payment for its passport?
No. Currently, cryptocurrencies are not accepted as a means of payment for the Maltese passport.
Can my passport be revoked by Malta?
Ideally, yes. Maltese citizenship given under the Individual Investor Program can be revoked if the investor fails to follow or adhere to the requirements of the program. For instance, if an individual were to sell their property or government bonds earlier than the stipulated 5-year holding period, they risk losing their citizenship.
Does Malta allow dual citizenship?
Absolutely. Dual citizenship is completely legal in Malta. That said, you can comfortably hold your native citizenship from your home country while wielding that of Malta. However, you’ll need to confirm if your home nation allows you to hold multiple nationalities.
Do the names of newly naturalized citizens get published in Malta?
As a new Maltese citizen, your name will be publicly revealed by the authorities. This is because all the names of new Maltese citizens get published in the Government Gazette annually.
Begin Your Malta Citizenship by Investment Journey
You won’t want to be left out of the picture when other individuals of repute start flaunting their new Maltese citizenships. There’s also the rising possibility that Malta citizenship by investment rates might go up soon.
With this information in mind, now should be the best time to get your Malta citizenship by investment plans rolling. You can begin the process by consulting authorized agents like Passport Legacy to help you get started.
There are several benefits of using an experienced agent like Passport Legacy.
- They can help lessen the number of trips you’d have to make to Malta.
- A well-grounded agent can help eliminate the risk of errors that may come up when its time to submit your application forms.
- They can also give you direct information relating to the process while passing across any other relevant updates to you.
If you need any help with more information or you have a few questions bugging you about the whole citizenship by investment program, drop a message for us or send us an email. Our representatives are on-hand to attend to any of your queries.
Step-by-Step Process Overview
A) Pre-Application Background Check:
– To begin the process, you will be expected to submit the following documents:
- Passport Copy;
- Completed pre-screen questionnaire (will be provided by us)
– Once these documents are received, they will be sent in for a Pre-Application background check. This usually takes 24 – 48 hours maximum.
B) Pre-Application Deposit and Client Agreement:
– If the initial background check is all clear, it becomes possible to formally begin the process. At this stage, an invoice is issued and the $5,000 pre-application deposit of should be paid;
– Next is a signing of the Client Facilitator Agreement between Passport Legacy DMCC and the Primary Applicant.
C) Prepare and Submit Application:
– The experienced consultants at Passport Legacy will help you along every step of preparing your application, right from gathering together all of the required files and documents, down to filling in the expected application forms.
– As soon as your application is fully prepared and ready to be submitted, the second payment (that is, the due diligence and application fees) should be made.
– Your application will be forwarded to the respective Citizenship by Investment Commission.
– The detailed due diligence check is started at this point and if satisfied with the checks, the government processes the citizenship application.
D) Approval and Final Payment:
– Within 90 days, an approval letter from the Government granting citizenship will be issued within 90 days. This letter will inform you of your status as a Citizen of the country.
– You are only required to make the final payment (full donation amount) only upon the approval of your application.
– The passport will be issued and sent to us after we confirming a scan of the travel document. The Citizenship certificates will also be in the same package. Once received, we will set up a meet with you and handover the citizenship documents.
Note that only about 30% of the total cost of the program must be paid prior to approval while the remaining 70% is only paid upon approval.
Why Choose Passport Legacy
There are many reasons why you ought to choose Passport Legacy to handle your Malta citizenship by investment application. These reasons include;
- You’ll get to enjoy an all-round professional service that includes due diligence checks to help pave the way for a smooth application process.
- The service rendered is completely in-house.
- The Passport Legacy team is poised to help out in terms of documents procurement, certifications, as well as language translations that clients would have otherwise found difficult to obtain on their own.
- There are several real estate options to choose from and the Passport Legacy team will assist you with information regarding these potential assets so you can choose the best option.
- Our fee structure won’t knock you off balance. It is quite attractive.
- We boast a 100% approval rate record.
- What’s more, you only have to pay 30% of the total cost for the program until you get your approval confirmation from the Maltese government. Afterward, you can settle the remaining 70% balance upon approval of Maltese residency and subsequent citizenship.
Obtaining a Maltese passport via their citizenship by investment program is one of the quickest ways of getting citizenship in the EU. The nation of Malta is unbelievably beautiful and the standard of living there is reasonably high. The Maltese passport is also one of the most powerful in the world. At Passport Legacy, we can guide you through the entire process of getting Maltese citizenship from A to Z.