Previous criticism of Malta’s citizenship by investment programme has led to the government recently overhauling it, announcing in July that a new CBI programme with new rules is set to launch from September. So what does that mean for advisory firm, Henley & Partners?
And this complete overhaul of its programme could mean that global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners, which helped devise and implement the original MIIP and continues to be a partner of the programme, may not be involved with the programme moving forward.
The first EU-approved citizenship by investment programme in Europe, Malta’s Individual Investor Programme (IIP) was first unveiled in 2014, with London-based firm Henley and Partners contracted by the Government of Malta to design and implement it and subsequently serve as the sole concessionaire of the programme.
According to the Times of Malta, in 2013, Henley and Partners had signed a 10-year contract with the government of Malta to market and process the programme, entitling the advisory company to earn 4% of every contribution fee paid by successful citizenship applicants.
However, subsequent to recent criticism and negative publicity about the programme, it is being scrapped and replaced with a brand-new programme. And this new programme, set to launch in September, does “not include any concessionaire” a spokesman for the Parliamentary Secretariat for Citizenship told the Times of Malta.
This suggests that Henley and Partners would no longer be needed and that the 10-year contract could come to an end three years earlier than expected.
The government, however, has not said what role, if any, Henley and Partners will play in the new programme proposed by the Maltese government. According to Citizenship Parliamentary Secretary Alex Muscat, talks on the contract with Henley and Partners are ongoing.
Recent criticism and negative publicity about Malta’s IIP, including from the European Commission, has focused on the programme’s soft residency requirement along with concerns over risks associated with tax evasion and money laundering.
The new proposed Malta citizenship by investment programme is set to address these issues with a new scheme that delivers new rules on residency, checks and contribution as well as upping the real estate investment requirement.
Under the current programme, potential applicants can still apply for residency until August 14 (the deadline of July 31 was recently extended, read here) and for citizenship until September 30.
To find out more about the current Malta programme, still open, visit our Country Profile by clicking here.