MALTA CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT
Overview This southern European island country, lying 80km south of Italy and 284km east of Tunisia, is an archipelago consisting of three inhabited islands (Malta, Gozo and Comino). Malta is the world’s 10th smallest country in area and the fifth most densely populated sovereign country. Its capital, Valletta, which is the smallest national capital in the EU by area, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Health and education Malta provides universal free healthcare, classified by the WHO as one of the best in the world, as well as universal free childcare and universal free education, even paying its university students a stipend. Education is based on the British model with Maltese and English both compulsory subjects. The adult literacy rate is 99.5%. The University of Malta has a medical school and is highly regarded.
Transport Car ownership is high in Malta, while buses are the primary method of public transportation. In the port city of Valletta, there is a cruise liner terminal as well as a terminal for ferries connecting Malta to Sicily, and two man-made harbours in Malta connecting Malta and Gozo with daily ferries. Malta International Airport, located 3 miles southeast of Valletta, serves 30+ airlines to 125-plus different destinations with direct flights to London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Paris, Milan, Moscow, Zurich, Abu Dhabi, Tel Aviv, and many others.
Lifestyle Boasting a rich heritage and culture (Malta was named European City of Culture for 2018), Malta has three UNESCO World Heritage sites, including its capital Valletta, the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni and seven megalithic temples. The country boasts a wealth of architectural treasures stretching back centuries from the Ggantija Temples of Gozo to the Baroque delights of Mdina and the medieval alleyways of Cittadella.
Climate Malta offers a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers, with average temperatures ranging from 12C to 34C. Capital city Valletta has the warmest winters of all European countries.
Population 493,559 (2019)
Languages Maltese is the first official language, while English is the second official language and both are widely understood and spoken.
Religion Some 88.6% are Roman Catholic.
Capital City Valletta
GDP per Capita $30,098.28
Economy While Malta is the smallest EU Member State, it is one of the strongest and the most stable economies of the EU and Eurozone with unemployment levels among the three lowest in Europe. Malta has registered a fiscal surplus for two years in a row, and the debt to GDP ratio has fallen from above 70% to around 50% in five years. Malta’s economy is broadly diversified, from microchip production to financial services, from highly specialised currency printing to digital gaming, from tourism to blockchain-related enterprises. Its growing reputation for being one of the best countries to do business with stems from its competitive tax regime and well-developed legal system as well as the Government’s pro-business stance. Malta is also a popular tourist destination with 1.6 million tourists per year and is furthermore a medical tourism destination. Malta has cut its taxes for its citizens for five years running.
Did you know…? Malta has a booming film production industry, due to the Government’s introduction of financial incentives for filmmakers in 2005, and to its diverse locales that can represent everything from Ancient Greece to modern Rome and the Middle East.
MALTA CBI PROGRAMME
- Established 6 years
- Minimum outlay £1,150,000
- Processing time 12-14 months
- Residency or travel requirements 12 months living in Malta
- Freedom of movement 184 countries
- Investment Options 1
Overview Launched in 2014, the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP) was the first EU-approved citizenship by investment (CBI) programme in Europe. This program requires significant residence and travel requirements with applicants granted residency first and then only obtaining citizenships by a certificate of naturalisation after spending 12 months living on the island. The programme is focused on attracting talent and individuals of high moral standards, who can prove to add value to the country. The programme has a total cap of 1,800 applicants.
Best for Visa-free access. Malta has extensive travel offerings with visa-free access to 184 countries, making Malta the 8th strongest passport worldwide and great option for citizenship by investment.
Pros The strength of its passport from a country access point of view. Also, Malta’s citizenship by investment program is administered by an independent government entity and therefore it conducts what has been termed as the ‘gold-standard’ of due diligence processes industry-wide, ensuring only the most reputable applicants are admitted. Malta is one of the strongest and most stable economies of the EU and delivers a high standard of living with high life expectancy and safety levels. Malta provides one of the best universal free healthcare systems worldwide.
Cons A total investment of €1,150,000 (+ government fees) is needed. You will need to gain Maltese residency first. Malta has one of the most taxing residency and travel obligations with applicants having to reside for an entire prior to obtaining citizenship, making it one of the longest timeframes of any citizenship by investment program.
Ease of processing The process for citizenship by investment takes from 12-14 months to complete. Applicants will need to gain Maltese residency first, before obtaining a passport and citizenship. There are significant travel and residency requirements for this program. Two separate trips must be made to the country, to provide biometrics and take the oath of allegiance, and applicants must further spend a minimum of 12 months on the island before receiving citizenship. The due diligence process is also highly transparent with a four-tier system that is considered to be the most stringent in the industry. Standard KYC due diligence is first carried out by the Agency and the Agent through databases such as World-Check. Clearance is then obtained from Police Authorities following thorough checks via databases, such as Interpol and Europol. Carried out by the Agency’s assessors, the third tier involves a banking and audit background with all accompanying documentation checked. Finally, all information collected is reviewed and the assessors create an internal risk assessment report using a risk matrix, before applications are put forward to the Minister for Citizenship for approval.
Freedom of movement Along with Austria, Malta offers the highest number of countries with visa-free access. That means access to 184 countries as well as EU citizenship with the ability to live, work and study anywhere in the EU. According to the CBI Index 2019 (Financial Times): “Malta is part of the Schengen Area, and thereby benefits from a comprehensive common visa policy and a reciprocity mechanism for countries with visa exemptions”.
Investment options 1
MALTA CBI INVESTMENTS
Option 1 A single three-level investment strategy with a total investment of €1,150,000 (+ government fees) to cover the main applicant, a spouse and dependents, including a child under 18, a child (18-26) who is unmarried, a parent or grandparent (over 55). A non-refundable donation to the National Development & Social Fund (NDSF) of €650,000 + €25,000 for spouse and each minor child (with €10,000 delivered as a non-refundable deposit upon submission of the application). 4% is given to the IIP’s sole concessionaire and 6% to the Agency that processes applications; of the remaining, 70% is distributed to the country’s NDSF and 30% paid into the Consolidated Fund. Plus, you will need to invest in a real estate property in Malta, either rent or purchase (rent with an annual minimum rent of €16,000 or buy to value of minimum €350,000), both which cannot be sub-let and for a minimum of 5 years. Finally, you will need to acquire €150,000 of government-approved financial instruments, such as stocks, bonds, debentures, which you will need to keep for at least 5 years. All applicants must also have a global insurance coverage of at least €50,000.
Passport Ranking (Henley Passport Index Q4 2020) 8 / 109
CBI Programme Ranking (CBI Index 2020, Financial Times) 67% / 7th out of 14 countries
Ease of doing business Ranking (Doing Business 2019, The World Bank) 88 / 190
Economic Freedom (2020 Index of Economic Freedom) 42 / 186
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