Malta launches Citizenship Programme

Malta has launched the Individual Investor Programme (IIP) which establishes the procedure for the granting of citizenship to individuals who contribute to its economy.
Individual Investor Programme

The Individual Investor Programme (IIP) of the Republic of Malta was enacted by virtue of Legal Notice 47 of 2014.  The programme establishes the procedure for the granting of citizenship by a certificate of naturalisation to foreign individuals and their families who contribute to the economic development of Malta. 
About Malta

Malta has joined the European Union (EU) in 2004 and enjoys a strong political and economic background. This has led to the country’s fast expansion and growth of specialised sectors within its economy such as the financial services sector, tourism and other areas involving high value added services.  

Malta is very rich in historical and cultural sites and boasts of a mild climate as well as an  excellent geographical position.  In fact, Malta is experiencing an increase in the number of tourists who select Malta as their holiday destination, on an annual basis.

Some key facts and figures about Malta:
Total Area 316 Km2
Population 421,364
Official languages Maltese, English
Currency Euro
GDP 2013 Euro 7,186.4 million
GDP per Captia at market prices 2013 Euro 16,300
GDP (real growth) – 2013 2.4%
Unemployment rate 6.8%
Qualifications and general requirements

The applicant for citizenship by investment is required to submit an application in accordance with the provisions of the Legal Notice on the prescribed forms.  The forms are to be accompanied by the applicable fees, due diligence documentation and other certificates as identified by the applicable legal provisions.
The applicant under the IIP must:
  • be at least 18 years of age;
  • propose to make a contribution to the programme (as identified below);
  • Commit himself to provide proof of residence in Malta and to provide proof of title to residential property in Malta; and
  • Commit himself to invest, amongst others, in stocks, bonds, debentures, special purpose vehicles or to make other investments.
Contribution fees and other charges
Main applicant 650,000
Spouse/children under the age of 18 years 25,000 per dependant and spouse
Children aged between 18 and 25 years 50,000 per child
Parents of the applicant aged over 55 years 50,000 per person
Other charges:  
Due diligence fees - main applicant 7,500
Due diligence fees - spouses/adult dependants and parents 5,000
Due diligence fees – children aged between 13 and 18 years 3,000
Bank charges 200 (per application)
Passport 500 (per person)
It is important to note that the applicant, or any of his dependants shall not be an individual who at any time was found guilty, or, at the time of the application is interrogated and suspected, or has criminal charges brought against him for any criminal offence, other than an involuntary offence, punishable with more than one year imprisonment.

Application process

Within ninety days of the presentation of an application for citizenship, checks are carried out in order to certify that the application is formally correct and to verify that all relevant information provided has been checked by an agent.  Following this verification process, further background checks are carried out within a thirty day time-frame.   
Once this process is completed, the application is in principle approved, refused or delayed.

If an in principle approval is issued, the applicant must provide the following:
  • Evidence that the main applicant and dependants are covered by a global health insurance policy and a declaration that they are in a position to retain such a policy indefinitely;
  • A written undertaking to acquire a residential immovable property in Malta (having a minimum value of Euro 350,000) or take on lease a residential immovable property in Malta (minimum annual rent of Euro 16,000); and
  • A written undertaking that the applicant will make such other investments in Malta of Euro 150,000.
On verification that the conditions of the Letter of Approval in Principle have been satisfied, a certificate of naturalisation is issued.  The certificate is issued within two years from the date of application (subject to a minimum of six months).   
Tax implications

By virtue of the provisions of the Income Tax Act, individuals that are either resident in Malta or domiciled in Malta (but not both), are only subject to tax on source income (i.e. income arising in Malta) and on income remitted to Malta. 

Thus, the person to whom the certificate of naturalisation is issued, is not subject to tax on a worldwide basis but only on source income and income remitted to Malta.  Income chargeable to tax in Malta is subject to progressive rates, subject to a maximum tax rate of 35%.
Visa-free travel

The Individual Investor Programme offers Citizenship in an EU country, offering visa free travel to more than 160 countries and the right of work and establishment in all 28 EU Countries.

For additional information contact:

Franco Cini

Disclaimer: The content on this website has been prepared solely for the purpose of providing you with general information only. While all reasonable attempts were made to include accurate and current information, FG Audit accepts no responsibility what so ever for any errors or omissions contained there-in. Users should be aware that prior to assessing the applicability of the above, all circumstances surrounding the particular situation need to be considered and thus we suggest that users seek professional advice. In addition, the above should not be construed as a substitute to the applicable legislation.