News

ACC Advisors Lead Immigration Lawyer Dr Priscilla Mifsud-Parker re-elected as STEP Malta Chair

Dr Priscilla Mifsud-Parker has been re-elected for another year as the Chair of the Malta branch of STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners), a private client professional organisation. Prior to this role, Dr Priscilla served as a Secretary in the STEP Malta Branch Committee.

At ACC Advisors, Dr Mifsud Parker heads up the Corporate, Trusts & Fintech as well as the Families & Wealth practice within the firm. In this capacity, she specialises in trusts and estate planning, wealth and business structuring for high net-worth individuals, families, financial institutions as well as multinationals.

About STEP Worldwide

STEP members worldwide help families plan for their futures, from drafting wills to issues surrounding international families, protection of the vulnerable, family businesses and philanthropic giving. Full STEP members, known as TEPs, are internationally recognised as experts in their field, with proven qualifications and experience.

 

 

CBI Index Ranks Malta First for Freedom of Movement

The 2021 Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Index published by the Financial Times provides a comprehensive analysis of various citizenship programmes worldwide. The fifth edition of the CBI Index issued in 2021 ranks Malta first under the ‘Freedom of Movement’ pillar. Malta scored 10 out of a maximum of 10 points under this pillar confirming Malta’s passport as one of the best travel documents to hold. When obtaining Maltese citizenship through naturalisation, descent or through investment one gets to travel to 186 countries without a visa or visa on arrival, thus avoiding lengthy and bureaucratic visa procedures.

Freedom of Movement Index

Freedom of movement between countries is of utmost importance to any individual or family seeking a second or alternative citizenship. This applies irrespective of whether the individual wishes to travel for business purposes, to visit family or for leisure. In the CBI index of 2021, the Freedom of

Movement Pillar measures the country’s citizenship on the basis of three factors:

  1. The number of countries which a passport allows travel to without restrictions
  2. The number of prime business hubs to which it provides access and
  3. The degree to which a given citizenship provides settlement rights in other nations.

When conducting this research, emphasis was placed on the total number of countries that may be visited without a visa or a country which gives a visa on arrival since neither requires the receipt of a visa in advance of travel. As business travel is of paramount importance for prospective global citizens, a passport’s ability to provide access to the world’s leading economic and financial centres was also evaluated.

Right to Settle & Travel

Malta is a member of the European Union and the Schengen Area. Therefore, any Maltese citizen can travel, work and reside freely in any European Union member state. Being a European Union country, Malta offers its citizens extensive settlement rights and travel opportunities. The EU Freedom of movement is very vast in scope and includes the free movement of persons, goods, capital and services.

Malta Visa-Free Countries

The below is a comprehensive list of visa-free or visa on arrival countries for Maltese passport holders:
1. Albania
2. American Samoa
3. Andorra
4. Anguilla
5. Antigua and Barbuda
6. Argentina
7. Armenia
8. Aruba
9. Australia
10. Austria
11. Azerbaijan (e-visa)
12. Bahamas
13. Bahrain (e-visa)
14. Bangladesh (visa on arrival)
15. Barbados
16. Belarus
17. Belgium
18. Belize
19. Benin (e-visa)
20. Bolivia (visa on arrival)
21. Bosnia and Herzegovina
22. Botswana
23. Brazil
24. Brunei
25. Bulgaria
26. Burkina Faso (visa on arrival)
27. Cambodia (e-visa)
28. Canada
29. Cape Verde
30. Chile
31. Colombia
32. Comoros (visa on arrival)
33. Costa Rica
34. Cote D’ Ivoire (e-visa)
35. Croatia
36. Cyprus
37. Czech Republic
38. Denmark
39. Djibouti (e-visa)
40. Dominica
41. Dominican Republic
42. Ecuador
43. Egypt (visa on arrival)
44. El Salvador
45. Estonia
46. Eswatini
47. Ethiopia (e-visa)
48. Fiji
49. Finland
50. France
51. Gabon (e-visa)
52. Gambia
53. Georgia
54. Germany
55. Greece
56. Grenada
57. Guatemala
58. Guinea (e-visa)
59. Guinea-Bissau (visa on arrival)
60. Haiti
61. Honduras
62. Hungary
63. Iceland
64. India (e-visa)
65. Indonesia
66. Iran (visa on arrival)
67. Ireland
68. Israel
69. Italy
70. Jamaica
71. Japan
72. Jordan
73. Kazakhstan
74. Kenya
75. Kiribati
76. South Korea
77. Kuwait (visa on arrival)
78. Kyrgyzstan
79. Laos (visa on arrival)
80. Latvia
81. Lebanon (visa on arrival)
82. Lesotho
83. Liechtenstein
84. Lithuania
85. Luxembourg
86. Madagascar (visa on arrival)
87. Malawi (visa on arrival)
88. Malaysia
89. Maldives (visa on arrival)
90. Marshall Islands
91. Mauritania (visa on arrival)
92. Mauritius
93. Mexico
94. Micronesia
95. Moldova
96. Monaco
97. Mongolia (visa on arrival)
98. Montenegro
99. Morocco
100. Mozambique (visa on arrival)
101. Myanmar (e-visa)
102. Nepal (visa on arrival)
103. Netherlands
104. New Zealand
105. Nicaragua
106. North Macedonia
107. Norway
108. Oman (e-visa)
109. Pakistan
110. Palau
111. Panama
112. Papua New Guinea (e-visa)
113. Paraguay
114. Peru
115. Philippines
116. Poland
117. Portugal
118. Qatar
119. Romania
120. Russia (e-visa)
121. Rwanda (visa on arrival)
122. Saint Kitts & Nevis
123. Saint Lucia
124. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
125. Samoa
126. San Marino
127. San Tome and Principe
128. Saudi Arabia (visa on arrival)
129. Senegal
130. Serbia
131. Seychelles
132. Sierra Leone (visa on arrival)
133. Singapore
134. Slovakia
135. Slovenia
136. Solomon Islands
137. Somalia (visa on arrival)
138. South Africa
139. South Sudan (e-visa)
140. Spain
141. Sri Lanka (e-visa)
142. Suriname
143. Sweden
144. Switzerland
145. Tajikistan
146. Tanzania
147. Thailand (visa on arrival)
148. Timor-Leste
149. Togo (visa on arrival)
150. Tonga
151. Trinidad and Tobago
152. Tunisia
153. Turkey
154. Tuvalu
155. Uganda
156. Ukraine
157. United Arab Emirates
158. United Kingdom
159. United Stated of America
160. Uruguay
161. Uzbekistan
162. Vanuatu
163. Vatican City
164. Venezuela
165. Vietnam (e-visa)
166. Yemen
167. Zambia
168. Zimbabwe

How to Obtain Maltese Citizenship through Investment?

The granting of Maltese citizenship by investment is regulated by Legal Notice 437 of 2020 which lays down the eligibility criteria and requirements of these regulations. Under these regulations an applicant may apply for citizenship for himself, the spouse, children up to the age of 28 and financially dependent parents and grandparents of the applicant and the spouse over the age of 55 years.

Under these regulations, an applicant can apply for Maltese citizenship after three years or by an exceptional investment after 1 year of residency when satisfying the following requirements:

  1. Making an exceptional contribution of €600,000 when the application is submitted after 36 months of residence or €750,000 when the application is submitted after 12 months of residence, and
  2. Making an investment in property (rental or purchase), and
  3. Donating €10,000 to a Maltese charity organisation or NGO.

How Can We Assist?

As a Maltese immigration firm, we are accredited and hold licence number AKM-ACCA-21. We guide applicants interested in obtaining Maltese citizenship through the various routes. Over the last 20 years our immigration team has successfully assisted a number of individuals and families to acquire citizenship in Malta and benefit from the numerous advantages it offers.

Malta Nomad Residence Permit (NRP) Announced

The Malta Nomad Residence Permit (NRP) has just been launched by the Residency Malta Agency. As a country, Malta has been attracting digital nomads for years and since then Malta became a cosmopolitan and multi-cultural hub in the heart of Europe. Malta offers all the benefits for individuals seeking to work remotely from Malta including a robust infrastructure, internet connection, airline connectivity and 300 days of sunshine. In addition, English is one of Malta’s official languages and is widely used in Malta. Malta therefore ticks all the boxes for individuals wanting to relocate to Malta whilst retaining their current employment in another country.

The Malta Nomad Residence Permit (NRP) – Requirements

The Nomad Residence Permit is open to Non-European individuals who can work remotely in Malta, independent of where the service is offered. A residence permit issue under the NRP is valid for one year and is renewable as long as all the requirements of the programme are kept. A €300 application fee payable to the Government is applicable.

To qualify for Malta’s Nomad Residence Permit applicants must reach a monthly income of €2,700 (gross of tax).

Applicants must also:

  • Hold a valid travel document,
  • Have a Health Insurance Policy
  • Rent or Buy Property in Malta
  • Pass a Background Verification check conducted by Maltese authorities.

There are three categories of Digital Nomads who may be eligible to apply for Malta’s NRP. These include individuals who:

  1. Work for an employer registered outside of Malta and have a contract of work, or
  2. Conduct business activities for a company registered outside of Malta and which the applicant is a shareholder or a partner, or
  3. Offer Freelance or consulting services to clients whose permanent establishments are in a foreign country and with whom the applicant has contracts.

Applicants who intend to spend up to one year residing in Malta will be issued with a Residence Permit whilst those who intent to spend up to 180 days in Malta will be issued with a National Visa.

Digital Nomads under the NRP may also bring their family members to Malta including one’s spouse and minor children. Adult children who are unable to cope independently due to any medical condition, disability or those who are economically dependent on the main applicant may also be considered.

Applications under the NRP are expected to take up to 30 days following submission of the application. ACC Immigration can assist digital nomads apply under the NRP. ACC Immigration is licenced by Residency Malta Agency and holds licence number AKM-ACCA-21.

Malta Permanent Residence Programme Accepting First Applications

The Malta Permanent Residence Programme is now accepting applications from prospective applicants seeking permanent residence in Malta. Following the publication of Legal Notice 121 of 2021 the Malta Permanent Residence Agency is now formally accepting applications under the MPRP, after having stopped receiving applications under the previous Malta Residence and Visa Programme on Friday 26th March 2021.

Two Investment Options for Applicants to choose from

The Malta Permanent Residence Programme is now accepting applications from prospective applicants seeking permanent residence in Malta. Following the publication of Legal Notice 121 of 2021 the Malta Permanent Residence Agency is now formally accepting applications under the MPRP, after having stopped receiving applications under the previous Malta Residence and Visa Programme on Friday 26th March 2021.

The new regulations lay down the legislative framework for the acquisition of residency under the MPRP. Residence cards under the MPRP are issued for 5 years and renewable for 5 years indefinitely as long as the applicant maintains a residential property in Malta. Holders of the MPRP enjoy permanent residency status in Malta granting the right to stay indefinitely in Malta subject to fulfilling the requirements set out in the legal notice.

Malta Permanent Residence Programme: Investment Options

Applicants under the MPRP may choose from two investment options:
1.Property Rental Option, or
2.Property Purchase Option

Whichever option is chosen the applicant is also required to make a one-time donation of €2,000 to a Maltese charity institution or non-governmental organisation.

Applicants are also required to make a contribution of €68,000 when buying a qualifying property; or €98,000 when renting a qualifying property.
If the applicant opts for the Property Rental Option, he should rent a property for at least €10,000 annually if the property is located in the South of Malta or Gozo, or €12,000 annually if located in the Central or Northern Part of Malta.
If the applicant opts for the Property Purchase Option, he should buy a property for at least €300,000 if the property is located in the South of Malta or Gozo, or €350,000 if located in the Central or Northern Part of Malta.

Malta Permanent Residence Programme – Eligibility

The MPRP is available only for Non-EU/EEA applicants of good repute. Applicants are required to show evidence of clean source of funds and wealth and a clean police record. In addition, applications under this programme are required to have capital of at least €500,000 out of which €150,000 must take the form of financial assets.

In the same application, the applicant may include the following family members:
•spouses or partners in a stable and durable relationship
•dependent unmarried children with no age limit, as well as
•economically dependent parents and grandparents of both the Main Applicant & the Spouse

Malta Permanent Residence Programme: Benefits

  • Permanent Residence is valid for life
  • Maltese Residence Cards are valid for 5 years and renewable for subsequent periods of 5 years
  • Applicants have the right to live, work and reside in Malta
  • Malta is part of the Schengen Area, the Commonwealth and the European Union
  • Visa Free Travel within the Schengen Area
  • Malta enjoys high quality education and healthcare services
  • The MPRP allows a property rental option in lieu of a buying option, making the process both easy and convenient.

Our Malta Permanent Residence Services

ACC Immigration is a Maltese licenced immigration firm guiding high net worth international families on diverse subjects such as residency & citizenship, corporate, tax, financial services, fintech & property acquisition. Over the last 20 years, our Malta Immigration specialists have successfully represented hundreds of individuals and families ranging from expatriate retirees, emigrants seeking employment and high net worth individuals.
We are able to advise you on the tax and legal implications and requirements of the residence application process and indicate expected time frames based on the specific circumstances and nature of your application. Our advice covers the rules applicable to immigrating to Malta under a number of available residence schemes as well as practical relocation assistance ranging from transportation and insurance to schooling and health insurance coverage.

ACC Advisors Limited holds licence number AKM-ACCA-21

Malta Permanent Residence Programme announced

Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment Regulations Issued – 2020

Within the remit of the Maltese Citizenship Act, the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations, 2020 are published nailing down the much awaited procedural and administrative details of the new Maltese investment migration regulations. By virtue of Legal Notice 437 of 2020 Malta launched the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations with the scope of laying down the requirements and regulating the granting of citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services to the Republic of Malta on the basis of exceptional interest.

Maltese Citizenship: Exceptional Services

Article 10(9) of the Maltese Citizenship Act, provides for the acquisition of Maltese Citizenship by individuals who render exceptional services to Malta including scientists, researchers, athletes, sports people, artists, cultural performers, investors and entrepreneurs. Exceptional services are defined as services that are unusually excellent or manifestly superior at a local level, and refers primarily to contributions given by scientists, researchers, athletes, sports people, artists, cultural performers, investors and entrepreneurs.

Maltese Citizenship is granted to the applicant who renders such exceptional services as well as all eligible dependents of such individual.

Exceptional Services through Investment in Malta

The grant of Maltese citizenship for exceptional services through investment in Malta requires an investment of at least €600,000 to be made upon demonstrating three years of presence. This period of three years can be reduced to one year if the contribution is increased to €750,000.

The applicant is also required to submit:

  • Proof of residence in Malta for at least thirty-six (36) months or by exception of (12) months against a higher investment, preceding the date of application &
  • An undertaking to purchase a residential property worth at least €700,000 or rent a property for a minimum annual rent of €16,000, which shall be kept for a minimum of five (5) years from the oath of allegiance &
  • An Undertaking to donate prior to the issue of a certificate of naturalisation, a minimum of €10,000 to a registered and compliant philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic NGO or society.

Screening and Due Diligence of Applicants for Maltese Citizenship

After the first level of screening, in the form of an eligibility assessment and a screening against the known grounds for rejection, applicants undergo an enhanced standard of due diligence at various stages in the residence application and subsequent eligibility and citizenship applications.

Connecting factors with Malta a prerequisite for Maltese citizenship

This is in addition to demonstrating connecting factors with Malta through personal, social, commercial, investment and philanthropic engagement with the host country Malta.

Qualifying Dependents

An applicant applying under these regulations can include in a citizenship application the following dependents:

  • The spouse in a monogamous marriage or partner having the same or similar status. The term spouse shall be construed as gender neutral
  • A child of the Main Applicant or the spouse under the age of eighteen (18)
  • An economically dependent and unmarried child of the Main Applicant or the spouse who has not yet attained the age of twenty-nine (29), at the time when the citizenship application is accepted by the Agency
  • A child of the Main Applicant or the spouse, including an adopted child who at the time of the application has attained the age of eighteen (18) and is qualified as a person with a disability
  • An economically dependent parent or grandparent of the Main Applicant or the spouse above the age of 55

Supervision & Regulation of Applications

Applications shall be submitted to and processed by the new Community Malta Agency that has the responsibility of inhouse and additional outsourced due diligence to ensure only clean and reputable families and investors make it to naturalisation as Maltese citizens.

The number of certificates under the Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment shall not exceed four hundred (400) per annum, and a total of 1,500 for the duration of the regulations.