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.