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.
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.