Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment

Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Acquiring Maltese citizenship by investment is possible through amendments done to the Maltese Citizenship Act and Legal Notice 437 of 2020. In this article we’ll answer the most frequently asked questions on the Granting of Maltese Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations.

What is the Legal Basis for the Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment Regulations?

The Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations (SL 188.06) lists down the eligibility criteria and requirements to apply for citizenship through investment in Malta.

Is there any maximum number of applicants allowed under these Regulations?

The number of citizenship certificates to be granted under these regulations shall not exceed 400 yearly and a total of 1,500 for the whole duration of the citizenship regulations.

Can the Main applicant add family members in the Malta citizenship by investment application?

The Malta citizenship regulations allow the main applicant to include in an application the spouse, unmarried children of the main applicant and of the spouse who have not yet attained the age of twenty-nine (29) as well as economically dependent parents and grandparents of the applicants over the age of 55.

What are the main requirements needed to apply for Malta citizenship by investment?

  1. There are three main requirements an applicant must do when he is approved for Maltese citizenship:
  2. 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, and
  3. Donate a minimum of €10,000 to a registered and compliant philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic NGO, and
    Make a non-refundable direct investment 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. An additional direct investment of €50,000 is required for each additional dependant.

Is the applicant required to keep the qualifying investment for life?

The applicant is required to keep the qualifying purchased or rented property for at least five years from the date on the certificate of naturalisation.

When is the starting date for the residence period?

The residence period starts on the day when the Malta residence card is issued. All adult dependants who wish to apply for Maltese citizenship under these Regulations must hold a residence permit in Malta.

Are there any nationals of certain countries who are not eligible to apply?

Nationals or individuals with close links to Afghanistan, Congo, Iran, N Korea, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Venezuela are ineligible to apply for Maltese citizenship under these Regulations.

Are Due Diligence Fees payable for all applicants?

Due diligence fees only apply for individuals over the age of 12. The due diligence fees payable are of €15,000 for the Main Applicant and €10,000 for each dependent included in the application.

Can an applicant add dependants after the submission of the application?

The application is final when the citizenship eligibility is submitted and the fees at that stage are duly paid. The applicant can only apply for Maltese citizenship to any new-born children at that stage.

At what stage must the applicant decide on which route to take?

The applicant should declare his intention whether he will opt for the 1 year or 3 year route when applying for the Malta residence permit.

Is the applicant required to take an Oath of Allegiance?

The applicant and all adult dependants are required to take an Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of Malta.

How can we assist?

ACC Immigration is licenced by Agenzija Komunita Malta to submit citizenship by investment applications on behalf of interested applicants and holds licence number AKM-ACCA-21

Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment Benefits

The acquisition of Maltese citizenship through the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services regulations grants a number of benefits to highly talented individuals who are willing to invest in Malta.

Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment for the Whole Family

Applicants and their family members are given the opportunity to receive better education, high quality healthcare and standard of living. With the continuously changing geopolitical situation, applicants are securing a second nationality in the European Union which offers more stability, safety and peace of mind. Upon acquisition of a Malta passport, applicants and their family members are able to reside freely in Malta and to travel to over 180 countries without a visa.

Malta, unlike certain regions in the world offers political and economic stability and this appeals to various foreign investors looking for a safe yet highly competitive jurisdiction to do business. Malta also enjoys a highly skilled and English-speaking workforce making it attractive for high-net-worth individuals to open up or relocate their enterprises.

Benefits of Granting Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment

The acquisition of Maltese citizenship by investment grants a number of benefits to foreign applicants such as:

  • Maltese Citizenship within 3 years or exceptionally after 1 year of Residence
  • Inclusion of Family Members
  • English Speaking Country
  • Visa Free Travel to over 184 Countries
  • Citizenship for life
  • Malta allows Dual Nationality
  • Free Healthcare & Education
  • Citizenship is passed down to Future Generations

 

Maltese Citizenship within 3 years or exceptionally after 1 year of residence

An applicant must hold a residence status in Malta for at least 36 months or at a higher investment for 12 months before submitting a citizenship application. On applying for residence in Malta, the applicant and his family members are granted a Maltese residence card.

 

Inclusion of family members

Under the Malta Citizenship by Investment Regulations, the applicant may include in the application, his/her spouse, a child up to the age of 28 who is un-married and economically dependent on the main applicant, and economically dependent parents and grandparents over the age of 55.

 

English speaking country

The English language is one of Malta’s official languages and the majority of the population speaks English. This makes it ideal for foreign investors and their family members to relocate to Malta. Malta is also a famous hub for students looking to learn English in Malta and there are over 40 English schools on the island.

 

Visa free travel to over 184 countries

Applicants who are granted Maltese citizenship by direct investment enjoy visa free travel to over 184 countries with a Maltese passport. This ranks the Malta passport in the top 10 of all passports worldwide.

 

Citizenship for life

Once obtained, the applicant and all family members obtain Maltese citizenship which is valid for life. Applicants get the right to reside, work and stay in Malta without any restrictions.

 

Malta allows dual nationality

Applicants who obtain Maltese citizenship through investment are not required to renounce their original citizenship by Maltese law. By virtue of the Maltese Citizenship Act, it is lawful for any person to be a citizen of Malta and at the same time a citizen of another country. Malta thus allows not only dual nationality but multiple.

 

Free healthcare & education

Maltese citizens enjoy free and good quality healthcare in public clinics and hospitals around the island. Education is also free for all Maltese nationals up to the first University degree. In addition, students are also given a stipend for academic related expenses.

 

Citizenship is passed down to future generations

Maltese citizenship law allows for the acquisition of Maltese citizenship of any new-born children as long as one of their parents is Maltese irrespective of where the child is born. Hence Maltese citizenship is passed down to future generations.

 

How can we assist?

ACC Immigration is licenced by Agenzija Komunita Malta to submit citizenship applications on behalf of interested applicants and holds licence number AKM-ACCA-21.

Personal Taxation of Maltese Residents

This overview of Malta’s personal taxation of Maltese residents applies to persons taking up residence under European freedom of movement rules, under any immigration rights or residence programme as well as under the Maltese Citizenship by Exceptional Services rules.

Personal Tax Connecting Factors

Under Maltese law, the connecting factors determining the taxability of individuals are domicile and residence, remnants of Malta’s British colonial history dating back to the 1940s.

Citizenship is not a factor that effects the taxation of individuals and therefore acquiring Maltese citizenship by exceptional services does not, alone and in itself, give rise to any tax consequences.  Contact us for Maltese tax advice on the tax implications of the residence required by the Maltese citizenship rules, to assess the extent to which it may result in tax residence and to plan all remittances required under the investor citizenship route.

Permanent resident status under immigration law, particularly the Permanent Residence Programme Regulations of 2021, is not equivalent to Maltese tax residence.  Accordingly, Maltese permanent residence permits issued under these Regulations do not automatically result in residents being considered tax resident in Malta given that this immigration programme does not require any minimum physical presence in Malta in any given year.  Contact us for a consultation on the requirements, implications and planning of tax residence in Malta.

Tax Resident Status

Tax resident status is not an automatic consequence of acquiring permanent residence in Malta.   Tax resident status results from a residence in Malta of over 183 days, or where residents have spent less than the 183 days in Malta, they may demonstrate various connecting factors evidencing their intention to reside in Malta ordinarily.  Permanent residents of Malta requiring formal confirmation of their tax residence status in Malta are able to obtain this through a separate procedure – prior legal advice is recommended.  Contact us for a tax consultation.

Taxation of Non-Malta residents

Non-tax residents are only subject to tax on local source income, that is income arising in Malta including salaries, local business profits, rental income and pension income.

Malta Tax of Foreign Domiciled Residents of Malta

Tax residents of Malta enjoy a remittance basis of taxation, often referred to as res non-dom taxation, whereby they are only subject to Maltese tax on their foreign income only to the extent remitted to Malta.  Res non-doms are not subject to Maltese taxation on their foreign source capital gains, whether remitted to Malta or not.   The enjoyment of the res non-dom tax regime by persons having incomes sources abroad exceeding €35,000 are subject to a minimum annual tax of €5,000.

Taxation of Income in Malta

Income is taxable in Malta only if it arises in Malta.  Income arising abroad, is only taxable in Malta if a person is tax resident in Malta and only on that portion that is remitted to Malta.  Capital gains are taxable in Malta only if arising in Malta but are subject to various exemptions.  Capital gains arising out of Malta are not subject to tax, nor are they reportable, whether remitted to Malta or not.

Other Maltese taxes

Malta has no wealth or capital taxes, no wealth reporting obligations, no inheritance taxation, no property taxes, no dividend taxes, and no system of rates.

Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment

Granting of Maltese Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations

Legal Notice 437 of 2020 prescribes the requirements for the acquisition of Maltese citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services to Malta on the basis of exceptional interest in accordance with Article 10(9) of the Maltese Citizenship Act, Chapter 188 of the Laws of Malta. The Government of Malta has established a new governmental agency, Community Malta to be responsible for the administration of Maltese citizenship applications under various routes including investment.

Investment Requirements for Maltese Citizenship through Exceptional Services

Prior to submitting a citizenship application, the applicant shall provide a title to a residential property in Malta. If the Minister is satisfied that the applicant meets the necessary criteria, the applicant is to submit the relevant forms and supporting documents. The applicant shall not submit the citizenship application before he has completed the residence requirement.

The applicant is 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Undertake to make a non-refundable investment 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
  • Undertake to make a non-refundable investment of €50,000 for each dependant

Once this is submitted, the Agency shall evaluate the application and submit a report to the Minister responsible for citizenship. If the application is approved, the Community Malta Agency shall issue a Letter of Approval in Principle to the Applicant. The applicant shall be required to complete the process and take the Oath of Allegiance within six (6) months from the approval.

Inclusion of Family Members

Under the Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations, an applicant for citizenship must be at least eighteen (18) years of age and can include in his application:

  • A spouse in a monogamous marriage or partner in another relationship having the same or similar status to marriage, including a civil union
  • A child or an adoptive child of the main applicant or his/her spouse, who has not yet attained eighteen (18) years of age at the time of submission of the application
  • A financially dependent, unmarried child of the main applicant or of his/her spouse, who has attained eighteen (18) years of age but has not yet attained twenty-nine (29) years of age, at the time of the submission of the application
  • A financially dependent parent or grandparent of the main applicant or of his/her spouse, over the age of fifty-five (55) years
  • A child or an adopted child of the main applicant or of his/her spouse, who at the time of the application is qualified as a person with disabilities.

The applicant and any of his dependants must submit a health form duly filled and certified by a recognised medical practitioner, clinic, hospital, medical or health institute attesting that the applicant and his dependants are in good health and are not suffering from any contagious disease and are not likely to become a burden on the Maltese public health system.

Due Diligence – Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment

Community Malta Agency shall administer the due diligence and verification process of the eligibility of the applicants. The Agency shall cause due diligence checks to be performed also by third parties including one or more internationally recognised specialised due diligence service providers, in respect of every applicant. Such due diligence checks shall be of a four (4) tier nature or more, as the Agency shall determine from time to time and may include security checks to be carried out by law enforcement authorities in line with the Data Protection legislation.

When submitting an application for citizenship under the exceptional investment route the following due diligence fees are to be paid:

  • €15,000 – Main Applicant
  • €10,000 – Each Dependant
  • €15,000 – Benefactor (if applicable)

Eligibility for Maltese Citizenship through Exceptional Services

Applicants under these regulations shall be eligible if that person:

  • Undertakes to take the Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of Malta
  • Undertakes to promote the fundamental and democratic values of the Republic of Malta
  • Undertakes to support the Maltese community in the spirit of social justice and equity
  • Undertakes to render an exceptional contribution to the Republic of Malta through an exceptional direct investment in the economic and social development of the Republic of Malta
  • Undertakes to declare that the applicant and his dependants are fit and proper persons to hold Maltese citizenship
  • Undertakes to submit a medical examination report attesting that the applicant and his dependants are in good health and not suffering from any contagious disease and not likely to become a burden on Malta’s public health system
  • Undertakes to submit a police conduct certificate

Grounds for Ineligibility

A person may not apply under these regulations if:

  • The person or any of the dependants is or was indicted of an offence before an International Criminal Court or has been arraigned at any time before an International Criminal Court, whether such person has been found guilty or otherwise.
  • The person or any of the dependants are listed with INTERPOL or EUROPOL
    The person or any of the dependants is an actual or potential threat to Malta’s national security, public policy or public health
  • The person or any of the dependants has been charged or found guilty of terrorism, money laundering, funding of terrorism, crimes against humanity, war crimes, defilement of minors, indecent assault and other serious crimes
  • The person or any of the dependants has been found guilty or suspected or has criminal charges brought against him for any criminal offence punishable with more than one (1) year imprisonment, other than an involuntary offence.
  • The person or any of the dependants is or is likely to be involved in any activity which may cause disrepute to the Republic of Malta
  • The person or any of the dependants has been denied a visa to a country with whom Malta has visa-free travel arrangements with, and has not subsequently obtained a visa from that country
    The person or any of the dependants is named or listed in international sanctions
  • If an applicant makes a false statement or otherwise omits material information, the application may be suspended and considered inadmissible.

Quota

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