Maltese Citizenship

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.

Why Are South Africans Moving to Malta?

Malta, one of the safest countries in the world is attracting a number of South African nationals who are relocating due to various reasons. With the rise of Covid cases, the increment of travel restrictions for South African passport holders, and the lack of safety in general, a number of South African nationals are applying for Maltese residency or citizenship as a Plan B to be able to relocate if the situation continues to deteriorate.

In this publication, we explain why Malta is the best option for South Africans wishing to, not only be granted the right to live in Europe, but also access all European financial markets while offering their children a future filled with opportunities and choices.

1. Malta is Safe and Secure

An increase in crime rates is most often directly attributable to lack of employment opportunities in a country. Malta boasts of one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, with an unemployment rate of only 3.6% in 2021, and finding employment in Malta is quite relatively easy.

For the fourth consecutive year, in 2021 crime rates in Malta decreased by 16% which shows that Malta is a safe country to relocate to. Malta’s crime rate, at 31 instances of crime per 1,000 inhabitants largely culminates above the EU’s average 59 instances per 1,000 inhabitants. Indeed, crime levels in Malta are exceptionally low in comparison with most EU countries making it the second safest country in the world and first in the EU according to a study carried out by the AfrAsia Bank Global Wealth Migration Review. These indexes and statistics reflect a number of factors such as freedom of the press, equality in terms of gender, multi-culturalism, respect to various cultures and religions and minimal exposure to natural disasters. As a full member of the European Union, Malta is recognized as a safe place where immigrants feel part of a welcoming community.

2. Malta is an English Speaking Country

Malta, being part of the Commonwealth, is the only country in the Schengen area with English as its official language. Being an official language of Malta, English is widely spoken and is considered to be the everyday life language of most Maltese residence, making the shift to Malta, for those wishing to relocate, very smooth and free of language obstacles.
For children and university students particularly, it allows them to continue their education path with no interruption caused by any language barrier. In addition, Malta hosts a number of English schools attracting students from all over the world.

3. Visa Free Travel Destinations for Maltese Citizens

These two reasons, combined with the 186 visa-free destinations you can access as a Maltese passport holder (including the US, Canada and the UK) places Malta as a top-notch choice for South Africans, wishing to offer their families a brighter future filled with opportunities, while protecting their personal and commercial interests.

How can South African Nationals Obtain Maltese Residency or Citizenship?

It doesn’t come as a surprise that the South African community in Malta is growing. We will now explain how a South African national can apply for citizenship or residency in Malta.

Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP)

The Malta Permanent Residence Programme is the most popular residence programmes with South African nationals based on the fact that this gives permanent residence which is valid for life. The MPRP was launched in 2021 and it grants permanent residence if an applicant satisfies the following requirements:

  1. A contribution of either €68,000 or €98,000 which is to be paid upon approval depending on whether the applicant rents or purchases property in Malta.
  2. An investment in property (rental or purchase), and
  3. A donation of €2,000 to a Maltese charity organisation or NGO.

Malta Global Residence Programme (GRP) for South Africans

The Malta Global Residence Programme on the other hand grants a special tax status by virtue of which an applicant can apply for a Maltese residence card. Since 2013, the GRP has been seeking expatriates seeking an alternative tax residence jurisdiction in the European Union.
The applicant must also satisfy 3 requirements including:

  • A one-time non-refundable fee of €6,000
  • An investment in property (rental or purchase), and
  • A minimum annual tax payment of €15,000

Malta Citizenship by Investment for South African Nationals

The Granting of Maltese Citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment is regulated by Legal Notice 437 of 2020. Under these regulations, investors can apply for Maltese citizenship after three years or by an exceptional investment after 1 year of residency.
Under these regulations, an applicant may apply for Maltese citizenship through investment if he satisfies the following requirements:

  • 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
  • An investment in property (rental or purchase), and
  • A donation of €10,000 to a Maltese charity organisation or NGO.

How Can We Assist?

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