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How to get a Malta Passport | Individual Investor Programme

How to get a Malta passport by investment

Malta – small country with with a population of just over 400,000 spread over three islands lies 50 miles south of Sicily, and smack dab in the middle of the EU.

Act XV of 2013 introduced amendments to the main act and made it possible for the Minister responsible for citizenship to assign citizenship by naturalisation to a person and his or her dependants who are contributors to an “individual investor programme”.

Benefits of getting Malta Passport by investment

  • Citizenship in a EU Member State
  • Efficient application process of less than 3 Months
  • Visa-free travel to more than 160 countries in the world, including the USA
  • EU citizenship gives right of establishment in all 27 EU countries
  • English one of two main languages
  • Low tax jurisdiction

Requirements of Malta Citizenship by investment

The Malta Individual Investor Program requires a non-refundable capital disbursement to the National Development Fund.

To get the Malta passport by investment, the amounts being proposed in the Legislation are as follows:

  • Contribution for the principal applicant: EUR 650,000
  • Contribution for spouse and minor children: EUR 25,000 each
  • Contribution for dependent children 18 to 25 years or dependent parents above 55 years: EUR 50,000 each
  • Due Diligence fees for main applicant: EUR 7,500; for spouses, adult children and parents: EUR 5,000; for children: EUR 3,000 each

The PM, Joseph Muscat has stated that the program will bring revenue to the country and attract “high value” to invest in the island.

He estimated that the Malta Passport by Investment scheme would earn the government 30 million euros in its first year – meaning around 45 people would be granted citizenship, which would also give them work and residency rights in the rest of the 28-member bloc.

I believe 45 a year is actually a conservative estimate by the government. Dominica put through more than that amount in one month when they raised the price of their passport program in September 2012. The cap is currently at 1,800 people, but the government is considering lifting the cap and allowing for more applicants.

Opposition Forces

The Nationalist Party is fully against the scheme with Simon Busuttil, the opposition leader, stating that Malta could end up being compared to tax haven countries in the Caribbean. Last time I checked Simon, Malta has one of the lowest tax rates in the EU, and is considered “offshore” by many accounts already. However, this isn’t a bad thing – as it is an incentive for new businesses to establish a European headquarters in Malta.

Mr. Busuttil said his party will:

  • Force a referendum on the scheme
  • Revoke the passports if his party is gets into power again.
  • Publicly disclose the applicants’ identities as he sits on a monitoring committee that has access to the applicants’ names

Is it at all ironic that which would be actually good for the country (bringing in revenue, attracting high value foreigners, filling the coffers) is seen as bad by a so-called “nationalist”.

These type of passport programs always tend to be very politically unpopular, but when your country is flat broke, stuck with a failing currency, with no economic stimulus in sight… well -desperate times call for desperate measures and although staunch nationalists looking towards the next election will oftentimes use the schemes as a podium for votes.

There were protests against the act – but interestingly enough most protestors were calling for citizenship to be linked to substantial investment, instead of being a donation to the government coffers.

The government insists that only vetted applicants with a clean background will be accepted.

Need to Spend time in Malta prior to Citizenship?

Yes. 1 year.

No certificate of naturalisation will be issued unless the applicant provides proof that he/she has resided in Malta for a period of at least 12 months immediately preceding the day of issuing of the certificate of naturalisation.

Will they disclose your name?

As things stand, revealing the names is not illegal, and its within the government’s actions to do so.

Nation is seriously broke, so much that a promised 25 per cent cut in electricity rates next year has a noticeable effect. Word on the street is that the government would like to increase the tiny island’s international profile by attracting celebrities or sports stars. (French sportstars – pay less tax in Malta!!)

The passport program is a new program, and doesn’t affect the “The Malta Global Residence Program” which is still in effect.

To become a resident of Malta, there is a €4000 application fee and further €2000 fee once residency is taken up. And, you’ll have to pay a minimum tax of €15,000 yearly fee under the Global Residence Programme. The tax on residents is 0% unless funds are remitted to Malta.

Another Mediterranean EU member, Cyprus, launched a similar passport scheme earlier this year after being forced to impose a levy on foreign savers who had deposits on its collapsed international banking sector. In an attempt to stop them leaving, the government relaxed citizenship rules for any non-resident investor who had lost more than £2 million through paying the levy. The move was again targeted partly at wealthy Russians, whose savings account for nearly a third of Cyprus’s bank deposits.

Read up on the other options for citizenship here:

Need a second passport? Check out different second citizenship options at passports.io.

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