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April 8, 2024
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How to get Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment

A Malta passport by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment can be obtained in 14‑38 months. The applicant first applies for a residence permit, undergoes the Due Diligence check, and invests €690,000.

Julia Loko
Julia Loko

Answers questions about applying for Malta citizenship

How to get Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment

How to get Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment

Investors apply for Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment. Investors can apply for citizenship several years after they are granted residence.

Citizenship applications by investment are issued faster, and the procedure is simpler than the standard citizenship application: investors can apply for citizenship 1 or 3 years after getting a residence permit instead of waiting 5 years. They are also not required to live in Malta before submitting their citizenship application.

Malta citizenship gives its holder freedom of option

Visa-free travel to the United States, Britain and Canada. Maltese citizens are able to travel visa-free to 187 countries around the world, including Singapore and Hong Kong.

Move to the EU at any time. Maltese passport holders are entitled to the same rights and freedoms as any European citizen.

High quality of medical services. Health insurance policies issued to Maltese citizens give them free medical check-ups and treatment in well-maintained medical clinics and free medication.

Residency in Switzerland, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein. Opportunity to stay in Schengen Area countries, including those not part of the European Union. There are no restrictions on entry and duration of stay in these countries for Maltese citizens.

Children’s education. The cost of education in schools and universities in the European Union is cheaper for Maltese citizens. In addition, a student residence permit is not required in any EU country.

International business. Maltese citizens can set up a business in any country in the European Union. This helps them broaden their business globally and operate efficiently.

The investment for the Malta citizenship application

To apply for Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment, applicants must fulfil the following 3 investment conditions:

  • €600,000 or €750,000: contribution to the National Development Fund

  • €10,000: charitable donation

  • €700,000 or €16,000 per annum: buy or rent (for 5 years) a residential property

A contribution of €600,000 to the National Development Fund allows the applicant to apply for Maltese citizenship three years after becoming a Malta resident. In contrast, a contribution of €750,000 enables investors to submit their citizenship application one year after being granted residence.

Together with the investor, their spouse or permanent partner, children under 29 years old, parents, and grandparents over 55 years old can all be included in the same citizenship application. For each additional family member included in the application, the main applicant contributes another €50,000 to the National Development Fund.

Renting of real estate. At first, an investor applies for a residence permit. To get it, the investor rents housing for €12,000. The rent should last for a year or three years.

The investor applies for citizenship in Malta in a year or three years. The investor concludes a new leasing agreement for €16,000 per year to do that. It is mandatory to rent housing for at least 5 years.

Purchase of real estate. Investors buy real estate worth €700,000 or more. The ownership period is 5 years, starting with obtaining citizenship. After that, real estate can be sold and the money — returned. In contrast, applicants who choose to rent a property will not be able to recover the rent of €80,000 paid over five years. In this respect, buying a property is preferable.

Cost of Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment


Rent of housing, citizenship
in 3 year

Rent of housing, citizenship
in 1 years

Purchase of housing, citizenship in 3 years

Purchase of housing, citizenship in 1 year

Renting or purchase of real estate





Contribution to the NDSF










Eligibility Test





State fee for issuance of a residence card





Medical insurance





Administrative fee










Applicants also pay for medical insurance, Due Diligence and administrative fees. The exact amount of the costs also depends on the family’s composition. You can quickly find out the costs applicable to you by answering a few questions. We will calculate the cost of getting Maltese citizenship for you.

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

Features of buying a property for foreigners in Malta

Nationals of other countries, including those of the European Union, usually are only permitted to buy one property. The only exception is for EU citizens who have lived in Malta for at least 5 years before purchasing the property.

If a foreigner wishes to purchase real estate, they must obtain a permit or permission from the AIP. This is obtained from the Ministry of Finance, and the process usually takes 6‑8 weeks. Only living properties can be rented out.

These restrictions, however, do extend to properties located in Specially Designated Areas (SDAs) which contain luxury complexes with their own infrastructure. Buildings in SDAs include an enclosed courtyard, swimming pool, gym, security, and sometimes a garden.

Expatriate investors often prefer to buy property in SDAs as the process is simpler, quicker and more profitable:

  • no restrictions on the amount of property that can be bought or rented;

  • no AIP approval is required;

  • property can be registered in the name of an individual and in the name of a company, which is difficult to do with property outside SDAs.

Starting a Malta citizenship application

To submit an application for Malta citizenship for exceptional services by investment, you need to sign an agreement with a government-licensed agent. The Government of Malta’s legislation stipulates that investors can submit applications for citizenship only through licensed agents and cannot do so directly themselves.

The Government of Malta issues licences to agents, authorising them to work with investors interested in applying for citizenship by investment applicants. The agent’s lawyers help their client investors collect and complete the required package of documents, prepare for and undergo the Due Diligence check, and submit the application first for a residence permit and then for citizenship.

Immigrant Invest’s compliance department carries out its own preliminary Due Diligence check to make sure each applicant meets the eligibility requirements of the Malta citizenship by investment program before signing a contract with the applicant and starting the application process.

Discover your path to Maltese citizenship

Schedule your online meeting today.

Julia Loko
Julia Loko

Investment programs expert

How to get a Malta residence permit by investment

To get a Malta passport, you must first apply for a residence permit. To do this, you need to go through the following five stages.


Get police clearance

The Maltese police check you for any criminal records on international databases. Once they are satisfied, you have no criminal record, and you are given clearance to apply for a Malta residence permit.


Buy or rent a residential property

Applicants who choose to rent a property must pay at least €12,000 per annum. The minimum rent is increased later when applying for citizenship.


Collect the documents required for a Malta residence permit application

The package of documents includes passports, residence permit cards from other countries, government forms, documents for renting or buying a home in Malta, medical insurance policies, and several other types of documents.


Give your biometrics in Malta

The applicant chooses a convenient time for submitting their biometrics, arrives in Malta, submits their biometric data and applies for a residence permit.


Get your residence permit card

Residence permit cards are issued on average 2 weeks after the application is submitted. Immigrant Invest’s employees collect the card and send it by courier to the investor.

The residence permit card allows investors and their families to live in Malta or travel to Malta. A Malta residence permit also gives the holder the right to travel visa-free in the Schengen area.

Malta’s second passport

Blue Lagoon on Comino Island, Malta

How to get Malta citizenship for exceptional services by investment

After a residence permit is issued to the investor, they can apply for citizenship after one or three years. We have listed the main steps involved in the citizenship by investment procedure below.

1. Submit documents for the government to carry out the Eligibility Assessment. The investor and their government-licensed agent complete the required package of forms, including personal and financial documents, and submit them to be reviewed by the Maltese government department responsible for citizenship. The government department carries out its Due Diligence check on the applicant at this stage. This takes 3‑5 months. If the government approves the investor’s candidacy for citizenship, they proceed to the next step.

2. Apply for citizenship. The required package of documents includes government forms and the investor and their family’s documents. You can apply for Malta citizenship by investment 1 or 3 years after getting a Malta residence permit.

3. Fulfil investment conditions. Once the government approves the application, the applicant has to fulfil the investment conditions agreed to in the application, including making contributions to the state fund and charitable foundation. They must also provide evidence that they have rented or bought real estate in Malta.

4. Submit biometric data and swear the Oath of Allegiance. The investor must travel to Malta and submit their biometric data to the Community Malta Agency. All family members included in the application aged six years or older must submit their biometric data. The investor takes the oath of allegiance, and all adult family members are included in the application.

5. Collect your Malta passport. It is issued at the passport department 4 working days after the biometrics have been submitted. The investor and any family members over the age of 12 included in the application must collect their passports themselves.

After getting their Malta passport, the investor must continue renting or owning their property for 5 years. To confirm the fulfilment of this condition, Immigrant Invest submits a special form on behalf of the investor to the Community Malta Agency annually for the first five years after the issuance of a Malta passport.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Will you obtain Maltese citizenship?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain Maltese citizenship?

Frequently asked questions

  • Is it easy to get citizenship in Malta?

    A Malta passport for exceptional services by direct investment can be obtained in 14‑38 months. The applicant first applies for a residence permit, undergoes the Due Diligence check, and invests €690,000.

  • How much investment do you need for Malta citizenship?

    To obtain Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment, the applicant contributes to the state fund and a charitable contribution.

    The minimum investment amount for a single applicant is €690,000. This includes a contribution to the state fund of €600,000, annual rent of €16,000 for 5 years, and a charitable donation of €10,000. In this case, the investor will become a Maltese citizen in 3 years.

    To get a Maltese passport in 1 year, you need to make a contribution of €750,000 to the state fund. In this case, you do not have the choice of renting a property but must buy a house or apartment for at least €700,000. When buying a property, the minimum investment for a single applicant is 1.49 million euros.

    For each additional family member in the application, the investor pays another €50,000 in both variants.

  • Can I buy Malta citizenship?

    In 2020, all European countries suspended applications for citizenship by investment. Now Malta is the only country offering citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment.

    An investment of €690,000 in Malta’s economy is recognized by the government as exceptional service. However, investment alone is not enough: each investor applying for citizenship undergoes a strict Due Diligence check, and their citizenship application is contingent on this check.

  • How can I invest in Malta?

    To apply for Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment, applicants must fulfil the following 3 investment conditions:

    • €600,000 or €750,000: contribution to the National Development Fund

    • €10,000: charitable donation

    • €700,000 or €16,000 per annum: buy or rent (for 5 years) a residential property.

  • How strong is a Malta passport?

    A Malta passport gives visa-free access to 187 countries, including the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore and Hong Kong.