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Benefits and disadvantages of obtaining Malta citizenship

The Maltese legislation allows applying for citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment. It is the fastest way to get a European country's passport.

Spouses, children under 29, parents and grandparents over 55 years old can get Malta citizenship with the investors.

The process of obtaining a passport lasts for over 14 months, and expenses for a family are around €1 million. A disadvantage of this opportunity is that most of the investment is non-refundable.

Benefits of Maltese citizenship

Malta citizenship benefits for investors

Moving to Malta or another EU country. Investors get a right to live in Malta — a developed country with high quality of life. Also, they can move to any EU country without a visa and stay there as long as they wish

Studying, doing business, and working in Europe without any additional permission. Investor’s children can go to any EU country to study at a school or a university. Investors can form companies in any EU country to expand their business.

Travelling to 180+ countries without visas, including the UK, Australia, Japan, Canada, and the USA. 

An opportunity to change tax residency and use all the benefits of the Maltese tax system. For example, shareholders of Maltese companies can return up to 100% of the corporate tax.

A right to come to Malta at any time, even if the borders are closed to foreigners. Investors are not obliged to move to the country after getting its citizenship — they can go there whenever they want. This opportunity can be helpful in case of political or economic turmoil or danger in the country of living.

Profitable investment in Maltese real estate. An investor can return investment in the real estate purchase after five years of citizenship. The investment sum is €700,000.

Many investors keep the Maltese real estate and get income from rent. In prestigious areas, it is about 5% per annum. At the same time, the real estate cost grows by 3—5% per annum. An object for €700,000 may cost €850,000 in five years.

An investor can rent an apartment or a house instead of buying it. In the case of rent, his costs for five years will be €80,000, about 10% of the sum of the contributions. In addition, renting takes a couple of weeks, and a purchase and sale transaction takes three months.

After five years of citizenship, an investor can purchase or rent any property in Malta without regard to requirements for its value. Every citizen of the country needs a registration address.

Disadvantages of Malta citizenship

Long waiting. Investors wait to get Malta citizenship for at least 14 months. But there is a benefit that an investor receives a residency card almost immediately — in two weeks. It allows him to travel in the Schengen Area without a visa. At the same time, a countdown for obtaining citizenship starts.

High expenses. Obtaining Malta citizenship requires about €1 million for a family. The benefit is that the investment conditions are fulfilled only after the approval of the citizenship application. In comparison, in Austria, applicants must invest €10 million in the country's economy, and they can get citizenship only after two or three years after that. The investment is made, but the result is not guaranteed.

Non-refundable investment. Most of the investment for obtaining Malta citizenship is non-refundable. These are a contribution to a state fund and a charitable donation, €760,000 in total if an investor gets citizenship after a year of residency.

In exchange for the expenses, the investors and their family members get a new quality of life, freedom of travelling, and access to international entrepreneurship.

Pros and cons of Malta citizenship

Receiving Malta residency in two weeks and an opportunity to travel in the Schengen area without a visa with itHigh non-refundable costs
No obligation to live in MaltaStringent Due Diligence
Family members can be included in the applicationThe choice of real estate for purchase is limited to particular objects for foreigners in Special Designated Areas (SDAs)
Profitable investment in real estate that grows in priceThe Maltese climate with hot summer may not be suitable for everyone

Malta citizenship: conditions for investors

Since 2020, the Maltese legislation allows wealthy people and their family members to apply for citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment.

Applicants for Malta citizenship must fulfil three conditions:

  1. To get and retain a residence permit. It is allowed to apply for citizenship 12 or 36 months after getting a residency card. An investor chooses the period. The shorter the period, the higher the amount of the investment is.
  2. To pass the Due Diligence. Since 2020, investors and their family members pass the Eligibility Test check. Malta has the most stringent Due Diligence compared to other countries that grant citizenship to investors.
  3. To fulfil the investment conditions.

Investment for obtaining Malta citizenship

An investor fulfils three investment conditions. It is not allowed to fulfil one or two of them by choice.

1. A contribution to the National Development and Social Fund. Many investors want to get Malta citizenship quicker, so they apply for it after 12 months of residency. In this case, the contribution to the fund is €750,000.

Applying after three years of residency, the expenses will be less by €150,000. Regardless of the validity of a residence permit, investors contribute an additional €50,000 for each family member.

2. A fixed charitable donation — €10,000. An investor can choose any non-governmental organisation. The charitable donation amount doesn't depend on the residency period or the investor's family composition — the main thing is that the donation should not be lower than €10,000.

3. Purchase or renting of real estate. If the investor chooses the purchase, the object's price in the contract of sale should not be less than €700,000. If they decide to rent, the annual payment should not be less than €16,000. Investment in real estate should be kept in the first five years of citizenship.

The additional costs include conducting the Eligibility Test and governmental fees.

The most expensive item of the additional costs is the fee for the Eligibility Test. It costs €15,000 for the main applicant and €10,000 for their relative over 12 years old. If the main applicant has gotten his funds from a sponsor, the sponsor passes the check too — it costs €15,000. The fees for the Eligibility Test are established by the Maltese legislation. 

We've told you about the main peculiarities of obtaining Malta citizenship. If you have some questions left, Immigrant Invest lawyers are ready to answer.

Frequently asked questions

What are the Malta citizenship benefits?

Malta citizens can travel to 180+ countries without visas. They can live, study, do business and get medical treatment in Malta or other EU countries. They can also come to Malta at any time or live there.

How can an investor get a Malta passport?

Wealthy people and their family members may apply for Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment. 

They invest €690,000 or more in the country’s economy and get Maltese passports and their benefits after a year or three of residency.

Can investors' family members get Malta citizenship with them?

Yes, they can. An investor may include a spouse, children under 29, parents, and grandparents over 55 years old in the application.

The investor contributes an additional €50,000 to the state fund for each family member.

Can an applicant refund the investment after getting Malta citizenship?

Yes, they can partially refund the investment if they have chosen to purchase real estate. They can sell their objects and get money back after five years of citizenship.

If the investor chooses the purchase, the object’s price in the contract of sale should not be less than €700,000. The Maltese real estate cost grows by 3—5% per annum, so an object for €700,000 may cost €850,000 in five years.

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Benefits and disadvantages of obtaining Malta citizenship