Quick Answer

Is dual Malta citizenship by naturalisation really the best and safest investment for your future?

Since February 2000, Maltese citizens have been allowed to have another citizenship without the requirement to renounce Maltese citizenship. Dual citizenship of Malta is obtained by birthright, marriage, pedigree, special services to the state and naturalisation.

Dual Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment

Since 2021, Malta is the only country in the EU granting citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment. With a Maltese passport, you can live in Europe, create a safe haven for yourself and your family, educate your children and do business there. 

The Maltese government allows eligible investors to apply for citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment, which replaced the previous way of getting citizenship by investment. Now applicants can be naturalised 1 or 3 years after becoming Maltese residents. These changes have been enshrined in the Malta Citizenship Act. 

How to get citizenship in Malta

Citizenship of Malta is obtained by birthright, through adoption, marriage, pedigree, special services to the state and naturalisation. Wealthy people can get a resident permit and second citizenship in Malta for exceptional services by direct investment.

The requirements for getting citizenship are enshrined in the Citizenship Law.

Grounds for obtaining citizenship:

  • birth from Maltese citizens;
  • naturalisation;
  • marriage to a Maltese citizen;
  • exceptional services by direct investment;
  • repatriation;
  • adoption;
  • work for the Maltese government;
  • special services to the state.

Citizenship by birth. Any child born on or after August 1, 1989, shall only be entitled to Maltese citizenship if either of their parents were citizens of Malta.

Citizenship by adoption is acquired by all minor children adopted or adopted by citizens of Malta.

Citizenship through marriage. Applying for citizenship is possible only after five years of legal marriage. Fraudulent marriages are considered a crime in Malta. Applicants who get married to get citizenship can be fined or imprisoned for two years. 

Citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment. Investors can obtain second Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services through direct investment. This is provided for by the Maltese Citizenship Act. The minimum investment is €690,000.

Family members can obtain dual citizenship at the same time as the investor. The program allows the main applicant’s spouse, children under 29 years old, parents and grandparents under 59 years old to participate.

Citizenship by family reunion is granted only in a few cases. If the applicant was born in Malta with at least one Maltese parent in 1989, or he was born outside Malta with a Maltese father between September 21, 1964, and July 31 1989.  

Conditions for obtaining second citizenship by naturalisation:

  • residence in the country for five years;
  • prove a legal, regular and sufficient income in Malta;
  • no criminal record;
  • have Maltese health insurance;  
  • pass the language, law and history examinations;
  • have a written surety from more than one Maltese citizen.
5 years
is necessary to live in Malta to get second citizenship by naturalisation

Two guarantors are required, who are not family members of the applicant, to apply for citizenship by naturalisation.  The first guarantor can be a lawyer, a doctor, or a government employee. The second guarantor must be a Maltese citizen at least 18 years old and not a citizen by naturalization. 

About dual citizenship in Malta

Since February 2000, Maltese citizens have been allowed to have another citizenship without the requirement to renounce Maltese citizenship. This right is enshrined in the Constitution of Malta in Article 22.

Second Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment
Village of Xlendi on Gozo Island, Malta

The Maltese legislation regulates the procedure for obtaining dual Malta citizenship

In 2020, all European countries suspended applications for citizenship by investment due to lax procedures and the resultant criticism from European governments. We are confident that the possibility of getting Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment will not be affected by this based on the grounds given below.

In 2020, Malta also stopped granting citizenship by investment and instead started offering citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment.

The issuance of passports by naturalisation is standard procedure for all countries. Eligible applicants get citizenship several years after being issued a residence permit. In Malta, for investors and their families, this period has been reduced to 1 year or 3 years, depending on the investment amount.

The Malta Citizenship Act regulates the amendments, and there are no legal grounds for Malta to stop offering citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment.

Even if the Government of Malta amends the Citizenship Act, investors will not lose the right to apply for and get citizenship. If the applicant passes the government’s initial Due Diligence check and makes the investment as agreed, they will be issued a residence permit and then a passport.

Second Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment
Main gate of the fortified city of Mdina in Malta

All applicants for second citizenship in Malta must pass the Eligibility Assessment

Investors who want to become second Maltese citizens must undergo a new, stricter Due Diligence check, called Eligibility Assessment. It fully complies with the EU Directive on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorist organizations.

The reputation and connections of applicants are checked, and it is verified that they have no criminal record. The licensed agent, the Community Malta Agency, and two international companies are involved in the assessment. The decision to grant a passport is made by the Minister responsible for citizenship.

The Eligibility Assessment is an updated version of the Due Diligence test used in applications for Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment.

Although the Maltese Due Diligence checks from 2013 to 2020 were strict, and about 25% of the applications were rejected based on the Due Diligence check, the new check has become even more stringent.

A thorough Due Diligence check ensures that only law-abiding investors of good standing are granted Maltese passports. Malta is not facing the same problems as Cyprus, where citizenship by investment was discontinued when it was discovered that some applicants with criminal records or convictions for financial crimes had been granted passports.

Immigrant Invest’s compliance department conducts its own preliminary Due Diligence check on applicants to reduce the risk of their application later being rejected due to the Eligibility Assessment.

Benefits of dual Malta citizenship

A second Maltese passport gives you the freedom to travel without a visa throughout the world and helps you build a successful future for yourself and your family. We discuss its advantages and drawbacks.

Dual Malta citizenship helps investors in the following ways.

Move to the European Union. The main advantage of Malta citizenship is living in any EU country and Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein without any time or other restrictions. Investors often prefer to move to countries with a high standard of living.

Furthermore, although investors have the option of moving to Malta or another EU country, they are not obliged to do so.

A safe haven. Investors who are Maltese citizens can build a safe haven for themselves and their families in Malta or another country in the EU, allowing them to travel or move there at short notice in unexpected political, economic or other difficulties arising in their country of origin. Malta citizenship allows you to buy real estate there and keep your money safe and secure in a European bank. Having second citizenship in Malta means that you can travel there even in the middle of a pandemic.

Business and work in Europe. In contrast to holders of residence permits for financially independent individuals, Maltese citizens can work and start a business in any country in the European Union. 

Access to high-quality healthcare. Countries in the European Union are consistently ranked highly in terms of the population's health. Spain, Italy, Iceland, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway were ranked in the top 10 countries in the Bloomberg Health Index 2022. This is primarily due to the quality of their healthcare systems. 

Living in the European Union without any restrictions is essential if you need to undergo a long course of treatment. 

European education for your children. A Maltese passport allows you and your children to study in any EU country without applying for a student visa or worrying about falling into the quota set for citizens from third countries. Furthermore, you do not need additional permission to remain in Malta or another EU country after graduation and look for a job there.

Travel visa-free. A Maltese passport enables you to travel without a visa to 184 countries worldwide, including the United States, Australia, Canada and Japan.

However, a Maltese passport does not allow the holder to move to the UK. A Maltese citizen cannot spend more than 6 months a year in the UK without a visa and needs a residence permit to live there.

Dual Malta citizenship in 1 or 3 years for the whole family

You can become a Maltese citizen for exceptional services by direct investment 1 or 3 years after getting a residence permit. The other options of Malta citizenship take 5 years, and in most cases, you have to live in Malta or another EU country for this period.

Together with the investor, their spouse, parents, grandparents over 55 years old and unmarried children under 29 years old can also get Maltese passports. The investor’s family members receive the same rights and enjoy all the benefits of EU citizenship.

Investors applying for citizenship must fulfil the following investment conditions.

€600,000+
Contribution to the state fund
€700,000/€16,000
Buy real estate/rent real estate for 5 years, cost per annum
€10,000
Charitable donation

The amount of the contribution to the Maltese National Development and Social Fund depends on whether the applicant wants to get a Maltese passport in 1 year or in 3 years. Investors also have the choice of renting a property at an annual cost of €16,000 for five years or buying a property for €700,000.

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to get a Maltese passport?

In order 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 1.46 million euros.

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

What are the other costs paid by investors applying for a Maltese passport?

Investors also pay state duties, fees and taxes, and lawyers’ fees. The exact costs vary depending on the investor’s specific situation.

The Due Diligence check costs €15,000 for the main applicant and €10,000 for each family member over 12 years of age included in the application, making it one of the highest additional costs.

Is it possible to recover some of the money invested?

In order to obtain Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment, the applicant contributes to the state fund and a charitable contribution. These investments are non-refundable. The investor cannot recover the money contributed to the state fund or charity.

Another part of the investment condition involves renting or buying a property. Only applicants who buy real estate rather than rent it can recover their real estate investment by selling it 5 years later. In this way, the investor saves €80,000 in rent payments over five years and can profit by selling the property, possibly at a higher price.

Does the investor’s partner have to be married to be included in the same application for Malta citizenship?

The partner of the investor applying for Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment does not have to be officially married to be eligible for inclusion in the citizenship application. It is sufficient for the couple to live together.

Does Malta allow dual citizenship?

Since February 2000, Maltese citizens have been allowed to have another citizenship without the requirement to renounce Maltese citizenship. This right is enshrined in the Constitution of Malta in Article 22.

Can you buy Malta citizenship?

Investors can obtain second Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services through direct investment. This is provided for by the Maltese Citizenship Act. The minimum investment is €690,000.

Family members can obtain dual citizenship at the same time as the investor. The program allows the main applicant’s spouse, children under 29 years old, parents and grandparents under 59 years old to participate.

What are the benefits of Malta citizenship?

Malta citizenship helps you build a successful future for yourself and your family. 

The main benefits of obtaining a second Malta passport:

  • Live in any EU country without additional costs, visas or time restrictions.
  • Travel visa-free to 180 countries around the world, including the United States.
  • Educate your children in the best universities in Europe by paying the same fees as EU citizens without applying for a student visa.
  • Possibility to quickly change your tax residence.
  • Malta’s tax system offers one of the most attractive tax regimes in Europe to optimise the tax obligations of individuals and legal entities.
  • Malta is part of the Commonwealth of Nations, which results in additional benefits when doing business and studying in the UK.
Who is entitled to Maltese citizenship?

You can become a Maltese citizen for exceptional services by direct investment 1 or 3 years after getting a residence permit. The other options of Malta citizenship take 5 years, and in most cases, you have to live in Malta or another EU country for this period.

Together with the investor, their spouse, parents, grandparents over 55 years old and unmarried children under 29 years old can also get Maltese passports. The investor’s family members receive the same rights and enjoy all the benefits of EU citizenship.

Is it easy to get citizenship in Malta?

Citizenship of Malta is obtained by birthright, through adoption, marriage, pedigree, special services to the state and naturalisation. Wealthy people can obtain a resident permit and second citizenship in Malta for exceptional services by direct investment. 

You can become a Maltese citizen for exceptional services by direct investment 1 or 3 years after getting a residence permit. The other options of Malta citizenship take 5 years, and in most cases, you have to live in Malta or another EU country for this period.

How strong is Malta passport?

A Malta passport gives visa-free access to 186 countries, including the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Is dual Malta citizenship by naturalisation really the best and safest investment for your future?

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