St. Julians, Malta
Dragonara Business Centre, Office 506, Dragonara Road,
Paceville, St Julian’s, STJ 3141 Malta
+356 (277) 811-04
Vienna, Austria
Doblhoffgasse 9, 1010
+43 (650) 540-49-79
All offices
Second citizenship

Malta permanent residency by investment and citizenship by naturalisation: how to get it

In Malta investors can apply for citizenship or a permanent residence permit. It's two different procedures with their residency requirements. In both cases, the investor’s family members can participate and obtain the status at the same time.

If the investor and his family provide reliable background information and documents, they can get a Malta passport in one year and permanent residency in six months.

How to apply for a Malta passport or permanent residency status, and what are the costs.

Malta permanent residency

What benefits give Malta passport and permanent residency

Malta permanent residence program is a path to Maltese permanent residency by investment. 

Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services through direct investment leads to obtaining citizenship.

Both routes are suitable for high-income non-European residents interested in working and studying in Europe or planning Malta immigration.

Malta passport and permanent residency benefits:

  1. Freedom to travel to more than 180 countries for Malta passport holders, including the USA, Canada, and Australia. Every Maltese citizen is also a citizen of the European Union.
  2. Visa-free travel to Schengen states for Maltese residence permit holders allows visiting other countries of the Schengen Area for up to 90 days in six months.
  3. Citizenship or residency in a well-respected, economically, and politically stable European country.  
  4. Future generations inherit citizenship status. A child will get a Malta passport even if born outside of Malta.  
  5. Right to live, work, and study in all 27 EU countries and Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Iceland. 
  6. Tax optimisation for investors — 0% tax rate on foreign income not transferred to Malta. There is no inheritance tax or surcharge for the main applicant's spouse, children or other relatives included in the application.
  7. Right to open accounts in international banks in Malta with a high level of financial security.
  8. Tourism and real estate in Malta attract entrepreneurs from all over the world. Investors receive a stable income. For example, renting out real estate earns at least 5% per annum.
  9. British and American schools and universities' branches are situated in Malta. Malta residents can get an education in public universities for free.
  10.  Living in a warm climate. The average annual temperature is about 23 °C during the day. The coldest month is January: the temperature ranges from 12 to 20 °C.
Malta passport — visa-free countries
Malta passport is considered one of the strongest one in the world due to a large number of countries, now it's 185, that can be visited without arranging for a visa in advance. In 31 of these countries, a visa is issued upon arrival, while in another 11 countries, an electronic travel authorisation (eTA) is required

How to get Malta passport and permanent residency

Obtain a Maltese passport or residency card is possible according to two options:

  1. Apply for Malta citizenship by naturalisation path. An applicant can obtain Maltese citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services through direct investment. The Maltese Citizenship Act provides for this. The minimum investment is €690,000.
  2. Participate in Malta permanent residency by investment program. Wealthy individuals from non-EU countries can obtain a permanent residency permit within six months. An investor can buy or rent real estate, pay government fees and make a charitable contribution. They must also confirm that they have capital of €500,000.

Malta citizenship and permanent residency comparison

OpportunitiesCitizenshipPermanent residency
Visa-free travellingFor the European Union countries and the Schengen AreaFor all countries with which there is a visa-free agreement
Where you can live, work and study without time limits, enter and leave at any timeIn the country of permanent residenceIn any European Union country
Status expiration dateFor whole lifeFor whole life
Opportunity to come to the country of permanent residence or citizenship during closed borders
Buy real estate, securities and other assets in the country of permanent residence or citizenship
Business conditions, rates and tax benefits
Open an account in an international bank, keep savings, take a loan
Access to medical services
Work in government departments and participation in elections

Who can apply for Malta passport and permanent residency

Malta citizenship requirements for an investor:

  • age over 18 years old;
  • no criminal record or criminal prosecution;
  • not under sanctions;
  • no visa denials to countries that have a visa waiver regime with Malta;
  • ability to confirm the legality of the origin of the invested funds.

The relatives are also eligible to apply for Malta citizenship by naturalisation. Among them: spouse or partner, children under 18; children over 29, unmarried, and financially dependent on principal investor; financially dependent parents or grandparents over 55 of either investor or spouse.

Malta permanent residency requirements for an investor:

  • age over 18 years old;
  • no criminal record or criminal prosecution;
  • no visa denials to countries that have a visa waiver regime with Malta;
  • ability to confirm the legality of the origin of the invested funds;
  • owning a capital of at least €500,000, of which at least €150,000 thousand must be financial assets.

An investor can add to the application the family members: spouse or partner, children under 18; children over 18, unmarried, and financially dependent on the principal investor; financially dependent parents or grandparents of either investor or spouse.

If people, who live together without being registered as civil marriage, bring documents proving common-law marriage, they can participate in Malta permanent residence program. They can use a joint bank account statement, registration certificate, shared ownership, testimonies from relatives and friends, and photos and videos from vacations.

Malta passport — family members requirements
Malta is one of the European countries which offers citizenship or residency for the LGBT couple. They must be officially registered

The Maltese permanent residence program is the only investment route in Europe with no age limits for relatives. 

To apply for a Malta golden visa, an applicant must bring:

  1. Passports of all family members. 
  2. Proof you have the necessary funds for the investment.
  3. Documents sustaining the funds have legal sources.
  4. Bank statements from your country of origin.
  5. Proof of family relationships, such as marriage certificate, birth certificate, divorce certificate or custody documents.
  6. Documents proving financial dependency for adult children, parents, or grandparents.
  7. Biometric data for the main applicant and others over 12.
  8. Police certificates, proving you do not have a criminal background.
  9. Medical insurance.
  10.  Any other necessary documents, if required.

Malta citizenship by naturalisation requirements

The Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment is the official name of Malta's golden visa for obtaining citizenship. There is no requirement to reside in Malta before or after receiving citizenship.

There is no difference between Malta citizenship by naturalisation and Malta passport receiving by origin. Investors and their family members get the same rights and privileges as native inhabitants.

Victoria Atanasova,
head of the Maltese office Immigrant Invest, a lawyer in international and economic law

A sum of the contribution defines when the investor can apply for citizenship. If the contribution amounts to €600,000, the residence permit must be kept for three years. If an investor contributes €750,000, the residence period cuts to one year.

An applicant meets three mandatory investment conditions: 

  • contribute to the National Development and Social Fund (the NDSF); 
  • donate money to a non-governmental organisation;
  • buy or rent real estate. 

Additional investment for each family member is €50,000.

Malta citizenship by naturalisation expenses

ExpensesContribution DonationBuying or renting real estate
Malta citizenship in 1-year €750,000€10,0001). Purchase a residential estate amounting to at least €700,000, or
Malta citizenship in 3-years €600,000€10,0002). Conclude a rental agreement of at least €16,00 a year, which is maintained for five years.

In the case of renting real estate, an investor first 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, depending on the option.

The investor applies for a Malta passport in a year or three years. The investor concludes a new leasing agreement for €16,000 per year. It is obligatory to rent housing for at least five years.

In the case of buying real estate, the property must remain in the investor's ownership for five years from the date they were granted permanent residence. After five years, it can be sold, and part of the investment returned.

Example of property to get Malta citizenship by naturalisation

Malta golden visa — investment in real estate

Apartments in a large-scale residential project on the first coastline, from €350,000. You can purchase a residential complex, apartments, and duplex from 77 m². It is the largest and the most exciting project under development in Malta, with 369 apartments spread over eight blocks. The owner can rent out the property without restrictions.

Malta golden visa — investment in real estate

Apartments in a large-scale residential project on the first coastline, from €350,000. You can purchase a residential complex, apartments, and duplex from 77 m². It is the largest and the most exciting project under development in Malta, with 369 apartments spread over eight blocks. The owner can rent out the property without restrictions.

Malta golden visa — investment in real estate

Apartments in a large-scale residential project on the first coastline, from €350,000. You can purchase a residential complex, apartments, and duplex from 77 m². It is the largest and the most exciting project under development in Malta, with 369 apartments spread over eight blocks. The owner can rent out the property without restrictions.

Malta golden visa — investment in real estate

Apartments in a large-scale residential project on the first coastline, from €350,000. You can purchase a residential complex, apartments, and duplex from 77 m². It is the largest and the most exciting project under development in Malta, with 369 apartments spread over eight blocks. The owner can rent out the property without restrictions.

Step-by-step procedure of obtaining Malta citizenship by naturalisation

If you decide to acquire a Maltese passport, contact Immigrant Invest lawyers. The experts will help you to pass all steps and get citizenship in one or three years, depending on investment options.
PT12M
Stage Этап
Details Детали
Preliminary Due Diligence check
Preliminary Due Diligence check

It’s a key step in determining whether the Maltese state authorities will approve the investor’s application for a Malta passport. Immigrant Invest’s certified Anti Money Laundering Officer examines the investor’s documents and identifies possible risks that could result in their citizenship being rejected.

Preliminary Due Diligence check
Police check
Police check

The Maltese police discuss the candidacy of the investor and their family members older than 12 years in the databases held by Interpol and Europol.

Police check
Obtaining a Malta residence permit
Obtaining a Malta residence permit

A Malta residence permit is issued to the investor and all family members over 18. Immigrant Invest lawyers prepare a Due Diligence report and apostille the relevant application documents. Also, the lawyers draw up a Maltese real estate rental contract and prepare the forms required for the medical insurance policy.

Obtaining a Malta residence permit
Eligibility Test
Eligibility Test

This procedure remains a Due Diligence check. Immigrant Invest lawyers apply for the Eligibility Test on behalf of the investor and applicants over 12 years old. This must be done within 12 months from the date of receipt of the residence permit card.

Eligibility Test
Check and approve
Check and approve

The Minister approves or rejects applications. After passing the test, applicants can apply for citizenship one to three years after obtaining a Maltese residence permit.

Check and approve
Applying for Malta citizenship
Applying for Malta citizenship

The procedure depends on term options:

  • submitting after one year — the applicant has to confirm whether there have been any significant changes in their circumstances.
  • submitting after three years — the applicant’s permanent residence address must be confirmed, and no criminal record certificate must be updated. If any other documents have been updated, they must also be resubmitted.
Applying for Malta citizenship
Final approval by the Minister
Final approval by the Minister

The decision is made in writing and provides the applicant with the possibility of obtaining Malta citizenship.

Final approval by the Minister
Investing
Investing

Within four months of the Minister’s written approval. In addition, the principal applicant needs to prove their residence in Malta. The residency requirement is stipulated in the new law.

  • After 12 months of receipt of residence permit: investment of €750,000.
  • After 36 months of receipt of residence permit: investment of €600,000.
Investing
Receiving the Malta passport
Receiving the Malta passport
Receiving the Malta passport

Malta permanent residency requirements

The Maltese Permanent Residency Programme (MPRP) is the official name of the investment route. Malta is the only country in Europe that offers permanent residence by investment, not temporary.

Permanent residence status, as opposed to a temporary residence permit is granted for life and is confirmed by a Certificate of Maltese Residence, issued by the country’s Government after approval and fulfilment of investment conditions.

Victoria Atanasova,
head of the Maltese office Immigrant Invest, a lawyer in international and economic law

The Malta Permanent Residence Program is not subject to a quota, and there are no restrictions on obtaining a Malta Permanent Resident Card. Permanent residency can get citizens of any country except for the European Union. You do not need to know the language or history of the country, and there is no obligation to live in Malta.

An applicant fulfils mandatory investment conditions: 

  • make a charitable donation;
  • pay administrative and state fees;
  • buy or rent real estate;
  • capital of at least €500,000, including liquid financial assets of €150,000. 

Malta permanent residency costs

ExpensesRent/purchaseAdministrative feeContribution to stateDonation
Rent real estate for 5 years€50,000€50,000€58,000€2,000
Buy real estate€300,000€40,000€28,000€2,000

When buying real estate, the property must remain in the ownership of the main investor for five years from the date they were granted permanent residence. After five years, it can be sold, and part of the investment returned.

Step-by-step procedure for obtaining Malta permanent residency by investment

If you decide to acquire a Malta residence permit by investment, contact Immigrant Invest lawyers. The experts will carefully study your circumstances and key points, select the appropriate option and accompany you throughout obtaining a residence permit in 6—8 months.

6—8 months
The term of obtaining Malta permanent residency

1. Preliminary Due Diligence Check. The investor undergoes an initial check against International legal and business information databases. They are also checked for harmful or compromising information materials on the Internet.

2. Collection and execution of documents for applying for a particular tax status. Immigrant Invest's lawyers make a list of needed documents for the application. The applicant provides originals. Lawyers submit documents for translation and certification, and they also fill out forms on behalf of the applicant. At this stage, the investor pays the administration fee.

3. Compliance with the terms of the Malta Global Residence Program. Immigrant Invest's lawyers prepare a property rental or purchase declaration, the letter from the tax service and state forms that need to be filled out. A lawyer from Immigrant Invest accompanies them.

4. Applying for Due Diligence. The Residency Malta Agency conducts the Due Diligence on the applicant, which takes about four months. If necessary, the investor mud provides additional information, about the business and finances. Immigrant Invest’s lawyers prepare the documents, answer any questions and submit them to the agency.

5. Approval of the application. The Residency Malta Agency approve the application and notify Immigrant Invest’s lawyers. Next step, the applicant must fulfil the investment conditions.

The remaining €30,000 of the administration fee is payable within two months from approval. Payments related to state contributions, charitable donations, and renting or purchasing property can take eight months.

At this stage, the applicants buy medical insurance with minimum coverage of €30,000 per person.

6. Applying for Malta residence permit cards and submitting biometrics. All applicants must come to Malta a second time to submit an application and biometrics for residence permit cards. Family members over 18 can go separately without the principal applicant to apply for a residence permit and submit biometrics no later than six months after beginning the insurance and rental agreement.

Immigrant Invest lawyer accompanies applicants. The application and the necessary documents are submitted to the Identity Malta Agency by appointment.

7. Obtaining a residence permit card. Identity Malta Agency reviews the application for a residence permit within 5-6 weeks. After consideration, the agency sends a letter with notification of readiness of the residence permit cards by mail. The letter is sent to the applicant's Maltese residence address, confirmed by the previous lease or purchase agreement.

All applicants need to come to Malta for the third time to personally pick up residence permit cards from Identity Malta upon presentation of a letter.

How to renew Malta permanent residence

In May 2015, Lizhong applied to Immigrant Invest to obtain permanent residence in Malta. The investor decided to become a Maltese resident to travel to the Schengen countries without a visa, send his son to study at a European school, and move the whole family to the European Union.

When Lizhong applied to Immigrant Invest, Malta had an investment program — Malta Residence and Visa Program. In March 2021, new rules came into force, and the program is now called the Malta Permanent Residence Program.

Case

Other European countries with residence permit programs by investment

Malta is not the only country in Europe offering a path leading to a residence permit by investment. The most sought after programs are also operated in Greece, Portugal, Сyprus and Spain.

Residence permit programs in Europe

The countryCostsTerm of obtainingInvestment options
Portugal€250,000+ 2—6 months
  • Buying a property
  • Purchase of units of investment funds
  • Support for culture and art
  • Investments in scientific projects
  • Capital transferBusiness investment
  • Opening a company in Portugal
  • Support for programs to improve the environment
Spain€500,000+ 2—3 months
  • Charity contribution
  • Investment fund contribution
  • Buying a property
  • Bank deposit
  • Buying government bonds
Greece€250,000+ 6 months
  • Buying a property
  • Hotel rental
  • Buying securities or opening a deposit in a bank
  • Purchase of land for construction or agriculture
  • Timeshare for 10 years
  • Receipt of real estate by inheritance or under a donation agreement
 Cyprus€300,000+ 3 months
  • Buying a property
  • Investment in a Cypriot company
  • Purchase of securities

The EU states confer a residence permit by investment, carefully checking the reliability of each investor. The legality of the origin of income, reputational risks, and business ties are considered. And the flow of investors wishing to receive the status is constantly growing.

A residence permit in a European country provides freedom of travel within the Schengen Area and the prospect of citizenship in an EU country.

Frequently asked questions

What benefits give Malta passport and permanent residency?

Malta permanent residence program is a path to Maltese permanent residency by investment. 

Maltese citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services through direct investment leads to obtaining citizenship.

Both routes are suitable for high-income non-European residents interested in working and studying in Europe or planning Malta immigration.

Who can apply for Malta citizenship and permanent residency?

Malta citizenship requirements for an investor:

  • age over 18 years old;
  • no criminal record or criminal prosecution;
  • not under sanctions;
  • no visa denials to countries with a visa waiver regime with Malta;
  • ability to confirm the legality of the origin of the invested funds.

The relatives are also eligible to apply for Malta citizenship. Among them: spouse or partner, children under 18; children over 29, unmarried, and financially dependent on principal investor; financially dependent parents or grandparents over 55 of either investor or spouse.

Malta permanent residency requirements for an investor:

  • age over 18 years old;
  • no criminal record or criminal prosecution;
  • no visa denials to countries that have a visa waiver regime with Malta;
  • ability to confirm the legality of the origin of the invested funds;
  • owning a capital of at least €500,000, of which at least €150,000 thousand must be financial assets.

An investor can bring the family members: spouse or partner, children under 18; children over 18, unmarried, and financially dependent on the principal investor; financially dependent parents or grandparents of either investor or spouse.

How can I get Malta permanent residency?

Participate in Malta permanent residence program and meet all the requirements.

An applicant fulfils mandatory investment conditions: 

  • make a charitable donation;
  • pay administrative and state fees;
  • buy or rent real estate;
  • capital of at least €500,000, including liquid financial assets of €150,000.
How can I get Malta passport?

Apply for Malta citizenship by naturalisation path and meet all the requirements.

An applicant fulfils three mandatory investment conditions: 

  • contribute to the National Development and Social Fund (the NDSF); 
  • donate money to a non-governmental organisation;
  • buy or rent real estate. 

Additional investment for each family member is €50,000.

What are the expenses when applying for Malta passport by naturalisation?

The minimal investment amount to get a Malta passport for one person is about €690,000. It involves renting property for three years to get Malta’s residence permit. Also, investors must pay contributions, make a donation and pass the eligibility test and other fees.

Another opportunity is to purchase real estate. It costs about €1,310,000 for one applicant, including contribution, donation, medical insurance, administrative fee and other expenses.

Does Malta allow dual citizenship?

Yes, it does. But it’s also necessary to find out whether the country of origin will enable you to have a second passport or refuse it.

Which investment programs are best in Europe?

It depends on the investor’s key points and goals. The best investment programs are operated in Malta, Greece, Portugal, and Spain.

Malta residence program offers permanent residency within 6—8 months. You don’t need to apply for temporary residence at first.

Which EU country has the lowest investment expenses?

Greece residence permit program offers to purchase real estate for €250,000. Also, you can buy land for construction or rent a hotel for the same price.

Portugal’s residence permit program has seven investment options: purchasing real estate, purchasing units in investment funds, opening a company in Portugal, etc.

The cheapest Portugal option is investing in supporting culture and art. The minimal amount is €250,000.

Please confirm subscription and get the first later soon
Sign up for the weekly digest and receive the best offers
Get second citizenship or residence fast and efficient
Sign up for emails on new Golden Visa & Citizenship by investment articles

Malta permanent residency by investment and citizenship by naturalisation: how to get it