Case Studies

Permanent residence in Malta: common-law marriage

As a businessman, I’m used to looking for opportunities. So obtaining status in the European Union sounds like an excellent opportunity to provide a better life for my family.

George,
a businessman from Ukraine

Our clients

A married couple with children:

  • George, 32 y.o., businessman, lives in Kyiv
  • Catherine, his wife, 30 y.o., works in a company owned by George
  • Victoria, their common daughter, 3 y.o.
  • Veronica, 7 y.o., Catherine’s daughter from her first marriage, lives with the couple

Also, George has an 8-year-old son from his first marriage, who lives in Lviv with George’s ex-wife.

Why did George and Catherine decide to obtain status in the EU

George and Catherine have been thinking about relocating and obtaining status in another country for two years. They had a prosperous business in Ukraine and were looking for a new opportunity to expand it. Moreover, they considered relocation as an investment in their children’s future.

They thought about relocation to Europe for three reasons:

Develop business more conveniently. George company’s partners and suppliers are located in several European countries — Germany, Great Britain and Italy. As a Ukrainian, he could visit Germany and Italy without visas but still needs to confirm the purpose of his trip, hotel reservation and ability to pay. In addition, George has to apply for a national visa for business trips to Great Britain. Status in a European country would save his time on document preparation.

High-quality education for three children. Four of the ten best universities in the world are located in Europe. George and Catherine want their children to have access to the best education in the world.

A safe space close to their homeland. The young couple is concerned with the geopolitical situation around Ukraine, so they want to provide a safe space for the whole family in a European country. 

Challenges that we met 

George and Catherine planned to acquire status in the European Union, preferably permanent residence. However, several factors complicated the situation:

  • George and Catherine’s marriage was not officially registered for financial reasons; they live together and has a common child;
  • both George and Catherine have children from their previous marriages, so they want to acquire legal status for their children as well;
  • we had to apply all the documents within 10 days because their children were going on vacation.

Search for a solution

Wealthy people can obtain a status for investments in different European countries — Malta, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Great Britain or Cyprus. Georgy’s family planned to relocate to Europe. That’s why we have offered programs in which an investor acquires status through the purchase or rental of real estate.

Program, countryRental propertyPurchasing real estateThe total cost of the program 
Residence permit in Malta€8,750+
in the south of Malta and the island of Gozo

€9,600+
in other regions
€220,000+€34,150
in case of rental property

€270,200
in case of purchasing real estate
Permanent residence in Malta€10,000+
in the south of Malta and the island of Gozo

€12,000+
in other regions
€300,000+
in the south of Malta and the island of Gozo

€350,000+
in other regions
€150,000
in case of rental property

€370,000
in case of purchasing real estate
Residence permit in Greece €250,000
€250,000+
rent a hotel or tourist residence for 10 years
€280,000
Residence permit in PortugalNo€280,000+≈ €306,000+
Residence permit in SpainNo€500,000≈ €561,000+
for a new building

As the client’s comfortable investment was limited by €200,000 and the family would prefer permanent residence rather than a residence permit, we offered a Maltese permanent residence by investment program.

Why George chose a permanent residence program by investment in Malta

George and his wife took a couple of days to consider our offer. Then they came back with the decision to take part in the Maltese permanent residence program. They chose it for four reasons.

Sum of money that has to be invested: only €150,000 for the whole family in the case of George and Catherine if they rent a house. Other programs of permanent residence were much more expensive.

The calculation for a couple with 3 children

How to get Portugal citizenship in five years through a residence permit by investment
Renting a house
€10,000+ per year
Government fee
€58,000
Administrative fee
€40,000
Charitable contribution
€2,000

Participation of the entire family. Аn applicant can include a spouse even in an unregistered marriage and financially dependent children under 26 from other unions in the program.

Vast opportunities: the Maltese permanent residence allows travelling across the Schengen Arearnwithout visas and keeping savings in European banks. Other investors’ options include optimising taxation load, educating children in European schools and universities and receiving high-quality medical care.

Quick process of obtaining a status: it takes 6—8 months from submitting the application and documents until the issuance of a residence card. It’s one of the fastest programs for obtaining permanent residence in Europe.

Preliminary Due Diligence check

Before signing the contract and collecting the documents for participation in the program, Immigrant Invest lawyers carry out a verification check on investors. This verification check is called Due Diligence. To pass this check, the investor needs to provide a complete package of documents, have no criminal records and receive income only from legal sources.

Preliminary Due Diligence is a standard first step for Malta permanent residence by investment program participation. In Immigrant Invest, the preliminary check is conducted by our certified Anti Money Laundering Officer. Our verification reduces the risk of an application being rejected to 1%.

Victoria Atanasova,
head of the Maltese office Immigrant Invest

Preliminary Due Diligence shows that George can participate in the program. He receives legal income as a businessman, pays all the taxes in time and doesn’t have any criminal records or visa rejections.

Goals and objectives

As our proposal got the clients interested, we started to work and collect all the documents.

We defined the following tasks:

  • to verify George and Catherine’s family partnership;
  • to prove that all the children from previous marriages are financially dependent on George, acting as the main applicant;
  • to obtain the consent of the children’s second parents – George’s ex-wife and Catherine’s ex-husband.

We had a week and a half to carry out these tasks.

How did we prove that our clients are married

If the marriage is not legally registered, this is not a reason for refusing to participate in the program. However, it is necessary to prove our clients’ marital relationship — having a common child is insufficient to verify the partners’ relationships.

With George and Catherine’s permission, our employees had to study their leisure time, habits and other lifestyle aspects. As a result, we found out a few facts:

  • a property owned by Catherine was used as a place of residence for both spouses’ registration;
  • the spouses work in the same company and have close business relations;
  • Catherine uses George’s car by procuration;
  • the couple is usually travelling together;
  • George regularly pays utility bills for the apartment where both of them reside in;
  • he also pays for beauty salons and fitness centres visited by Catherine and transfers money in her name, indicating her as his spouse.

We used all these facts as evidence of the couple’s conjugal relationship.

In our practice, it’s quite common when a client wants to include in his application a partner with whom he has not officially registered a family relationship. If the family lives together, it’s easy to confirm their connections. Usually, they share family costs, travel together and spend much free time.

Victoria Atanasova,
head of the Maltese office Immigrant Invest

Verifying the children’s financial dependence

It was more challenging  to solve the problem of the children’s financial dependence on George. He is not their guardian, and his son lives with his ex-wife in Lviv.

We found out that George continuously paid for the children’s education and transferred money to his former wife to support his son financially. Undoubtedly, he provides financial support for Catherine’s daughter from the first marriage, who lives with them. In addition, he signed an affidavit of financial support for the children.

Obtaining former spouses’ consent

The most difficult task was obtaining consent from former George and Catherine’s spouses for both children. Unfortunately, the former spouses refused to go to Malta for documentary confirmation of their support for the children's participation in the program due to the lack of time. 

Simultaneously, in the shortest time, a way out of the situation was found – a visit to the Consul of Malta in Kyiv without going to Malta. The decision was rendered against the background of our long-standing business partnership with the Ambassador of Malta. A time and date were scheduled, convenient to everyone. All the participants arrived at the meeting on time and signed the documents. As a result, we saved the clients’ time and money.

Result of work

Thus, within 10 days we achieved the desired results:

  • confirmed Catherine and George’s co-residence and leisure activities;
  • proved the financial dependence of all the children participating in the program on George;
  • obtained the consent of George and Catherine’s ex-spouses for all the children’s participation in the program;
  • arranged an appointment with a doctor for all the participants of the program to obtain statements of good health;
  • scheduled a meeting with the consul to submit documents and applications.

Thus, we met the deadline. The children went on vacation, while Malta Residence and Visa Programme Regulations documents were completely prepared and filed. Thanks to a quick preparation of the documents, we could proceed to the following stages faster than usual.

The final approval from the Residence Malta Agency was received on January 15th, 7 months after they applied to Immigrant Invest. The family received permanent residence cards at the end of January.

1
May 20th, 2020
Applying to Immigrant Invest
2
+10 days
Preparation of documents and submission of investor’s application
3
+6 month
Due Diligence in Malta
4
+2 weeks
Fulfilment of investment conditions
5
+1 day
Submission of biometrics at the Residence Malta Agency
6
+1 month
Final approval from the Residence Malta Agency
7
+1,5 weeks
Issuance and delivery of permanent residence cards to the investor
8
January 28th, 2021
Obtaining Maltese permanent residence cards

The family’s plans for permanent residence in Malta

George and Catherine are planning family life in a new country. George is thinking about the future of his business: he wants to find new partners and expand the list of suppliers. Catherine chooses a new school for their children: probably it will be a school in Malta, and then, when the children grow up, she wants them to study in England.

We are so excited about our upcoming life! My wife and I didn’t expect that the process of obtaining permanent residence in Malta would be so well-planned. We are glad that we took this step and provided a better future for our children and us.

George,
a businessman from Ukraine

With permanent residence in Malta, George’s family can visit the Schengen countries without visas and spend there up to 90 days in 180 days. So the family already has a plan to take a long journey through Belgium, France and Switzerland.

The family also plan to visit Malta’s islands — Gozo and Comino. These islands have ones of the best coastlines in Europe.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

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Let’s discuss the details

Schedule a meeting at one of the offices or online. A lawyer will analyze the situation, calculate the cost and help you find a solution based on your goals.

Victoria Atanasova
Head of the Maltese office, lawyer for international and economic law
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