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Case Studies

Malta citizenship for holders of residence permits or permanent residence in Europe

The situation, which we briefly designated in the title, is quite common among our customers. A person received a residence permit in one of the countries of the European Union and moved there for permanent residence. However, after a while he/she understood that the rights and opportunities that the status of a residence permit affords him and his family are not enough. How to be in this case - we tell on a specific example.

How to get Malta citizenship after five years of living with a permanent residence by investment

Our customers

  • Eugene, 48 years old. Former official and businessman, and at the present time privati. Lives by earlier received income
  • Olga, 46 years old. Eugene’s spouse, works in a charitable organization, is engaged in raising children
  • Arthur, 19 years old. Studying at a College in the UK
  • Robert, 16 years old. Going to a gymnasium in Estonia
  • Elena, 8 years old. Going to an elementary school in Estonia

The Situation

The heroes of our today's case study have been living in Estonia for 9 years and for 4 years have the status of permanent residence in Estonia. At the same time, they remain citizens of Russia.

For several reasons, Eugene and Olga decided to apply for Estonian citizenship and began consultations on naturalization. They have previously studied the Estonian Citizenship Act, which states that foreigners who have lived in the country for 8 years can apply for passports. According to Eugene, his family perfectly fit the criteria for applicants for citizenship. However, the Estonian authorities had a different opinion on this matter. There were several insurmountable obstacles.

The essence of a general problem

Among our clients there are people who have already received a residence permit in Europe, using one of the government programs (Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Greece). However, this status does not give enough rights to its owner when registering a business, applying for work in high positions and other important life nuances. It is logical that our clients, after some time living in the EU, begin to think about obtaining European citizenship.

And at this stage, not everything is simple, because even having a residence permit, you can apply for citizenship only after 5-10 years of permanent residence in the country. The specific period depends on the country itself. For example, in Switzerland it is 10-12 years. To this time, it is also necessary to add the time, during which the application will be considered and the decision will be made by the local authorities. And it may take another 3-5 years.

In addition, the naturalization process (that is the name for obtaining citizenship on a first-come, first-served basis) often requires applicants to know the state language, have no income in other countries, do not work there in state structures, etc. This can also cause difficulties.

The problems of our customers

So, in the process of consulting Eugene and Olga with the Estonian authorities, several important inconsistencies surfaced.

  • It turned out to be that our heroes know Estonian not gut enough to obtain citizenship
  • All the time while they lived in Estonia, they had no income on the territory of the country (having it in another state) and, accordingly, did not pay taxes
  • The elder son Arthur has been constantly living and studying in the UK for the last 4 years. Therefore, it does not automatically qualify for permanent residence in Estonia for 8 years. Since at the time of filing the application he was already an adult, he did not have the right to citizenship according to the verdict of the authorities
  • An inconvenient and undesirable condition turned out to be the requirement to renounce Russian citizenship. The family owns a lot of real estate in the Russian Federation. And to travel to relatives they now have to get a visa. In addition, Eugene and Olga are considering the possibility of returning to Russia when the children become independent. And the children themselves do not exclude that in the future they will be able to live and work here.

Thus, our heroes almost lost the chance to obtain citizenship by naturalization in Estonia. In addition, if they still applied for Estonian passports, the probability of refusal would be too high. And this could further negatively affect their lives in this country.

Search for options

Yevgeny turned to our company for advice in order to find out if there are opportunities for obtaining EU citizenship for him and his family quickly. We proposed to consider programs for obtaining citizenship of Cyprus and Malta.

Since Eugene 9 years ago was long running a large business in Russia, his condition allowed him to easily invest 1-2 million euros in a
Cypriot or Maltese passport.

  • For registration of citizenship of Malta he had to make a non-refundable contribution in the amount of 650 thousand euros to the Maltese national fund, buy securities for 150 thousand euros, and also buy property in Malta worth from 350 thousand euros (as an option - to rent housing for 5 years for 12-16 thousand euros per year)
  • To obtain the citizenship of Cyprus, you need to invest at least 2 million euros in residential real estate. Alternatively, you can buy commercial real estate for 2 million euros or invest the same amount in government bonds and alternative investment funds.Additionally, you must purchase a home in the amount of 500 thousand euros. Investments are recurring in nature - they can be returned after 3 years. However, the investor should own the property in Cyprus worth at least 500 thousand euros for life.

After a detailed review of both programs, Eugene and Olga chose the citizenship of Malta. The decisive factor was the right to visit the United States without a visa with a Maltese passport. This is important for the family, since the eldest son, Arthur, plans to apply for a magistracy in the United States, and the parents would like to visit him at any time, without thinking about obtaining visas.


After concluding a contract with Eugene, we immediately began the process of obtaining the citizenship of Malta. Our hero was impressed by the fact that after 2 weeks he received a residence permit in this country. Meanwhile, this is a mandatory step in the process of applying for citizenship, as Identity Malta creates all the conditions for applicants for passports to come to the country and get to know it.

At the second stage, the preparation of documents for passing the reliability test Due Diligence also took very little time. In Estonia, all the documents of our clients were already prepared for citizenship, and in Russia we promptly helped with the collection of documents.

In general, after 1 year and 1 month the family received the citizenship of Malta. No snags and problems in the process have arisen.

Results of Cooperation

  • Now the whole family has refused permanent residence in Estonia, as this document is intended only for citizens of countries that are not part of the EU
  • Since EU citizens pay less than foreigners to study in European universities, the cost of education in the UK for Arthur was recalculated to the lower side
  • The family plans to move from Estonia to Austria, because now they can live in any EU country
  • Maltese citizenship allows you to travel around Schengen (and in general to more than 150 countries of the world) without a visa. Our heroes have already traveled to Australia without obtaining additional travel documents.Yevgeny appreciated this convenience, since they were also in Australia 2 years ago, but to obtain a visa they had to prepare almost the same set of documents as for obtaining Maltese citizenship
  • Now, on the New Year's Eve, they came to their hometown, Kazan, to visit their relatives. At the same time, they also do not need a visa, as they have kept the citizenship of the Russian Federation

When you make a second citizenship in Europe, you do not need to give up Russian passports. You will significantly expand your capabilities and will live a full life - like the heroes of this case. We wish your wishes come true in the coming year!

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

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