2018

Reading Time: 6 min

Malta permanent residence: is it possible to get a loan to participate in the investment program?

We love our home country but wanted more comfort for us and our child. That’s why we decided to move to another place with better environmental conditions and a peaceful atmosphere. In the end, we knew we could always return to Egypt or visit it as often as we wanted.

We looked through various investment programs but couldn’t find anything suitable.

Then, Immigrant Invest agents suggested we consider Malta permanent residency, which ended up being the best option possible.

Omar

Omar, 35

Co-owner of a catering company in Egypt

Clients’ names and photos have been changed

Malta Permanent Residence for an Egyptian family

Malta permanent residence: is it possible to get a loan to participate in the investment program?

Why did investors decide to obtain a status in another country?

Omar and Nur are a married couple from Egypt. Together, they established a catering business that now brings a regular income.

When the most challenging time of developing a business from scratch was behind them, they decided to focus on making their personal life more comfortable. Being able to manage the company remotely, they saw no obstacles to moving elsewhere.

Their main goal was to relocate to a peaceful country with pure air, a clean environment and an opportunity to live by the sea. It must be suitable for raising kids and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Omar and Nur also wanted their child, Mohamed, to enter a European university after finishing school. They hoped it would give him an excellent education and live and work anywhere he wanted.

Choosing the country: considering Caribbean citizenship programs

The couple turned to Immigrant Invest at the end of 2017. They wanted to obtain citizenship so they didn’t have to go through the application process over and over again and renew their statuses every 1—2 years as it would be with residence permits.

We offered them citizenship by investment programs available in the Caribbean region:

  • Antigua and Barbuda — $100,000+;

  • Dominica — $100,000+;

  • St Lucia — $100,000+;

  • Grenada — $150,000+;

  • St Kitts and Nevis — $150,000+. In 2023, St Kitts and Nevis authorities reconsidered the program’s conditions and increased a minimum investment sum to $250,000.

With the citizenship of one of the countries above, Omar and Nur could move to the Caribbean region as well as travel visa-free around the world. The absence of many taxes and minimal tax rates for companies made these countries attractive for entrepreneurs who want to run their businesses on the most favourable terms.

The ecological situation in the Caribbean area also aligned with Omar and Nur’s demands.

However, the first concern that arose was the remoteness of the region. Both Omar and Nur had elderly parents living in Egypt. The couple didn’t want to move too far away from their country of origin because they wanted to visit their parents regularly.

The second concern was higher education. Omar and Nur learned that entering a European university with a Caribbean passport can take a lot of work. A potential student can’t just enter a European country and start studying there. They need to obtain a student visa that can be denied. Moreover, it is required to renew it every year.

Considering this information, the couple decided not to apply for Caribbean citizenship.

Choosing the country between Malta and Turkey

Omar and Nur considered getting citizenship in a European country. We offered two countries: Turkey and Malta. Both of them had citizenship by investment programs.

Turkey had several investment options to choose from:

  1. Purchase of real estate for $250,000+. In 2023, the minimum investment in real estate is $400,000.

  2. Opening a bank deposit with $500,000+.

  3. Purchase of government bonds or securities for $500,000.

  4. Opening a business with a capital of $600,000+ or creating 50 jobs.

  5. Purchase of shares of an investment fund for $500,000+.

Malta citizenship requirements were to contribute to the National Development and Social Fund at least €650,000 and buy government bonds for €150,000. Besides, the applicant needed to rent or buy real estate for 5 years — €16,000 per annum or €350,000+, respectively. The investor couldn’t choose and had to fulfil all the conditions.

Conditions for obtaining Malta citizenship have changed. From 2020, obtaining Malta citizenship is a naturalisation path. For investors, it takes 1—3 years and requires an investment of at least 690,000.

After comparing the two countries, Omar and Nur preferred Malta. They were lured by a visa-free regime with the Schengen states, which meant they wouldn’t need to apply for visas with Malta citizenship. Turkish citizenship didn’t have such a benefit.

Malta also had a higher quality of life and didn’t belong to the earthquake-prone regions by contrast with Turkey.

However, obtaining a Maltese passport required Omar and Nur to withdraw a significant portion of the money invested in their business. They were unsatisfied with this idea and started looking for a solution.

Taking on a bank loan in Malta and why the investor renounced this idea

Omar heard from his business partner that it was possible to take on credit for participation in the citizenship program at one of the banking institutions of Malta. He was also convinced that such a scheme was legal and acceptable.

This idea was attractive but had dangerous pitfalls that our client was unaware of. When Omar told us about it and also about the fact that he had planned to sign a corresponding agreement soon, we reacted immediately.

Such a loan is available only if an applicant always had an amount equal to the investment under the program on their deposit account. In this case, the amount was about €1,000,000. Alternatively, it was possible to provide other documents proving that the applicant could make payments towards the loan at any time without the risk of being broke.

Omar dismissed this idea. Even though his business was functioning well, he did want to have spare money on him in case something unpredictable happened. Thus, he was not ready to take money from business and keep €1,000,000 in the deposit for several years with an obligation to pay off the loan.

Moreover, he knew obtaining citizenship could take at least several months. At the same time, the loan required a significant package of documents and explanations to be prepared and provided, which would certainly prolong the whole process of moving to Malta.

Switching to obtaining Malta permanent residence

The investors declined all citizenship by investment programs, so we offered them permanent residency in Malta instead. This status gives virtually the same rights as citizenship of Malta, including being granted once and for life.

Omar and Nur took time to think about our suggestion and eventually decided it was their best option. So, we started to prepare for the application process.

In 2018, to obtain permanent residence in Malta, it was required to:

  • invest €250,000 in securities for 5 years;

  • pay a one-time non-refundable administrative fee of €30,000;

  • buy real estate in Malta for €270,000—320,000 and keep it for or rent a residential property for an amount of €10,000—12,000 per year for 5 years;

  • prove an annual income of €100,000 or show the availability of at least €500,000 in a bank account.

Omar and Nur have spent approximately €700,000. The process of acquiring residence permit cards took 10 months.

1

December 5th, 2017

Passing preliminary Due Diligence

Investors provided us with passports, and we conducted a preliminary check within one working day. Then, we signed a Services Agreement.

2

+1 month

Collecting of documents, €3,750

Our lawyers provided Omar and Nur with a list of documents required for the application. It included the following:

  • Omar and Nur’s passports;

  • birth certificates of all family members;

  • a marriage certificate;

  • documents proving clean criminal records and the absence of tax arrears for both Omar and Nur.

Omar, as the main applicant, also provided the following:

  • a bank statement — the document proved the investor had €500,000 in his bank account;

  • welfare history;

  • a full list of assets;

  • a full list of affiliated companies.

Immigrant Invest lawyers notarized and apostilled copies of documents and arranged translations with a licensed Maltese translator. In general, investors paid €3,750 for all these services.

3

+1 week

Filling out application forms and applying, €5,500

Lawyers filled out all the required forms and applied to the Residency Malta Agency on behalf of Omar. He paid a part of an administrative fee of €5,500 for processing his application.

4

+7 months

Passing main Due Diligence

The Residency Malta Agency was considering Omar’s application for 7 months and preliminarily approved it. To get final approval, he was required to make all the investments.

5

+1 month

Fulfilling investment requirements, €696,000

Omar and Nur decided to buy housing instead of renting one.

Immigrant Invest real estate agents offered several property options in different parts of Malta. Eventually, the couple chose a lovely townhouse for €420,000 in Sliema, a town on the northeast coast of Malta.

Besides, the couple bought government bonds for €250,000 and paid the rest of the administrative fee — €24,500.

They also took out insurance that cost €1,500 for all three of them.

6

+2 week

Applying for biometrics

Before submitting biometrics, Omar was required to gather additional documents:

  • SWIFT proving payment of an administrative fee;

  • a document confirming the repurchase of securities;

  • a purchase and sale agreement;

  • a conclusion from the architect;

  • health insurances.

Immigrant Invest notarized, apostilled and translated the documents again.

7

+3 weeks

Submitting biometrics

Omar, Nur and their son travelled to Malta and submitted biometrics to the Residency Malta Agency.

8

+2 weeks

Final approval

After the family submitted fingerprints, Immigrant Invest lawyers sent documents to the Residency Malta Agency proving that Omar and his family met all the program terms.

In 2 weeks, Omar was granted final approval.

9

October 24th, 2018

Collection of permanent residence cards

Finally, Omar, Nur and their son received their Permanent Residence cards and Residency Certificate by courier.

Omar’s and Nur’s life in Malta

Ten months later, the approval from the government came, granting permanent residence to Omar, Nur and their son, and they became Maltese permanent residents.

Now they live in Sliema and enjoy a seaside location, fresh air and a high quality of life.

They plan to have at least one more child, and they were happy to find out that Malta has an exceptional quality healthcare system. Now, they don’t need to meticulously check all the clinics to choose the one that suits them well or plan a medical trip to another country.

Omar and Nur are also considering expanding their catering business and entering the large European market.

This case was provided by our expert

Julia Loko
Julia Loko

Investment programs expert

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