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
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Case Studies

Malta citizenship to gain gender equality and do business in Europe

My father has always had a pretty progressive mind. Thanks to him, I could study in Abidjan and get a law degree. He wanted me to become independent and live in a more civilised and prosperous country.

I started to provide law services to my close female friends trying to protect their rights. Then I hired assistants. In 10 years, my dad founded a law company for me. But it’s tricky managing business in a conservative country like Côte d'Ivoire. That’s why I needed to relocate.

Cassandra, 45 years old,
a businesswoman from Côte d'Ivoire
Malta citizenship

The legal system in Côte d'Ivoire doesn’t allow women to lead a normal life — they have to get married early and give birth to children. Also, there is low-quality medical help. Cassandra even refused to become a mother in Abidjan — she was scared about her children’s health and future.

The Côte d'Ivoire passport doesn't allow visa-free travel to any European country. Among permitted destinations, most of the countries are African. Cassandra spoke French and English fluently and was considering moving to a European country. She wanted to feel free as a traveller and a woman living in a democratic country.

European investment programs for relocation

Cassandra's goal was to get a European passport with Schengen Area access. Only one route in Europe leads to Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment. First, investors get a residence permit and then apply for citizenship after one or three years.

The total cost of obtaining Malta citizenship was approximately €1 million. It was a little over Cassandra’s budget. Immigrant Invest lawyers offered alternative residency routes with a good prospect of getting a passport.

Residency by investment in Europe

The countryCostsProcessing timeInvestment optionsObtaining citizenship
Malta permanent residence€150,000+4—6 monthsMandatory 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. 
In 10 years
Portugal residence permit€250,000+ 2—6 months
  • Buying a property
  • Purchase of units of investment funds
  • Support for culture and art
  • Investments in scientific projects
  • Capital transfer
  • Business investment
  • Opening a company in Portugal
  • Support for programs improving the environment
In 5 years
Spain residence permit€500,000+ 2—3 months
  • Charity contribution
  • Investment fund contribution
  • Buying a property
  • Bank deposit
  • Buying government bonds
In 10 years
Greece residence permit€250,000+ 6 months
  • Buying a property
  • Hotel rental
  • Buying securities or opening a bank deposit
  • Purchase of land for construction or agriculture
  • Timeshare for 10 years
  • Receipt of real estate by inheritance or under a donation agreement
In 7 years

Cassandra liked the Portugal investment program with a fast way of getting a second passport. But to become a full-fledged citizen, she must study in Portugal and pass an exam. Other countries didn’t meet her expectations because of the long obtaining process.

Eventually, she chose Malta citizenship. She thought she would be more protected and safe with citizenship in a third country. 

Malta citizenship overview

Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment leads to obtaining citizenship in Europe. An applicant can obtain Malta citizenship with a minimum investment of €690,000.

Malta passport benefits:

  • Freedom to travel to more than 180 countries, including the Schengen Area, the US, Canada, and Australia. Every Malta citizen is also a citizen of the European Union.
  • Citizenship in a democratic, economically, and politically stable European country.  
  • Kids can inherit citizenship status. They would get a Malta passport even if they were born outside Malta.  
  • Right to live, work, and study in all 27 EU countries, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Iceland. 
  • Right to open accounts in international banks in Malta with a high level of financial security.
  • British and American schools and university branches are situated in Malta. Citizens can get an education in public universities for free.

The investment sum depends on 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.

When renting real estate, an investor first applies for a residence permit. The investor rents housing for €12,000. The rent should last for a year or three, depending on the option. When buying property, one must remain in the investor's ownership for five years from the date they were granted permanent residence. 

Cassandra chose the 1-year path to citizenship. She was interested in the fastest obtaining process and was ready to buy a residential property in Malta and reside there. 

The Republic of Malta is an island country in the Mediterranean Sea. It is divided into five regions. The regions are divided into local councils — 54 in Malta and 14 in Gozo

The Republic of Malta is an island country in the Mediterranean Sea. It is divided into five regions. The regions are divided into local councils — 54 in Malta and 14 in Gozo

Malta passport

Malta citizens enjoy a warm climate and beaches available for swimming, snorkelling, or diving

Malta citizenship — Red Tower

The Red Tower, or Saint Agatha’s Tower, was built in 1649, among other towers between Valletta and Gozo. It was used to watch the coasts and protect merchants from pirates’ attacks

Malta citizenship — Barrakka Gardens

Barrakka Gardens are situated close to Valletta and is the place to come if you want to take in some of the best views across Malta

Obtaining of Malta passport

Immigrant Invest lawyers warned Cassandra that the Malta citizenship route is one of the toughest to pass through because of strict checking and high expenses. It doesn't mean just passport exchange money. The Malta government needs to be genuinely sure that an applicant is worthy of getting European values. 

1. Preliminary Due Diligence. After signing a contract, Immigrant Invest’s certified Anti Money Laundering Officer examined Cassandra's background to identify possible risks that could result in the application being refused. Fortunately, everything was clear.

2. Police clearance certificate. The Maltese police checked the investor against the Interpol and Europol databases. Cassandra brought us an international passport copy for this procedure. After two weeks, we got a police permit to start obtaining Malta residency.

3. Buying real estate. Cassandra travelled to Malta on a Schengen visa to choose residential property. She sold all her assets in Adjiman to gain enough money to buy an apartment and pay other mandatory fees. 

With Immigrant Invest's help, she found a lovely apartment and made a deal.

Malta citizenship — buying real estate

Cassandra bought a beautiful apartment with a sea view in a large residential project on the first coastline

Malta citizenship — buying real estate

Cassandra bought a beautiful apartment with a sea view in a large residential project on the first coastline

Malta citizenship — buying real estate

Cassandra bought a beautiful apartment with a sea view in a large residential project on the first coastline

3. Submitting documents, biometrics and getting a Malta residence permit. Cassandra immediately moved to a new apartment and started preparing the necessary papers to apply for residency. At the same time, she continued working as the Head of a law company online. She consulted clients and supervised assistants' work.

Immigrant Invest specialists did the following:

  • prepared a Level 1 Due Diligence report;
  • translated and apostilled Cassandra’s documents;
  • draws up a Maltese real estate sale contract;
  • fills out the forms required for the medical insurance policy;
  • submitted the investor’s application for a residence permit.

Cassandra also spent €2000 for medical insurance with worldwide coverage, including hospitalisation. The minimum amount of coverage needs to be €50,000.

After two weeks, Cassandra received a Malta residency card. Following 12 months, we prepared to obtain a passport.

4. The Eligibility Application Pack and Due Diligence. Immigrant Invest applies for the Test on Cassandra's behalf in the Community Malta Agency. We showed papers about owning Cassandra’s company with her father and all the counting documents for the previous period. 

Cassandra passed the Eligibility Test and was qualified for citizenship one year after obtaining a residence permit.

5. Applying for citizenship and paying investments. The investor fulfils all conditions within 4 months of the Minister's written approval. In addition, Cassandra proves their real estate ownership in Malta. 

Cassandra met three mandatory investment conditions:

  1. Contributed to the National Development and Social Fund €900,000.
  2. Donated money to a non-governmental organisation €10,000.
  3. Bought real estate €850,000.
Vladlena Baranova,
Lawyer, AML Compliance officer, certified CAMS specialist

We recommended Cassandra stay in Malta for less than 3 weeks to demonstrate her “connection” with the island. But she agreed to live in the country during the all-obtaining period.

8. Taking an oath and receiving a Malta passport. Cassandra applied for final approval and, in 5 days, got an invitation to the ceremony of taking an oath. At that stage, She submitted the biometric one more time. In four days, she held the Malta passport in her hands. 

€1,815,000 — Cassandra's expenses to obtain Malta citizenship by naturalisation

1
15 December 2020
Signing a contract with Immigrant Invest
2
+1 day
Preliminary Due Diligence
3
+2 weeks
Police clearance
4
+1 months
Real estate purchase
€850,000
5
+2 weeks
Collecting documents and submitting biometrics
6
26 February 2021
Receiving Malta residence permit card
€5000
7
During 12 months after obtaining a residence permit
Eligibility Test
€35,000
8
During 12 months after obtaining a residence permit
Due Diligence
€15,000
9
1 April 2022
Contribution to the NDSF + donation
€900,000+10,000
10
+2 weeks
Applying for citizenship and approval
11
+2 months
Biometrics and passport oath
12
23 June 2022
Receiving Malta passport

Cassandra's feelings after obtaining Malta citizenship

We met Cassandra in our Malta office. It was completely another person. She told us about her transformation as a free country citizen.

Her business started from a new page. Cassandra travelled to Europe to launch new branches of her company. In parallel, she continues to provide services online.

Before After 
❌ Violation of women's rights✅ Equal rights of men and women
❌ No possibility of travelling without visa to anywhere except Africa✅ Free travelling to 185 countries, including Schengen Area and the US
❌ Terrible stats on child and maternal mortality✅ High-quality medical care
❌ Almost impossible to manage business abroad✅ Registering business branches in European countries
❌ Poorly developed banking system✅ Opening account in reliable European banks
❌ A lack of schools and kindergartens✅ Free education for children

Living in a safe country, Cassandra can finally make plans for her private life. Now she isn't scared for her children’s future. Seems he got acquainted with a handsome guy in her neighbourhood.

She is waiting for her father to see her in a couple of months. She hopes he convinces him to stay in Malta. That’s why she contacted us again. We are trying to find some legal way to make it real.    

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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