Case Studies

Malta citizenship: possible pitfalls

In the course of our company’s practice, there were only a few cases where our clients have encountered serious problems with applying for residence permits or citizenship. Fortunately, all of them were successfully solved. We will describe an example of one of such situations in our new case study.

How problems with property renting can prevent an investor from obtaining Malta citizenship

Our protagonists

Andrei and Anna are a married couple living in Moscow. They have been owning a real estate business for 15 years. The couple has three children. The youngest is studying at a Russian school while the two seniors are studying in the United States.

Goals and objectives

For this family, the main problem was the lack of mobility: in order to see each other, they had to wait for their US visas for a long time. The youngest son was planning to enroll in one of the London schools. In addition to the problem of traveling to America, a problem with traveling to the UK was going to emerge.

Besides, children encountered the issue of obtaining official status allowing them to stay in the territory of another country after graduation since they wanted to live and work abroad.

Also, the couple considered the option of tax optimization for their business and the opportunity to invest the accumulated funds in new companies in Europe, followed by a change of tax residency.

Contacting Immigrant Invest

Prior to contacting us, Andrei contacted several companies offering residence permits and citizenship in Europe to compare suggested solutions. We were humbled that his choice fell on us.

We have analyzed the goals and challenges of the family and came to the conclusion that the best option for them would be to apply for the Maltese citizenship. Malta Individual Investor program involves the following costs:

  • non-refundable contribution to the Nation Development and Social Fund of Malta: EUR 650,000 for the main applicant plus EUR 25,000 for a spouse and minor child and EUR 50,000 per adult children
  • EUR 150,000 investments in government bonds
  • Buying property worth EUR 350,000 or renting property worth at least EUR 16,000 per year
  • Due diligence fees: EUR 7,500 for the main applicant and EUR 5,000 for each adult family member
  • Administrative and legal fees: EUR 50,000 for the main applicant, EUR 10,000 for a spouse and EUR 5,00 for children

Overall, Malta's passports for the whole family came at a reasonable cost for Andrey.


The review period is 12-16 months. However, it does not limit the applicant with regards to his stay on the island. During the first stage, the investor and the other family applicants obtain residence permits in Malta and may stay in the country all year round (or, if desired, not reside in it at all), as well as enter and leave without any restrictions.

For the couple, it was important that the program was open for adult children. Since their eldest son was 22, they were afraid he would fall under the age restrictions.


Having signed a contract with Andrei, we started our work. Our experts have helped his family to collect the documents and file them to be reviewed by the Identity Malta Agency.

Since the couple refused to buy property in Malta, they were left with an option to rent real estate. The thing is that according to the program’s requirements, the investor is obliged to have a registered address and place of residence in Malta. Otherwise, the state is entitled to deny his application. These are the key factors influencing Identity Malta’s decisions on issuing residence permits for the investor and his family.

We work with large and reliable European estate agencies to offer our clients a wide range of rental properties which enabled Anna and Andrei to find the one that suited them most.


Suddenly, Andrei and Anna encountered a problem that no one has expected. The couple signed a property rental contract witnessed by a lawyer of our company and the broker.

A few days later, our lawyers have discovered an unpleasant fact: the owner of the apartment signed rental contracts not only with Andrei and Anna but with other persons too. By coincidence, those people were also applying for the government investor program of Malta.

The situation was unacceptable for Identity Malta and our clients’ participation in the program was suddenly jeopardized. If the various participants are registered at the same address, Identity Malta can deny them citizenship.

How was the issue resolved?

The situation emerged due to the carelessness of the owner of the apartment. The task of our experts was to make sure the problem would not affect our clients’ participation in Maltese program.

Andrei and Anna were protected from any trouble since the rental contract was signed with the representative of a reliable international real estate company and closely watched by our lawyer. Thus, there were no consequences for our clients.

The same cannot be said about other participants of the program registered at the same address. Decision on their further participation will be made by Identity Malta individually and it is very likely to have negative consequences.

At the moment, Andrei and Anna have already received their residence permits and are preparing a package of documents to be filed during the next stages of the program.

Benefits for our clients

Contacting our company turned out to be the best solution for Andrei and his family. Proven partners and the experience of our employees have played a crucial role. When the client encountered an unpleasant situation, we provided him with a reliable legal support and quickly solved the problem in his favor.

In turn, Andrei and Anna receive a number of benefits with Maltese passports:

  • they can travel more than 160 countries including the US and the UK visa-free
  • their children are free to study and apply for a job abroad
  • Malta's tax system is one of the most attractive in Europe so Andrei and Anna can optimize tax liabilities of their business
  • foreign investors wishing to open business in Malta are offered a number of incentives, including tax holidays, which is also an attractive option for the couple

Thus, we have solved all the problems our clients faced. Our goal is to protect you and provide inclusive support throughout the process of applying for citizenship or residence permits in Europe. Contact our offices or leave your questions in the comments below and we will explain all the details of participation in a particular investor program as well as find the best solution for you.

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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