2022

Reading Time: 9 min

Visa-free entry to the US and the UK with Malta citizenship

My eldest sons are in the US, and my youngest is about to move to the UK. My wife and I are worried about them — when their student visa expires, where will they go? Which country will they live and work in? Furthermore, we are tired of getting visas to see the eldest sons in the US. And now the visas to the UK will be added to our headache. But we want to see our children anytime we want without bureaucracy and visa waiting

Arthur

Arthur, 51 years old

has a real estate business

Clients’ names and photos have been changed

Visa-free entry to the US and the UK with Malta citizenship

Visa-free entry to the US and the UK with Malta citizenship

Challenges of the family

Artur and Anna are a married couple living in Armenia. They have owned a real estate business for 15 years. The couple has three children. The youngest is studying at an Armenian school and plans to enrol in one of the UK universities. The two seniors are studying in the United States.

The main problem for the family was the lack of mobility: to see each other, they had to wait for their US visas for a long time. The youngest son was planning to enrol in one of the UK universities. In addition to the problem of travelling to America, a problem with travelling 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.

Artur decided to solve the problem with visas once and for all — to get a passport of a country that would allow his family to travel visa-free.

Contacting Immigrant Invest

Before contacting us, Artur turned to several companies offering European residence permits and citizenship to compare suggested solutions. In the end, he chose Immigrant Invest.

The investor has chosen Immigrant Invest because he liked that the company conducts preliminary Due Diligence. He learnt about it on the Internet.

The preliminary Due Diligence at Immigrant Invest helps eliminate possible risks and identify a list of suitable programs for an investor. The check is carried out before signing a contract with an investor and takes one workday.

Up to 1%

Preliminary Due Diligence reduces the risk of application rejection

Also, Artur liked that Immigrant Invest has been checked and accredited by the EU’s citizenship and residence permit programs. The licences confirm it.

On 15 January 2021, Artur contacted Immigrant Invest.

Vladlena Baranova

Vladlena Baranova,

Lawyer, AML Compliance officer, certified CAMS specialist

Before starting cooperation and signing a contract with the client, the lawyers from our internal compliance department conducted a comprehensive preliminary Due Diligence.

The lawyers found no issues preventing Artur and his family from participating in a program: no criminal record or visa denials, and they have no tax debts. They have a legal source of income for the investment contribution under a program. The Immigrant Invest team was 99% confident that any citizenship program would approve Artur’s application.

Choosing an investment program

Artur’s main goal was to provide his family with passports allowing them to travel visa-free to the US and the UK. Immigrant Invest experts have selected suitable programs for the investor.

Investors can obtain Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment. Maltese citizens can travel visa-free to 186 countries, including the Schengen Area, the US, the UK, Canada, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. The minimum investment is €690,000.

Caribbean passports enable its holders to visit more than 140 countries visa-free, including the Schengen area, the UK, Singapore and China. The minimum investment is $100,000.

Furthermore, a Caribbean passport entitles its holder to apply for a 10-year US tourist or business visa. Applications can be made at any US consulate, and the visa takes two weeks to process.

A 5-year US E‑2 business visa is offered to Grenadian citizens, allowing an investor freely enter and leave the US and stay in the country for an unlimited time. The investor’s spouse can work in the US, and the children can study in the country until they reach the age of 21.

Artur chose Malta citizenship because his family can go visa-free to the US and the UK anytime they want with passports of this country. After graduation, his sons can live and work in any EU country with Malta passports.

Malta allows dual citizenship, meaning Artur and his family do not have to give up their Armenian passports to become Maltese citizens.

Programs the investor chose from

Country and statuses

Visa-free entry to the US

Visa-free entry to the UK

Minimal investment amount

€690,000

B-1/B-2 US visa for 10 years

$100,000

B-1/B-2 US visa for 10 years

$100,000

B-1/B-2 US visa for 10 years

$100,000

B-1/B-2 US visa for 10 years

$150,000

B-1/B-2 US visa for 10 years

E-2 business visa for 5 years

$150,000

How to obtain Malta citizenship

The investor obtains a residence permit in Malta, passes Due Diligence, and fulfils investment conditions to get a passport. The minimal investment amount is €690,000.

Igor Buglo

Igor Buglo,

Head of the Maltese office, MBA

The investor applies for Maltese citizenship one or three years after obtaining a residence permit. If the investor applies for citizenship after a year of residency, the sum investment will be higher than if he applies after three years of residency. After obtaining a residence permit, the investor undergoes Due Diligence, which lasts twelve months.

The investor fulfils three investment conditions:

  • buy or rent real estate;

  • contribute to the National Development and Social Fund (the NDSF);

  • donate money to a non-governmental organisation.

Investment conditions for obtaining Malta citizenship

Conditions

Investment amount

Renting or buying housing for the residence permit

The cost of real estate renting or buying does not matter. The lease term is one or three years.

Renting or buying housing for citizenship

From €16,000 is the rental price per year. The lease term is five years.

From €700,000 is the cost of buying a home. The ownership period is from five years.

Contribution to the state fund

From €600,000 — when applying for citizenship three years after the residence permit.

From €750,000 — when applying for citizenship a year after the residence permit.

Donation

€10,000

Besides travelling visa-free to 186 countries, Maltese citizens can live, work, study and do business in any EU country without limitations. They also can live in any Schengen country, including those not part of the European Union. For example, in Switzerland, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein. There are no restrictions on entry or stay in these countries.

Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment

The Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Malta’s capital, Valletta. It is one of the main churches of Valletta and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the entire city

First step: obtaining a residence permit in Malta

1. Police Clearance Certificate is a certificate of no criminal record issued by the Maltese police. The certificate is one of the mandatory documents for obtaining a residence permit in Malta.

To obtain a Police Clearance Certificate, Artur provided certified copies of his and his family’s passports to the Maltese police. The law enforcement agencies of Malta verified the information about Artur’s family in the databases of Europol and Interpol.

2 weeks

To get Police Clearance Certificate

The check took two weeks: Artur’s family successfully passed the police check. That means that the investor could apply for a residence permit.

2. Buying or renting real estate to obtain a residence permit. To get a residence permit in Malta, the investor is to have a country registration address. Housing can be bought or rented.

Igor Buglo

Igor Buglo,

Head of the Maltese office, MBA

When obtaining a residence permit in Malta, the investor can buy or rent real estate within the required amount for citizenship. Then the purchased or leased real estate at the residence permit stage will be considered in compliance with the investment conditions for obtaining citizenship.

Artur decided to rent a house within the required amount for obtaining Malta citizenship so as not to choose a property a second time. The investor did not plan to live permanently in Malta.

Immigrant Invest real estate experts have selected several suitable options for the spouses.

Natalia Oganesyan

Natalia Oganesyan,

Real Estate Chief Operations Officer, RICS certified professional

We recommend that the investor sets aside three days to choose an apartment in Malta. The investor is looking at options with a realtor and Immigrant Invest lawyers. When the investor has made a choice, the realtor provides a lease agreement and the investor signs it. Our lawyers check the legal purity of the object and the terms of the contract before viewing the objects.

Artur chose to view the property remotely, using online video broadcasting. The investor and his wife liked the three-bedroom apartments located alongside the coast.

The apartment complex that Artur chose is located just 500 metres from the city centre, where all amenities are available: from shopping centres to fine restaurants, cafes and bars. The nearby sandy beaches of Gadira, Golden Sands and Gein Tuffiha are all within a short drive.

3. Collection of documents for a residence permit in Malta. Immigrant Invest lawyers have collected all the necessary documents for applying for a residence permit in Malta for Artur’s family:

  • copies of passports of the spouses;

  • marriage certificate;

  • bank statement for the last six months;

  • medical insurance;

  • Police Clearance Certificate;

  • copy of the real estate lease agreement.

Immigrant Invest lawyers filled out government forms, translated documents into English and apostilled them. Documents were ready in a week.

4. Applying for a residence permit and submitting biometrics. All applicants should submit fingerprints for obtaining residence permit cards in Malta within six months from receipt of Police Clearance. Immigrant Invest lawyers made an appointment for Artur’s family to submit biometrics to Identity Malta Agency for 12 February 2021.

Artur, his wife Anna and their sons had valid Schengen visas. They flew to Malta and passed biometrics on the day of arrival. On the same day, the lawyers submitted an application and the family’s documents for a residence permit to the Identity Malta Agency.

5. Issuance of residence permit cards in Malta. Artur paid €10,000 to produce residence permit cards for himself, his wife and their three sons.

The residence permit cards were ready a week after the couple submitted the biometrics. The lawyer from the Maltese office of Immigrant Invest took the cards and handed them over to the investor by a delivery service.

Artur’s family received Malta residence permit cards valid for 36 months.

Second step: Due Diligence at the Malta Migration Agency

After obtaining a residence permit, Artur passed Due Diligence at the Identity Malta Agency. Malta’s investor screening is one of the most stringent globally, with the program department rejecting a quarter of applications yearly.

First of all, the program department checks the legality of the investor’s income:

  • all places of work;

  • sources of income throughout life;

  • assets owned by the investor and his family members.

Collection of documents. Immigrant Invest lawyers have collected all the necessary documents:

  • Artur’s tax reporting;

  • copies of passports of the spouses;

  • marriage certificate;

  • birth certificates of children;

  • police clearance certificates from Malta.

The lawyers additionally drew up an affidavit confirming the family members’ financial dependence on Artur. As confirmation, the lawyers attached extracts from the bank accounts of the spouses.

It took four weeks to prepare the documents. Immigrant Invest lawyers submitted them to the Identity Malta Agency. Along with the submission, Artur paid a verification fee of €15,000 for himself, €10,000 for his wife and €30,000 for their children.

€55,000

Due Diligence fee

Third step: fulfilment of investment conditions

In addition to renting real estate in the amount of €16,000, Artur has fulfilled two more investment conditions:

  • made a non-refundable contribution to the National Development Fund in the amount of €950,000 for a family of five;

  • donated to a non-government organisation in the amount of €10,000.

The investor decided to apply for Malta citizenship one year after obtaining the residence permit in Malta. If he had chosen to apply for citizenship three years after obtaining the residence permit, he would have contributed €790,000 to the state fund for a family of five.

Artur made contributions to the state fund and a non-government organisation as soon as he received approval from the Identity Malta Agency. The investor transferred the money from his Armenian bank account using the details of the agency.

€1,043,500 — Artur’s expenses for Malta citizenship for a family of five

  • €950,000

    Contribution to the state fund

  • €10,000

    Donation

  • €16,000

    Renting of real estate

  • €55,000

    Due Diligence fee

  • €10,000

    Issuance of residence permit cards fee

  • €2,500

    Medical insurance

Last step: obtaining Malta citizenship

Re-submission of biometrics. Immigrant Invest lawyers have booked Artur, his wife Anna and their three sons for biometrics on 28 February 2022. On the appointed day, the couple flew to Malta.

The Immigrant Invest Maltese office lawyer accompanied Artur’s family to the Identity Malta Agency, where they submitted their fingerprints.

The oath took place on the same day at the Identity Malta Agency.

Artur received the passports for his family at the Malta department two days after submitting the biometrics. The procedure for obtaining citizenship took fourteen months from applying to Immigrant Invest.

13.5 months to obtain Malta citizenship

1

15 January 2021

Artur turned to Immigrant Invest

2

+ 1 day

Preliminary Due Diligence

3

+ 2 weeks

Obtaining of Police Clearance Certificate

4

+ 3 days

Selection and rental of real estate

5

+ 1 week

Preparation and submission of documents for a residence permit in Malta

6

12 February 2021

Submission of biometrics for residence permit cards in Malta

7

19 February 2021

Obtaining Maltese residence permit cards

8

+ 4 weeks

Collection and submission of documents to Identity Malta

9

+ 11 months

Due Diligence at Identity Malta

10

21 February 2022

Obtaining approval from Identity Malta

11

+ 1 week

Fulfilment of investment conditions

12

28 February 2022

Taking biometrics and taking an oath in Malta

13

2 March 2022

Obtaining Maltese passports

How did the family’s life change with Malta citizenship

In May 2022, the family flew from Armenia to the US to visit the eldest sons. They went to the country on Malta passports. The family only bought the plain tickets to reach the country — no visa and additional documents were required.

The youngest son, Robert, went to the UK to an English Language Summer Camp to improve his English. Next year, he is going to enter a UK university.

Artur and Anna are no longer worried about their sons’ future — they have Malta passports which open 186 countries to them and give them the right to move to the EU. They can choose any country they want after graduation to live, work and build a family.

The parents are planning to visit their sons in the US and the UK each semester — now, with Maltese passports, they can travel to these countries without visas whenever they want.

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

This case was provided by our expert

Albert Ioffe
Albert Ioffe

Legal and Compliance Officer

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Vladlena Baranova
Vladlena Baranova

Lawyer, AML Compliance officer, certified CAMS specialist

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