Malta is a European country which gives an opportunity to obtain its citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment. The procedure was updated in 2020. An investor first gets a residence permit and after a year or three years applies for Maltese citizenship.
The citizenship is obtained by naturalization but on the ground of a direct investment. The application time depends on the investment option. Learn how investors can become Maltese citizens and what opportunities it gives to the cosmopolitans.
Benefits of Maltese citizenship
- Moving to Malta. It is a small European country with a high living standard, proximity to the sea and a relatively moderate cost of living. Malta actively pursues an investment development policy. The Maltese economy benefits from a foreign capital inflow which ensures a sustainable future for the country.
- Living in any of the EU or Shengen countries. Maltese citizens can move freely between the countries of the region and stay there for a longer time. They don’t need visas or special permissions to reside.
- Travelling around the globe. The Maltese passport gives a free-visa entry to 184 countries. The list includes the USA, Canada, the UK, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland.
- International business development. The citizenship helps to open an affiliate branch in Europe, register a new business and choose a beneficial tax strategy. There is no global income tax in Malta to top it off.
- Working with European banks. The citizenship provides an opportunity to open accounts and deposits in banks in any of the EU countries, as well as to register securities on the citizen’s name.
- European education for children. Children with the Maltese citizenship will be able to receive a sound academic background in the best universities in Europe. It will help to successfully start a career in any field the children choose.
How much should one invest to get the Maltese citizenship
To become a resident and then a citizen of Malta, an investor needs to:
buy or rent a housing for 5 years;
make a contribution to the Maltese National Development and Social Fund (NDSF);
make a donation to a registered Maltese non-governmental organisation.
Investments in real estate are refundable. The investor can beneficially sell the housing after 5 years. The rest of expenses cannot be returned.
Real estate investments
€80,000 or more — housing rent in Malta for 5 years
€700,000 or more — purchase of property in Malta
Contribution to Maltese social and economic development
€750,000 — when obtaining a passport after a year of residency
€600,000 — when obtaining a passport after 3 years of residency
€50,000 — for each dependant
A donation to any non-profitable cultural, sport, scientific non-governmental organisation registered in Malta — €10,000.
These are the main expenses needed but there are other procedural expenses. An investor pays for execution and application of documents, Due Diligence, flights to Malta, issuance of a residence card.
Procedural expenses for obtaining Maltese citizenship
|Purpose of expenditure||Cost for an investor||Cost for each dependant|
|Translation of documents||€50||€50|
|Housing rent for time spent during documents execution||€12,000 per annum||—|
|Returnable deposit when renting||€1,000||—|
|Flight tickets and accomodation in Malta during a visit for a biometrics appointment||Depends on the chosen airline and hotel||Depends on the chosen airline and hotel|
|Fee for issuance of a residence card||€10,000||€5,000|
|Notarial certification of documents copies in Malta for Due Diligence||€50||€50|
|Translation of documents in Malta||€2,000||€2,000|
|Due Diligence||€15,000||€10,000 — for each dependant over 12 years old|
|Due Diligence Fee||€1,000||€1,000|
|Fee for citizenship issuance||€5,000||€1,000|
🔴 Citizenship revocation
The Maltese citizenship might be revoked if the investment conditions are not met. For example, the passport will be revoked, if an investor sells his Maltese home or stops renting housing before the expiration of the obligatory 5-year period.
Who is eligible for the Maltese citizenship
The investor must be over 18 years old. He can add his family members to the application:
a spouse or a civil union partner;
children under 18 years old, including children from previous marriages and spouse’s children;
children under 29 years old, if they are not married and are financially dependent from the investor;
both spouses’ parents and grandparents over 55 years old if they are financially dependent from the investor.
The indicated costs of participation are approximate. The expenses depend on the number of family members included and other particularities. We provide a detailed cost calculation at an individual consultation.
How to get the Maltese citizenship
The citizenship might be granted in a year or in 3 years after getting a residence permit. The time period depends on the investment option. If an investor applies for citizenship after a year of residency, the investment sum will be greater than if when he applies after 3 years of residency.
The procedure includes several steps. It starts with reaching out to a licensed agent and ends when an investor receives the passport. In the process the investor is to visit Malta to have his fingerprints taken and to receive a residence card.
Immigrant Invest has a licence No. AKM-IMIN-21 and cooperates with the Community Malta Agency that curates the granting of citizenship. We arrange flights to Malta so that our clients could choose real estate and take part in all the necessary procedures.
Obtaining the Maltese citizenship
Step 1. Preliminary Due Diligence
Due Diligence is an obligatory step of the process when obtaining the citizenship by naturalisation for direct investments. Immigrant Invest experts conduct a preliminary check to guard a client from possible problems, to seek out all the red flags beforehand and to take a correct view of the client’s chances to obtain citizenship. If a client has a criminal record or is under the EU sanctions, he won’t be able to become a citizen of Malta. In this case Due Diligence helps to identify the problems and not to waste money.
Step 2. Police Clearance obtaining
Police Clearance is a document confirming an investor passed a check conducted by the Maltese police through Europol and Interpol. The certificate is needed to obtain a residence permit.
The check usually takes about 2 weeks.
Step 3. Application for a residence permit
To become a Maltese citizen, an investor is to be its resident for a year or for 3 years. The time period depends on the investment option. The residency confirms the applicant’s immigration status in the country and guarantees that an investor genuinely intends to obtain citizenship.
Collection of documents starts in Russia. The investor needs to get documents according to the list received from a manager and to send us scanned copies. We translate and apostille them. In the meantime we get medical insurance certificates for the investor and his family and find housing. The investor can get a residence permit only if he has a residential address in Malta.
Documents needed for a residence permit in Malta
- international passports of all family members;
- a medical insurance certificate for all family members;
- a bank statement;
- a lease agreement made in the investor’s name;
- children’s birth certificates;
- a marriage certificate;
- an investor or his spouse’s birth certificate if their parents included in the application for residency.
Step 4. Obtaining a residence permit
The applicant and his family should visit Malta to have their fingerprints taken.
There is no need to stay in Malta and wait for a residency permit card. To become a Maltese resident, an investor is just to have an address in the country. If the investor wants to get residency and citizenship to move to Malta, we will help to find a comfortable, well-sited and affordable housing. Our clients can visit the sites to choose a house or an apartment. An alternative is that an Immigrant Invest manager will go and see the house and film the tour for a client.
If an investor wants to choose housing by himself, it is better to plan a visit for a couple of days. But if he decides to execute a lease agreement remotely, he will need to come to Malta just for a day to obtain residency.
An application process takes about 30 minutes. Residence cards are usually issued within 2 weeks after the biometrics appointment. We receive the cards and forward them to clients by mail.
Step 5. Due Diligence
Due Diligence is one of the most complex steps. It is conducted after an investor and his family received their residence cards. To pass Due Diligence, the investor should collect necessary documents for each applicant. Every detail is taken into consideration so the checking procedure can take a long time. It usually takes from 120 to 150 days.
Step 6. Application for conferment of citizenship
If the investor passes Due Diligence, he can apply for citizenship. The application is to be submitted not earlier than after a full year or 3 years of residency. The difference between the application time periods is in the chosen contribution amount to NDSF. To become a citizen after a year of residency, the applicant is to invest € 150,000 more.
The application is usually ready to be submitted within 3 to 6 weeks of elaboration.
Step 7. Investing procedure
Within 4 months after application approval the applicant is to confirm that he made:
- a contribution of €600,000 or €750,000 to the Malta social and economic development
- a donation of €10,000
- an investment in real estate: €700,000 if buying, €16,000 per annum if renting
The investor can first rent housing and then buy property in a couple of years. The citizenship law allows to change the investment option.
The cost of buying property in Malta
Step 8. Receiving passports
Future Maltese citizens are to visit the country to have their fingerprints taken once more and to take the oath of allegiance. Children under 6 years old can pass the procedures and not come to Malta.
The investor and his family get naturalization certificates and passports after the oath. Children over 12 years old and adult family members are to receive the passports in person.
The passports will be ready in 2 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Malta is a member state of the European Union and Schengen area. That’s why the Maltese passport gives an opportunity to live in the European countries freely. It also is an access to quality medicine, prestigious universities and new business opportunities. Maltese citizens can travel visa-free to 184 countries including the Schengen area, the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and the USA.
If the investor becomes a Malta tax resident, he gets an opportunity to beneficially optimize taxation for himself and his business. The Maltese government provides tax credits and reduced rates. Some taxes are not collected in Malta at all.
Malta is also in the Commonwealth of Nations. The country maintains friendly relations with the UK that’s why the impact of Brexit is likely to be less tangible.
The main applicant is to be over 18 years old, have no criminal records and visa refusals from states with which Malta has a visa-free regime. Besides, he should confirm that his income sources are legal as well as the income used for investments.
Investor’s relatives can obtain citizenship with him. A spouse, children under 29 years old, parents and grandparents over 55 years old are eligible to get passports. Adult dependants are to be financially dependent from the main applicant.
Malta allows to obtain citizenship even if a person is not in a registered marriage with the main applicant. It is a rare opportunity.
An investor should start with contacting a licenced agent, e.g. Immigrant Invest. Our lawyers help to obtain the second passport with a minimal loss of time.
The first step is preliminary Due Diligence. The lawyers analyze the investor’s situation and give recommendations which documents are needed to apply for the Maltese citizenship. This approach allows to reduce the rejection risk to 1%.
The next step is obtaining residency in Malta. The resident status is necessary if the investor wants to become a citizen in the future. At this point the investor is to visit Malta to have his fingerprints taken and to choose housing. There is no need to wait for a residence card in Malta. Immigrant Invest experts will receive it and forward to the investor.
In the meantime our lawyers collect all the documents necessary for Due Diligence and submit them in the Community Malta Agency. The Agency conducts its own Due Diligence. If the Agency approves the application, the investor makes investments. Ant the last step is the oath of allegiance, biometrics appointment and passport obtaining in Malta.
To obtain the Maltese citizenship, an applicant makes a contribution to a government fund and a donation, buys or rents housing. This pathway to citizenship doesn’t provide alternative investment options.
The non-refundable contribution of €600,000 is paid to the Maltese National Development and Social Fund. But the final amount depends on the number of family members participating. The donation is €10,000.
The investor is to buy property costing more than €700,000 or rent housing for at least €16,000 per annum. The investor is to own or rent the property for 5 years, so the renting cost will amount for at least €80,000. The owned property can be sold after 5 years.
The main applicant also pays Due Diligence fees for himself and his family members over 12 years old, administrative fees and other procedural expenses.