Addendum to Maltese citizenship law: why the government has abandoned its decision not to disclose the names of investors

December 30, 2020
Addendum to the Maltese citizenship law: when investors' names will not be published in the newspaper
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The state-run Gazette publishes an annual list of new Maltese citizens. From 2020, the newspaper also posts the names of those who have been stripped of their citizenship. A new government decree allowed for exceptions to these rules but was overturned a day after publication. We tell you why this happened.

The Minister for Citizenship has been given the power to remove names from the lists for publication for security reasons. But the decree did not specify when it was permissible not to disclose the names of new citizens or persons deprived of citizenship.

The minister’s new powers were enshrined in a note to the Maltese Nationality Act.

On 30 December 2020, just one day after publication, the government rescinded the new provisions due to criticism from experts and the media.

Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship Alex Muscat explained that the minister could only exercise his right in exceptional circumstances. But the government has listened to the criticism because it does not want to raise doubts about the transparency of the procedures. The state newspaper will continue to publish all names without exception.

Who could maintain anonymity under the new conditions

The government decree applies to all foreigners who acquire Maltese citizenship, including on the basis of direct investment. Even if investors were granted anonymity, it would mean relaxing other procedures.

Investors undergo a strict due diligence process before applying for Maltese citizenship. The government agency Community Malta also checks whether the investor has complied with the conditions under the citizenship law. The checks are carried out annually for the first 5 years after the foreigner obtains a Maltese passport.

The government decree applies to all foreigners who acquire Maltese citizenship, including on the basis of direct investment. However, the anonymity of new citizens does not mean a relaxation of other procedures.

Investors undergo a strict due diligence process before applying for Maltese citizenship. The government agency Community Malta also checks whether the investor has complied with the conditions under the citizenship law. The checks are carried out annually for the first 5 years after the foreigner obtains a Maltese passport.

We will stand up for the kind of deliberate mechanism by which the Maltese Government grants citizenship on the basis of direct investment. We will defend it not only for economic gain but also for the welfare of our citizens. Because the people who have decided to invest in the country’s economy and have passed all the checks are the people who are investing in Malta and all its citizens. It is an investment in our achievements, in the realisation of our aspirations and dreams.

Alex Muscat: Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship of Malta
Alex Muscat

Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship of Malta

How to become a Maltese citizen in 2021

How to become a Maltese citizen in 2021

The Maltese Citizenship Act makes it possible to obtain a passport for special merit. This is a naturalisation route based on direct investment.

The foreigner first undergoes due diligence and receives a residence permit. After a year or three years, he can apply for citizenship. If the application is approved, the foreigner invests from €690,000 and becomes a Maltese citizen.

Investments include:

  • from €600,000 – contribution to the Malta National Development Fund;
  • 10,000 € – charitable donation;
  • from €80,000 – renting a home in Malta for 5 years;
  • or from €700,000 – purchase of property.

We talked about all the conditions in the article “Malta has changed the law: who can now obtain a passport and how”.

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