Separate list for investors
An opposition party MP, Karol Aquilina, has proposed to publish the names of investors who receive Maltese passports on a separate list. He explained that this measure is aimed at increasing the transparency of the citizenship programme and will contribute to public scrutiny.
The opposition also suggested publishing the names of all applicants who participate in the citizenship programme. The lists were supposed to be updated once a quarter – January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1.
The amendments also provided for the publication of a list of all investors who have obtained passports under Malta’s citizenship programme since 2014.
Karol Aquilina noted that some lists by categories of new citizens were kept until 2013. They were canceled when the citizenship for investment program was launched.
The proposals were rejected. Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship Alex Muscat noted that the government’s legal advisors were against the introduction of separate lists for investors.
The names of all those who had acquired Maltese citizenship would continue to be published on the general list. It contains data on all new Maltese citizens who have acquired citizenship in various ways, from naturalization to investment.
Alex Muscat added that the government will publish the names of those who were deprived of Maltese citizenship.
Denial of citizenship reports
Another measure of control over the program from the opposition is reports to Parliament on the reasons for denying the applicants citizenship. This proposal was also rejected.
Alex Muscat noted that in some cases, the disclosure of reasons for refusal may run counter to state interests.
As a result, the investor data will continue to be published only in the general lists, the information about refusals will not be disclosed.
Restart of the Malta citizenship programme
The Parliament of Malta is discussing the terms of a new citizenship programme. It must be approved by September 2020, when it is scheduled to be launched..
The new program provides for the issuance of citizenship after a certain period of time after obtaining residence permit status. The waiting period depends on the amount of investment. If the applicant makes a contribution of € 750 thousand, he will be able to apply for citizenship in 1 year after obtaining a residence permit. If the investment is € 600 thousand, it will have to wait 3 years.
The requirements for housing purchased to participate in Malta’s citizenship programme have changed. Its minimum value has increased to €700,000. In addition, the new program requires a mandatory donation to charity from €10,000.