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03 February, 2021

Why an agent's licence is important for obtaining Malta citizenship from 2021

The law does not allow foreigners to independently acquire Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment. The process must be accompanied by an official representative — an agent with a government licence.

Maltese citizenship: Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent of the Government of Malta
Photo: Adobe Stock

The licence is issued by the Community Malta Agency, a Maltese government agency that deals with citizenship in the country. It assesses whether applicants for a licence meet the requirements set out in the Maltese Citizenship Act (Cap. 188).

In November 2020, the Government of Malta amended the Citizenship Act. It obliged agents to update their licences in accordance with the new requirements. The quality and legality of the services provided by the agent depended on that.

The agency accepts and processes all applications for Malta citizenship. Therefore, if an application is submitted by a representative without an updated licence, Community Malta Agency’s staff will not accept it. And the investor will lose time and money spent on preparation.

Victoria Atanasova
Head of the Maltese office of Immigrant Invest, lawyer in international and economic law

Who gets a licence and how to check its availability

A licensed agent acts as an intermediary between the investor and the Maltese state. The agent may be a lawyer, a financial adviser or a representative of a law company.

Applicants for a licence are instructed in Malta and confirmed that they meet all legal criteria. If a licence is granted to a representative of a company, the company also undergoes a compliance check under the Maltese legislation.

Immigrant Invest got an updated licence on February 3rd, 2021. The licence is in the name of Frederick Ellul, the company's lawyer in Malta.

A year later, the licence was reissued as prescribed by the law.

Malta License No. AKM-IMIN-21
Immigrant Invest's licence from the Community Malta Agency, 2022

How to obtain Malta citizenship through a licensed agent

Malta is the only EU state whose legislation enshrines the possibility of obtaining citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment. But to become a Maltese citizen, a foreigner goes through several stages.

A licensed agent accompanies an applicant all the way: conducts a preliminary Due Diligence check, helps to collect documents and get a residence permit, and applies for citizenship on the investor's behalf.

Preliminary Due Diligence is carried out by the Immigrant Invest's Compliance Department. An internal check helps to identify possible risks before documents are prepared so that the investor does not waste time and money.

Step-by-step procedure for obtaining Malta citizenship

1
Preliminary Due Diligence and entering into an agreement with an agent
2
Collecting documents and getting a Malta residence permit
3
Eligibility Test at the Community Malta Agency
4
Approval as a result of the Eligibility Test
5
Applying for citizenship one or three years after obtaining a residence permit
6
Approval from the Minister for Citizenship
7
Meeting investment conditions
8
Getting a Maltese passport

If the investor is approved, the minimum investment required is €690,000. This includes a contribution to the Malta National Development Fund, a charitable donation and a five-year lease.

A Maltese passport allows visa-free entry to 180+ countries, including the Schengen states, the UK, the USA, Canada, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Maltese citizenship are also allowed to live, work, do business, and study in any EU country on an equal basis with locals.

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Why an agent's licence is important for obtaining Malta citizenship from 2021