Maltese Citizenship by Investment FAQs


Maltese Citizenship by Investment

The Benefits
The Process
The Requirements
The Documentation

How can I get Maltese Citizenship?

The four main points to be satisfied to be granted citizenship by investment in Malta are as follows:

  1. Rent property for a least €16,000 / year or purchase property in Malta for at least €350,000 (excluding stamp duty and notary fees) and retain it for a period of five (5) years; and
  2. Invest at least €150,000 in such bonds, stocks, shares as prescribed by the Government of Malta from time to time; and
  3. Contribute at least €650,000 to National Social and Development Fund, established by Government of Malta, €25,000 for the spouse and for each and every child below 18 years of age, and €50,000 for each and every unmarried child between 18 years of age and 26 years of age and for each and every dependant parent above 55 years of age;
  4. The applicant would need to reside in Malta habitually for a period of 12 months.

Who may handle applications Maltese Citizenship by Investment?

An application for Citizenship by Investment may only be submitted by an Accredited Agent licensed by Identity Malta Agency. GVZH Advocates is an accredited agent and Identity Malta is an agency set up specifically to handle citizenship by investment applications.

The Benefits

How do I start my application?

After having engaged an accredited agent to assist you with your application, the first step of the application would be coming to Malta and applying for the e-residence card. It is from the date of issue of this card that the 12 months’ residence period in Malta will apply. It is important to point out that to apply for an e-residence card one must be in possession of property in Malta (either by title of lease or sale).

Who may be included in my application for Citizenship by Investment?

The law defines dependant as the following:

  1. The spouse  of  the  main  applicant  in  a  marriage or in another relationship having the same or a  similar  status  to  marriage;
  2. A child,  including  an  adopted  child,  of  the  main applicant or of his spouse who is less than 18 years old;
  3. A child of the main applicant or of his spouse who is between the age of 18 and 26 and who is not married and who proves, that he is wholly maintained by the main applicant;
  4. A parent or grandparent of the main applicant or of his spouse above the age of 55 who proves that they are wholly maintained or supported  by  the  main  applicant  and form part of the household of the main applicant; or
  5. A child of the main applicant or of the spouse of the main applicant who is at least 18 years old, is physically or mentally challenged, and who is living with and is fully supported by the main applicant.

What are the benefits of a Maltese passport?

Malta is a member of the European Union and therefore a Maltese passport is a European passport. This would also include the freedom to live and work within the EU and the EEA (including UK and Switzerland). A holder of Maltese passport can also benefit from Visa free travel to over 170 countries including EU and the United States (ESTA).

What nationalities are excluded from applying from the programme?

Currently the policy of the Maltese Government excludes from applying individuals who are nationals of the following countries:

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Chad
  3. Iran
  4. Libya
  5. North Korea
  6. Somalia
  7. Syria
  8. Venezuela
  9. Yemen

The exclusion would also include non-nationals of the above countries but individuals who reside, do business, have significant ties in, or connections to these countries.

Will naturalized citizens have voting rights?

Citizens who have resided in Malta for 6 months during the 18 month period preceding the election will be entitled to vote.

Is it possible to hold dual citizenship?

Malta recognizes dual citizenship, however, other jurisdictions might impose restrictions.

How am I taxed if I am a Maltese Citizen?

Malta does not tax on the basis of citizenship alone, but on the basis of ordinary residence, source of income and other qualifying factors. Malta’s tax system is based on source and remittance of income, therefore income generated in Malta or income generated outside of Malta and remitted into Malta, could be subject to tax in Malta.

If a Maltese citizen does not reside permanently or ordinarily resident in Malta, he/she will not be taxed on worldwide income, but only on any income remitted into Malta.

Children born to Maltese Citizens will automatically be considered Maltese Citizens?

Yes, children born to Maltese nationals may be naturalised as Maltese citizens even if born outside of Malta.

The Process

How long is the process until I get my passport?

The law lays down the following timeframes for an IIP application from the date of submission:

  1. Presentation of IIP Application for the main applicant and his dependants;
  2. Within 90 days from the submission of the application, Identity Malta shall verify application as formally correct, verify information, background, source of funds and that due diligence fees, passport fees and bank charges have been paid;
  3. Within 30 days thereafter, Identity Malta shall further review application and carry out background checks. Identity Malta will then inform the Agent as to whether the application has been approved, delayed or refused;
  4. Within 5 days from approval, the applicant shall be requested to remit €650,000 contribution (less initial non-refundable amount already paid) by means of a letter.
  5. Within 20 days from receipt of such letter, the payment of the contribution must be effected from the applicant’s designated bank account. The applicant must also show evidence of his property in Malta and the investments made, in terms of the programme.

These timeframes are indicative and may be varied by Identity Malta agency based on the specific circumstances of each application.

I have already been in Malta for over a year, what is the process to obtain Citizenship by Investment?

The process is the same as that mentioned in point 1, but the applicant would have already satisfied the requirement of 12-month residency in Malta, therefore one would expect citizenship to be granted within a period of six (6) to eight (8) months.

the Requirements

What are the exact requirements in respect of real estate?

At e-residence stage property is required to be able to submit this application, however there is no minimum value threshold to be satisfied. It is after having received the Letter of In Principle Approval that the qualifying property (lease of at least €16,000 or purchase of €350,000) would need to be put in place. The qualifying property would need to be held for at least five (5) years from the date of citizenship.

What are the exact requirements in respect of the investment?

Applicants are required to invest at least €150,000 in:

  1. Government Bonds; or
  2. Debt listed on the Official List of the Malta Stock Exchange (corporate bonds); or
  3. Equity listed on the Official List of the Malta Stock Exchange; or
  4. Units in collective investment schemes that are authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

These instruments are purchased though a licensed stock broker, GVZH Advocated would be delighted to recommend suitable stock brokers for this service.

Can my Maltese passport be revoked?

A Maltese passport may only be revoked in exceptional circumstances such as treason and crimes against humanity and public policy.

How long do I need to stay in Malta after that my citizenship has been granted?

Once that you are in possession of the Maltese passport, you may visit Malta at your leisure.

The Documentation

What documentation is needed for application of Citizenship by Investment?

Aside from the duly completed application forms, one would also need to submit the following:

  1. Certified copies of all passports;
  2. Certified copies of all identity card (or jurisdictional equivalent);
  3. Certified copies of residence permits (permanent or temporary, as applicable);
  4. Certified copy e-Residency Card issued by Maltese Authorities;
  5. Military Record(s) (if applicable);
  6. Birth Certificates;
  7. Marriage and Divorce Certificates (as applicable);
  8. Documentary Evidence of Residential Address;
  9. Police Certificate/Certificate of Conduct;
  10. Suitable evidence of dependency for all dependants;
  11. Evidence of Business Ownership for Self-Employed Main Applicants;
  12. Evidence of Employment for Main Applicants.

Identity Malta may ask for additional documentation.

In which languages can these documents be submitted?

Application Forms and accompanying documents shall be completed in English or accompanied by an authenticated translation if originally not in the English language.

Do documents, or copies of original documents, have to be authenticated?

Documents must be authenticated by an apostille (in terms of the 1961 Hague Convention), or a validation of the certificate by a lawyer or notary public or by a validation of the certificate by a Maltese consular or Diplomatic representation.

Do all my dependants need to get a police conduct certificate?

All applicants/ dependants aged twelve (12) years and over at the time of application must provide an original police conduct certificate. Such certificate must be obtained from each country where that individual has resided for a cumulative period of six (6) months or more, over a period of ten (10) years prior to the submission of the application and from all countries where the applicant/ depend holds citizenship. Police certificates must be in original format and less than six (6) months old when submitted to Identity Malta.

What documentation do I need to prove that my children and my parents are dependent on me?

Generally, Identity Malta accepts an affidavit (sworn declaration) by the applicant highlighting the support for each individual who is over the age of 18, with the exception of the spouse. Such affidavit should declare whether the dependant is wholly maintained by the applicant, and in the case of parents and grandparents, that the individual forms part of the applicant’s household.

How is the dependence of the applicant’s parents on the applicant demonstrated to Identity Malta? Is it necessary that the parents reside at the same address?

Identity Malta has not established rigid parameters for the extent of financial, physical or other dependency but will handle each family unit and its requirements on a case by case basis.

What documents can be submitted to show effective dependency of the parents on the applicant?

To demonstrate financial, physical or other dependency of the parents on the applicant would typically require, bank statements showing transfers by the applicant to the parent, retirement certificates of the parents, medical certificated and other similar third-party confirmation letters.

What about for children over 18? Would letters from a school or university to prove the child is still in full-time education, or bank statements to show a trail of payments from the parent to the child be sufficient? Are there any mandatory documents that need to be submitted, apart from the affidavit of support?

Apart from the affidavit of support and all the other typical due diligence documentation/administrative forms, there are no other mandatory documents that would need to be submitted in respect of children over 18.

NOTE: The information hereunder is for general reference purposes only, and is not to be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should be sought on the application, interpretation and applicable of the specific rules and programmes.

For further information about how GVZH Advocates can help you with your citizenship and/or residency requirements, kindly contact us on privateclients@gvzh.com.mt.