The answers of the most frequently asked questions related to Malta Immigration, investments and real estate are given below. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any further information.
What are the reasons why the Malta citizenship by investment programs are attracting investors?
Many international business executives, investors, public figures, VIPs, and affluent citizens of other countries consider an alternative residency or citizenship and passport a powerful tool for international tax planning and a safety net should the living conditions at home become unbearable.
Applicants realize that the Maltese residency/citizenship provides several benefits, including:
- Visa free travel to over 160 countries, including the USA, Canada, and Europe
- Retirement in a safe country with a warm climate
- A better education for the applicant’s children
- Children and grand children gain visa free travel and the right to live, work, or study in many countries
- A better quality of life for the family, including better healthcare and an unpolluted environment
- Relatively low real estate prices
- Personal security
- Tax advantages
- Freedom associated with having multiple passports
Is the Maltese Citizenship granted for a lifetime?
Yes, upon obtaining the certificate of naturalisation, the Applicant and his dependants become holders of Maltese citizenship for life.
Is it possible for the Maltese Citizenship to be revoked?
Revocation generally takes place on the basis of any of the exhaustive grounds that the main Act stipulates. However, the Act prescribes that the Applicant under the IIP may be deprived of his Maltese citizenship if he fails to comply with the requirement to purchasing or leasing a residential property in Malta or to make investments in Malta or if he becomes a threat to national security or involved in conduct that is seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of Malta.
Are Maltese citizens entitled to dual citizenship?
The Maltese Citizenship Act grants the grant to dual citizenship to all Maltese citizens without any distinction. However, a Maltese citizen may only hold the citizenship of another state where the law of such state also provides there for.
In virtue of European Union law, every Maltese citizen is also a European citizen.
What are the timeframes for the start of the process to the final approval?
The process to final approval is expected to be completed within 4 to 6 months with an maximum time limit established by law at 2 years for difficult cases. For persons not already resident in Malta, this meant to be completed within two years which start to run from the date of application. The minimum period is that of six months. However, a period of twelve months of residency must be considered as a requirement that must be fulfilled immediately prior to the date of application.
What is the minimum investment to obtain the Malta citizenship & who will receive this fund?
Applicants are required to make a contribution directly to the Maltese Government's National Development and Social Fund.
The contribution is set at 650,000 Euro for the main applicant, 25,000 Euro for a spouse and each minor child under 18 years of age, and 50,000 Euro for each dependent parent over 55 years of age and each dependent child between 18 - 26 years of age.
In addition, the applicant is required to:
-invest 350,000 Euro into Malta real estate, or
-lease a Malta property for at least 16,000 Euro per year, for a minimum of five years. The real estate may be liquidated after the five year holding period.
Further, the applicant is required to purchase 150,000 Euro worth of Government approved securities to be held for at least five years. The securities may also be liquidated after the five year holding period.
How much is the initial contribution to be paid prior to approval of the IIP?
The sum of EUR 10,000 is to be remitted as a non-refundable deposit, together with the official application and due diligence fees as well as the professional fees chargeable by the approved Maltese law firm of your choice.
Are part of the fees non-refundable?
The initial contribution of EUR 10,000, the due diligence fees and bank charges are non-refundable. In addition, passport fees are refundable only in case it was not applied for.
What are the checks to be made on the Applicant/Dependants?
Every application undergoes a four tier process of due diligence checks. Identity Malta remains solely responsible for the proper carrying out of the due diligence tests.
Identity Malta will check that the background of the Applicant and his dependants as well as the information provided in the Application have been verified by one or more independent due diligence agents. The Agency will also check that the source of all funds has been verified and that an appropriate risk weighting has been carried out.
What taxation for new Maltese citizens?
Taxation in Malta is based on domicile and residence, not citizenship. Obtaining Maltese citizenship does not automatically cause the applicant to acquire a new domicile. Becoming a citizen of Malta does not have to have any tax consequences.
Tax residents of Malta who are not domiciled in Malta are taxable on a remittance basis. This means they are not taxable on foreign source income, nor on any capital gains arising outside Malta.
Tax is due only on income and capital gains arising in Malta. A non-resident citizen of Malta is only taxable in Malta on income generated in Malta.
- No inheritance or death taxes
- No estate duty
- No net worth or wealth taxes
- No municipal taxes, rates or real estate taxes
Who is allowed to take the Oath of Allegiance?
Any dependant who is at least eighteen years of age and not physically or mentally challenged, and who is living with and is fully supported by the Applicant, is deemed to be capable of taking the Oath of Allegiance himself.
What is exactly a certified copy?
Where a photocopy of an original document is certified either by a duly licensed lawyer or a notary public or a Maltese consular or diplomatic officer then it is deemed to be a certified copy thereof.
Apostille documents are needed, but what are they exactly?
An Apostille document is either a stamp or a printed form that consists of ten numbered standard fields. These ten numbered standard fields are:
- the country where the document is drawn
- the name of the person by whom it is signed
- the capacity thereof
- the seal or stamp of the authority whom it is certified
- the location
- the date
- the name thereof
- the Apostille registration number
- the seal or stamp of the authority giving the Apostille
- the signature of the authority giving the Apostille.
Will my citizenship expire?
No. When you acquire citizenship under the Maltese citizenship program, you and your family enjoy full citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations by descent.
Why is an Apostille document required by Malta Authorities?
This is because when a lawyer or notary public certifies a document to be a true copy of the original, such must be authenticated by an Apostille, which must comply with the provisions of the Hague Convention of 5th October 1961 since Malta is a party to the Convention.
All Application docs be only submitted in English?
The Application form and any other accompanying documents must be in English, and where the original language of a document is not English, including the Maltese language, then such shall be accompanied by an authenticated translation.
Do I have to move or live in Malta for a minimum number of days during the year in order to qualify for the IIP?
Applicants do not need to move to Malta or live in the country for a full year to satisfy the one year residency requirement. Instead, an applicant can meet the requirement by proving a genuine link with Malta as evidenced by, for example, a minimum of two visits within the year, or showing water and electricity bills, or having a club membership, engaging in any business activity in Malta, or similar. Our attorneys will assist you to be in full compliance with Maltese regulations.
Who can translate the many IIP documents required?
Any certified translator may translate any document that is in a language other than the English language.
If an original document cannot be obtained, what can I do?
Where original documents are not available, such as a birth or marriage certificate, then a certified copy must be submitted. Identity Malta is bound to confirm with the relevant Embassy the content of thereof.
What is a "genuine link"?
The Maltese Citizenship Programme as approved by the European Commission is based on establishing a ‘genuine link’ between the applicant and Malta.
Applicants do not need to move to Malta or live in the country for a full year to establish a genuine link. Acceptable criteria to establish a genuine connection with Malta include having a local mobile phone, donations to charity, membership of a local club or professional body, business activity, as well as any involvement in philanthropy.
Our attorneys will obtain advance written approval from the Maltese government to ensure your proposed genuine link with Malta will be accepted.
What are the full requirements for the Malta IIP?
Legal Notice 47 of 2014 lists exhaustively all the requirements that must be fulfilled by the Applicant. These requirements briefly include a certificate from a reputable health system to prove that the Applicant is in good health; a police certificate that the Applicant is of good conduct and due diligence documents that show that he is a fit and proper person.
The Applicant is also required to present an undertaking to remit the full contribution owed by him; an undertaking to purchase to take on lease immovable residential property in Malta as well as an undertaking to make such other investments in Malta. The Applicant is also obliged to present any other document that Identity Malta may request from time to time by means of a notice.
Do I need to speak the Maltese language?
There is no legal provision that imposes knowledge of the Maltese language on the part of Applicants. However, since the IIP is a mode of acquisition of Maltese citizenship through naturalisation, the general provisions of the Maltese Citizenship Act apply mutatis mutandis. On this account, an Applicant must have adequate knowledge either of the Maltese or the English language as the two official languages of Malta.
Can CJI help me find a suitable real estate in Malta?
Yes. We are associated with licensed real estate agencies and developers in Malta and can help you find an ideal property that fulfills the program's real estate investment requirement.
Our professional relationships and local presence in Malta guarantee to our clients a smooth, comprehensive service that includes identifying suitable properties, providing transport for property viewings, drafting/reviewing legal contracts, and/or liaising with local notaries and architects as needed.
When you decide on a property for purchase we can arrange for a Power of Attorney to appear on your behalf without the need for you to come again to Malta for the signature of any necessary contracts.
At what stage is proof of residence required?
The Applicant must prove that he has been residing in Malta for a minimum period of twelve months prior to the issuance of the certificate of naturalisation.
For the residence requirement, are dependants required to give the same undertaking?
The law only imposes the residence requirement on the Applicant himself.
When can I sell my Malta real estate at the earliest?
The IIP program requires property to be held for five years. After this period, property in Malta can be sold completely exempt from tax if it has been held for three years as the resident’s sole and ordinary residence. If the property is sold before having been used as the resident’s sole residence for three years, a final property tax of 12% is chargeable on the selling price.
Can a naturalised citizen participate to the political sphere?
Under the Constitution of Malta, every citizen of Malta is entitled to participate by exercising its voting rights. This provided that he or she has been a resident of Malta for six months during the eighteenth month period prior to the election.
Like other programs, is it mandatory to invest in a Malta company and create jobs to qualify for the program?
No. Unlike other programs such as the EB-5 Investor Visa in the United States, Malta has no requirements to invest in a business or create new jobs.
Will the Applicant have his Residence Permit withdrawn in case the Malta IIP Application is rejected?
Where a Residence Permit is applied for solely for the purposes of the IIP then it will be withdrawn if the IIP application is rejected.
Does the Malta citizenship automatically give the European citizenship?
Yes. Because Malta is a member of the European Union its citizens are automatically European citizens, which means you are allowed to live, work or study anywhere in Europe.
However, please note that the total number of citizenships the Maltese government has made available under this program is limited.
Is there a required age for a dependant to have his biometric data taken?
Where a dependant has reached the age of six then he must attend in person either at the Passport office in Valletta or at an Embassy or at the High Commission or a Consular Office.
What comprises "Schengen Area"?
The Malta citizenship allows you to travel without restrictions across the "Schengen Area" of the European Union. The Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. It functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy.
Any suitable time for the Applicant to apply for a Residence Permit?
Since the procedure is rather lengthy and it may take up several months for its completion, then it would suitable if the Applicant submits his application and the necessary documentation as soon as possible. It is good practice that in order to reside in the Maltese Islands one is supposedly registered as a resident as the first step towards acquiring Maltese citizenship.
Is travelling to the US possible with a Malta passport?
Yes. The Malta passport will allow you to travel to the U.S. under the visa waiver program which allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less.
What is the average timing for the Individual Investor Programme (IIP) process?
The Legal Notice specifies a minimum period of six months and a maximum period of 24 months. However, it is expected that in the majority of cases the process will take 12 months.
Notification of the completeness of application is communicated to the Concessionaire or the Accredited Agent within seven days from the receipt of the application.
Applicants who will have resided in Malta for a minimum period of 12 months or over can take the oath allegiance after 6 months.
At what stage is the Letter of Approval in Principle issued?
A Letter of Approval in Principle is issued within 120 days to applicants whose applications have gone through a thorough due diligence process and have been deemed to be acceptable in every respect.