The Maltese authorities have announced new immigration policy and published amendments to the Law on citizenship. Investment migration and real estate experts at Astons explain the conditions of obtaining a Maltese passport.  

What has changed in Malta’s immigration policy? 

The amendments that came into force on November 20, 2020, effectuate a new route of receiving Maltese citizenship ‘by Naturalisation for Exception Services by Direct Investment’. From now on, you’ll be able to obtain a Maltese passport in one or three years after securing a residence permit.

According to the new rules, the certificate of Maltese citizenship can only be provided to 400 main applicants per year. The overall number of main applicants within the new programme should not exceed 1,500.

I see. What do I need to do to get a Maltese passport? 

A candidate for Maltese citizenship should:

  • Make a donation of €600,000–€750,000 to the national fund
  • Purchase Maltese property at a minimum cost of €700,000 or rent the property at €16,000 per year
  • Make a voluntary donation of €10,000.

Here are more details. 

The minimum donation sum depends on whether the investor is planning to apply for citizenship in one or three years after receiving the residency.

If you’d like to obtain the passport in three years (36 months), the donation will amount to €600,000. If you’d like to take the fast track and obtain the citizenship of Malta in one year (12 months), the minimum donation will amount to €750,000. For dependents of the main applicant, the sum of donation to the Maltese national fund will constitute €50,000.

The investor can purchase property at the minimum cost of €700,000 or rent property at a fee of €16,000 per year. The minimum investment term is five years from obtaining citizenship.

How fast can I become a citizen of Malta?

If you take the fast track to citizenship, you’ll get the passport in 14 months.

Before I get the passport I’ll need to obtain residency. Is this right?

Yes, according to the law of Malta, candidates for citizenship must receive a residence card and hold it for 12 months. Candidates get an electronic ID – eResidence card. Once you obtain it, you become a Maltese resident.

I see. Can I obtain Maltese passports for my whole family?

Yes. The Maltese government has met the investors halfway and raised the age for financially dependent children who are eligible for citizenship – from 27 to 29 years.

Thus, investors can get a Maltese passport for themselves, their spouses, financially dependent and unmarried children under 29 years old (children with disabilities without limitations), parents and grandparents of the main applicant and their spouse (older than 55 years old).

According to the new rules, not only the main applicant, yet all dependent adults should apply for residency. The non-refundable investor’s fee on this stage will amount to €5,000, €10,000 – for family members.

How is the immigration process organised? 

Obtaining Maltese citizenship is a transparent and streamlined process. You should contact the immigration specialists. Astons experienced lawyers will help you pick the right investment option, prepare all the documents, check them thoroughly and submit the application.

The processing of Maltese citizenship includes several stages. You need to:

  • Apply for residency
  • Ungergo the due diligence check
  • Get approval from the Maltese authorities and make the investment
  • Apply for naturalisation (citizenship)
  • Take an oath of allegiance within six months from getting the passport.

The Maltese citizenship is granted for life and it is transferable by inheritance.

Is it difficult to pass the due diligence check? 

Don’t worry! All law-abiding candidates for the Maltese passport are able to successfully pass the due diligence. The authorities of Malta will research the origin of your capital and other security-related issues (the check is performed on all family members as well).

Astons specialists will prepare the necessary paperwork and help you through the entire due diligence process. According to the new rules, the due diligence check costs €15,000 for the main applicant and €10,000 for each family member.

Great. What other perks does the Maltese citizenship offer? Aside from an EU passport?

The Maltese passport has many benefits:

  • You’ll become a citizen of an EU member state and will be able to visit 182 countries without a visa, including the EU, UK, US and Canada. During the global crisis and pandemic, EU citizenship will allow you to travel the world and boost your quality of life. You will no longer depend on the ever-changing rules and limitations.
  • You’ll be able to live, work and study in any of the EU countries.
  • You will obtain passports for your family.
  • You’ll benefit from the relaxed taxation regime. Maltese citizens do not pay taxes on revenues generated outside of Malta, dividends, inheritance or wealth.

Will I have to pass any exams to get a Maltese passport?

No, there are no language or history exams required for future Maltese citizens.

Astons experienced lawyers and consultants will analyse your needs and budget preferences, help you find the best investment option and obtain a second citizenship with a guaranteed result.

Astons is a leading global property and immigration advisory firm with offices worldwide. For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at [email protected].