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Malta Citzenship By Investment

In order to attract foreign investment, the Maltese government reintroduced in 2020, a program to grant citizenship to foreign investors. The original citizenship by investment program was founded in 2014 and was shut down because it reached the cap of 1,800 people.

The new program, dubbed “Malta citizenship by naturalization for exceptional services”, also has a hard cap of 1500 and admits only 400 would be Maltese citizens in a calendar year. There are certain criteria in order to qualify for this visa. They are:

  • You must be the age of majority, although successful applicants may bring their immediate family, including dependent minors, with them
  • An investment of €600,000 for individuals who have resided in Malta for three years, or an investment of €700,000 if you want to take the fast track and have resided in Malta for only one year
  • You must donate €10,000 to a nonprofit organization that is approved by the Community Malta Agency
  • You and anyone you bring with you must be in good health. Any sort of contagious disease is a deal-breaker for this program
  • Clean criminal background. The Maltese government, in cooperation with INTERPOL and other police authorities carefully screens applicants as well as any extended family who will be joining the applicant in Malta for any hint of criminal wrongdoing in their past


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BENEFITS OF A MALTESE CITIZENSHIP

There are countless great benefits to obtaining Maltese citizenship. For one, you will be able to travel and work anywhere in the European Union, for as long as you want. Given that the E.U. is the third-largest economic zone in the world, this offers tremendous economic opportunity. Citizens of E.U. member states have freedom of movement within the European Union, as well as the right to travel throughout the Schengen region without being subjected to I.D. checks. This also means that you have the right to live and retire anywhere within the Schengen region. So if you decide you want to settle down in the south of France or find a little place in the Italian countryside, that is your right.

In terms of Maltese citizenship specifically, you will have the right for your children to attend state schools, including Maltese University which is state-funded and free to the end-user. As a citizen, you are also entitled to free health care at any public hospital.

The Maltese Passport opens a lot of doors as it is the 7th most powerful passport in the world, where you can enjoy visa-free travel to 185 countries around the world.

 

INVESTMENT DETAILS

Okay, so what sort of investments do you need to make, specifically to take advantage of the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program? Well, the first thing you have to do is make a nonrefundable “investment” of €600,000 to the National Development and Social Fund. Basically, this money funds public health care, education, and that sort of thing. This is actually the discounted rate if you can prove that you have had residency in Malta for 36 months.

Or you can choose the expedited path and purchase citizenship for €750,000 after only 12 months of residency. And if you are bringing dependents along, you need to shell out an additional €50,000 for each of them.

You also need to either rent a property that has an annual rent of at least €16,000 OR purchase real estate valued at €700,000. Furthermore, you cannot sell or abdicate your lease for at least five years from when you acquire citizenship.

For Everything you need to know about Residencies, Second Passports and Wealth Protection, read this amazing article: The Basics of How To Get a Second Passport Or a Second Residency.

 

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HOW IT WORKS

The first step in participating in the Malta citizenship by naturalization for exceptional services program is to establish residency in Malta. There is a required period of at least 12 months of residency (36 if you want the discounted investment rate) prior to the application for citizenship, so in order to expedite the process, it is important to establish residency and get the whole thing rolling.

In order to apply for the residency permit, which is valid for 36 months, you need to be physically present in Malta in order to submit your biometric data. After you get approved to reside in Malta you then need to make a €10,000 deposit towards the citizenship naturalization program. There is also a €5,000 fee for the residency application, as well as an additional €1,000 fee for each family member applying for residency alongside you.

Once you have obtained a Maltese residency card, you can then apply for the Maltese Citizenship By Investment. After you receive approval for the program and have held residency in Malta for the required period of time you can formally apply for the citizenship by investment. Once you are approved for that you must provide documentation proving that you have fulfilled your requirements with regard to investment and residency.

*Legal Fees and additional expenses are not included in these Investment Options

 

TAX IMPLICATIONS OF MALTESE CITIZENSHIP

There is no tax exposure simply from having Maltese citizenship, although even for non-tax-residents any income earned within Malta is subject to the Maltese income tax. If you are considered “domiciled” (living) in Malta you may be considered a tax resident. There are a number of factors that determine whether you are considered domiciled in a particular place. One big one is if you spend more than 183 days out of the year there, but there are other factors as well, like financial ties, frequency of visits, familial ties, business ties, and your intention to reside there. Malta does not have a territorial tax system, so worldwide income is taxed. Foreign capital gains are not taxed in Malta.

 

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MALTA

As an island nation, Malta has some incredible beaches and is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. In Malta, you can enjoy lots of outdoor activities, from snorkelling and scuba diving to walking and biking. The winters are mild owing to the moderating influence of the waters, and in general, the climate is quite sunny and delightful.

 

WHAT IS A GOLDEN VISA

A golden visa is a right to residency in a nation that can be purchased through investment in that country’s economy, either through a real estate purchase, an investment in a business, or even a simple bank time deposit. Countries issue golden visas in order to attract foreign capital to their shores.

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I help my clients to move offshore for freedom, privacy and autonomy by focusing on the immigration, legal, and tax issues that you will face when becoming an expat. If you would like to work one-on-one with me on getting out of Canada or the USA (or setting up a Plan-B location), then read this important letter and fill in an application form to become a Private Client. My fees are not cheap, however, I can assure you that when you work with a professional, your risks can be reduced considerably.

Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and Director at Expat Money™, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money.

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