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Malta Citizenship By Investment

4 min read

Malta Citizenship By Investment

Located between Sicily and the North African coast, Malta is an island nation with some amazing beaches, surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. In Malta, you can enjoy many outdoor activities, from snorkeling and diving to hiking and cycling. Winters are mild due to the moderating influence of the waters and, in general, the climate is quite sunny and pleasant.

 

MALTa CITIZENSHIP 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. The following is a list of the requirements to apply for Malta citizenship by investment:

  • First, you need to make a non-refundable donation to the National Development & Social Fund of €740,000 ($813,593 USD);
  • For family members, spouse and children under 18, there is an additional €25,000 ($27,486 USD) per person. So if your family is you, your spouse, and one child, you would pay an extra €50,000 ($54,972 USD). 2 children under 18 and a spouse €75,000 ($82,458 USD) and so on;
  • For your parents over 55 and children 18-26, it is €50,000 ($54,972 USD) per person, the same as above;
  • Then you must also have a property lease contract worth a minimum of €16,000 ($17,591 USD) annually, or you can choose to buy a property with a value no lower than €700,000 ($769,615 USD).
  • Lastly, you must pay €150,000 ($164,917 USD) in Maltese government bonds. This is all for the monetary investment requirements.
  • You must also have a 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.

 

 

 

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 opportunities. 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 many opportunities as it is the 7th most powerful passport in the world, where you can enjoy visa-free travel to 185 countries worldwide.

 

Related content: Living Abroad With A Digital Nomad Visa In Malta

 

Mdina, Malta

Mdina, Malta

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, you first have to make a non-refundable “investment” of €590,000 ($648,676 USD) to the National Development and Social Fund as an Exceptional Direct Investment to stay for 36 months in the country. 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 a residency in Malta for 36 months.

Or you can choose the expedited path and purchase citizenship for €740,000 ($813,593 USD)  if you spent less than 36 months in Malta.

You also need to either rent a property that has an annual rent of at least €16,000 ($17,591 USD) or purchase real estate valued at €700,000 ($769,615 USD). Furthermore, you cannot sell or abdicate your lease for at least five years from when you acquire citizenship.

 

Related article: The Basics Of How To Get A Second Passport Or A Second Residency.

 

Sale of Fruits and Vegetables. Valletta City, Malta

Sale of Fruits and Vegetables. Valletta City, Malta

HOW IT WORKS

The first step in participating in the Malta citizenship by naturalization for exceptional services program is establishing 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 residence permit, valid for 36 months, you need to be physically present in Malta to submit your biometric data. After you get approved to reside in Malta, you need to make a €10,000 deposit towards the citizenship naturalization program. There is also a €5,000 fee for the residency application and an additional €1,000 fee for each family member applying for residency alongside you.

Once you have obtained a Maltese residence permit, you can then apply for Maltese Citizenship By Investment. After you receive approval for the program and have held residency in Malta for a minimum of 12 months, you can formally apply for citizenship by investment. Once approved for that, you must provide documentation proving that you have fulfilled your requirements regarding investment and residency.

Before your citizenship application can be approved, you must undergo a due diligence process. Malta's due diligence process is very strict and has a 23% denial rate. This is why working with people with experience in the field is really important. Much information can be overlooked, missed, or improperly filed. The Maltese government is very strict with who they allow in their program, so make sure to always have proof of everything, from the origin of your money to document statements.

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

 

Birgu and Senglea are two amazing cities in Malta

Birgu and Senglea are two amazing cities in Malta

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 has no territorial tax system, so worldwide income is taxed. Foreign capital gains are not taxed in Malta.

 

Comino, Malta

Comino, Malta

Conclusion

Malta's citizenship by investment applications are for high-net-worth individuals and has many documents required. You can end up having to invest well over $1,000,000 USD to be able to be a part of the program. Though the investment is high, so are the benefits. You will enjoy a beautiful island country with many beaches, be the owner of the 7th strongest passport in the world, have visa-free travel throughout all of Europe, and have the possibility of networking with other high-net-worth individuals like yourself. There are many other benefits Malta can bring you and your family, and if you are interested in this citizenship by investment program, contact us, and I will personally make sure you get exactly what you want.

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WORK WITH ME

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 your home country (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 firm like ours, the results will be worth it.

 

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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 CEO 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, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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