Malta is a member of the European Union (EU) and as such enjoys an agreement with the EU Commission which bestows a unique legal status on its Individual Investor Program (IIP) that offers EU treaty protection. Not only do its citizens enjoy visa-free travel to more than 168 countries, but they also have the right to work and establish themselves in any of the 28 countries that make up the EU.
This stable and neutral island-state implements very strict four-tier due-diligence standards and background verification checks to protect its reputation as a highly respected investor destination. It aims to attract reputable individuals or families with a high net-worth willing to invest in the country financially and intellectually in exchange for full citizenship with all the privileges that status entails.
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The Individual Investor Programme (IIP) was launched under the Maltese Citizenship Act, Cap. 188, Articles 10 (9) (b) and 24 (1) (i) and is governed by the IIP Regulations of the Republic of Malta, 2014. It requires applicants to have resided in Malta for one year before a certificate of naturalization is issued. To qualify, the main applicant must be 18 years or older. Applications may include children aged 18–26 years if they are unmarried and fully financially dependent on the main applicant, and parents aged 55 years and older if living with and fully supported by the main applicant. All applicants must supply proof of good health and must each possess global health insurance offering coverage of at least EUR 50 000. Applicants must also have a clean criminal record (and not be under investigation for a crime).
The process of naturalization typically takes between six months and two years from the date the application was submitted, and includes residence of one year. Successful applicants will have their names published annually.
Identity Malta is the government authority administering the Program.
Program applicants are required to meet all three of the investment criteria:
The IIP is administered by the government authority, Identity Malta. The process of thorough due-diligence checks typically takes four months from submission of the application.
The application comprises the following steps:
It may take up to four months to receive the government’s decision and for Identity Malta to acknowledge the application. Successful applicants must then complete the steps listed below within four months from approval:
|Real Estate||Minimum Investment|
|Property investment: purchase||EUR 350 000|
|Property investment: lease (per annum)||EUR 16 000|
|Government and Investment fees|
|Main applicant||EUR 650 000|
|Spouse||USD 25 000|
|Dependent aged 0–17 years||EUR 25 000|
|Dependent aged 18–26 years||EUR 50 000|
|Dependent aged 55 years and older||EUR 50 000|
|Investment (stocks, bonds, special-purpose vehicles)||EUR 150 000|