Globalisation has increased the level of interaction among people from all corners of the world and created a demand for flexible immigration solutions, which is being offered in the form of citizenship through investment programmes.
Boasting a historic strategic geographical position and now also having excellent air links and one of Europe's largest maritime commercial registries, Malta offers investors a secure and efficient platform to conduct their international business, especially for those who may have their eyes set on further connecting North Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
TCV Management & Trusts Services Limited is an affiliate of Mamo TCV Advocates - a top tier Maltese Legal Firm, licensed by Identity Malta Agency1 as an Approved Agent to promote and process Maltese Individual Investor Programme ('IIP') applications.
The Maltese IIP
The IIP was introduced in March 2014. Reputable foreign individuals may apply for Maltese citizenship under the IIP, with the understanding that they will obtain access to all the benefits available to any European national.
Citizenship will be acquired by way of naturalization in terms of the IIP rules. To this end applicant will make an economic contribution to the National Development and Social Fund of Malta and will undergo a thorough due diligence procedure to determine their eligibility for citizenship.
Prospective IIP applicants must satisfy the criteria set out by the operative rules in order for them to be considered eligible for naturalization. A main applicant must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid global health insurance policy, as well as being a person of good standing and having a clean track record - for him or her to comply with Maltese public policy, national security and public health.
The main applicant is required to make a contribution of 650,000 Euro to the Malta National Development and Social Fund, with this amount increasing slightly depending on the number of the dependants applying with the same. In this respect, the following amounts should be considered:
- 25,000 Euro for the spouse and each dependant (below the age of 18 years);
- 50,000 Euro for each dependent child aged between 18 and 26 years of age, who is financially dependent on the main applicant and who is not married;
- 50,000 Euro for parents over the age of 55 who are also considered dependant, as long as they are living with and are fully supported by the main applicant.
As part of the initial phase of the application process, a non-refundable deposit of 10,000 Euro must be remitted to the Maltese government towards this investment, which in turn a residence card may be issued.
Including the above mentioned contribution/s, the main applicant will be required to make his or her economic investments after having received a 'Letter of Approval in Principle' from the Authority.
The following must be satisfied:
- The purchase of an immovable property in Malta, of a value not less than 350,000 Euros which ownership must be held for a minimum period of five years or the lease an immovable property in Malta, the annual rent of which must not be less than 16,000 Euro and which such an arrangement being retained for a minimum period of five years.
- The main applicant must invest 150,000 Euro in government bonds or stocks, which must be held for a minimum period of five years.
Since the Maltese IIP is open only for 1,800 applications, it is crucial to hand pick the best candidates for Malta.
The selection process effectively commences through the appointment of an appropriate Approved Agent who will assist and represents the applicant throughout the application, followed by a rigorous due diligence assessment carried out by the government of Malta and Identity Malta Agency.
As indicated above, applicants may first apply for a Maltese E-Residence Card, granting them:
- Maltese residence
- Access to Schengen and European countries.
The issuing of the Maltese E-Residence Card kick starts the one (1) year residency requirement which will run from the day of issue to the Main Applicant; the criteria must be satisfied before the application will be fully processed.
The application process and the issuance of a Certificate of Naturalization under the IIP would take a minimum of six (6) months2 and a maximum of two (2) years from the date of submission of the application.
Having satisfied all the above due diligence and financial requirements, a Certificate of Naturalization and a Maltese passport would be issued to the applicant. After which, all applicants, over the age of 18 years, are obliged to take the Oath of Allegiance.
Malta's laws allow for its citizens to have more than one nationality.
Therefore, the main applicant and their families will enjoy full citizenship for life (subject to compliance with local laws and Maltese public policy), which can be passed on to future generations by descent.
Furthermore, all rights and obligations pertaining to Maltese nationals will be equally granted to successful applicants upon receiving Maltese citizenship. However, the fact that Maltese citizenship is granted under the Maltese IIP rules does not, in itself, trigger tax residency.
TCV Management & Trusts Services Limited
TCV Management & Trusts Services Limited, as approved agents, offers clients all the professional advice and assistance as well as the personal care and attention required throughout the IIP application process with the aim of ensuring a smooth and successful citizenship application.
1. Identity Malta Agency is the public authority which responsible for receiving and processing applications concerning IIP, as well as any local residence permits.
2. Possible only when the main applicant has previously resided in Malta.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.