Malta Individual Investor Programme (IIP)
The Malta Individual Investor Programme was designed to grant wealthy individuals and their families to enjoy the freedom of a European passport.
Malta Individual Investor Programme (IIP)
Update 28th January 2020: The Citizenship by Investment Program has received more than 1500 passport applications from investors. The program is capped at 1800 applications so it is important to contact us and submit your citizenship application through one of our licensed service providers as soon as possible. The cap could be reached within a few months.
The Individual Investor Programme (also referred to as citizenship by investment programme) was granted under an amendment of the law passed in 2013. Since the enactment, Malta has received over 1,000 applications for the individual investor programme from over 40 nations.
The Republic Of Malta
Malta enjoys a stable political climate and due to its pro-business approach weathered the financial crisis by still seeing economic growth. Malta has furthermore been ranked as having the top 5 soundest banking systems in the world.
Citizenships granted under this programme are for the duration of a lifetime and enjoy the full rights of Maltese. The citizenship can also be passed on to future generations by decent. Malta has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and part of the Schengen Treaty since 2007, thus a citizenship in Malta grants full rights to investment across the EU member states and boasts a free visa travel across many more.
The Legal Basis For Citizenship By Investment
The Malta Individual Investor Programme was designed to grant wealthy individuals and their families to enjoy the freedom of a European passport. The aim is to attract individuals of good standing who can contribute to the growth of the Maltese economy.
Malta IIP Highlights
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The Benefits of a Maltese Citizenship
Upon a successful application of the Individual Investor Programme, the applicants and their family will have numerous benefits, such as:
- A quick and easy application process;
- Freedom of mobility to travel;
- European citizenship for decedents;
- Study and live in any EU-member state; and
- VISA free travel to over 172 countries, including the USA and Canada;
A Efficient Application Process
A residency card is issued to the applicants upon submission of the application within 3 weeks. This means you will have free mobility within the Schengen Area for a period of 18 months. As soon as IIP Unit issues an approval in principle letter, the citizenship is approved within 4 months and the passport is issued 12 months from the sate of residency in Malta.
Citizenship For Family and Dependants of the Applicant
The citizenship obtained through the Individual Investor Programme is extended to the family of the applicant. This includes your spouse, minor children, unmarried dependent children under the age of 27 and parents of the main applicant and spouse aged over 55 years. Decedents are automatically awarded citizenship.
Live and Travel within EU Member States
The Schengen agreement allows for free travel among the European Member states. This means after obtaining a Maltese citizenship, you can live, work, study and travel across the EU states together with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland.
VISA Free Travel In Over 182 Countries
Once a Maltese passport has been obtained, the applicant and their family can travel freely for life across more than 182 countries, including USA and Canada.
Eligibility For A Maltese Citizenship By Investment
The main applicant must be at least 18 years of age and can, for an additional fee, include his/her spouse, children, dependants, parents and grand parents under the same application.
The Fit And Proper Test
The IIP Unit is the agency responsible for design and implementation of the fit and proper test. This is a due diligence process of the highest standards to make sure any citizenships granted are for those who are of a good standing and repute.
A four-tiered due diligence process is carried out where the applicants must demonstrate a clean criminal record and checks being carried out with the International Criminal Court, Interpol and other relevant authorities.
A Good Health Standing
The applicants must be in good health and demonstrate they show no signs of contagious diseases or other major health conditions.
The Purchase or Rental Of Property
Part of the contributions in order to be eligible for citizenship, the applicant must invest in a property of at least €350,000 or rent a property with a annual rent of no less than €16,000. The contracts and property must be held for at least 5 years but are free to sell or stop renting after this period.
Contribution to the National Development & Social Fund
A contribution to the Government of Malta is required in order to obtain a citizenship. The total amount is €650,000 where 70% will go to the National Development and Social Fund and attributed to projects within education, health, innovation, job creation and other social projects.
For spouses and children included in the application, an additional contribution to the fund of €25,000 per applicant is required. Other dependants such as unmarried children between 18 and 27 years of age, together with parents aged over 55 an additional contribution of €50,000 is required.
5 Year Investment In Bonds And Shares
A minimum amount of €150,000 must be invested in bods or shares approved by the Maltese Government and must be kept for at least 5 years.
Permanent Residence Status
The endorsement of the Individual Investor Program by the European Commission came based on a ‘genuine link’ conditions. Meaning the applicants granted citizenship by investment in Malta needed to be permanent residents. This led to the introduction of the 1-year residency period which starts from the date the Maltese residence is issued. In case the applicant already resided in Malta for a period of one year, this requirement would already be fulfilled.
The Process of Obtaining Citizenship
Apply for Residency
During the application process, it is advised to start the residency period in order to fulfil the 1-year residency requirement. Additionally, an initial deposit of the total contribution amount of €650,00 is due at this stage. The first deposit should consist of €5,000 for the main applicant and €1,000 per dependant thereafter. Within 3 weeks the applicants and his/her dependents will receive their residence cards.
The Formal Citizenship Application
The formal application will be submitted for you by an accredited partner and submitted to the Malta IIP Agency together with the supporting documents. The following payments due are the due diligence fees, passport fees and a further deposit of €10,000, minus the payment of fees made applying for the residency. Evidence of the source of income should also be produced.
The documentation submitted with the application is formally confirmed in order by The Malta Individual Investor Program Agency. Subject to another month of verifications.
The In Principal Approval will be issued by Identity Malta, conditional to the fulfilment of the remaining obligations.
The payment of the remaining balance of the contribution together with the passport fee will be requested and payable within 20 days.
Final deadline for payment of the contributions.
The final due diligence will be conducted where proof of the property purchase or rental agreement will be requested. Furthermore, the investment obligations of total €150,000 needs to be in place.
The final step would be the issuance of the Certificate of Naturalization together with the passports. This is subject to 1-year residency completed and an Oath of Allegiance.
Grounds For Refusal Of A Maltese Citizenship
Applicants are considered on a case by case basis. Even though one of the below reasons applies to an applicant, Identity Malta would still consider recommending the application due to special circumstances. This would be subject to final approval on ministry level.
The follow grounds could constitute a refusal:
- Providing false information;
- Having a criminal record or being subject of a criminal record;
- Potential national security threat;
- Likely to cause disrepute to Malta; or
- Denied a visa to a country.
Grounds for Revocation Of Maltese Citizenship
The depreciation of a Maltese citizenship is regulated and governed by the Citizenship Act. Grounds for the revocation of citizenship could be:
- citizenship was acquired by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact; or
- such citizen has shown himself or herself by act or speech to be disloyal or disaffected towards the President or the Government of Malta; or
- such citizen had engaged, unlawfully traded or communicated with an enemy or been engaged in or associated with any business that was motivated by willingness to assist an enemy.
Taxation Of New Maltese Citizens
The Maltese tax system subjects’ individuals to tax based on domicile and residency, not on citizenship. For non-domiciliary, granting of Maltese citizenship does not cause the beneficiary to acquire new domicile in Malta. The intention to reside in Malta indefinitely after living in Malta for 183 days constitutes the intention to reside in Malta instead.
Taxation On Remittance Basis
Tax residents who are residing but not domiciled in Malta are charged tax based on a remittance basis. Therefore, non-domiciled who are residents are not taxable on foreign sourced income which is not received in Malta. Furthermore, any capital gains arising outside Malta, whether remitted or not, is also not taxable. After the obligatory 5-year period, the sale of property can be sold tax exempt if the property is held as ordinary residence for 3 years.
Other Tax Benefits
- No inheritance or death taxes.
- No estate duty.
- No net worth or wealth taxes.
- No rates, municipal / real estate taxes.
- No domiciled residents of Malta are to pay a minimum annual tax of €5,000 if such individual earns at least €35,000 yearly.
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