The following are questions frequently asked about the visa/citizenship program. If you don't find your answers, please contact us at your convenience.
What is the minimum investment required to obtain the Malta citizenship? Who will receive these funds?
Applicants are required to make a contribution directly to the Maltese Government's National Development and Social Fund.
The contribution is set at Euro 650,000 for the main applicant, Euro 25,000 for a spouse and each minor child under 18 years of age, and Euro 50,000 for each dependent parent over 55 years of age and each dependent child between 18 - 26 years of age.
In addition, the applicant is required to (a) invest at least Euro 350,000 into Malta real estate, or (b) lease a Malta property for at least Euro 16,000 per year.
Further, the applicant is required to purchase at least Euro 150,000 in Government approved securities. The real estate and securities investments must be held for a minimum of five years.
Please contact us for a detailed quote.
How will new citizens be taxed?
Taxation in Malta is based on domicile and residence – not citizenship. Obtaining Maltese citizenship does not automatically cause the applicant to acquire a new domicile.
Tax residents of Malta who are not domiciled in Malta are taxable on a remittance basis. This means they are not taxable on foreign source income (income not received in Malta), nor on any capital gains arising outside Malta.
Tax is due only on income and capital gains arising in Malta. A non-resident citizen of Malta is only taxable in Malta on income generated in Malta.
Other Tax Considerations:
• No inheritance or death taxes
• No estate duty
• No net worth or wealth taxes
• No municipal taxes, rates or real estate taxes
What are some of the reasons the program is attracting so many international investors?
Applicants realize that the Maltese/European citizenship provides several benefits, including:
• Visa free travel to over 160 countries, including the USA
• Retirement in a safe country with a warm climate
• A better education for the applicant’s children
• A better quality of life for the family
• Personal security
• Tax advantages
• Freedom associated with having multiple passports
Will my citizenship expire?
No. When you acquire citizenship under the Maltese citizenship program, you and your family enjoy full citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations by descent.
Do I need to move to Malta or live in Malta for a minimum number of days during the year to qualify for the program?
Applicants do not need to move to Malta or live in the country for a full year to satisfy the one year residency requirement. Instead, an applicant can meet the requirement by proving a genuine link with Malta as evidenced by, for example, a minimum of two visits within the year, or showing water and electricity bills, or having a club membership, or similar. Our attorneys will develop a plan with you to reduce the actual number of days spent in Malta and assist you to be in full compliance with Maltese regulations.
Approximately how long does the application process take until I am granted citizenship?
The IIP application process can take between six months and two years to be completed, and there is a one year residency requirement. If the applicant has already been a resident prior to filing an application he/she can obtain the Maltese passport as early as six months.
Upon submitting the Residence Application, the main applicant and his dependants (optional) are provided with an E-Residence document which is equivalent to a Schengen Visa, grating borderless travel to all Schengen countries.
The approximate timeline is as follows:
RECOMMENDED: Filing of Residency Application. Applicants who are not already resident in Malta are advised to start the clock ticking on the one year residency requirement by filing a residency application. A deposit on the IIP contribution is due at this stage. The deposit is €5,000 for the main applicant and €1,000 per dependent. The deposit will be credited towards the IIP application.
Day 0: Filing of Individual Investor Program (IIP) Application. The completed IIP application is formally submitted to Identity Malta with the essential supporting documents. Payments due now include the due diligence fees, passport fees and a deposit of €10,000 on the €650K IIP contribution, less any payments made on applying for residency. Evidence of source of funds is to be presented.
Day 90: Verification of IIP Application. Identity Malta confirms if documentation submitted are formally in order, subject to one additional month of further verifications if required.
Day 120: In Principle Approval. This is the approval of the process conditional only to the fulfillment of the obligations undertaken under the IIP.
Day 125: Formal Request for Contribution. Identity Malta requests payment of the remaining balance on the required contribution.
Day 145: Payment Deadline. Deadline for paying the balance on the required contribution.
Day 183: Issue of Certificate of Naturalization. The certificate of naturalization is issued to the applicant and any dependents, subject to the Oath of Allegiance and one year residency. The minimum time to issue the certificate is six months, the maximum is two years.
Day 240: Final Compliance. Applicants must provide evidence of Property Purchase / Rental and the required €150K investment in government approved securities.
What is the difference between the Individual Investor Program and the Global Residence Program?
The individual investor program (IIP) offers applicants a fast track to the European citizenship and the European passport in return for a one-time investment. For the main applicant the minimum one-time cost under the individual investor program is approximately 880,000 Euro.
The global residence program (GRP), on the other hand, offers applicants to become a permanent resident of Malta, free travel to all European countries within the Schengen area, and the option to apply for a work permit. However, this permanent residence permit needs to be renewed annually to avoid expiration. The GRP does not lead to European citizenship, and it does not result in receiving a European passport. The first-year fee under the global residence program amounts to approximately 30,000 Euro. Subsequent renewal fees for the global residence program are approximately 24,000 Euro per year.
These cost estimates are exclusive of attorneys fees and will vary based upon the number of family members to be included by the main applicant. Please contact us for a detailed quote.
Can you help me find estate in Malta?
Yes. We are associated with licensed real estate agencies in Malta and can help you find an ideal investment property that fulfills the program's real estate investment requirement.
How soon can I sell my Malta real estate?
The IIP program requires property to be held for five years. After this period, property in Malta can be sold completely exempt from tax if it has been held for three years as the resident’s sole and ordinary residence. If the property is sold before having been used as the resident’s sole residence for three years, a final property tax of 12% is chargeable on the selling price.
Do I need to invest in a Malta company and create jobs to qualify for the program?
No. Unlike other programs such as the EB-5 Investor Visa in the United States, Malta has no requirements to invest in a business or create new jobs.
Will the Malta citizenship automatically grant me European citizenship?
Yes. Because Malta is a member of the European Union its citizens are automatically European citizens, which means you are allowed to live, work or study anywhere in Europe.
What is the difference between the citizenship by investment program offered by Cyprus versus the "Individual Investor Program" from Malta, the "Golden Visa" from Spain, the "Golden Residence Visa" offered by Portugal, or the "EB-5 Program" in the United States?
The Individual Investor Program of Malta provides the applicant with European citizenship in return for a non-refundable donation to the Maltese government in the amount of EUR 650,000 plus a EUR 150,000 investment in approved securities and an investment in real estate. The IIP application process can take between six months and two years to complete.
The Citizenship by Investment Program of Cyprus provides the applicant with several investment options starting at EUR 2,5 million for immediate European citizenship and passport. The entire process can be as fast as three months or less if choosing the real estate investment option.
The Spanish Golden Visa requires a Euro 500,000 minimum investment in real estate, or a 1 Million Euro asset transfer, or a 2 Million Euro securities investment, or the creation of a new government-approved business project in return for residency. After 10 years of permanent residency the applicant may file for citizenship.
The Portuguese Golden Residence Permit program requires an investment of 500,000 Euro in real estate, or the transfer of 1 Million Euro, or the creation of 10 new jobs in Portugal. After 6 years of residency, citizenship can be applied for.
The United States EB-5 Program leads to permanent residency status and citizenship in the United States for a minimum investment of US-Dollar 500,000 in a commercial enterprise in the U.S. that generates at least 10 jobs for Americans. After five years as a permanent resident the investor may apply for U.S. citizenship.
What does "Schengen Area" mean?
The Malta citizenship allows you to travel without restrictions across the "Schengen Area" of the European Union. The Schengen Area is a group of 28 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. It functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. Source: Wikipedia
Will I be able to travel to the United States with the Malta passport?
Yes. The Malta passport will allow you to travel to the U.S. under the visa waiver program which allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less. Source: U.S. Government