Malta Business Visa Information
Malta is known as one of the most attractive European citizenship programs as the program allows, subject to meeting certain requirements and the investment criteria, achieve EU citizenship in just over a year for yourself and your family.
Following our conversation regarding the steps and processes for Maltese citizenship, I have included a detailed breakdown for you including yourself as the main applicant, spouse, and 2 dependent children (ages 14, and 16).
Malta is a very tax attractive destination. The acquisition of Maltese citizenship under the IIP does not, in itself, trigger tax residency, but even if one decides to move and take up permanent residence in Malta, one would normally still retain the status of a non-domiciled person. A Maltese passport will allow visa-free travel to more than 160 countries in the world, including the USA.
The IIP requires a person to make an economic contribution to the country. In exchange, and subject to a very thorough application procedure including detailed due diligence and background verification checks, the applicants and their families are granted full citizenship. To qualify for citizenship, the main applicant must be over 18 years of age, meet all of the application conditions, make a non-refundable contribution to the National Development and Social Fund, and meet certain other requirements.
For main applicants, a contribution of EUR 650,000 is required. The donation is not-recoverable and non-refundable, it is paid as a national contribution to Malta. These funds are primarily being donated to Malta’s National Economic and Social Development Fund, and will be used to implement national projects linked to education, job creation, and various other social projects and ones regarding public health. Such funding into the development of the country is excellent support for enhancing the real-estate market. The donation starts at EUR 650,000 and increases depending on the number of family members you wish to include in the citizenship application.
- An additional contribution of EUR 25,000 is required for a spouse and for each child under the age of 18.
- The application may include children between the ages of 18 and 26 years if they are financially dependent on the main applicant and are not married; in such cases, the additional contribution is set at EUR 50,000 for each dependent.
- Parents over the age of 55 may also be included in the application as dependents, if they are living with and are fully supported by the main applicant. In such cases, an additional contribution of EUR 50,000 is required per person.
Due diligence is required by the Government and the fees payable for all applicants are: EUR 7,500 for the main applicant; EUR 5,000 for spouses, adult children and parents; and EUR 3,000 each for children between 13 and 17 years of age.
Additional investment criteria:
Additionally, the following investment requirements and other obligations must be met:
Property – either the purchase of a residential property in Malta with a price of at least EUR 350,000 which must be held for five years, or the lease of a residential property with a rental of at least EUR 16,000 per annum, also held for five years. Please note that the property cannot be let during this five year period. As a real estate transaction is recoverable, and a lease is a sunken cost/loss, the purchase could be more interesting for those who are willing to spend the additional EUR 270,000. Thought-out the 5 year period our partners will manage all aspects related to the ownership and overall management of client real-estate affairs in Malta.
That said, we also need a residential address secured for the initial 12 month application period, since legal residency is required. As such it can make more sense to purchase rather than rent for 6 years, however we can assist with whichever combination of leasing or buying you are most comfortable with.
- Investment – In addition to the donation and property, a total of EUR 150,000 in a prescribed investment, details of which are published by the Identity Malta Agency, which must be held for five years
- Insurance – the holding of a valid global health insurance policy with medical expense cover amounting to at least EUR 50,000 per family member. We work with Zurich insurance and they can offer the best rates to our clients
- Residence – the applicant must have been a legal resident of Malta for one year prior to the certificate of naturalization being issued
- Oath – all applicants aged 18 years and over must visit Malta in person to undertake the Oath of Allegiance
It is important to note, that you will need to visit Malta to complete the required steps to achieve residence and then citizenship as I mentioned. For instance, the two main periods will be around the fact you need to first visit personally for a day to acquire your residence card, and you will need to visit again for a few days if approved for citizenship to provide bio-metrics for the passport and pick-up your documents. Our team will help manage and coordinate all such aspects on your behalf.
Step 1: Initial Checks
Prior to beginning the process we do an initial world check to ensure no high level complications will affect the process. If the initial checks are favourable (basically no international criminal or terrorists are included in the application), the stage one payment can be accepted and the process will begin. To complete this initial check we need to provide Malta with the following information from you:
- Please send us a scan copy of your passport, and passports of all family applicants
- Please send us a scan copy of a proof of address
- Please complete the MIIP Expression of Interest (A1)
- Confirm that funds will be remitted from you own bank account, or if a third party account, which account and why. Form A for personal account and Form B for third party account (to be completed with Form A if applicable)
Once this is confirmed and due diligence passed, the initial payment for Stage 1 should be transferred.
Step 2 – Acquire Residence in Malta – Secure your qualifying investment
The European Union has requested that Malta issues citizenship documents to approved families once a full year of legal residence in Malta has been satisfied by the investor. For this reason, as this period can being ahead of time, we start this process early on to minimize your waiting time for receiving citizenship documents after your approval. To acquire legal residence in Malta, you must first acquire a physical address/residence that can be used on your residence application forms. Our team in Malta offers a hassle-free service to our clients to streamline this process. Once you provide search criteria to our real-estate team in Malta, who will take payment on account to secure the lease for you. As rental properties near this qualifying level are being taken up quickly, we must be able to pay the landlord on your behalf immediately once finding a suitable property. Otherwise in 9 times out of 10, it is gone to someone else by the time we receive the money. Taking funds on account has been the only way to avoid this.
Once instructed, our team will source and select a rental property (that will satisfy the requirements of residence and future requirements of the citizenship program itself) on your behalf. We will prepare the paperwork and assist you with entering the agreement. Our partners over there will then oversee the property on your behalf with scheduled visits, and coordinate any maintenance that may be required on your behalf to keep the property in a liveable state for the owner. The required residence forms will be provided for your completion and return. Our team will then submit the paperwork needed to secure your residence card for Malta. An immediate benefit of this resident card is that you may travel freely within the Schengen Zone by utilizing this card.
Step 3 – Complete and Submit Citizenship Application
While the above has been in progress, you will have received a citizenship by investment package. It includes complete documentation with all relevant forms, a comprehensive application guide with detailed instructions regarding all items. You then gather all required documents, complete the forms, review and sign the agreements, after which it will be checked for completeness and accuracy. The application is then sent to Malta from where it will be submitted to and processed by the government, and our local office will monitor and manage your applications and frequently follow up with the respective authorities to ensure a smooth process. Applications are expected to take 4 – 6 months from the date it is submitted to the Government prior to receiving an answer as to the Approval in Principal.
Step 4– Approval in principle – payment of contribution
In 4 – 6 months, once we receive a letter of approval in principle from the government of Malta, you will have 25 days to pay to balance of your family’s contribution to the National Development Fund (Donation).
Step 5 – Satisfy other requirements
Once we receive a letter of approval in principle from the government of Malta, we will have four (4) months to submit proof to the government that your family has satisfied the outstanding investment requirements. This includes:
- Provide a signed copy of a sale and purchase agreement of a property with a minimum value of €350,000 or a signed lease agreement to cover a five year period with a minimum annual rental of €16,000.
- You have completed the portfolio Investment obligation (Stocks/Bonds) to a minimum value of €150,000.
- Provide a copy of a global health insurance document to cover all family members the same as at residency stage.
Step 6 – Visit Malta
Once all requirements have been satisfied we will organize your visit to Malta for the family to take the Oath of Allegiance, and provide your biometric data for your new passports. Following the Oath, a Certificate of Naturalization will be issued. On receipt of this document we may complete the passport application process.
While this process can seem long, our team will assist at every step of the process, and if desired also throughout your required 5 year property ownership or leasing period. The Maltese citizenship program is by the book with no deviation and very clearly specified requirements and steps. The reason most families choose Malta is that a Maltese passport is one of the top 10 passports in the world and the program is relatively fast, offering EU citizenship in just over 1 year.