On the 24th of December 2013, the Government of Malta issued a new citizenship by investment programme, defined in the Maltese Citizenship Act as the “Individual Investor Programme”. The Programme was granted under an amendment to the Maltese Citizenship Act, Chapter 188 of the Laws of Malta, by a bill presented in October 2013.
The programme forms part of the Maltese Citizenship Act and will present a good opportunity for foreign investors to contribute to the local Maltese economy whilst at the same time benefiting from citizenship in Malta, a European Union member state since 2004 and part of the Schengen Area since 2007.
Affluent applicants of good repute and over the age of eighteen years are now able to apply to be naturalised and to receive a Maltese passport on the basis of a contribution to be made to a National Development Fund. Those wishing to submit their application can do so through the Concessionaire or one of the local Maltese Approved Agents to Identity Malta.
Eligibility and access to the Programme requires three tiers of investment, namely:
– Contribution Requirement:
A contribution to the National Economic and Social Development Fund of €650,000 for the principal applicant, of which ten thousand Euro (€ 10,000) shall be remitted as a deposit prior to the submission of the application.
The contribution set for spouses of principal applicants is that of € 25,000 while the contribution set for each and every child below 18 years of age is that of € 25,000. For each unmarried children between the ages of 18 and 55, the contribution is of € 50,000. Lastly, an additional € 50,000 will be required for each dependant parent over the age of 55.
– Residential Requirement
The main applicant is required to commit himself/herself to retain a residence in Malta for a period of at least 5 years, either through the purpose of a property of not less than € 350,00 in value, or through the leasing of a property in Malta, for which the minimum annual rent exceeds € 16,000.
– Investment Requirement
Thirdly Regulations stipulate that the main applicant must commit himself invest, amongst others in stocks, bonds, debentures, special purpose vehicles or to make other investments as provided by the Government.
The total investment to be made by applicants for Citizenship by Investment would be of €1.15m.
Taxation in Malta
Individuals resident and domiciled in Malta pay income tax on their worldwide income. Personal income is taxed at progressive rates of up to 35%. On the other hand, individuals are resident but not domiciled in Malta pay tax on income arising in Malta and income, with the exception of capital gains, that arises outside Malta and remitted to Malta.
The acquisition of Maltese citizenship under this programme does not attach with it any tax implications because if a successful applicant moves his own residence to Malta, he or she would still retain the status of a non-domiciled person and thus be taxed as indicated above.
Due Diligence Process
In order to guarantee that a high standard of applicants , all the applications will be submitted either by the Concessionaire or an approved local mandatory, such as Primei and will be processed by a special agency, named as ‘Identity Malta’ specifically set up in order to perform a review of applications and due diligence of application submitted.
The Malta Financial Services Authority will also oversee the process. The processing time frame is expected to be between six months and two years between the filing date of an application for citizenship and the date of granting of citizenship by investment.
Furthermore, Due Diligence fees apply, and these have been set at the following levels:
– For main applicant: EUR 7,500;
– For spouses, adult children and parents: EUR 5,000;
– for children between 13 and 18 years of age: EUR 3,000 each
For more information on the programme, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org