MALTA INDIVIDUAL INVESTOR PROGRAMME (IIP)

Malta Investor Program

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 
The following are questions frequently asked about the visa/citizenship program. If you don't find your answers here, please contact us at your convenience.

Q: What are some of the reasons the Malta residency / citizenship by investment programs are attracting so many international investors?

A: Many international business executives, investors, public figures, VIPs, and affluent citizens of other countries consider an alternative residency or citizenship and passport a powerful tool for international tax planning and a safety net should the living conditions at home become unbearable.

Applicants realize that the Maltese residency/citizenship provides several benefits, including:
   • Visa free travel to over 160 countries, including the USA, Canada, and Europe
   • Retirement in a safe country with a warm climate
   • A better education for the applicant’s children
   • Children and grand children gain visa free travel and the right to live, work, or study in many countries
   • A better quality of life for the family, including better healthcare and an unpolluted environment
   • Relatively low real estate prices
   • Personal security
   • Tax advantages
   • Freedom associated with having multiple passports




Q: What is the difference between the Individual Investor Program (IIP), the Global Residence Program (GRP), and the Malta Residence and Visa Program (MRVP)?

A: The Malta 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.

As a EU citizen you are allowed to live, work, study in any of the 26 European Union countries. EU citizenship also grants you access to all investment opportunities in Malta and throughout the EU member nations, as well as visa-free travel to more than 160 countries in the world, including the USA, Canada, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and most countries in North, Central and South America.

The Maltese Global Residence Program (GRP), on the other hand, offers residency in Malta (meaning the permission to live in Malta as long as desired), free travel to all European countries within the Schengen area, and the option to apply for a Malta work permit.

However, residency status under the GRP program needs to be renewed annually to avoid expiration. The annual expense, a minimum tax, to renew residency is approximately €15,000. Further, the applicant is required to either purchase local real estate valued at no less than €220,000 or rent a residence (house or apartment) at an annual lease of no less than €8,750. Thus, the total minimum expense to renew the GRP permit each year is approximately €24,000.

Processing can be as fast as three months. The GRP does not lead to EU citizenship, and it does not automatically result in receiving a European passport.

The Malta Residence and Visa Program (MRVP), also known as the "Malta Golden Visa", leads to residency (meaning the permission to live in Malta as long as desired), and the option to apply for a Malta work permit, but unlike the GRP it has no recurring minimum tax. In other words, the MRVP does not need to be renewed each year, which makes it preferable especially for long-term residents and retirees.

The MRVP program requires the purchase of a residence valued at no less than €270,000 EUR or a lease of a residence at no less than €10,000 per year for five years. The program further requires a non-refundable one-time cash contribution of €30,000 and an investment of €250,000 in government bonds to be held for a minimum of five years. If the bonds are financed, the total investment is reduced to approximately €155,000.

This program leads to residency in as little as three months, but just like the GRP program it does not automatically lead to the Maltese (EU) citizenship and the EU passport.

The following table compares both residency programs:

  

Global Residency Program
(GRP)

Malta Residence and
Visa Program (MRVP)

 Minimum Tax

EUR15,000

Zero

 Tax Rate

15%

0% - 35%

 Property Purchase

Central/North EUR275,000
South/Gozo EUR220,000

Central/North EUR320,000
South/Gozo EUR270,000

 Property Rental

Central/North EUR9,600
South/Gozo EUR8,750

Central/North EUR12,000
South/Gozo EUR10,000

 Minimum Stay in MT

Zero

Zero

 Official Application Fee

EUR6,000

Zero

 Contribution

Zero

EUR30,000

 Bond / Shares Investment

Zero

EUR250,000 for 5 years (or EUR100,000 if financed)

 Dependants

Spouse, Children up to 25 years, brothers, sisters and parents
(If financially dependent)

Spouse, Children
+ Parents & Grandparents

(if financially dependent)



These cost estimates are exclusive of government application and 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.



Q: What is the difference between the Ordinary Residence (OR) program and The Residence Program (TRP)?

A: Both programs are only available for EU nationals, meaning applicants who are already a citizen of another EU member country. The Residence Program (TRP) offers a flat tax of 15% on income brought into Malta (EUR 15,000 annual tax minimum) which makes this program especially attractive to high income individuals.



Q: What is the minimum investment required to obtain the Malta citizenship (EU citizenship)? Who will receive these funds?

A: Applicants are required to make a contribution directly to the Maltese Government's National Development and Social Fund.

The contribution is set at 650,000 Euro for the main applicant, 25,000 Euro for a spouse and each minor child under 18 years of age, and 50,000 Euro 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 350,000 Euro into Malta real estate, or (b) lease a Malta property for at least 16,000 Euro per year, for a minimum of five years. The real estate may be liquidated after the five year holding period.

Further, the applicant is required to purchase 150,000 Euro worth of Government approved securities to be held for at least five years. The securities may also be liquidated after the five year holding period.

NOTE: No contribution or investments need to be paid to the Maltese government before the final approval is issued by the government. This ensures your investments will only become due if and when your application is approved! Our associated attorneys will advise you of the probability of success prior to submitting your application to protect you from filing an application (and making any investments) that might be rejected. 

Please use our contact form to receive a detailed cost estimate including legal fees.



Q: How will new citizens be taxed?

A: 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. Becoming a citizen of Malta does not have to have any tax consequences!

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



Q: Will my citizenship expire?

A: 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.



Q: 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?

A: 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, engaging in any business activity in Malta, or similar. Our attorneys will assist you to be in full compliance with Maltese regulations.



Q: What is a "genuine link"?

A: The Maltese Citizenship Programme as approved by the European Commission is based on establishing a ‘genuine link’ between the applicant and Malta.

Applicants do not need to move to Malta or live in the country for a full year to establish a genuine link. Acceptable criteria to establish a genuine connection with Malta include having a local mobile phone, donations to charity, membership of a local club or professional body, business activity, as well as any involvement in philanthropy.

Our attorneys will obtain advance written approval from the Maltese government to ensure your proposed genuine link with Malta will be accepted.



Q: Approximately how long does the application process take until I am granted citizenship?

A: The IIP application process takes approximately four months to process. 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 dependents (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:

Week 1 - 3: Document Preparation. The attorney prepares the application file and collects all supporting documents. Applicant receives the Residency Card. The completed application is submitted.

Week 4 - 20: Application Processing.
The Maltese government reviews the application and conducts background checks.

Week 21 - 36: Compliance Period.
The applicant submits proof of health insurance, rents or purchases property, submits the contribution and fulfills the securities investment requirement. 

Naturalization.
 Upon application approval the Maltese government issues the Certificate of Naturalization to the applicant and any dependents, subject to the Oath of Allegiance and one year residency. Passport are issued.
 
IIP processing timeline

 

Q: Can you help me find suitable real estate in Malta?

A: Yes. We are associated with licensed real estate agencies and developers in Malta and can help you find an ideal property that fulfills the program's real estate investment requirement.

Our professional relationships in Malta guarantee to our clients a smooth, comprehensive service that includes identifying suitable properties, providing transport for property viewings, drafting/reviewing legal contracts, and/or liaising with local notaries and architects as needed.

When you decide on a property for purchase we can arrange for a Power of Attorney to appear on your behalf without the need for you to come again to Malta for the signature of any necessary contracts.



Q: How soon can I sell my Malta real estate?

A: 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.



Q: Do I need to invest in a Malta company and create jobs to qualify for the program?

A: 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.



Q: Will the Malta citizenship automatically grant me European citizenship?

A: 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.

However, please note that the total number of citizenships (total number of passports) the Maltese government has made available under this program is limited! If you are ready to file an application please contact us for additional information. 



Q: Can you help me with finding a job?

A: Sorry, the immigration by investment programs were developed by the government to attract high net worth individuals, business owners, VIPs and other individuals with the financial means to support themselves and the local economy. Please note: New citizens do not need any work permission; they may work in any of the EU member countries. New residents may apply for a Malta work permit, but would need to find their own employment opportunities.



Q: Can you help me get a tourist or a student visa?

A: Sorry, we cannot assist with tourist or student visas. However, if your intent is to file an application for residency or citizenship we may assist with the initial travel visa to schedule an in-person appointment at our offices.



Q: What are the major differences among the various immigration by investment programs?

A:  The Bulgaria Citizenship by Investment Program provides the applicant with several investment options starting at EUR 512,000 for European citizenship and passport after five years in residency status. The "fast track option" starts at EUR 290,000 and shortens this period to only 18 months.

The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program provides the applicant with several investment options starting at EUR 2,0 million for immediate European citizenship and passport. The entire citizenship application process can be as fast as 90 - 180 days.

The Greece Golden Visa allows non-EU applicants to file for Greek residency by way of a EUR 250,000 investment in local real estate. The applicant may file for Greek citizenship after seven years of permanent residency.

The Malta Individual Investor Program 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. For applicants who are only seeking Malta residency and Schengen travel benefits, options start at an annual recurring expense of EUR 24,000. 

The Monaco Residency / Citizenship Program allows applicants to file for Monaco residency by proving access to sufficient accommodations and financial self-sufficiency. The applicant may file for Monaco citizenship after ten years of permanent residency.

The Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program requires an investment of EUR 350,000 in real estate, or the transfer of 1 Million Euro, or the creation of 10 new jobs in Portugal. After 5 years of Portuguese residency, citizenship can be applied for.

The Spain Golden Visa requires a EUR 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 Spanish residency. After 10 years of residency the applicant may file for citizenship.


Outside of the EU, citizenship by investment programs include those offered by Canada, the United States of America, and the Caribbean nations of Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, Dominica, and St. Lucia:

Canada offers several residency by investment options, leading to citizenship if desired, starting at CAD 200,000.

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.

The Caribbean nations of Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, Dominica, and St. Lucia offer citizenship programs requiring a cash contribution of at least US-Dollar 100,000.



Q: What does "Schengen Area" mean?

A: The Malta citizenship allows you to travel without restrictions across the "Schengen Area" of the European Union. The Schengen Area is a group of 26 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



Q: Will I be able to travel to the United States with the Malta passport?

A: 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


Please contact us for a detailed cost estimate or confidential consultation.  Our associated attorneys are ready to assist you with attaining your investment objectives and answer any questions you might have about all of Malta's Residency / Citizenship by Investment programs.
 

 

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I am interested in the Individual Investor Program (IIP) Malta IIP - Citizenship Program
Live, work, or study in any EU member country. Visa-free travel to more than 160 countries in the world.
 offering the European citizenship and passport at a minimum one-time investment of approximately €880,000.
 
I am interested in the Malta Residence and Visa Program (MRVP)Malta MRVP - Residency Program
Live, work, or study in Malta. Visa-free travel to EU member countries.
 "Golden Visa"offering Malta residency and European travel benefits at a minimum one-time investment starting from approximately €155,000.
 
I am interested in the Global Residence Program (GRP)Malta GRP - Residency Program
Live, work, or study in Malta. Visa-free travel to EU member countries. Must be renewed each year.
 offering Malta residency and European travel benefits at a minimum recurring expense of approximately €24,000 per year.
 
I am a citizen of a EU member state and am interested in one of the two residency programs for EU nationals: Ordinary Residence (OR), or The Residence Program (TRP).
 
Other: describe your interest in the box below, or use our automatic Product Finder Tool to find a global Immigration by Investment program that best fits your budget and timeline.
 
Briefly describe your situation and the number of family members to be included, if any.