Maltese Citizenship by Direct Investment

Posted on : 07 Apr 2021

L.N 437 of 2020 Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations

https://komunita.gov.mt/en/services/acquisition-of-citizenship/#ForExceptionalServices

There three main circumstances under which an applicant and his dependants may qualify for Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation:

  1. By means of an exceptional contribution which is manifestly superior and refers primarily to contributions made by scientists, researchers, athletes, sportspeople, and cultural performers.
  2. By means of an exceptional direct investment which consists of an investment to the Maltese economy as shall be further described in detail below. An applicant may not apply for an eligibility assessment for authorisation to apply for a certificate of naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment unless he is eighteen (18) years of age.

It is also important to note that for the main applicant and dependants aged eighteen (18) and above, there must be proof of residence in Malta, for a period of thirty-six (36) months, provided that this period may by exception be reduced to a minimum of twelve (12) months subject to an exceptional direct investment of seven hundred and fifty thousand Euro (€750,000), to be effected prior the issue of the certificate of naturalisation

  1. By means of exceptional services by merit which entail services to the Republic of Malta or to humanity or persons whose naturalisation is of exceptional interest to the Republic of Malta.

 

Applications under exceptional contributions and exceptional direct investment must be submitted through an authorised agent (Vassiliades & Co. (Malta) Limited) is fully licensed to act as a gent). Only with respect to exceptional services by merit, the applicant may file directly.

 

Application process

A new agency has been established which shall be overseeing applications for citizenship, the Community Malta Agency. A person may apply for a certificate of naturalisation if he/she undertakes:

(a) to take the oath of allegiance to the Republic of Malta and to abide by the Constitution of Malta;

(b) to promote the fundamental and democratic values of the Republic of Malta;

(c) to support the Maltese Community in the spirit of social justice and equity;

(d) satisfies the requirements prescribed under the regulations.

 

A person shall be disqualified from applying for the grant if a certificate of naturalisation as a citizen of Malta if he/she or any of the dependants:

(a) is or was indicted of an offence before an International Criminal Court or has been arraigned at any time before an International Criminal Court, whether such person has been found guilty, declared innocent or otherwise acquitted for any reason by such Court;

(b) are listed with the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) or Europol;

(c) is an actual or potential threat to national security, public policy, or public health of Malta;

(d) has, at any time, been charged with or found guilty of crimes, related to terrorism, money laundering, funding of terrorism, crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes that infringe upon such Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as established by the European Convention on Human Rights.

(e) has, at any time, been charged or found guilty of any criminal offences that disturb the good order of the family, which offences include, without limitation, the following: paedophilia; defilement of minors; rape; violent indecent assault; inducing persons under age to prostitution; and abduction;

(f) has, at any time, been found guilty of, or at any time during the processing of the application, has been interrogated or is suspected of, or has criminal charges brought against him for any criminal offence punishable with more than one (1) year’s imprisonment other than an involuntary offence;

(g) is, or is likely to be, involved in any activity which may cause disrepute to the Republic of Malta;

(h) has been denied a visa to a country with whom Malta has visa-free travel arrangements and has not subsequently obtained a visa from that same country;

(i) he or any of his dependants is named or listed in international sanctions applying restrictive measures on them; that the Agency is bound by law, or has opted, to follow.

 

Applications and all other accompanying documents must be submitted in the English language and if the original of a document is in another foreign language, then this document must be accompanied by an authenticated translation in English. Authenticated translation means a translation made by a recognised translator.

 

Where documents are not filed din original these must be filed as certified copies which must be a certified true copy of the original by a duly warranted lawyer, notary public, commissioner for oaths, Maltese consular or diplomatic officer. The certifier must provide his full name, capacity, residential or business address, telephone number, and email address.

The applicant must sign all forms with the exception of persons under 18 years of age, whose applications must be signed by both parents except when only one parent has legal custody in which case the necessary legal documentation must be presented to the agency.

 

Forms to be filed:

  1. A declaration form for eligibility assessment (any dependants must be included);
  2. A declaration as filed and certified by the agent confirming that the applicant and his dependants are fit and proper persons to hold Maltese citizenship;
  3. A declaration filled and certified by a recognised medical practitioner, clinic, hospital, medical or health institute, or other health care system attesting that the applicant and his dependants are in good health and not suffering from any contagious disease and not likely to become a burden on the Maltese public health system;
  4. A clean police conduct certificate from the countries where the applicant has resided for at least 6 months during the last 10 years.

Provisions applicable for exceptional services by direct investment

 

The application for naturalisation through exceptional services by direct investment for applicants shall be accompanied by the originals or certified copies of the following:

 

(a) for the main applicant and dependants aged eighteen (18) and above, proof of residence in Malta, for a period of thirty-six (36) months, provided that this period may by exception be reduced to a minimum of twelve (12) months subject to an exceptional direct investment of seven hundred and fifty thousand Euro (€750,000), to be effected prior the issue of the certificate of naturalisation;

(b) an undertaking to either purchase, immovable residential property in Malta having a minimum value of seven hundred-thousand-euro (€700,000) or to take on a lease of residential immovable property in Malta for a minimum annual rent of sixteen-thousand-euro (€16,000), which property shall be adequate and suitable for the applicant and his dependants, for a minimum period of five (5) years from the date of issue of the certificate of citizenship.

(c) an undertaking to carry out an exceptional direct investment in Malta, of a minimum of six hundred thousand euro (€600,000), of which a payment of ten thousand euro (€10,000) shall be paid to the Agency as a non-refundable deposit together with the residence application.

(d) an undertaking to donate, prior to the issue of the certificate of naturalisation, a minimum of ten thousand euro (€10,000) to a registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic non-governmental organisation or society, or as otherwise approved by the Agency.

 

The applicant may, at any time prior to submitting the citizenship application, apply to include with his application other minor dependants by complying with the requirements under these regulations, including the submission of eligibility form and due fees.

 

The Agency will cause due diligence checks to be performed by third parties including one or more internationally recognised specialised due diligence service providers. Such due diligence shall be of a minimum 4 tier nature.

The Agency shall ensure that:

 

(a) all relevant information provided by the applicant has been verified by one (1) or more independent due diligence service providers;

(b) the background of the applicant and his dependants, if any, has been verified by one or more independent due diligence service providers;

(c) the applicant shall attach with his application a sworn declaration made before a commissioner for oaths, attesting that the information that he has provided is true and correct;

(d) the source of funds of the applicant is legitimate with due regard to anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism legislation and guidelines issued by the competent authorities;

(e) an appropriate risk weighting has been carried out as established by the Agency;

(f) all non-refundable due diligence and administrative fees have been made.

 

 

Letter of Approval in Principle

 

The Agency shall inform the Minister of its findings for his review and decision. If the Minister is satisfied that the applicant meets the necessary criteria, he shall authorise the applicant to submit an application for Maltese Citizenship on the prescribed form. The Agency shall immediately notify the applicant in writing in accordance with the Minister’s instructions, that the applicant is authorised to submit a full application for Maltese Citizenship on the prescribed form. For applications filed in terms of the direct investment, such notification in writing shall be made to the applicant through his Agent.

 

Residential Property

Within four (4) months from the issue of the Letter of Approval in Principle the applicant shall submit a certified copy of the contract of purchase or of the lease agreement. The applicant may not dispose of the property for a period of at least five (5) years from the date of the certificate of citizenship but may be authorised by the Agency to substitute the said property by purchasing or leasing another equivalent property. The Applicant shall also provide documentary evidence that the conditions stipulated in this regulation have been satisfied. The Applicant shall provide a title to a residential property in Malta, except in the case of an applicant who is a minor or in the case of a dependent of an applicant who is filing an application in terms of the direct investment or if a waiver has been given by the Minister.

Oath of Allegiance

Subject that the conditions of the Letter of Approval in Principle have been satisfied, and all fees are settled, the Agency shall inform the Minister that all requisites for the issue of a certificate of citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by merit in the name of the applicant are satisfied. The applicant shall be required to complete the process and take the oath of allegiance within six (6) months from the approval in Principle by the Minister. The Agency may suspend or terminate the application process before the applicant takes the oath of allegiance, if he fails to satisfy all conditions or if the Minister is no longer satisfied that the applicant is worthy of Maltese citizenship.

During the first five (5) years from the grant of the certificate of Maltese citizenship, the Agency may request the applicant to provide any information or documentation and may also subject the applicant to an interview. The number of certificates by Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment granted, excluding dependants, shall not exceed four hundred (400) per annum, and in any case, the total accumulated amount of successful applicants excluding dependants shall not exceed one thousand five hundred (1,500).

Fees

The following shall constitute part of the minimum requirements to qualify for citizenship by Naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment.

For the applicant:

  • six hundred thousand euro (€600,000), of which a payment of ten thousand euro (€10,000) shall be paid to the Agency as a non-refundable deposit together with the residence application, whereas the applicant is already a resident of Malta, the non-refundable deposit shall be paid to the Agency together with the eligibility form
  • where the application is submitted before the completion of thirty-six (36) months residence, seven hundred and fifty thousand euro (€750,000), of which a payment of ten thousand euro (€10,000) shall be paid to the Agency as a non-refundable deposit together with the residence application, whereas the applicant is already a resident of Malta, the non-refundable deposit shall be paid to the Agency together with the eligibility form.

For each dependant:

  • fifty thousand euro (€50,000).

Due diligence fees (non-refundable)

(a) applicant: fifteen thousand euro (€15,000);

(b) for each dependant: ten thousand euro (€10,000);

(c) for every third party contributing financially to the application: fifteen thousand euro (€15,000).

Administrative fees due together with residency applications (exclusive of any taxes) to be made from the agent’s bank account:

  • per applicant: five thousand euro (€5,000);
  • per dependant: one thousand euro (€1,000);

Administrative fees due together with all eligibility applications (exclusive of any taxes) to be made from Applicant’s personal bank account:

  • per applicant: one thousand euro (€1,000);
  • per dependant: one thousand euro (€1,000);

 

Administrative fees due together with all citizenship applications (exclusive of any taxes) to be made from the applicant’s personal bank account:

  • per applicant: five hundred euro (€500);
  • per dependant: five hundred euro (€500);

 

Definitions

Applicant means a person who applies for citizenship under these regulations by naturalisation and includes a dependant or person who applies on behalf of another person.

Dependants include a family member of those applicants making an exceptional direct investment as defined below, and shall include:

(a) the spouse of the applicant in a monogamous marriage or partner in another relationship having the same or similar status to a monogamous marriage, including a civil union, domestic partnership, common law marriage, provided that for the purpose of these regulations, the term “spouse” in these regulations shall be construed as gender-neutral, and, saving the discretion of the Minister to authorise, and on a case-by-case basis, other relationships having a similar status as aforesaid;

(b) a child, of the main applicant or of his dependant as defined in paragraph (a) above including an adopted child, who has not yet attained eighteen (18) years of age at the time when the main applicant submits an application for citizenship by naturalisation under these regulations and is accepted by the Agency;

(c) a child, of the main applicant or of his dependant as defined in paragraph (a) above including an adopted child, who has attained eighteen (18) years of age but has not yet attained twenty-nine (29) years of age, at the time when the main applicant submits an application for citizenship by naturalisation under these regulations and is accepted by the Agency, and who is not married and proves, to the satisfaction of the Minister, that he is wholly maintained or otherwise largely supported by the main applicant;

(d) a parent or grandparent of the main applicant or of his dependant as defined in paragraph (a) above who has attained fifty-five (55) years of age at the time when the main applicant submits an application for citizenship by naturalisation under these regulations and who proves to the satisfaction of the Minister that he is wholly maintained or otherwise largely supported by the main applicant;

(e) a child, of the main applicant or of his dependant as defined in paragraph (a) above, including an adopted child, who at the time when the main applicant submits an application for citizenship by naturalisation under these regulations has attained eighteen (18) years of age, is a qualified person with a disability as defined in the Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act: