A growing number of the so called “economic citizens” are rushing to add a second passport to their collection. What is motivating people to pay a large amounts of money for a passport?
Apart from tax advantages and lifestyle benefits, passport holders can use their newly acquired citizenship to move freely internationally. This includes doing business with easy in other countries. There are several countries which offer a citizenship-by-investment program. Austria, Antigua, Barbuda, Cyprus, Dominica, Malta and St. Kitts and Nevis are at the most popular.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Malta IIP:
The Republic of Malta is a small archipelago situated in the southern Mediterranean, halfway between Italy and Tunisia. The country offers a relaxed island lifestyle and excellent business opportunities with a metropolitan twist. Over the last ten years, Malta has quickly become a hub for iGaming, financial services and property development due to its accommodating commercial environment and flexible corporate taxation framework. Furthermore, islanders enjoy a flourishing economy, a stable democratic political system and over 3,000 hours of sunshine every year.
In 2014 Malta launched its Individual Investor Programme (IIP), a citizenship by investment scheme similar to the ones launched by countries such as Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Hungary. It essentially allows an individual and their dependents to benefit from Maltese citizenship in return for investment in property, bonds and the local economy. With the Maltese passport being one of the strongest in the world, the programme has become an attractive offer for wealthy families, and entrepreneurs from all over the world.
The whole process takes between 12-24 months and involves a strict due diligence procedure which ensures only applicants with clean backgrounds who can make valuable contributions, both financially and socially are granted citizenship and the wealth of benefits that accompany it.
Benefits of the Malta IIP
● Free movement within the Schengen Zone and visa-free travel to over 160 countries;
● Malta is a member of the British Commonwealth which gives all citizens the right to reside in all Commonwealth countries for up to six months at a time. Commonwealth countries include the U.K, Canada and Australia;
● The right of establishment and residence in all 28 EU member states, and Switzerland;
● Affordable qualifying government and investment contributions;
● Stable political, social, and economic environment;
● No minimum residence requirement to retain citizenship once granted;
● English speaking, along with the local Maltese language and a high percentage of Italian fluency;
● Citizenship can be passed down through direct descendants;
● Malta is strategically located with excellent international air links to airports worldwide. It is three hours from London, 2.5 from Paris and a little under eight from Dubai.
The government agency responsible for administering the programme is Identity Malta and all applications must be submitted to them via a certified Accredited Agent such as a law firm, corporate services company or specialist immigration agent. The application process itself is efficient, straightforward and as long as all requirements are met, relatively stress free.
Minimum Requirements for Application
Any person wishing to apply for citizenship must meet a set of criteria stipulated by Identity Malta. These include a minimum age of 18 for the main applicant, a clean criminal record, proof of residence, proof of title to a qualifying property, a contribution to the National Social and Development Fund and an investment in government approved stocks, bonds or debentures.
● Main applicant: €650,000
● Spouse of main applicant: €25,000
● Each child under 18: €5,000
● Each unmarried child between 18-26: €50,000
● Each dependent over 55: €50,000
Government Approved Investments
The main applicant is bound to invest €150,000 in government approved stocks, bonds, debentures and or special purpose vehicles. There investments are secure but do not yield interest, and they must be held for a minimum of five years.
The main applicant must hold title to a residential property in Malta or Gozo. This property may be rented or purchased but must be held for a minimum of five years.
● Minimum purchase price: €350,000
● Minimum rental price: €16,000 per annum
The IIP is unique in that it was the first programme of its kind to gain full approval from the European Commission and it remains one of the few that offers full citizenship in return for investment as opposed to just permanent residence. This citizenship by investment scheme offers qualifying individuals and their families an opportunity to expand their business into Europe, as well as offering stability for them and their future. Malta is a beautiful, vibrant country and provides a safe environment to reside in or to use a base whilst exploring the other opportunities that Europe has to offer.
With low crime rates, excellent healthcare and educational facilities the country regularly ranks as one of the top places to live in the world and as soon as you step off the plane you will start to see why.