Maltese Citizenship by Investment

One of the countries of the European Community and the Schengen Agreement that has programs for obtaining local citizenship by investment is Malta. This program, called the Malta Individual Investor Program, has been operating on the island for the seventh year thanks to the decision of the Maltese government, from January 1, 2014, to provide foreign investors with the opportunity to acquire a passport of this state on completely legal conditions under official guarantees.

Malta citizenship by investment has become available to representatives of many countries, including Russia, planning to invest in the local economy, and in terms of the time frame for obtaining a passport in this way, Malta is second only to Cyprus.

Maltese citizenship for Russians through investment


There are several fundamentally different ways to obtain Maltese citizenship, but not all of them are suitable for Russians or can be implemented by them.

For example, only subjects of the British crown counted on citizenship in connection with the island’s independence 55 years ago. Marriage to a Maltese citizen implies maintaining this status for at least five years.

Finally, the process of naturalization through first obtaining a residence permit and then permanent residence is not of particular interest, since you can apply for citizenship only after 18 years – longer than anywhere else in Europe.

In the current situation, the fastest way to obtain Maltese citizenship for Russians is through investment. Since the Maltese investment program, designed for 1,800 people, came into effect, holders of a Russian passport have used it more often than others, and the number of vacancies continues to decline slowly but surely.

By the way, according to the current legislation of Malta, there is an agreement on the absence of double taxation with Russia, and Russians are not required to renounce their citizenship. With the acquisition of a Maltese passport, they gain the right to work or study in any EU country.

In addition, the Maltese authorities do not require Russian and other participants in the Malta Citizenship by Investment program to reside on the island for a minimum of 183 days a year, which greatly facilitates the mobility of a new citizen. At the same time, the number of countries where holders of a Maltese passport are allowed visa-free entry, or a visa is issued on arrival, is steadily growing.

Maltese Citizenship by Investment 2019


For foreigners who wish to acquire a Maltese passport, there are mandatory conditions, each of which relates to one way or another of obtaining Maltese citizenship by investment. By 2019, there are three official options available, each of which has received approval from the Maltese government and the European Union.

The same contribution for all is the contribution to the Malta Development Fund, the amount of which is 650 thousand euros, and residence in the country of the applicant (alone or with his family) as a resident for one year. After this, the applicant for Maltese citizenship has three options to choose from:

  1. Purchase of residential real estate worth at least 350 thousand euros.
  2. Rental housing for five years at a price of at least 16 thousand per year
  3. Purchase of securities, bonds or shares in the amount of 150 thousand euros.

Family members of the main applicant can become a citizen of Malta, namely: the official spouse, minor children and single children under the age of 27, as well as parents over 55 years of age. In the first three cases, the additional contribution to the Malta Development Fund will be 25 thousand euros per person, in the last – twice as much.

These amounts are not the only ones that Malta Individual Investor Program participants need to pay to the government. For each of them you need to deposit 3, 5 or 7.5 thousand euros in order to carry out the Due Diligence procedure.

If Interpol or the International Criminal Court reveals that an applicant for Maltese citizenship by investment has a criminal past or cannot prove the legality of the origin of funds, then he is guaranteed to be refused. The chances of becoming the owner of the coveted document are equally “great” for those foreigners who claim refugee status – the fact of discrimination will have to be proven for many months, although the same same-sex marriages have official status in Malta.

Finally, the final payment after passing all checks is the amount of 500 euros for the finished passport. The entire process from obtaining a residence permit to Maltese citizenship usually takes 1.5 years.

Benefits of obtaining Maltese citizenship by Investment


Maltese citizenship obtained by foreign investors has a number of advantages, which mainly relate to the taxation system. Thus, after five years of owning real estate or securities, a partial return of investment funds without paying taxes is possible, and if this period is from three to five years, then the tax rate will be equal to 12% of each object sold.

Those foreigners who have acquired Maltese citizenship by investment, but live most of the time outside of the country and are not tax residents of the island, are exempt from paying taxes on income received outside the country. This country lacks many taxes that are constant attributes in many EU countries:

  • property tax;
  • property tax;
  • inheritance tax;
  • gift tax;
  • luxury tax;
  • capital gains tax (for those foreigners who do not reside permanently in Malta);
  • all municipal taxes.

If you obtain Maltese citizenship by investment, then its advantages include not only a liberal tax policy. Investors and members of their families are exempt from exams in English and Maltese, as well as the history of the country, and if they fulfill the “five-year qualification”, then citizenship remains with them for life and is subsequently inherited. Finally, as a holder of a Maltese passport, you can be sure of the confidentiality of your personal data – the Maltese authorities never disclose the names of participants in the Malta Individual Investor Program.

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