First Malta Citizenship Approvals

Dr. Jean-Philippe Chetcuti | 12 Nov 2014

malta citizenship

Chetcuti Cauchi has received the first Malta citizenship approvals  in respect of applicants for Maltese citizenship that it has represented from the inception of the Individual Investor Programme in February 2014.  Then, the firm was the very first law firm to be granted 'approved agent' status by Identity Malta, the agency responsible for managing Malta's Citizenship by Investment programme.  Since then, the firm filed its first applications for Maltese citizenship on behalf of the clients willing to submit to the pilot programme conceived under the Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta Rules.

At what stage are the first Malta Citizenship Approvals issued?

After 90 days from the submission of the application by the approved agent, Identity Malta issues its first approval confirming that it has verified the source of funds and the information supplied as part of the application.  Independent due diligence agents are also used by Identity Malta in applying a risk weighting exercise. 

The MIIP Rules stipulate a maximum time frame for the issue of a final approval of 4 months.  Within these 4 months, an applicant will receive what is termed an "In Principle Approval".  This is a letter issued by Identity Malta Agency certifying the approval of the application and confirming the applicant and his dependents' right to a Maltese passport subject only to fulfilling the contribution and investment criteria already agreed to by the applicant.  The main conditions of these Malta Citizenship approvals are the conditions listed below.

Conditions of the first Malta Citizenship Approvals

  • the payment of the remaining balance of the Contribution: €650,000 less the €10,000 already paid on application; i.e. €640,000
  • the purchase or rental of property subject to the minimums established by the rules (€350,000 / €16,000 per year)
  • the investment of €150,000 in governent stock;
  • holding a Global Health Insurance and declaration that applicant can hold it indefinitely.
  • satisfy the residency requirement (as already confirmed with and pre-approved by Identity malta at the outset of applicant's residency)

Next Steps after Citizenship Approval

The Malta Citizenship approvals indicate the timeframes allowed by law for executing the commitments already undertaken by an applicant on submitting his / her application through its approved agent.  The balance on the contribution needs to be paid within 20 days.  A full 4 months is allowed for compliance with the investments and the other ancillary conditions.

When are Passports issued?

Applicants who have received their Malta Citizenship approvals are now entitled to their passports.  However, those who have not already satisfied the genuine link requirement (often referred to as the residency requiement) for one full year, need to wait for that to elapse before claiming their Maltese passports.  Applicants who have been resident already in Malta for that one year period are able to claim their Malta passports on the expiry of 6 months from the date of application for Maltese citizenship.

First Passports expected

At date of update, we are applying for passports for applicants who have already satisfied the residence requirement, having obtained residence with our firm's assistance a number of years back.  We are eagerly looking forward for this momentus event!

First Malta Citizenship ApprovalsReaction to the First Malta Citizenship Approvals

We took the comments of the firm's managing partner Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti, a respected tax and immigration law specialist who has spear-headed the firm's involvement with the Malta Individual Investor Programme and leads a growing team of 10 lawyers and tax advisors specialising in Maltese citizenship and residency:

 

 

"It is an honour to present to our clients with the In Principle Approval letter, what could be the first Malta citizenship approvals under the MIIP.  Having reached this phase of maturity of the Maltese citizenship by invesment legislation, 10 months after it's enactment, it is clear that the Maltese Government is committed to running a serious programme for bona fide investors to be attracted by Malta's high value and effective all-round offer.

I have experienced with several applicants the professionalism, efficiency and the warm welcome promised by the setting up of Identity Malta as a truly one-stop shop for expatriates in Malta.  What we have experienced is a real VIP service which I doubt an applicant can receive in any other country.

Reported also in the Times of Malta


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