Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment in Malta

Law Review: The Granting of Maltese Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations, 2020

Dr. Antoine Saliba Haig | Published on 20 Nov 2020

Maltese Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations

By virtue of Legal Notice 437 of 2020 Malta launched the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulation with the scope of laying down the requirements and regulating the granting of citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services to the Republic of Malta on the basis of exceptional interest, in accordance with Article 10(9) of the Maltese Citizenship Act. This follows the introduction of a new agency called Community Malta Agency,  which shall be responsible for all citizenship applications including those submitted through naturalisation, marriage, descent, adoption and investment. 

Citizenship applications under these regulations are to be submitted through a duly licensed and certified Agent.

Eligibility for Citizenship through Exceptional Services

Applicants under these regulations shall be eligible if that person:

  • Undertakes to take the Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of Malta
  • Undertakes to promote the fundamental and democratic values of the Republic of Malta
  • Undertakes to support the Maltese community in the spirit of social justice and equity
  • Undertakes to render an exceptional contribution to the Republic of Malta through an exceptional direct investment in the economic and social development of the Republic of Malta
  • Undertakes to declare that the applicant and his dependants are fit and proper persons to hold Maltese citizenship
  • Undertakes to submit a medical examination report 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 Malta's public health system
  • Undertakes to submit a police conduct certificate

Investment Requirements for Citizenship through Exceptional Services

Prior to submitting a citizenship by investment application the applicant shall provide a title to a residential property in Malta. If the Minister is satisfied that the applicant meets the necessary criteria, the applicant is to submit the relevant forms and supporting documents. The applicant shall not submit the citizenship by investment application before he has completed the residence requirement. 

The applicant is required to submit:

  • Proof of residence in Malta for at least twelve (12) months or thirty-six (36) months preceding the date of application
  • Undertaking to purchase a residential property worth at least €700,000 or rent a property for a minimum annual rent of €16,000, which shall be kept for a minimum of five (5) years
  • Undertaking to donate prior to the issue of a certificate of naturalisation, a minimum of €10,000 to a registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic NGO or society
  • Undertake to make a non-refundable investment of €600,000 when the application is submitted after 36 months of residence or €750,000 when the application is submitted after 12 months of residence
  • Undertake to make a non-refundable investment of €50,000 for each dependant

Once this is submitted, the Agency shall evaluate the application and submit a report to the Minister responsible for citizenship. If the application is approved, the Community Malta Agency shall issue a Letter of Approval in Principle to the Applicant. The applicant shall be required to complete the process and take the Oath of Allegiance within six (6) months from the approval. 

Due Diligence Fees

When submitting an application for citizenship under the exceptional investment route the following due diligence fees are to be paid:

  • €15,000 - Main Applicant
  • €10,000 - Each Dependant

Qualifying Dependents 

An applicant applying under these regulations can include in a citizenship application the following dependents:

  • The spouse in a monogamous marriage or partner having the same or similar status. The term 'spouse' shall be construed as gender neutral
  • A child of the Main Applicant or the spouse under the age of eighteen (18)
  • An economically dependent and unmarried  child of the Main Applicant or the spouse who has not yet attained the age of twenty-nine (29), at the time when the citizenship application is accepted by the Agency
  • A child of the Main Applicant or the spouse, including an adopted child who at the time of the application has attained the age of eighteen (18) and is qualified as a person with a disability
  • An economically dependent parent or grandparent of the Main Applicant or the spouse above the age of 55

Grounds for Ineligibility

A person may not applying under these regulation if:

  • The person or any of the dependants 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 or otherwise
  • The person or any of the dependants are listed with INTERPOL or EUROPOL
  • The person or any of the dependants is an actual or potential threat to Malta's national security, public policy or public health
  • The person or any of the dependants has been charged or found guilty of terrorism, money laundering, funding of terrorism, crimes against humanity, war crimes, defilement of minors, indecent assault and other serious crimes
  • The person or any of the dependants has been found guilty or suspected or has criminal charges brought against him for any criminal offence punishable with more than one (1) year imprisonment, other than an involuntary offence
  • The person or any of the dependants is or is likely to be involved in any activity which may cause disrepute to the Republic of Malta
  • The person or any of the dependants has been denied a visa to a country with whom Malta has visa-free travel arrangements with, and has not subsequently obtained a visa from that country
  • The person or any of the dependants is named or listed in international sanctions

If an applicant makes a false statement or otherwise omits material information, the application may be suspended and considered inadmissible. 

Quota

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 a total of 1,500 for the duration of the regulations. 


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Key Contacts

Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti

Senior Partner, Tax & Immigration

+356 22056411

Dr Antoine Saliba Haig

Senior Lawyer

+356 22056446

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