Malta is a top pick for wealthy Americans and foreign nationals seeking dual citizenship by investment. Obtaining a second passport comes with unique benefits. One of the many things that makes Maltese citizenship unique is that it allows for visa-free travel throughout the entire European Union. For entrepreneurs and business owners, it’s a strategic gateway to the EU.
Let’s dive in and explore the unique advantages of considering this small Mediterranean island as your second home.
The Lifestyle and Culture of Malta
The Maltese are renowned for their hospitality, friendliness, and strong sense of community. Residents often greet each other by name, fostering a strong sense of belonging. This warmth extends to foreigners, and newcomers quickly feel part of the community.
Malta is surrounded by water, with Italy, Libya, Tunisia, and Greece the nearest countries. It measures in at 122 square miles, has a population of approximately 535,490, and has a Level 1 safety rating from the U.S. Department of States. The national languages are both Maltese and English, and approximately 88% of the population is bilingual. The culture is a vibrant mix of local and foreign influences, which is reflected in the island’s food, music, art, and annual festivities. Maltese cuisine blends Mediterranean flavors with a twist of North African influence, offering a tantalizing gastronomic experience.
There are 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the Island—a stunning series of ancient temples, palaces, and fortresses. Enjoy over 300 days of sun per year where locals and tourists sail, scuba dive, fish, hike, and enjoy other water sports and outdoor activities.
The island nation boasts a diverse economy with strong sectors such as tourism, real estate, and gaming, providing ample business opportunities. Furthermore, its political system promotes stability and offers a secure and conducive environment for investment. Healthcare is world-class and free to citizens.
The Benefits of Obtaining Dual Citizenship in Malta
Before we dive into the specifics of Malta citizenship requirements, let’s discuss why many investors choose Malta over other countries for their investment passport.
- Easy International Relocation—once you’re a citizen, you can move to any other country in the European Union without additional paperwork.
- Visa-Free Travel—expand your list of visa-free travel to all other 26 countries in the EU, with over 180 countries you can travel to visa-free.
- Easy International Business—enjoy the proximity to key markets throughout Europe and Africa and seamless entry and expansion into EU markets.
- Keep Your Passport—there’s no worry about relinquishing your citizenship in your home country (unless your home country prohibits dual citizenship), as dual citizenship is honored.
- Easy Access to EU Universities—continue your education abroad or provide easy access to EU universities for your children, with lower tuition than non-EU students.
- Work Abroad—it will be easier for you and family members with passports to obtain EU work visas.
- English-Speaking—both Maltese and English are national languages, almost 90% of locals speak English, and you can easily access English-speaking education.
- Comfortable Climate—winter rarely drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, with no snow and little rain. Summers are sunny and hot but not humid, maxing out at around 86 degrees Fahrenheit. There are around 300 days of sunshine per year.
- Generational Citizenship—your spouse and dependent children can be included in your application, and in some cases, parents over the age of 55. After 3 to 5 years as a resident (1 year in some exceptions) you’ll enjoy lifetime citizenship and generational citizenship for all children born after your citizenship is granted.
- Tax Benefits—you’re only taxed on your Maltese domicile and income, but not your international income, wealth, or inheritance.
Malta Citizenship by Investment Requirements
Acquiring Malta citizenship by investment is not available to everyone. Basic eligibility requirements include the following:
- Age—the primary applicant must be at least 18 years of age.
- Good Health—applicants must not have preexisting health conditions that could be taxing on the public health system.
- Background Check—all applicants are subject to a thorough background check that must include a clean criminal record.
- Financial Commitment—there are multiple paths to Maltese citizenship. This article outlines the basics of investment through citizenship.
- Residency Requirement—applicants must be residents for 3 to 5 years (1 year in some exceptions) before being approved for citizenship.
Investment Options for Obtaining Malta Citizenship
There are 3 different pathways under the Maltese Citizenship Act for obtaining residency, and then citizenship through investment. It will take 3 to 5 years to obtain citizenship, 1 year in some exceptions. Your spouse and child can apply with you, as well as parents over the age of 55. The fees below do not include due diligence fees or applicant fees for qualified dependents.
1. Direct Investment in the Maltese Economy
This involves making a non-refundable donation to the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF). The NDSF is dedicated to improving Malta’s infrastructure, education system, and public health, job creation, social reform, and more. It requires a minimum investment of €600,000 for the primary applicant to obtain citizenship within 36 months. With an investment of €750,000, time reduces to 12 months.
2. Real Estate Investment
Investing in real estate is another pathway to Malta citizenship. This could be through purchasing a property worth at least €700,000 or renting property for a minimum annual lease of €16,000.
Investors are required to keep the property without subletting for at least 5 years before applying for citizenship.
3. Community Donation
You can begin your citizenship process with an investment of €10,000 to a registered non-profit approved by the Community Malta Agency. This includes donations to an approved sports program, animal welfare program, cultural program, science program, or NGO.
The Application Process
It can take a minimum of 12 months, and up to 5 years to receive Maltese citizenship. However, you may be approved for residency within a month or two.
The process is as follows:
- Determine which investment path is right for you and submit your application to secure residency.
- Fill out your citizenship application and begin submitting medical information and background check information.
- Once your citizenship application is approved (which takes a minimum of 10 to 12 months) you’ll need to pay your investment fees.
- Once approved, you and all dependents included in your application over the age of 18 must take your Oath of Allegiance.
- Receive your Certificate of Naturalization and all dependents over the age of 6 must submit biometrics. Receive your passports, and travel!
Ready to invest in Malta? Reach out to jhmarlin.com to learn more about Malta citizenship by investment requirements!