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Relaunching Malta’s Passports Programme

Kristine Attard and Dr John Caruana  -  24/November/2020

On Friday 20th November, the Maltese Government enacted Legal Notice 437 of 2020, which sets up the path for the establishment of the new Passports Programme (also known as the Citizenship by Investment Scheme).  The main noteworthy elements which are to be taken into consideration with respect to this new programme are the following:

Capping – No more than 400 applications for citizenship by investment shall be accepted annually, and in total, the programme shall cater for 1,500 successful applications.  

Age Restriction – Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

Eligible Dependants – Applicants may include the following family dependants in their application:

      i.        spouse;

     ii.        children under the age of 18;

    iii.        children who at the time of the application’s submission are under the age of 29 and are mainly dependant on the main applicant; and

    iv.        parents and grandparents over the age of 55.

No age restriction shall be applicable for children who are disabled.

Fit and Proper: Applicants must possess a clean police conduct and be of good health. The same criteria need to be respected by their dependants in order for them to be included in the application.  

Compulsory Residence Period: In order for the application to be submitted successfully, the Main Applicant must provide proof of residence in Malta for a minimum period of 1 year or 3 years, depending on the investment route which the applicant shall take.

Two Investment Routes:

      i.        Applicants who have resided in Malta for 1 year and who wish to submit their citizenship application shall be required to invest €750,000

     ii.        Applicants who have resided in Malta for 3 years and who wish to submit their citizenship application shall be required to invest €600,000

An additional direct investment of €50,000 shall be required for each added dependant.

Donation: Compulsory donation of €10,000 must be made to a registered non-governmental organisation in Malta

Qualifying Property Criterion: Applicants can choose either to lease an immovable residential property in Malta for an annual rent of €16,000 or buy one at the minimum price of €700,000, and they need to hold such property for a minimum of five (5) years from the date of issue of the certificate of citizenship.

Processing of the Application for Citizenship by Investment

The processing of the application for citizenship by investment shall be divided into different stages:

Stage One: Initially, the Main Applicant must submit an application where his/her eligibility as a candidate for the Passports Programme shall be reviewed. Strict due diligence tests shall be carried out and an appropriate risk weighting shall be given to all applicants.

Stage Two: If the applicant passes this initial eligibility test, the applicant shall be allowed to submit a full application for Maltese Citizenship, provided that he has satisfied the above-mentioned residence requirement. The whole application shall be reviewed and it shall be decided whether or not to accept the applicant as a Maltese Citizen.  

During Stage One, an administrative fee of €1000 shall be payable for every applicant and during Stage Two, the administrative fee shall amount to €500 per applicant. 

The application needs to be submitted through a licenced Agent – as fully recognised and accredited agents, KSi Malta would be able to assist accordingly in this respect. 

Other Applicable Fees

Due Diligence Fees

The following due diligence fees shall be payable for each application:

Main Applicant:

€15,000

 

Dependant:

€10,000 for every dependant included in the main application

 

Third Party Benefactors

€ 15,000 for every third-party benefactor contributing financially to the application

Residence Permit Fee – needed so that applicant satisfies the 1 year/3 years residency requirement

Main Applicant:

€5,000

 

Dependants:

€1,000 for each dependant included in the main application

 

While we are still currently waiting for the relevant Maltese Authority’s guidelines which shall shed more light on how the new application procedure shall operate, this Legal Notice has clearly established the main criteria which the new passports programme shall embrace. It has furtherly clarified Malta’s intention to proceed with the new passports programme, but to do so in a diligent manner, including further stringent due diligence procedures than before, where such procedures were already considered as being quite scrupulous.

Should you require any further clarification regarding the above or wish to set up a call, please do not hesitate to contact us accordingly via the following email:   immigration@ksimalta.com We shall be more than happy to assist you in any manner we can.

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