Malta Citizenship by Investment: Your Comprehensive 2024 Guide

Are you exploring how to become a Maltese citizen through investment? Malta citizenship by investment offers a pathway to obtaining a European passport, providing benefits like freedom of movement within the EU and the right to live and work in a highly strategic and stable country. In this guide, we’ll delve into the specifics of the program, including eligibility criteria, investment thresholds, and the benefits you stand to gain as a new Maltese citizen.

Key Takeaways

  • The Malta Citizenship by Investment Program offers citizenship by naturalization for exceptional services through a substantial non-refundable direct investment alongside real estate and philanthropic contributions, granting EU citizenship benefits without a language proficiency prerequisite.
  • Investors participating in the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program are subjected to a rigorous due diligence and background check process, requiring a clean criminal record and evidence of lawful income, culminating in a final review by Malta’s Minister and an Oath of Allegiance.
  • Malta allows dual citizenship without restrictions, enables tax advantages based on domicile and residency status, provides visa-free access to 190 countries, and permits family reunification, making it an attractive option for investors, who should also consider other residency programs like Spain and Portugal’s Golden Visas.

Understanding the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program

The Malta Citizenship by Investment Program, officially titled ,,Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment” (CES), is an appealing route for high-net-worth individuals. It’s not just about contributing to Malta’s economy but also about fostering innovation and cross-border value creation. Governed by the outlined in the new Exceptional Investor Naturalization (CES) Regulations, the program provides a comprehensive framework for potential investors.

Malta Citizenship by Investment Program

The Eligibility Criteria for the Program

  • Clean criminal record
  • Good standing
  • One-year residency requirement
  • No language proficiency requirement

The entire process from application to citizenship grant takes approximately 15 to 18 months. It all begins with accessing the official website of specialist firms, such as Imperial Citizenship.

Malta Passport: Benefits of EU citizenship

The benefits of acquiring Maltese citizenship are manifold. As a member of the European Union since 2004, Malta offers its citizens all the benefits of EU citizenship, including:

  • The freedom to live, work, and study in any of the EU member states
  • Access to healthcare and social security systems in EU countries
  • The ability to travel visa-free to many countries
  • The opportunity to participate in EU elections and have a say in EU policies
  • The protection of EU laws and regulations, supported by the Maltese government

Plus, the citizenship acquired through investment is not just a one-time benefit—it is permanent and can be passed on to future generations.

The Malta Citizenship by Investment Program offers:

  • An investment opportunity
  • A Malta passport for global mobility
  • Security for your family’s future
  • An opportunity to join a dynamic and expanding community.

Investment Requirements for Malta Citizenship

Investment Requirements for Malta Citizenship

While the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program opens doors to numerous benefits, it does come with certain investment requirements. These include a direct non-refundable investment, an investment in real estate, and a mandatory philanthropic donation.

We’ll now explore these requirements with greater depth.

Direct Financial Contribution

The Malta Citizenship by Investment Program necessitates a substantial financial contribution from the principal applicant. If choosing to reside in Malta for 36 months, the required contribution is €600,000. For those wishing to expedite the process and reduce the residency period to 12 months, a contribution of €750,000 is required.

Beyond this base contribution, the principal applicant must also make a direct payment of €650,000 to the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF). This fund supports various sectors in Malta, including:

  • public health
  • education
  • job creation
  • social improvement
  • innovation

There are also additional contributions required for family members. A spouse and each minor child come with a €25,000 obligation, and each dependent aged 18-26 or dependent parent over 55 requires a €50,000 contribution.

The direct financial contribution forms a pivotal part of the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program, extending beyond a mere financial transaction to become a significant investment in Malta’s growth and prosperity.

Keep in mind, these are non-refundable investments, constituting your commitment to acquiring Maltese citizenship through the Maltese citizenship program. The program goes beyond immediate benefits, encouraging your active participation in Malta’s future growth and development.

Property Investment

Alongside the direct financial contribution, the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program mandates a minimum property investment. This can be met either by purchasing residential property worth at least €700,000 or leasing property with an annual rent of at least €16,000.

The property, whether purchased or leased, must be held for a minimum of five years to maintain eligibility for the program. This holding period is significant as it demonstrates the applicant’s commitment to forming genuine links with Malta.

During this five-year holding period, the property may not be rented out or sold. This restriction ensures that the property fulfills the program’s requirement of not being sublet. However, no tax is levied on the sale of the property after it has been held for five years and used as the sole and ordinary residence. If sold within three years, a tax of 12% is imposed.

It’s also crucial to budget for additional expenses such as notarial fees, stamp duties, and legal fees, which typically amount to 5-8% of the property purchase price. Hence, while property investment is a key component of the program, careful planning, professional advice and understanding costs and restrictions are essential.

Philanthropic Donation

Another cornerstone of the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program is the mandatory philanthropic donation. Each applicant must make a non-refundable donation of €10,000 to a qualifying non-profit organization in Malta.

This donation must be made to a non-profit organization that is registered with the Commissioner of Voluntary Organizations in Malta or one that is approved by the Community Malta Agency. This allows for a wide range of eligible organizations, including those engaged in:

  • sports
  • culture
  • science
  • philanthropy
  • animal welfare
  • the arts

The philanthropic donation transcends a mere monetary contribution. It provides applicants a chance to contribute positively to the community, supporting causes close to their hearts and aiding in the improvement of Maltese society. By making this donation, applicants not only fulfill an essential requirement of the program but also reinforce their commitment to their new home country.

Application Process for Malta Citizenship by Investment

The application process for the Malta Citizenship Program, which offers citizenship by investment, is comprehensive, involving several steps from engaging a professional firm, undergoing due diligence and background checks, to finally obtaining Malta citizenship approval through the investment program.

We’ll now dissect each stage with greater detail.

Application Process for Malta Citizenship by Investment

Engaging a Professional Firm

Imperial Citizenship malta citizenship

To start your journey towards Maltese citizenship, you will need to engage a specialists. These are professionals like lawyers, financial advisors and advisory company specializing in investor programs to obtain residence and also citizenship in several nations worldwide.

Establishing cooperation with a professional consulting company, such as Imperial Citizenship, goes beyond merely fulfilling a program requirement. It involves having a reliable advisor to steer you through the complex process, ensuring your application’s accuracy, completeness, and compliance with all regulations. This trusted relationship enabling to support you throughout the application until completion.

Why Engage a Professional Firm?

  • Navigating the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program: The Malta Citizenship Program, officially managed by the Community Malta Agency, requires applicants to navigate through complex legal and regulatory frameworks. A professional firm, well-versed in Maltese law and the specificities of the Maltese Citizenship Act, can provide invaluable guidance.
  • Expertise in Direct Investment and Real Estate Investment: The Malta citizenship application demands a significant direct investment into the country’s economy or a real estate investment with a minimum value stipulated by the Maltese government. Professional firms offer expertise in evaluating investment options, ensuring that your investment not only complies with the minimum investment requirements but also aligns with your financial goals.
  • Dual Citizenship and Visa Free Travel: Malta’s citizenship by investment program offers the significant benefit of dual citizenship, allowing individuals to retain their original nationality while enjoying the advantages of a Maltese passport. This includes visa-free access to numerous countries, thanks to Malta’s membership in the European Union. Professional firms can advise on how to maximize these benefits while ensuring compliance with all regulations.
  • Exceptional Services and Diligence Process: Firms specializing in the Malta investor visa and citizenship by investment programs are renowned for their exceptional services, guiding applicants through the Malta citizenship application process.
  • Minimizing Tax Exposure: Malta is known for its extremely advantageous tax exposure, with double taxation treaties in place to protect Maltese citizens. Professional advisory firms can provide guidance on how to benefit from these treaties, ensuring that you meet all necessary tax obligations without undue burden.
  • Assistance with Residence Permit and Maltese Residency: Before being granted Maltese citizenship, applicants are typically required to hold a Maltese residence permit for a certain period. Firms specializing in Maltese citizenship can assist in obtaining this permit, facilitating your journey towards becoming a Maltese citizen.
malta citizenship imperial citizenship

Selecting the Right Firm for Obtaining Maltese Citizenship

When choosing a professional firm to assist with your Malta citizenship application, consider their track record of successfully helping clients gain Malta citizenship. Look for firms that offer personalized services, ensuring that your application for Maltese citizenship is handled with the utmost care and professionalism.

Firms like Imperial Citizenship, specializing in the Maltese citizenship program, go beyond merely fulfilling application requirements. They become your trusted partner in navigating the complexities of the Maltese Citizenship Act, the exceptional direct investment requirements, and the real estate investment opportunities, ensuring that your journey towards acquiring Maltese citizenship is smooth and successful.

Engaging a professional firm is essential for anyone looking to navigate the complexities of the Malta citizenship by investment program successfully. From ensuring compliance with the Maltese Citizenship Act to maximizing the benefits of European citizenship, such as visa-free travel and an extremely advantageous tax exposure. Professional firm provide indispensable guidance and support throughout the entire process.

Due Diligence and Background Checks

An integral part of the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program is the robust four-tier due diligence process. This rigorous process ensures high standards of scrutiny are maintained through all stages of the applicant assessment.

The due diligence process begins at the residency application stage with Tier 1 checks. Subsequent checks occur during the citizenship eligibility application stage (Tier 2), with further checks before the final decision by the Minister (Tiers 3 and 4).

These checks are stringent and thorough. Applicants are required to have a clean criminal record, verified through international law enforcement agencies like Europol and Interpol, and a transparent source of funds. This is validated through the submission of a range of documents for detailed checks, including international passports, marriage and birth certificates, medical insurance certificates, bank statements, and lease agreements.

The due diligence process extends beyond ensuring the legality of your application. It involves showcasing your integrity, credibility, and honesty. It is about validating your worthiness as a valuable addition to the Maltese community.

Citizenship Approval and Oath of Allegiance

Once you’ve fulfilled all investment requirements and passed the due diligence checks, you are approved for citizenship. But this is not the end of the journey; rather, it marks the beginning of your new life as a Maltese citizen.

Taking the Oath of Allegiance is a mandatory step for the main applicants and any dependents over the age of 18. This can be done in Malta or at a Maltese embassy or consulate abroad. It is a solemn pledge of loyalty to your new country, a promise to uphold its laws and respect its people.

Upon taking the Oath of Allegiance and meeting all investment criteria, you are granted the Certificate of Naturalization. This official document confirms your new status as a Maltese citizen and is a testament to your investment, commitment, and belief in Malta’s future.

The Certificate of Naturalization:

  • Paves the way for your Maltese passport application
  • Grants you the liberty to travel, reside, and work across the European Union
  • Surpasses being merely a document, becoming a gateway to a world of opportunities and a symbol of your global citizenship.

Benefits of Malta Citizenship for Investors and Their Families

Acquiring Maltese citizenship through investment opens up a world of benefits and opportunities for investors and their families. With a Maltese passport, you gain visa-free access to 190 countries, enhancing your global travel opportunities, and freeing you from the constraints of visa applications and restrictions.

As a Maltese citizen, you can enjoy visa-free entry or eVisas to countries like the USA. Moreover, you get the convenience of traveling within the EU and territories around the world using just an ID card.

Benefits of Malta Citizenship for Investors and Their Families

Beyond travel freedom, investors gain the right to live, work, and conduct business anywhere in the European Union. This freedom opens up a plethora of opportunities for economic growth, business expansion, and personal development.

Malta offers more than just economic benefits. It presents:

  • A high standard of living with top-quality healthcare
  • Recognized educational opportunities
  • Ranked as one of the top 20 safest countries, providing a safe and secure environment for families.

The citizenship also allows for family reunification and is inheritable, ensuring a secure future for your loved ones.

Tax Implications of Malta Citizenship

A comprehension of the tax implications is a necessity when contemplating the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program. Taxation in Malta is based on domicile and residency rather than citizenship status, which is favorable for non-domiciled residents and investors.

As a non-domicile in Malta, you’re only required to pay tax on income earned within the country. This provision, along with other special tax concessions, can significantly reduce your tax liabilities, making Malta an attractive destination for global investors.

Further benefits can be enjoyed by shareholders of Maltese companies. They can receive up to 100% refunds on corporate tax paid, subject to certain conditions. Moreover, Malta’s double taxation treaties with approximately 60 countries and a remittance-based tax system can further reduce tax liabilities on foreign income for tax residents.

Malta does not impose inheritance, net worth, or wealth taxes. This provides favorable financial conditions for residents and businesses in the country. These provisions offer potential benefits for estate planning and wealth management, making Malta an advantageous tax jurisdiction for both individuals and businesses.

Dual Citizenship and Malta

Malta and Dual Citizenship

Many investors often wonder about the possibility of dual citizenship when considering a Citizenship by Investment Program. The good news is, Malta allows dual citizenship. This has been explicitly permitted under Malta’s Citizenship Act since February 10, 2000, allowing Maltese residents to acquire and retain a foreign citizenship in addition to their Maltese citizenship. With Malta dual citizenship, investors can enjoy the benefits of both their home country and Malta through the Citizenship by Investment Program.

Individuals who obtain Maltese citizenship through investment, as outlined in the Maltese Citizenship Act, are recognized as Maltese citizens and have the right to maintain their original nationality, thereby having dual citizenship. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of Maltese citizenship while retaining your original nationality, ensuring you stay connected to your roots.

However, while Malta imposes no restrictions on holding a second passport, investors should be aware of potential restrictions from their country of origin. It’s important to fully understand the implications of dual citizenship and seek appropriate legal advice if necessary.

Alternatives to Malta Citizenship by Investment

Despite the multitude of benefits provided by the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program, considering other options remains essential for making an informed decision. For investors seeking residency in Europe, the Maltese Permanent Residency Program (Malta Golden Visa), as well as Spain and Portugal’s Golden Visa programs, present viable alternatives.

Alternatives to Malta Citizenship by Investment

The Spain Residence by Investment Program

Spain’s Golden Visa requires a minimum €500,000 investment in real estate. It offers visa-free Schengen travel, family reunification, and potential for permanent residency and citizenship in the future. The initial visa is valid for one year, renewable for up to five years, before one can apply for permanent residency.

Investors in the Spain Residence by Investment Program not only gain a potential return on their real estate investments but also enjoy living in a country known for its high quality of life, excellent healthcare system, world-renowned cuisine, and diverse landscapes. The program offers a unique opportunity to investors seeking to combine lifestyle and investment benefits, making it an attractive option for those looking to relocate to Europe.

The Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program

On the other hand, Portugal is renowned for its stellar reputation as one of the most globalized and peaceful countries globally, boasting a high quality of life and an impressive Human Development Index ranking. As one of Europe’s oldest nations, it offers a rich tapestry of history, vibrant culture, exquisite cuisine, breathtaking beaches, and serene countryside landscapes.

The Portugal Golden Visa Program, is a residence-by-investment scheme designed for non-EU nationals that spans five years. This program grants the holder the right to live, work, and study in Portugal, in addition to permitting free movement within Europe’s Schengen Area. Remarkably, the program demands an average stay of only seven days per year in Portugal, which can contribute towards eligibility for citizenship after five years. Investment options include:

  • EUR 500,000 in the acquisition of units in investment funds or venture capital funds dedicated to capitalizing companies registered under Portuguese law, with a minimum five-year maturity and at least 60% of the investment portfolio in companies based in Portugal (excluding real estate entities).
  • EUR 500,000 towards research activities conducted by public or private organizations within the national scientific and technological system.
  • EUR 400,000 invested in areas designated as having low population density.
  • EUR 250,000 supporting artistic endeavors or the preservation or restoration of national cultural heritage.
  • EUR 200,000 in investments specifically targeted at areas of low population density.


The Malta Citizenship by Investment Program offers an enticing blend of personal and economic benefits, from visa-free travel and EU rights to a favorable tax system and high standard of living. While the investment requirements are substantial, the rewards are significant. Whether you’re seeking global mobility, business expansion opportunities, or a safe and secure environment for your family, the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program could be the golden key to unlock your dreams.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you buy residency in Malta?

Yes, you can buy residency in Malta through qualifying investments, such as a property purchase of € 350,000 (€ 300,000 in South Malta or Gozo), or a property lease of € 12,000 per annum (€ 10,000 in South Malta or Gozo) for a minimum of 5 years.

What is the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program?

The Malta Citizenship by Investment Program, also known as ,,Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment” (CES), offers Maltese citizenship in exchange for substantial economic contributions to Malta. This program aims to attract high-net-worth individuals.

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