I am an EU/non-EU national, and I have been residing in Malta for the past [x amount of] years. Would that automatically grant me Maltese citizenship
Citizenship is not granted automatically. There are three ways through which Maltese citizenship can be acquired, namely: by birth, registration or by naturalization. One would need to assess carefully your ties with Malta before any advice and assistance can be given.
If you don’t fall under any of the above-mentioned criteria, you may also wish to apply for Maltese citizenship on the basis of the Malta Individual Investor Programme.
Can you give me a brief outline about the Malta Individual Investor Programme please?
The Malta Individual Investor Programme (IIP), introduced in Malta in 2013, allows for the granting of a citizenship status, by means of a certificate of naturalisation, to those individuals who contribute to the economic and social development of Malta. The granting of citizenship to these applicants and their dependents is based on such a contribution, but is always subject to a very strict due diligence process, including but not limited to very meticulous background checks of the individual applicants.
If I am interested in acquiring citizenship through IIP, do I need to rent/purchase an immovable property at the established thresholds from the early stages of the application process?
No, there is no need to. Your IIP process will start with you applying first for a Maltese residence card. You still need to produce a rental/purchase agreement for an immovable property in Malta, however at this stage there are no particular thresholds to respect. You will be only asked to produce the rental/purchase agreement for an immovable property at the established IIP thresholds within four months from the issue of the Letter of Approval in Principal by Identity Malta.
For more information about the whole IIP process, kindly send us an email with your queries and we will get back to you accordingly. You may contact Liana Falzon, ACT’s partner in charge of residency and citizenship on [email protected].
What is the difference between citizenship by registration and citizenship by naturalisation?
To be entitled to apply for citizenship by registration you need to be:
- A spouse of a Maltese citizen, with whom you have been married for at least 5 years; or
- A spouse of a Maltese citizen, from whom you are separated, but with whom you have lived for 5 years after marriage; or
- The widow/widower of a Maltese citizen, with whom you have been married for at least 5 years.
On the other hand, an application for citizenship by naturalization is considered favorably if:
- You are a former citizen of Malta; or
- You were born abroad to Maltese parents who are returned migrants; or
- You were born abroad and you are of Maltese descent.
The above lists are non-exhaustive. For a complete list of criteria for the different programs, kindly contact Liana Falzon, ACT’s partner in charge of residency and citizenship on [email protected].
What would the investment requirements be for someone who would like to apply for the IIP?
The main applicant is required to provide proof of the following: (a) acquisition or lease of immovable property; (b) contribution to the National Development and Social Fund; (c) an investment in stocks, bonds or debentures. For more detailed information about the thresholds established for each of the above-mentioned criteria, we invite you to visit our website www.act.com.mt and read the IIP factsheet. You may also wish to contact Liana Falzon, ACT’s partner in charge of residency and citizenship on [email protected].
Besides the investment criteria already discussed, would there be any other fees I would need to be made aware of before starting the procedure?
Yes, there are some additional fees and charges which are payable to Identity Malta, some of which are refundable whilst others are not. For a list of these charges, kindly visit the last section of our IIP factsheet.
Kindly be informed that ACT is a registered Accredited Agent with Identity Malta, which means that one would also have to consider our professional fees, along with any translation and notarial fees, if applicable.
Get in touch with Liana Falzon, ACT’s partner in charge of residency and citizenship on [email protected], for a detailed quotation.
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