Acquisition of Citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment

Malta is and remains a great EU location to acquire citizenship. The new program launched in December 2020, named, Acquisition of Citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment is now managed by Community Malta Agency, a government entity responsible for administering and processing all Maltese citizenship related matters. This includes applications for the acquisition of Maltese citizenship by descent, citizenship through merit, citizenship by naturalisation through long term residence and through exceptional service by merit and exceptional service by investment in Malta. The new program is regulated by S.L. 188.05.

Malta remains highly popular for high-net-worth individuals who want to invest to give themselves and their family the opportunity to become part of the Malta community.

The requisites for applications are:

  • Provide a proof of residence in Malta for a period of 36 months, provided that this period may by exception be reduced to a minimum of 12 months, subject to an exceptional direct investment (of €600,000 and €750,000 respectively), to be effected prior the issue of the certificate of naturalisation;
  • Purchase an immovable residential property in Malta having a minimum value of €700,000 or take on a lease a residential immovable property in Malta for a minimum annual rent of €16,000, which property shall be adequate and suitable for the applicant and his dependants, for a minimum period of five (5) years from the date of issue of the certificate of citizenship;
  • Carry out an exceptional direct investment in Malta, in accordance with the Regulations (S.L 188.05); and
  • Donate, prior to the issue of the certificate of naturalisation, a minimum of €10,000 to a registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic non-governmental organisation or society, or as otherwise approved by the Agency.

The Agency gives proper consideration to every element of the application process, with particular focus on due diligence. The Program has in fact a four-tier due diligence process, which is considered very stringent, and of the highest standard.

When these processes are completed, the evaluators would review all the information collected both internally and externally and an internal risk assessment report is collected using a risk matrix. Then applications are presented to the Agency’s board where a collective decision on the recommendation to be put forward to the Minister for Citizenship is agreed. The Minister’s final decision is then conveyed to the agent by means of either a Letter of Approval in Principle or a Letter of Refusal.