Malta’s Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations allow applicants to obtain citizenship of Malta, but only after first residing in Malta.
Applicants must hold residency status in Malta for at least 12 months and pass an eligibility assessment to submit an application for citizenship.
Source: Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations, 2020 and the Community Malta Agency official website
Citizenship of Malta comes with a wide range of benefits, including:
- Visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel to around 180 countries and territories
- Ability to pass on citizenship to future generations
- Citizenship for life, with the right to live, work, and possess property in Malta
- Right to hold dual citizenship
Under the Regulations, applicants may obtain citizenship of Malta upon the completion of a three-stage process, consisting of:
01. The Residency Stage
02. The Eligibility Stage
03. The Citizenship Stage
THE RESIDENCY STAGE
Applicants must first apply to the Community Malta Agency (through an authorised agent) for residency in Malta. Residency status is initially issued for 36 months, and applicants aged 18 and over must hold residency status in Malta for at least 12 months to submit an application for citizenship.
It is expected that the timeframe from submission of a residency application to the issuance of the relevant e-residency card is 15 working days.
- The main applicant must select a registered agent, who will submit the residency application and ensure relevant payments are made to the Community Malta Agency on behalf of the main applicant.
- Once the application and payments are received by the Community Malta Agency, it performs Tier 1 due diligence on the main applicant/dependants and requests a first police clearance.
- The Community Malta Agency then contacts the agent to inform the main applicant/dependants that they must attend a biometrics appointment and, potentially, an interview within six months of clearance.
At the residency stage, the following costs apply:
- Part payment of non-refundable investment deposit
Main applicant €10,000
- Residence permit
Main applicant €5,000
Each dependant €1,000
- Residency card
Main applicant €27.50
Each dependant €27.50
Before completing the residence requirement, and in general within 12 months of the issuance of the residence card, the main applicant must apply through the same agent for an eligibility assessment with the Community Malta Agency.
If the main applicant passes the eligibility assessment and completes the residence requirement (12-36 months or 36+ months), then he/she can apply for citizenship.
- Upon receiving the application for eligibility assessment, Community Malta Agency issues a formal receipt (including a payment request voucher) within two working days.
- Upon receipt of the relevant fees due at this stage, the Community Malta Agency performs Tier 2 due diligence on the main applicant/dependants.
Further due diligence fees may be required at this stage.
- The Community Malta Agency then performs Tiers 3 and 4 due diligence.
- Finally, the Community Malta Agency presents the application and its due diligence conclusions to the Minister.
- After receiving the Minister’s final decision on whether to grant citizenship to the main applicant/dependants, the Community Malta Agency reports the decision to the main applicant’s agent via a letter of approval. A letter of approval for eligibility is expected to be issued within 120–150 calendar days of payment of the fees due at this stage.
At the eligibility stage, the following fees apply:
- Due diligence fee
Main applicant €15,000
Each dependant (aged 12+) €10,000
- Administrative fee
Per applicant €1,000
At this stage, the applicant must make the relevant investment, the total cost of which differs according to how long the applicant resided in Malta under the residency stage. Upon completion of this stage, the main applicant/dependants receive citizenship of Malta.
- The main applicant must fulfil all the following requirements:
Make an exceptional direct investment;
Note that the amount due for the exceptional direct investment varies according to whether the applicant has resided in Malta for (a) 36 months or (b) between 12 and 36 months.
Make a real estate investment (either a purchase or rental) to be held for a minimum of five years;
Note that the real estate chosen must be fit for the main applicant and dependants to live in
Make a donation; and
Pay administrative fees.
- An undertaking to complete the above, and evidence of completion of the residence requirement, must be provided.
- Approximately five working days from the provision of the relevant undertakings/evidence of completion of residence, an invitation to travel to Malta to take the Oath of Allegiance is issued to the main applicant and any dependants aged 18 or over.
The Oath of Allegiance must be taken in Malta within six months of the letter of approval, and the applicants will not be allowed to take the Oath unless:
all requirements are fulfilled and fees paid; and
the applicant undertakes in writing to observe and fulfil all obligations for a period of five years from the issuance of the Certificate of Naturalisation.
- The Certificate of Naturalisation is issued.
- The Community Malta Agency conducts continuous monitoring of the main applicant/dependants for five years, and the main applicant/dependants must complete and file a Compliance Form at the Community Malta Agency every year for the first five years from the date of the Oath of Allegiance.
Costs and Fees
The following costs and fees apply:
- Exceptional Direct Investment
Main applicant (36+ months residency) €590,000
- Main applicant (12-36 months residency) €740,000
Each dependant €50,000
Real Estate Investment
- Purchase an immovable residential property in Malta having a minimum value of €700,000
- Take on a lease of a residential immovable property in Malta for a minimum annual rent of €16,000
- Donation to a registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic non-governmental organisation or society, or as otherwise approved by the Community Malta Agency €10,000
- Administrative fee
Main applicant €5,000
Each dependant €1,000
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