Malta confirms its position on Citizenship, Residence & Investment Migration Programmes

Genuine links in Residence Route to Maltese Citizenship to be better supervised

| Published on 09 Nov 2020

Malta outlines its plans for Investment Migration Programmes

The Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship and Communities within the Ministry for Home Affairs, National Security & Law Enforcement, confirmed the Maltese Government's position on Malta’s Investment Migration sector during his budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday.  Muscat noted that Malta's successful Individual Investor Programme had reached its quota and that the MIIP Agency had stopped accepting applications earlier than expected, in August 2020. 

Malta Individual Investor Programme closes as it reaches quota

As per article 12 of Legal Notice 47 of 2014 the number of successful main applicants was capped at 1,800 applicants for the whole duration of the programme. The agency had received 2,076 citizenship applications, out of which only 1,480 were approved. In addition, 368 applications were refused at an advanced stage of the application and 35 applications were refused at initial stages. A number of applicants have decided to withdraw their application after clarifications were sought by the citizenship agency at due diligence stage. 

MIIP revenues invested back in Maltese society, economy

During the past six years from the programme’s launch over €1.5 billion was injected into the national social development fund and the consolidated fund which were further invested in healthcare, social accommodation, sports and infrastructure. Approved applicants have also on their own accord helped various charity organisations with donations amounting to a total of around €500 million. In the new investment migration programme which will be launched in the coming months, a mandatory donation of €10,000 to philanthropic institutions is expected to be introduced. 

New Residence routes to Maltese Citizenship

Malta shall be launching a residence by investment programme which may lead to Maltese citizenship after three years of residence and, if supported with an exceptional contribution, will reduce the residency requirement to one year of Maltese residence. Before being able to submit an application, applicants will undergo an eligibility assessment which will involve an enhanced due diligence test. 

Mr Muscat also made reference to the current residence by investment programme, the Malta Residence & Visa Programme (MRVP) and announced that the agency responsible for the programme is reviewing the MRVP with the aim of improving its requirements and benefits with the aim of becoming more competitive.

Publication of Names when Maltese Citizenship is revoked

During his parliamentary address Mr Muscat also made reference to the ongoing discussions with the European Commission and emphasized that the decision on who acquires or loses Maltese citizenship will always be within Malta’s competence. To this effect a new amendment will be introduced to Maltese legislation which would allow the Maltese government to publish names of individuals whose citizenship has been revoked in the Malta government gazette.

Consensus between Government & Opposition on Genuine Link criteria

A noteworthy development is a statement of the Opposition party, now under new leadership, emphasising the focus on Genuine Link and its proper application and supervision as a pre-requisite of the granting of Maltese citizenship.  In this way, Maltese citizenship by investment is not reduced to the sale of citizenship to which the party is strongly opposed.

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