Malta Permanent Residence Programme Due Diligence Process

Residency Malta Agency applies a Four-Tier DD Process

Dr. Antoine Saliba Haig | 15 Apr 2021

MPRP Due Diligence

The Government Agency responsible for the MPRP, Residency Malta Agency, is tasked with accepting and processing applications under Malta's Permanent Residence Programme. The Agency is committed to promote the programme under the highest level of due diligence and applies a four-tier process that ensures the most meticulous of screening. Article 14 of Legal Notice 121 of 2021 provides that the agency shall administer the due diligence and verification process of the main applicant and any dependants. The legislation also provides that the Residency Malta Agency shall have the power to request information from competent authorities, including law enforcement authorities, as part of the due diligence process on the applicants.  

Residency Malta Agency and the licenced agent share the responsibility of conducting due diligence and verifying the information provided by the applicant, ensuring all details provided in the application are complete and correct.

First Tier 

The first level of due diligence is where the licenced agent applies Know Your Client (KYC) Obligations when on-boarding an applicant. The agent is responsible for introducing only reputable applicants to the Agency, thus the need to ensure that the agent supports the Agency by submitting printed reports from reliable sources on the potential applicant and all family members. The agent shall also provide a covering letter including the professional background of the applicant when presenting an application. 

Second Tier

The second level of due diligence is then conducted by the Agency. The Agency verifies the completeness and correctness of the application. This involves identifying any anomalies that highlight any potential risk and analysing the source of funds and wealth of the applicant . The supporting documentation submitted to the Agency is verified in its entirety and notarised and apostilled documents are verified. Applications with missing documentation are paused until the agent submits them on the client's behalf.

Third Tier

The third level of due diligence includes obtaining clearance from local police authorities following checks with Interpol and Europol.

Fourth Tier

The fourth tier of due diligence involves an in-depth online investigations where international databases are consulted to check for sanctioned individuals and companies. Searches are conducted on all family members applying for residency, their corporate affiliations, any significant one-time transactions, donations, inheritance, significant business partners and associates. 

Article 14(2) of the subsidiary legislation states that the Agency shall cause due diligence checks to be performed also by third parties including one or more internationally recognised specialised due diligence service providers, in respect of all the family members. Such due diligence checks shall be as the Agency shall determine from time to time and may include security checks to be carried out by law enforcement authorities in line with the Data Protection Regulations, who may use available tools for such purposes, as well as all other checks as regards money laundering and terrorism financing risks by the pertinent authorities having the necessary authority to conduct such checks.

The Agency's analysts put together the applicants story and all checks on the applicant. In cases where more clarity is required, further questions are brought forward to the applicant to ensure that the Agency has the complete picture of the family's application. If necessary, the information is bounced back with the due diligence companies to ensure coherence. Once this process is completed, the Agency informs the Approvals Board of its due diligence findings and seeks the authorisation of the Approvals Board prior to the issue of a certificate. If the decision is one of a rejection, a letter of rejection is issued which cannot be appealed. If the decision is one of approval, a letter of approval is issued, after which the applicants may travel to Malta to have their biometrics taken for the residence card to be issued. 

Annual Compliance

On an annual basis, the Agency asks the agent to submit on behalf of the applicant proof of property lease or purchase, as well as proof of health insurance coverage. This occurs annually for the first five years and then whenever the Agency deems it necessary at its discretion. 

 


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Key Contacts

Dr Antoine Saliba Haig

Advocate, Malta

+356 22056446

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