Malta Citizenship by Direct Investment 2024

The Ultimate Guide

Dr. Antoine Saliba Haig | 22 Mar 2024

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Nestled in the middle of the magnificent Mediterranean Sea, the Republic of Malta stands as a country which combines rich history, natural beauty and a cosmopolitan lifestyle. Renowned for its warm and sunny weather, Malta emerges as an increasingly popular destination to relocate to. Malta is also a member of the European Union and the Schengen Area providing its citizens the advantages of a stable economic environment and ease of travel in Europe. Adding to this appeal, is the widespread use of the English language which is one of Malta’s official languages. 

There are a number of initiatives which enable investors the opportunity to apply for Maltese residence or citizenship by investment. The Granting of Citizenship by Exceptional Services Regulations provides a legal pathway of obtaining Maltese citizenship by investment after 12 months or 36 months. 

Prior to the introduction of these regulations, Malta’s citizenship through investment was regulated by the Malta Individual Investor Programme which was repealed on the successful completion of 1,800 applications as per the quota stipulated. The granting of Maltese citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulation was subsequently introduced in November 2020 through Legal Notice 437 of 2020. The aim of these regulations is to outline the requirements of granting citizenship in accordance with the Maltese Citizenship Act. 

Foreign investors and their families are first required to apply for a residence permit before being able to submit a citizenship eligibility application. 

A Comprehensive Guide to Malta Citizenship

Step 1: Submit a Residence Application 

The first step to qualify under the citizenship regulations is to visit Malta and submit a residence application together with the necessary paperwork and initial administrative fees. In three-four weeks, a three-year residency card is issued. 

At this point, the applicant is to settle the initial administrative fees which consist of: 

  • €10,000 non-refundable fee payable by the Main Applicant
  • €5,000 Residence Permit Fee for the Main Applicant
  • €1,000 Residence Permit Fee for each Dependent; and
  • €27.50 Fees for each residence card

Step 2: Malta Citizenship Eligibility Stage

Before being able to submit the final citizenship application, a citizenship eligibility application is to be submitted within the expiration of the 12-month or 36-month residency time period.

At this point, the applicant is to settle the following administrative fees which consist of: 

Due Diligence Fees: 

  • €15,000 for the main applicant;
  • €10,000 for each dependent over the age of 12;

Administrative Fees: 

  • €1,000 for each applicant as an administrative fee

On submission of the citizenship eligibility application and the required supporting documentation, the citizenship agency performs the second level of due diligence to ensure the correctness and completeness of the application. At this stage, the citizenship agency may request additional information to ensure that all the required documents are in order. Once this is finalized, the agency performs the Tier 3 and Tier 4 level of due diligence and presents its finding and recommendations to the Minister. 

On the instructions of the Minister responsible for citizenship, the citizenship agency informs the licensed agent of the Minister’s decision, whether the applicant is eligible to submit the final citizenship application. 

Every step of the application process is given careful consideration by the Agency, with due diligence receiving particular consideration. The due diligence checks guarantee that the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations only allow legitimate applicants to obtain Maltese citizenship.

Step 3: Malta Citizenship Application Stage 

After 12 or 36 months from the issue of the residence card, the licensed agent can submit the final citizenship application. At this stage the citizenship agency updates its due diligence on the applicant and family members and presents its final finding to the Minister. Once the Minister gives the final approval, the agency informs the applicant to fulfill the exceptional investment, pay the donation to charity and rent or purchase a property in Malta. Subsequently, the applicant is invited to take the Oath of Allegiance and is then granted with a certificate of naturalisation. 

What are the main investment requisites for the acquisition of Maltese Citizenship by Investment?

The main applicant is required to satisfy three main conditions on being approved:

Pay a government Contribution 

The applicant is required to make a payment to a government fund of €600,000 when an application is submitted after 36 months from the date of issue of the residence card. When an application for citizenship is submitted after 12 months from the date of the residence card, the applicant is required to make a contribution of €750,000.

For each eligible dependent, a contribution of €50,000 is also to be paid after the letter of approval.

Property Investment in Malta

The applicant is also required to purchase an immovable residential property in Malta having a minimum value of at least €700,000. Alternatively, the applicant may opt to lease a residential immovable property in Malta for a minimum annual rent of €16,000. Both investments must be held for a continuous period of 5 years from the date the Certificate of Maltese Citizenship is issued.

Donation to a Philanthropic Organisation

The applicant is required to donate a minimum of €10,000 to a recognized non-governmental organization or association that supports the arts, sciences, culture, sports, animal welfare, or philanthropy, or as otherwise allowed by the Community Malta Agency.

Connecting Factors with Malta

It is necessary for potential candidates to physically be present in Malta and establish connections while residing on the island.  Documented proof must be provided in order to meet this requirement.When submitting the eligibility application, the applicant must explain to the Agency how he or she intends to establish such connecting criteria.

Who is Eligible to apply for Maltese Citizenship?

A main applicant can include in the same application:

  • A spouse in a monogamous marriage or partner in another relationship having the same or similar status to a monogamous marriage including a civil union, domestic partnership or common law marriage.
  • Dependent children, who must be under the age of eighteen (18) at the time the citizenship application is submitted;
  • Children over the age of eighteen (18) but under 29 (29 years old not included), who must be unmarried and fully or primarily supported by the main applicant;
  • A parent or grandparent of the applicant or the spouse who has attained the age of fifty-five (55) and who prove that they are financially dependent on the main applicant.

A person is disqualified from applying under these regulations if:

  • he or any of his dependants is or was indicted of an offence before  an International Criminal Court or has  been arraigned at any time before an International Criminal Court, whether such person has been found guilty, declared innocent or otherwise acquitted for any reason by such Court
  • he or any of his dependants,  are  listed with Interpol or Europol
  • he or any of his dependants is an actual or potential threat to Malta’s national security,  public policy or public health
  • he or any of his dependants has, at any time, been charged with or found guilty of crimes, related to terrorism, money laundering, funding of terrorism, crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes that infringe upon such  Protection  of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as established by the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • he or any of his dependants has, at any time, been charged or found guilty of any criminal offences that disturb the good order of the family,  which  offences include,  without limitation: pedophilias, rape or defilement of minors.
  • he or any of his dependants has, at any time, been found guilty  of,  or at  any  time during the  processing  of  the application,  has  been interrogated  or  is suspected  of,  or  has criminal charges brought against him for any criminal offence punishable with more than one (1) year’s imprisonment other than an involuntary offence
  • he or any of his dependants is, or is likely to be involved  in  any activity  which  may cause  disrepute  to  the Republic of Malta
  • he or any of his dependants has been denied a visa to a country with whom Malta has visa-free travel arrangements and has not subsequently obtained a visa from that same country
  • he or  any of  his  dependants is  named or listed in international sanctions applying restrictive measures on them that the Agency is bound by law, or has opted, to follow.

Benefits of Maltese Nationality

Applying for Maltese citizenship offers a number of advantages to its holders:

  • Ease of access in both personal and professional life: the ability to travel and reside freely.
  • Malta is one of the safest countries in the world with low crime rate.
  • The island enjoys a strong economy with a growing real estate market and a Fintech hub.
  • Once obtained, citizenship can be passed down to future generations.
  • Malta allows not only dual but multiple citizenships.
  • Maltese citizens may have access to educational opportunities and benefits provided by the government, including scholarships and grants for further studies.


Who is not eligible to apply for citizenship in Malta?

Citizens of Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, and Russia are not allowed to apply. 

Does Malta accept multiple/dual citizenship?

Malta recognizes dual or multiple citizenship; nonetheless, it is recommended that the individuals in question confirm whether this is allowed by their home country's citizenship laws.

Is Malta Included in the Schengen Area?

Malta is a full member of the Schengen Area.

Is Malta a member of the European Union?

Malta became a member of the EU in 2004.

When does the starting date commence for the residence period?

The starting date for the residence period starts from the issuance date of the residence card.  If more than one person is applying within the same application, the start date will be of the person last issued with the residence permit.

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Key Contacts

Dr Priscilla Mifsud Parker

Advocate, Tax Consultant, Licenced Agent, Malta

+356 22056422

Dr Antoine Saliba Haig

Advocate, Malta

+356 22056446

Claudia Cilia Buhagiar

Senior Private Client Advisor  

+356 22056124

Julia Tirazona


+356 2205 6409

Pauline Gouder

Residency & Citizenship Manager

+356 22056105

Roberta Anastasi

Senior Private Clients Advisor

+356 22056105

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