In 2020 the Maltese government updated the citizenship legislation relating to citizenship by; birth, registration, naturalisation, dual and multiple citizenships, and exceptional services by direct investment.
A new residency route which can lead to Citizenship in Malta, was the outcome.
What are the Details of this New Residency Route?
- ‘Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment,’ provides foreign individuals and their families, who contribute to the economic development of Malta, a route to become citizens of Malta.
Malta is a member of the European Union as well as a Schengen Member State, and its citizens can travel, live, work, study and set up business in any of the member countries, with visa-free travel rights to more than 180 countries.
Community Malta Agency (‘Agency’), is the authorised Maltese Government Agency responsible for administering the processing of all applications leading to Maltese Citizenship.
What are the Criteria?
To apply for Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment, an applicant needs; to invest in the Maltese economy directly, make a donation and hold residential property.
Applicants, who can prove residency status in Malta for 36 months, prior to the naturalisation, are required to make a direct investment of €600,000. Whilst applicants who can prove residency status in Malta for at least 12 months, prior to naturalisation, are required to make a direct investment of €750,000.
If the applicant is accompanied by qualifying dependants, a further investment of €50,000 per dependant needs to be made.
An applicant cannot apply for a certificate of citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services, before he/she has proved that he/she has become a resident of Malta for the minimum period required.
Philanthropic Nature of Direct Investment
Prior to the issue of a certificate of Maltese citizenship, the applicant must donate a minimum €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.
In addition, the main direct investment made by each applicant will be used by the Government to finance projects coordinated by The National Development and Social Fund, across Malta.
Projects that Benefit from The National Development and Social Fund
The National Development and Social Fund agency (‘Fund’) was established to manage and administer 70% of the contributions received from the Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta, set up under the Malta Citizenship Act Cap.188.
The Fund’s mission is to; contribute towards, promote and support significant projects and initiatives of national importance and of public interest, which are intended to develop and improve the economy, public services, and the general well-being of present and future generations.
Between July 2018 and June 2019, the total contributions, including property purchases, rents, and investments, collected through the Programme amounted to more than €271 million. This equates to approximately 2.11% of Malta’s GDP in the same period. The total amount collected, since the changes implemented in the 2020 citizenship legislation, exceed €930 million. Of these funds, approximately €515 million have been allocated to the National Development and Social Fund.
More Details about the Projects
The fund has invested in the following projects:
- €10 million to upgrade eight health centres and 54 clinics. Previously, the Fund awarded a grant of €950,000 to Mater Dei Hospital’s Cardiology Department to upgrade its two catheterisation suites, and €5 million to Puttinu Cares to purchase apartments for cancer patients and their families in London.
- In Feb 2019, a memorandum was signed to commit €50 million towards a social housing project. Five hundred new social housing units to be built, across 22 different sites. These sites are spread over 12 localities; Paola, Kirkop, Rabat, Żabbar, Mellieħa, Luqa, Żurrieq, Żebbuġ, Qormi, Siġġiewi, Qrendi and Marsascala.
- In Ħamrun, a planned roof garden of around 500m2, with more than 2,500 trees, shrubs and plants including mature carob, olive and oak trees, will be featured in the square. This garden will absorb around 900 kilograms of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, whilst producing 660 kilograms of oxygen.
- Other investments allocated by the Fund include; €1.5 million for Caritas, a €1.5 million investment in artistic heritage, and €3.5 million in Urban Green projects.
In 2020, the Fund received €27.8 million from Community Malta Agency, with the total proceeds received from inception being €599.8 million.
Investment in Education
An agreement was signed at the Wardija Resource Centre, part of the Maria Regina College, offering special education beyond the compulsory school age. With an investment of around €40,000, teaching will take place in a multisensory room, where skills related to students’ senses will be developed.
In addition, in collaboration with the University of Malta, a new garden will be planted to create a habitat for endemic butterflies and to enhance their reproduction chances. Another section is to have an apiary where students can learn and enjoy their free time.
At St Paul’s Bay’s Primary School, a room dedicated to creativity and innovation will be launched with an investment of €35,000. Teaching will be undertaken in interdisciplinary ways, mixing; science, technology, engineering, and the arts to increase students’ scientific, literacy and critical thinking.
Finally, at Naxxar’s Senior School, an investment of around €30,000 will be used for new curtains and a mechanised projector for the school’s stage. This is to encourage students to participate in visual and artistic activities, as this will help them learn to think creatively and develop critical thinking, which can be applied in all areas of learning.
Quota for the New Residency Route
It is important to be aware that a maximum quota of 400 applicants per year has been set, with a total maximum number of applicants set at 1,500, for the entire scheme.
If you would like further information regarding Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment, please contact the Dixcart office in Malta: [email protected] or your usual Dixcart contact.